There are certain brands that are always associated with one hit product. Estée Lauder has its Advanced Night Repair, and Elizabeth Arden’s Eight Hour Cream is a cult favorite along with CeraVe’s Daily Moisturizing Lotion along with that other drugstore staple, Aquaphor. For SkinCeuticals, their most well-known product is the SkinCeuticals C E Ferulic serum, which was launched in 2005. But it’s not the brand’s only all-star. The company is known for its high potency skincare products which are often found in medi-spas and doctor’s offices. Here’s a look at the history of SkinCeuticals, what it sells and are its products right for you?
What is SkinCeuticals?
SkinCeuticals debuted in 1997 and the company’s philosophy is based on the research by its founding scientist and former chief medical advisor, Dr. Sheldon Pinnell. The Yale-educated Dr. Pinnell was a member of the Duke University Medical School faculty for almost 40 years, and served as the Chief of Dermatology at Duke University Medical Center for 15 years. His areas of research included skin cancer and skin aging, and he has published articles looking at collagen synthesis, UV protection and topical vitamin C. According to the company, Dr. Pinnell’s work with antioxidants has been a driving force for SkinCeuticals.
Today SkinCeuticals is owned by cosmetics giant L’Oréal and sells a wide variety of skincare products including serums, masks, cleansers, moisturizers and lip treatments, as well as targeted products for acne, redness and sensitive skin. There are also SkinCeuticals-affiliated spas offering in-office procedures such as chemical peels and microdermabrasion.
What Is The SkinCeuticals Philosophy?
SkinCeuticals’s philosophy is to create and maintain an effective skincare regimen based on these three concepts: Prevention, Protection and Correction. The company is one of the pioneers of “cosmeceuticals,” which are cosmetic products made with “biologically active ingredients claiming to enhance skincare efficacy.”
What Are The Best-selling SkinCeuticals Products?
SkinCeuticals has a big stable of best-sellers, but arguably the brand’s best known product is the SkinCeuticals C E Ferulic. This serum has received countless write ups and recommendations in the press. It helps protect the skin from environmental and sun damage, and also works to brighten and tone the skin. The powerhouse serum also improves the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. The C E Ferulic contains just 12 15% pure vitamin C (L-ascorbic acid); 1% vitamin E to help nourish and protect the skin and 0.5% ferulic acid, an antioxidant that is thought to increase the stability of vitamins C and E, while also protecting the skin from environmental damage. Other ingredients include water, the humectants glycerin and propylene glycol, and sodium hyaluronate, a form of hyaluronic acid which occurs naturally in the body and is known as a moisturizing all-star as it can hold up to 1,000 times its weight in water.
Other best-sellers include Discoloration Defense serum, a dark spot corrector that can be used on sun spots and acne scars, as well as Hyaluronic Acid (HA) Intensifier. The company says it increases the skin’s level of hyaluronic acid by 30% and has a unique serum-gel texture. Anti-aging concerns are addressed with the SkinCeuticals Retinol creams, which come in three different concentrations- 0.3%, 0.5% and 1%. The Triple Lipid Restore is an anti-aging cream packed with ceramides, while the Hydrating B5 gel is a moisturizing serum that is also oil free. These best-sellers are joined by Phloretin CF (a vitamin C based day time serum); Blemish + Age Defense (a serum that targets acne and fine lines) and A.G.E. interrupter, an anti-aging cream.
SkinCeuticals is also known for its best-selling sunscreens, like the Physical Fusion UV Defense SPF 50. It’s a tinted, all mineral sunscreen while the Sport UV Defense 50 is designed to stand up during extreme sports. Top cleansers include the LHA Cleansing Gel, that is ideal for acne prone skin, as well as the Glycolic Renewal Cleanser, which delivers a daily exfoliation. SkinCeuticals also offers multiple toners, including a Conditioning Toner for normal to oily skin, and the LHA toner to help unclog pores.
What Are Other Popular SkinCeuticals Products?
The SkinCeuticals line includes a comprehensive selection of serums, face creams, spot treatments, cleansers and exfoliators.
One of its biggest categories is its serums. Serums deliver a highly concentrated dose of ingredients to the skin designed to tackle a wide range of issues, from dark spots to wrinkles and acne. In addition to the blockbuster C E Ferulic and AH Intensifier, other SkinCeuticals serums include the Retexturing Activator, which gives skin a deep exfoliation thanks to 20% glycolic acid. Resveratrol B E is a night serum designed to neutralize free radical damage and minimize the look of wrinkles.The bright green Phyto Corrective Gel is a cocktail of hyaluronic acid, cucumber, thyme, and other botanical ingredients. It’s designed for sensitive skin and meant to help fade discoloration. The AOX+ Eye Gel is a unique serum-in-a-gel formula containing 5% pure vitamin C (l-ascorbic acid), 1% phloretin, and 0.5% ferulic acid to protect the delicate eye area from atmospheric skin aging.
