The Story Behind Avon
We would bet that nearly every individual living in the United States has heard of Avon. Founded in 1886, Avon is one of the world’s oldest skin care companies. In many ways, Avon has become part of our folklore; being mentioned in countless TV shows, and having a place in Tim Burton’s 1990’s classic film, Edward Scissorhands. It’s no wonder that this skin care company is still so popular and well known in the United States, as well as in over 70 countries around the world. In this review, we’ll discuss the brand’s best selling products, key ingredients, Avon reviews from real customers, and more.
The Top 5 Avon Skin Care Products
Although Avon is known as a skin care company, the brand actually offers a wide range of products, including makeup, fragrance, and hair care items, among others. In fact, when the company was first founded, it primarily sold perfume. Within these product categories, the company also differentiates the items with specific brands. For example, within the skin care category, Avon contains several brands, like ANEW and Clearskin. The brand has a list on their website of the top 10 best selling Avon products, which includes both makeup and skin care. Since we are focusing on skin care in this review, let’s take a closer look at the top 5 best selling Avon skin care products.
Anew Clinical Eye Lift Pro Dual Eye System
This eye system is one of Avon’s best selling products. It is a two-in-one system: the gel is applied to the top eyelid and brow bone area and the cream is applied to the under eye area, including upper cheekbone. This system is said to provide a dramatic lift, make eyes look and feel dramatically firmer, and virtually erase the signs of aging on eyes – in just one week. Sound too good to be true? It probably is, especially considering that the formula is mostly composed of humectants (glycerin, butylene glycol) and emollients (petrolatum, shea butter, and more). There are a few anti-aging ingredients, but they’re near the end of the ingredient list (meaning they are used in low concentrations).
Anew Ultimate Multi-Performance Day Cream SPF 25
Avon Anew Ultimate Multi-Performance Day Cream SPF 25 is an anti-aging moisturizer with broad spectrum sunscreen that is claimed to revive and recreate the look of youthful skin by visibly transforming multiple signs of aging. The formula contains a decent amount of glycolic acid, a type of alpha hydroxy acid (AHA). Other than glycolic acid, the formula is pretty lackluster, containing mostly humectants, emollients, and silicones.
Anew Hydra Fusion 1.5% Hyaluronic Acid Serum
Avon Anew Hydra Fusion 1.5% Hyaluronic Acid Serum includes three different molecular sizes of hyaluronic acid to reach multiple layers of skin’s surface. It is said to instantly plump the look of expression/fine lines, deliver overall deep hydration, and bring back your skin’s bounce. Hyaluronic acid is a beneficial skin care ingredient that can increase skin’s hydration and “plump” up the skin’s appearance. We’ll talk about hyaluronic acid more in the next section.
Anew Ultimate Multi-Performance Night Cream
The best-selling Avon Anew Ultimate Multi-Performance Night Cream is an anti-aging nighttime moisturizer that is claimed to help improve the look of skin’s texture, clarity, skin tone, fine wrinkles and crow’s feet while restoring a radiant and youthful appearance. Similar to the other Avon skin care products we’ve been talking about, most of the formula consists of humectants, silicones, emollients, and glycolic acid.
Skin So Soft Original Bath Oil
Avon Skin So Soft Bath Oil is a jojoba-infused luxury bath oil that is said to soften skin, smooth dry skin without irritation, and uplift your mind with its herbal scent. The formula consists of mineral oil, synthetic emollients, jojoba oil, and fragrance. As you’ll learn in the next section, fragrance may create a pleasant experience while using the Avon Skin So Soft Bath Oil, but it’s not doing your skin any good.
What Are The Key Avon Skin Care Ingredients?
Avon uses different key ingredients in each of their skin care products, but we noticed that there are a few ingredients that can be found throughout the Avon collection. The key ingredients you’ll find in many Avon skin care products include hyaluronic acid, glycolic acid, and dimethicone. We also noticed that Avon uses synthetic emollients and fragrance in nearly all of their products. Keep reading to learn how each of these ingredients will affect your skin.
You’ll find hyaluronic acid in Avon Anew Hydra Fusion 1.5% Hyaluronic Acid Serum, as well as several other Avon skin care products. Hyaluronic acid is a type of glycosaminoglycan that
is able to hold more water than any other natural substance—up to 1,000 times its weight in water! Hyaluronic acid is the key molecule involved in skin moisture. According to a publication in DermatoEndocrinology, the most dramatic change observed in aging skin is the marked disappearance of hyaluronic acid in the epidermis (the top layer of skin). Therefore, hyaluronic acid can help naturally reduce signs of aging by decreasing epidermal water loss associated with sun exposure, low humidity, and other external factors associated with skin dryness.
As we mentioned above, several Avon skin care products contain the AHA glycolic acid. Glycolic acid exfoliates the skin by targeting corneocytes (dead skin cells that make up the top layers of skin) in a process called corneocyte desquamation. By enhancing their breakdown and increasing the separation of skin cells, the rate of cell turnover is increased. Ultimately, this helps to improve uneven skin texture, resulting in smoother, softer skin.
