04.01.2015
3
16
Replenix Serum CF
Rating
1 fl. oz. for $67
Last Updated:04.01.2015
Jar Packaging:No
Tested on animals:Yes
Review Overview

This fragrance-free, water-based serum is a rather simple formula that contains a high amount of antioxidant polyphenols, from green tea, and enough caffeine to give a Starbucks espresso competition! Is the caffeine a skin-care must-have? Not really, although it does function as an antioxidant and has anti-inflammatory benefits, just like lots of other ingredients.

Topix maintains they included caffeine to enhance the efficacy of the green tea, but there isn't any research proving that topical application of this combination is preferred. Research has shown that oral consumption of caffeinated green tea reduces tumor formation after UV exposure, while decaffeinated green tea does not (Source: Cancer Research, July 2001, pages 5002–5009). Although that's interesting, it doesn't lend credence to combining caffeine and green tea in a skin-care product. (It's not as though the caffeine will make your skin look or feel more "awake.")

Although this serum contains a small selection of very good ingredients, in the end it leaves your skin wanting more. This would've earned our top rating had it also contained a couple of skin-repairing and/or cell-communicating ingredients. As is, it's a good, but not superior, option for all skin types, including sensitive or rosacea-affected skin.

Pros:
  • Fragrance-free.
  • Contains a high amount of green tea–based antioxidant, plus skin-repairing sodium hyaluronate.
  • Anti-irritants can help reduce redness.
Cons:
  • Lacks a range of skin-repairing ingredients to strengthen skin's barrier (surface).
  • Beyond antioxidants, the formula is short on anti-aging ingredients.
Claims

The lightweight, fast-absorbing serum contains the humectant hyaluronic acid to deliver enhanced moisturization and improved texture, tone and overall skin appearance. Fortified with caffeine to enhance the antioxidant properties of green tea.

Ingredients

Purified Water, Caffeine USP, 90% Polyphenol Isolate of Camellia Sinensis Leaf, Sodium Hyaluronate, Bisabolol, Cucumis Sativus (Cucumber) Extract, Chamomilla Recutita (Chamomile) Extract, Triethanolamine, Polysorbate 20, Carbomer, Methylparaben, Diazolidinyl Urea, Tetrasodium EDTA.

Brand Overview

Topix At-A-Glance

Strengths: Most of the products are fragrance-free; packaging keeps light- and air-sensitive ingredients stable during use; several good products with retinol in varying strengths; good moisturizers and cleansers; very good body lotions.

Weaknesses: Expensive; the physician allure may seem enticing, but these products do not require a doctor's visit or medical supervision; no AHA or BHA exfoliants; no viable skin-lightening options; fragrant toner; the growth factors in the Citrix serums are potentially risky ingredients.

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.

About the Experts

The new Beautypedia Team proudly and unequivocally maintains the commitment to help you find the best products possible for your skin. We do this by relentlessly pursuing and relying on published scientific research so you will have unbiased information on what works and what doesn't-and the sneaky ways you could be making your skin worse, not better!


The Beautypedia Team reviews all products using the same research, criteria, and objectivity, whether the product being reviewed is from Paula's Choice or another brand.

Member Comments
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01.26.2015
Great for inflammation

This is a great product for acne-prone skin. Not a moisturizer in itself. I found it actually had an anti-inflammatory, tightening effect on my skin, which I liked in my 20s (before my skin turned dry). It was especially helpful on days when I had redness or swelling from a blemish - or from a facial! I recommend for those looking for immediate effects, rather than those looking for long-term results.

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Reviewed by
Helen A
12.23.2012
Replenix Serum CF is gentle on skin

This is a gentle product which layers well under sunscreen. It does not make my sensitive skin break out which is a feat in itself... It is soothing to skin, and as I am oily it is great for my skin. Dry skins should look elsewhere, as there is not much emoillence. It is even slightly drying on my skin. I have bought 2 bottles; I feel it is good in the summer to protect from sun damage when under sunscreen.

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Reviewed by
Amarie
12.22.2012
Replenix

Because of an eczema flare-up, I had to visit the dermatologist (first time that I've ever experienced this condition). After my flare-up was over, the doctor recommended a full line of Replenix products (cleanser, Retinol serum, moisturizer and eye serum). Not only are these products way over-the-top expensive, I did NOT like any of them. Like Paula said.....it left my skin wanting much more moisture. The eye serum does seem to "freeze" your wrinkles, but flakes and you end up looking worse. I totally did not like any of the Replenix products!! I immediately purchased Paula's Skin Recovery Products with great results. I feel all of Paula's products are safe, effective and affordable. This was a very expensive lesson to learn!!

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Reviewed by
Cindy
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