Retinol 0.5 Refining Night Cream with 0.5% Pure Retinol makes many anti-aging claims, and because it contains a significant amount of retinol the claims you can bank on are building collagen and stimulating cell regeneration. However, since other ingredients can also do that, or at least assist in the process, it’s a bit overly optimistic to hang all your hopes on one specialized ingredient such as retinol. Fortunately, this water- and silicone-based serum does contain many other beneficial ingredients for healthy skin, including ceramides, cholesterol, lecithin, antioxidants, and the anti-irritant bisabolol. The opaque bottle with pump applicator helps maintain the stability of the retinol, which is a prerequisite for products with this ingredient. Retinol 0.5 is suitable for all skin types.
Getting back to the claims, SkinCeuticals boasts that this serum will also minimize pore size and correct blemishes. The first claim rests on a subjective judgment. The second claim that retinol is able to correct blemishes is at this point more theoretical than proven. In contrast, tretinoin (the active ingredient in Retin-A) has considerable research supporting its use as a prescription acne treatment. While it’s definitely possible that using a retinol serum like this one will result in fewer blemishes, it’s not as much of a sure thing as using a tretinoin product. The benefits of retinol versus tretinoin are that retinol has significantly fewer and comparably minor side effects, but the tradeoff is reduced efficacy (Source: Cosmetic Dermatology, volume 18, issue 1, supplement 1, January 2005, page 19). This product is not recommended for daytime application because it contains photosensitizing St. John’s wort.
Note: This product's original rating was "BEST," but it is now rated "GOOD" because it contains a preservative (methylisothiazolinone) that’s a known sensitizer when used in leave-on products. If you decide to use this retinol product, pay close attention to how your skin responds, and discontinue use if you experience a sensitized reaction.
Helps reduce appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, age spots, blemishes and blotchiness. Ensures maximum amount of retinol reaches the target site, will not clog pores and eliminated the need for additional moisturizer.
Water, Cyclomethicone, Cyclopentasiloxane, Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Dimethicone, Dimethiconol, Laureth-4, Laureth-23, Hydrogenated Lecithin, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter), Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Ceramide 2, Ceramide 3, Phytosphingosine, Cholesterol, Hypericum Perforatum Extract, Propylene Glycol, Allyl Methacrylate Crosspolymer, Polysorbate 20, Retinol, BHT, Sodium Polyacrylate, Dimethicone PEG-7 Isostearate, Glycerin, Polyacrylamide, C13-14 Isoparaffin, Laureth-7, Bisabolol, Rosa Canina Leaf Extract, Silybum Marianum Fruit Extract, Passiflora Incarnata Flower Extract, Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Leaf Extract, Citric Acid, Methylisothiazolinone, Tetrasodium EDTA
With a strong presence in the professional (meaning spa and aesthetics) skin-care market, SkinCeuticals has a mostly well-deserved reputation for producing serious-minded, research-driven products, several of which are centered on L-ascorbic acid. Company founder Dr. Sheldon Pinnell began the line after a falling out with the folks behind Cellex-C, a company for which Dr. Pinnell once served as spokesperson. The falling out had to do with both Cellex-C and Dr. Pinnell holding patents on L-ascorbic acid; Cellex-C held the patent on a formula with L-ascorbic acid (the original Cellex-C serum) while Dr. Pinnell's patent (now conspicuously absent from SkinCeuticals products) was only for the ingredient. The drama continued as, years later, the doctor who joined Pinnell to work on SkinCeuticals' vitamin C products began his own company, also selling products with vitamin C. Who needs Desperate Housewives when we have desperate doctors racing to be the authoritative word on the anti-aging properties of vitamin C?
The good news is that copious research has demonstrated that L-ascorbic acid (despite its stability issues, which, formula-wise, SkinCeuticals products do address) is a good, potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agent. It has also been shown to provide photoprotective benefits when skin is exposed to UV light and is capable of stimulating collagen production - though don't take that to mean it is a cure for wrinkles (Sources: International Journal of Toxicology, 2005, supplement, pages 51–111; Experimental Dermatology, June 2003, pages 237–244; Dermatologic Surgery, March 2002, pages 231–236; Bioelectrochemistry and Bioenergetics, May 1999, pages 453–461; and International Journal of Radiation Biology, June 1999, pages 747–755). Of course, other forms of vitamin C have equally impressive research, and some forms, such as magnesium ascorbyl phosphate, have better stability profiles (Source: Journal of Pharmaceutical and Biomedical Analysis, March 1997, pages 795–801).
As we've mentioned before, vitamin C is but one of many good antioxidants, and it's not the best approach to select any one or two antioxidants and bank on them alone to provide every conceivable skin-rejuvenating benefit. Instead, go for products that offer a cocktail of antioxidants because you'll get a greater range of benefits. Plus, some antioxidants in combination have a synergistic effect that surpasses what occurs when any of the ingredients are used alone. SkinCeuticals clearly knows this, because their vitamin C products also contain the antioxidant ferulic acid, and some add vitamin E to the mix as well. Above all, remember that as multifunctional as antioxidants are, they cannot stop aging, they won't eliminate wrinkles, and they do not replace the need for daily sun protection.
L'Oreal purchased SkinCeuticals in May 2005, and, for the time being, seems to be letting them stay on their course. That's a good thing, because despite L'Oreal’s considerable financial reserves and global R&D team, the skin-care products their brands produce consistently lag behind what current research indicates are state-of-the-art options. As long as they continue to let SkinCeuticals retain its stature, there are many good reasons to shop this line; however, that said, this line is far from perfect in terms of being able to assemble a complete skin-care routine. Focusing on what they do best (which is serums, sunscreens, and specialty products) will be money well spent for visible results. Those who find the SkinCeuticals price tags to be a deal-breaker need to know that despite several notable products, they're hardly the only game in town; you can find equally superior products for less money, though not all of them follow the impressive concentration protocols of SkinCeuticals.
For more information about SkinCeuticals, call 1-800-771-9489 or visit www.skinceuticals.com.