The final key ingredient that you’ll find in several Avon skin care products is dimethicone, a type of silicone. Silicones improve a product’s spreadability while imparting a silky, smooth skin feel. In addition, silicones form a protective covering on the skin that provides both water-binding and water-resistant properties. The water-binding portion of the molecule is the highly flexible and mobile siloxane backbone, which binds to moisture in the air and holds it to the skin. This backbone also allows the water-repelling methyl groups to orient themselves toward the surface, creating a waterproof “umbrella” that prevents trans-epidermal water loss (TEWL).
In addition to dimethicone, nearly all Avon skin care products contain quite a few different emollients, some that are natural (such as shea butter) and some that are synthetic (such as hydrogenated polyisobutene and ethylhexyl isononanoate). Whether an emollient is derived from a natural or synthetic source, the outcome is the same: emollients help to lock in moisture and keep the skin soft.
Another common feature of nearly all Avon skin care products is the use of synthetic fragrance blends. We understand that consumers appreciate when products smell pleasant, but we’d like to point out that fragrance is not skin care. Fragrance ingredients (both natural and synthetic) have the potential to cause sensitization, irritation, and even skin damage. Even if you don’t have a full blown reaction to the fragrance ingredients, the damage may still be occurring every day. Ultimately, this can cause mild problems for your skin in the short term and worse problems in the long term.
Where Are Avon Skin Care Products Sold?
Avon skin care products can be purchased directly from the company’s website, on third party online retailers like Amazon, or from an independent Avon representative. We recommend taking a look at the Avon reviews before talking to an independent representative because at the end of the day their job is to make a sale.
What is Avon Return Policy?
The Avon return policy states, “We stand behind every product we offer. We’ll gladly give you a full refund with your return within 45 days. After 45 days, returned products will not be refunded. Please note that items marked Final Sale on the website cannot be returned.”
Is Avon Cruelty Free?
Avon is not cruelty free. While Avon does not conduct animal testing on their products or ingredients, they do test on animals when required to do so by law (such as in mainland China).
Avon reviews on the brand’s website are overall very positive. The product with the most reviews is Avon Anew Clinical Eye Lift Pro Dual Eye System, which has received an average of 4.6 out of 5 stars after more than 1,500 customer reviews.
The positive reviews for this product mention that it does help to “lift” the eyelids while also moisturizing and keeping skin smooth. For example, one very positive review says, “I have used this product for many, many years. I love how it makes my eyelids feel and evidently it keeps the skin around my eyes looking younger because no one can believe that I will be 60 in just over a month. I search high and low when my supply is running out so that I don’t have to go one day without it.”
The negative Avon reviews for this eye system are either from customers who experienced allergic reactions from this product (puffy, red, itchy eyes) or from customers who didn’t see the results that Avon claims this product should provide. For example, one reviewer shared, “I used this FAITHFULLY for six (6) months and was so very disappointed. I used the gel part to lift that bag extending from under my eyebrow and now covers my entire eyelid. I want it lifted to somewhere near where it used to be. I use eye cream daily and have for years and years but I wanted something for this particular problem. Man, I am so very disappointed in this product. It just did not do what it said it would…..at all.”
What Are Some Alternatives to Avon?
Overall, we weren’t impressed with Avon skin care products. The formulas contain a few beneficial skin care ingredients, but nearly all products contain synthetic fragrance. Remember: fragrance is not skin care! Using products with fragrance around the eyes can be especially problematic since this skin is very delicate. Unfortunately, the reviews for Avon Anew Clinical Eye Lift Pro Dual Eye System that mention red, puffy, itchy eyes prove this point. If you’re looking for a fragrance-free, anti-aging eye cream, we’d like to recommend Formulyst’s Anti-Aging Eye Cream.
A few of the key ingredients in Formulyst’s Anti-Aging Eye Cream include hyaluronic acid, squalane, shea butter, and snow mushroom extract. As we mentioned above, hyaluronic acid improves skin hydration while also providing a plumping effect to fill in lines and wrinkles. Squalane and shea butter are both emollients that lock in moisture and help the delicate skin around the eyes to feel soft. Snow mushroom extract has a gelatinous structure and rich composition of polysaccharides, which enables this ingredient to bind water and provide hydration to the skin. Research has also demonstrated that snow mushroom extract has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Overall, Formulyst’s Anti-Aging Eye Cream can help to blur away dark circles, puffiness, and even stubborn crow’s feet.
There’s no need to compromise when it comes to finding skincare that is effective and safe. Carrot & Stick takes a tough love approach to skincare, perfectly balancing the power of plants with cutting edge science. Not only is Carrot & Stick good for your skin, it is also good for the environment as the formulas skip harmful chemicals as well as the preservatives, emulsifiers and thickeners commonly found in skincare products.
Dermatoendocrinol. 2012 Jul 1; 4(3): 253–258.e