Clinical Concentrate Radiance Booster may seem like it provides almost everything you need in a single bottle—at least, that's what you may think after reading the claims (and the ingredient list). Although there's some good to be obtained from this product, it falters as an AHA exfoliant, which is the big claim on the label.
Housed in a dropper-style bottle, this does contain an interesting array of beneficial ingredients with enough moisturizing capabilities to make it a good formula for normal to dry skin (acne-prone, too). Unfortunately, it falls short on a few fronts, namely the inclusion of a few potentially irritating ingredients and the fact the pH level is too high to make good on its exfoliant claims—it's a good option for a lightweight, non-greasy moisturizing serum, but it won't take the place of your daily AHA or BHA treatment and won't boost such products, either, at least not in terms of exfoliation.
Clinical Concentrate Radiance Booster contains an abundant array of skin-identical ingredients—those substances that help keep skin smooth and healthy—which are especially helpful for skin that's on the slightly dry side. This would work well when layered beneath your daytime or nighttime moisturizers, mixed into your serum, or even used as your serum.
Dr. Gross includes lots of antioxidants such as gotu nut (Centella asiatica) extract, cucumber, watermelon, green tea and chamomile. Some of these are more impressive than others; for example, yucca glauca root is a main ingredient, but there isn't much research demonstrating there is anything unique about it.
The research-proven antioxidants include resveratrol, retinol, ferulic acid, quercetin caprylate and one called potassium azeloyl diglycinate. Quercetin caprylate is a derivative of quercetin—and research has demonstrated it works quite similarly in terms of potent antioxidant protection as well as potential ability to lighten skin discolorations (Experimental Gerontology, 2010).
New kid on the block potassium azeloyl diglycinate is a derivative of azelaic acid, which research has shown provides similar benefits in treating conditions like inflammation, rosacea and redness. However, we should mention that the amount of potassium azeloyl diglycinate tested (5%) was much higher than is present here (Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology, 2012). Nevertheless, it's a noteworthy ingredient and will likely benefit your skin in terms of antioxidant potential.
We mentioned earlier that Clinical Concentrate Radiance Booster shouldn't be relied on as an exfoliant. The marketing for this product mentions a "unique complex of three acids", pyruvic, tartaric, and linoleic. While Dr. Gross doesn't directly state these are exfoliant ingredients, just in case you should be under the impression they are, let's clarify that two of these—pyruvic and tartaric—are capable of exfoliating skin under the right conditions (i.e. the proper pH level). Linoleic acid is a fatty acid, which is a moisturizing agent.
Interestingly enough, multiple ingredients in this product have the potential to exfoliate: Salicylic, glycolic, lactic, and mandelic acid, but are not mentioned on the packaging or in the marketing claims. Despite plenty of exfoliant ingredients, it's all for naught as the pH of Clinical Concentrate Radiance Booster is far too high for any of them to actually work as such.
What held Clinical Concentrate Radiance Booster back from earning a BEST is the inclusion of three potential irritants, comfrey extract (Symphytum officinale extract), myrrh oil (Commiphora myrrha), witch hazel extract, and added fragrance. For the most part, the amounts are low, but nonetheless they do have the potential to irritate skin and the total amounts likely present make this product a questionable choice for those with extra-sensitive skin.
That caveat aside, this earned its GOOD rating for its mix of antioxidants, cell-communicating ingredients, skin repairing ingredients, and all-around interesting formula. Note that the glass packaging is nearly transparent, with a slight orange tint—this should be kept in a drawer or bathroom cabinet to protect its delicate ingredients from light exposure that will serve to degrade the light-sensitive ingredients.
- Contains an interesting mix of antioxidants (and quite a few of them).
- Lightly moisturizing formula can replace your serum as serve as an additive to boost its performance.
- Contains some fragrance ingredients that pose a risk of irritation.
- Nearly transparent glass packaging should be kept away from direct light sources.