Replenix AE Facial Firming Therapy

by Topix  Replenix
Price:
$110 - 1 fl. oz.
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Category:
Skin Care > Serums > Serums
Last Updated:
12/10/2012
Jar Packaging:
No
Tested On Animals:
Yes

This expensive, fragrance-free serum is said to "relax fine lines and wrinkles" as it prepares the skin to rebuild collagen. While the small amount of antioxidants and skin-repairing ingredients can indeed build collagen, this would be far better if it contained more of these types of ingredients, especially given the price.

However, what this cannot do is relax wrinkles and fine lines. There is no substantiated research proving the peptides it contains have any sort of relaxing effect on muscles that contract during facial expressions. No peptide is the equivalent of topical Botox; not even Botox works its line-smoothing magic if applied topically—it must be injected into the muscles beneath the skin. And, for what this costs, you may as well get Botox and enjoy better results!

Theoretically, peptides have cell-communicating ability for skin, but they're not the anti-aging slam-dunks many companies make them out to be. They can be helpful as water-binding agents and perhaps for stimulating (or, if you prefer, rebuilding) collagen, assuming they remain stable in the formula, although peptides are generally hard to keep stable in a skin-care formula. That's the most we can rely on for now.

So, is there any reason to consider this serum? It lightly hydrates skin (just like lots of other serums) and the amount of wheat protein and the presence of hairspray-like film-forming agents can make the skin feel temporarily tighter, which some may enjoy. This cannot lift sagging skin (see More Info to find out why), but its finish is suitable for normal to oily skin and the formula contains some antioxidants, but nothing to really justify its price or to make it worth strong consideration over many less expensive serums we rate highly.

Note: This product is sold with Topix Replenix AE Dermal Restructuring Therapy as part of the company's Topix Replenix AE Therapy Duo ($208).

Pros:
  • Fragrance-free.
  • Hydrates and smoothes skin.
  • Won't make oily skin feel greasy.
Cons:
  • The peptides cannot relax wrinkles (this isn't Botox in a bottle).
  • Expensive for what is a relatively average product.
More Info:

Many skin-care products claim they can firm and lift skin, but none of them work, at least not to the extent claimed. A face-lift-in-a-bottle isn't possible, but with the right mix of products, you will see firmer skin that has a more lifted appearance—and that's exciting! To gain these youthful benefits, you must protect your skin from any and all sun damage every day, use an AHA (glycolic acid or lactic acid) or BHA (salicylic acid) exfoliant, and use products that have a wide range of antioxidants and skin-repairing ingredients. Remember, no single product can do it all; it's a combination of products that has extensive research showing it can significantly improve many of the signs of aging, such as firming skin, reducing wrinkles and brown spots, and eliminating dullness. You'll find them on our list of Best Anti-Aging/Anti-Wrinkle Products.

Topix Replenix AE Facial Firming Therapy relaxes fine lines and wrinkles and prepares the skin for collagen re-building. This elegant serum contains three peptides that work synergistically with one another to relax facial muscles, stimulate collagen synthesis and strengthen the dermis.

Purified Water, Acetyl Hexapeptide-8, Macrocystis Pyrifera Extract, Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein, Butylene Glycol, Laureth-3, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Acetyl Dipeptide-1 Cetyl Ester, Palmitoyl Tripeptide-3, Glycerin, Sodium Hyaluronate, Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Flower Extract, Polysorbate-20, Cucumis Sativus (Cucumber) Fruit Extract, Ubiquinone (Co-Q10), PVM/MA Decadiene Crosspolymer, PVP, Triethanolamine, Phenoxyethanol, Disodium EDTA.

Topix is best known for its two chief skin-care brands, Replenix and Citrix. Of the two, we're asked most often about the Replenix collection; the Citrix line is smaller and focused on anti-aging products with vitamin C. The Replenix products contain a broader range of anti-aging ingredients, such as retinol, green tea, and grape-derived resveratrol, and the claims are broader, too—so little surprise that the Replenix products appeal to more people concerned with signs of aging. Both Replenix and Citrix offer fragrance-free formulas, albeit at fairly high prices, which is typical of most physician-dispensed lines.

A chief selling point of Topix is its physician-dispensed angle, which gives the products a medical élan; in truth, however, not a single ingredient in these products is "medicinal," prescription, or exclusive to physician-sold products. That is, you don't need to see a doctor to be "prescribed" Topix products; rather, they can be obtained from several websites, no appointment necessary. The big question is whether or not you should add any Topix products to your shopping cart—and the answer is "it depends."

Within the Replenix line, the most interesting products include the serums and moisturizers. Although none of them are superior to the best options available, most of them do offer good (though pricey) formulas that treat skin to a range of beneficial ingredients.

If you're keen on retinol (and it's a great anti-aging ingredient), Replenix has you covered with several serums offering different strengths of retinol. The various strengths allow you to "step up" to stronger retinol products once your skin has acclimated to the lower strengths. Although that sounds intriguing, it's not really necessary. As we explain in the reviews, more retinol is not necessarily better, and some may find the higher-strength retinol products too sensitizing, so caution is warranted. Indeed, some people cannot tolerate any amount of retinol!

The Citrix products aren't all that exciting unless you want vitamin C in every product. Although there's nothing wrong with vitamin C, it's a mistaken notion to focus on one hero ingredient because skin requires a variety of beneficial ingredients to look and act younger. Topix also adds growth factors to their Citrix serums, but these growth-factor ingredients are unproven for topical use and may present risks (we explain why in the reviews). In short, Citrix isn't all that exciting, and several of these products fall short in one way or another.

Our research revealed that Topix has some intriguing products, but, with few exceptions, there is nothing that you cannot find elsewhere for less money. It's important to let go of the notion that skin-care products sold at a doctor's office are superior to those sold elsewhere. The truth is: There are good and bad products in every retail outlet—knowing what you're buying is more important than where you're buying it or who's selling it!

For more information about Topix, call (800) 445-2595 or visit www.topixpharm.com.

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About the Experts

Paula Begoun is the best-selling author of 20 books on skin care and makeup. She is known worldwide as the Cosmetics Cop and creator of Paula's Choice. Paula's expertise has led to hundreds of appearances on national and international television including:

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The Paula's Choice Research Team is dedicated to helping you find the absolute best products for your skin, using research-based criteria to review beauty products from an honest, balanced perspective. Each member of the team was personally trained by Paula herself.

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