Replenix All Trans Retinol Smoothing Serum 5X

by Topix  Replenix
Price:
$73.50 - 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 serum is almost identical to the Topix Replenix All Trans Retinol Smoothing Serums 2X and 3X, except this version is said to contain even more retinol. The company advises those with normal skin to use the 3X formula, while those with sensitive skin or first-time retinol users should use the 2X formula. Those with "more tolerant skin" are advised to use this 5X formula, although, ultimately, it comes down to experimentation to see how much retinol your skin can tolerate. Each Topix Replenix retinol serum seems to contain an efficacious amount of retinol—and whether you choose the 2X, 3X, or 5X version seems to be more about marketing than formulary distinction. Given the Serum 5X's similarity to the other Replenix retinol serums, the same review applies.

Topix sells four retinol serums, each with varying amounts of retinol designed for different skin types and for those who want to "step up" the retinol concentration as their skin acclimates. Each serum is silicone-based and fragrance-free; in fact, other than the different amounts of retinol, they are nearly identical. Topix refers to the retinol in their products as "all-trans-retinol," but that is just another way to say retinol, and retinol is just the technical name for vitamin A; so, there is nothing different or unique about all-trans-retinol—it is just vitamin A. Topic's name, all-trans-retinol, can be misleading because it is easily confused with the prescription ingredient all-trans-retinoic-acid, which is what retinol transforms into when absorbed into the skin. All-trans-retinoic acid is the active ingredient in Renova and Retin-A, among other prescription brands.

In regard to the amount of retinol in the Topix retinol products, more is not necessarily better. How much retinol is appropriate for your skin type depends on how much your skin can tolerate. It takes experimenting to see what level works for you, but don't start by assuming the strongest strength is the best. See More Info for further details on retinol.

This retinol serum is a good option to consider, as it gives skin retinol plus the antioxidants green tea, caffeine, and hyaluronic acid, all of which are anti-aging ingredients that have research attesting to their benefits for skin. What would propel this retinol serum to our highest rating would be a larger amount of skin-repairing ingredients and more antioxidants. Caffeine and green tea are good, but there are lots of others that are more potent and stable, including those that can help offset the potential irritation from the retinol, and it is questionable whether or not caffeine fits in that category. See our list of Best Retinol Products for superior options, including some that cost less. If you decide to try this Replenix serum, it is suitable for all skin types.

Pros:
  • Very silky texture.
  • Fragrance-free formula suitable for sensitive skin.
  • Contains retinol plus antioxidant green tea and skin-repairing hyaluronic acid.
Cons:
  • Would be better with a greater range of beneficial anti-aging ingredients.
More Info:

Many consumers are concerned about the percentage of retinol in anti-aging products such as serums or moisturizers. Although the percentage can make a difference, too much can cause irritation and too little can have no benefit at all. What's most important is the delivery system (the ingredients that help retinol absorb into the skin), the packaging (which must be airtight to maintain the highly unstable retinol's effectiveness), and the other ingredients that are included with the retinol.

Using a product with a range of anti-aging ingredients plus retinol is far more valuable for skin than using a product with only a supposedly high percentage of retinol (or vitamin C, or niacinamide, or green tea, or ubiquinone, and on and on). Skin is the largest organ of the body and needs far more than any one ingredient can provide. It doesn't make skin-sense to focus on the percentage of retinol when so many other elements are also important when considering a product with retinol.

This serum assists in achieving smoother, firmer and more evenly toned skin. This Retinol based formulation helps achieve more radiant looking skin while delivering the skin enhancing benefits of Green Tea Polyphenols.

Cyclopentasiloxane, Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Cyclomethicone, PEG/PPG 18/18 Dimethicone, Caffeine, Camellia Sinensis (Green Tea) Polyphenols, Retinol, Polysorbate-20, Purified Water, Hyaluronic Acid

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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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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