SkinCeuticals also sells multiple retinol products to encourage cell turnover and fade the look of dark spots and discoloration. Two tubes of pure retinol are available- the Retinol 0.5 as well as the stronger Retinol 1.0. Formulated with 0.2% slow release retinol, the Tripeptide-R Neck Repair targets the signs of aging on the neck. Another product to help tackle discoloration is the Advanced Pigment Corrector, which contains ellagic acid and salicylic acid to help fade dark spots.
The moisturizers from SkinCeuticals are designed for all skin types. The Daily Moisture contains algae extracts to deliver hydration, while SkinCeuticals Emollience is a cocktail of rich moisturizers, including rape seed, rose hip and macadamia nut oil. Anti-aging is the focus of the Triple Lipid Restore 2:4:2. It contains a patented lipid ratio of 2% pure ceramides 1 and 3, 4% natural cholesterol, and 2% fatty acid to nourish the skin and protect the skin barrier.
Sunscreen and prevention is a big part of the SkinCeuticals regimen. Two options include SkinCeuticals Physical Fusion UV Defense SPF 50, which contains 100% mineral filters but won’t leave skin with a chalky finish. The Light Moisture UV Defense SPF 50 is a sheer, weightless formula that can be used on the face and the body.
The brand also offers multiple eye creams. SkinCeuticals A.G.E. Eye Complex can be applied once or twice a day to help improve the appearance of crow’s feet, dark circles and puffiness. The Eye Balm is specifically designed for dry, aging skin, and is packed with vitamin E and the antioxidant silymarin which is derived from milk thistle seeds.
What Ingredients Are in SkinCeuticals Products?
SkinCeuticals products contain a mix of botanical extracts as well as commonly used skincare ingredients such as retinol, the gold standard for tackling fine lines and wrinkles, and hyaluronic acid, which can hold up to 1,000 times its weight in water.
Hyaluronic acid is found in the cult favorite C E Ferulic serum as well as the HA Intensifier, Phyto Corrector and Hydrating B5 Gel. Glycolic acid, which is derived from sugar cane, works to gently dissolve dead skin cells to reveal fresher, smoother looking skin and is the key ingredient in the Glycolic 10 Renew Overnight, LHA Cleansing Gel and the Glycolic Renew Cleanser. A mix of lactic acid, salicylic acid and glycolic acid target acne in the Blemish + Age Serum. Salicylic acid, along with hydroxyphenoxy propionic acid (a derivative of skin lightening hydroquinone) are the heavy lifters in the Advanced Pigment Corrector.
Skin brightening vitamin C is a key ingredient in the Phloretin CF Gel as well as the C E Ferulic Serum. The Triple Lipid Restore 2:4:2 cream contains moisturizing ceramides as well as a blend of lavender, rosemary, and peppermint oil for a cooling feeling. The Antioxidant Lip Repair is designed to be a daily moisturizing treatment and its hydrating ingredients include hyaluronic acid, vitamin E and plant-based allantoin. Some ingredients are less common, such as 4% blueberry extract in the A.G.E. Interrupter, a wrinkle cream.
Is SkinCeuticals Cruelty Free?
No, according to PETA. SkinCeuticals is owned by L’Oréal, and the company states that it “does not test any of its products or any of its ingredients on animals and has been at the forefront of alternative methods for over 30 years.” However, L’Oréal is on PETA’s “test” list as products are sold in China, and health authorities there still require and carry out animal testing for certain products. L’Oréal notes that the vast majority of products it sells in China are no longer tested on animals.
How Much Do SkinCeuticals Products Cost?
SkinCeuticals Products are priced at a mid to high level. The Eye Balm is $82, and the Triple Lipid Restore 2:4:2 retails for $128. The Antioxidant Lip Repair is $38, and the Retinol 1.0 is $88. The serums are among the priciest in the product line. The popular C E Ferulic With L-Ascorbic Acid sells for $166, and the Hyaluronic Acid Intensifier is $100. The Discoloration Defense is $98 and the Advanced Pigment Corrector is $92.
Where Can I Buy SkinCeuticals Products?
SkinCeuticals products are sold on the company’s website and through a network of authorized retailers that includes Blue Mercury and TheDermstore.com, as well as various medi-spas.
What Do Reviews Say About SkinCeuticals Products?
Is SkinCeuticals worth a try? When trying to decide if a product works, it’s important to keep in mind that everyone’s skin may react differently to the same product, so a little trial and error and some research is always a good idea. SkinCeuticals has scooped up plenty of editorial recognition and its vocal celebrity fans include Martha Stewart and Julia Restoin-Roitfeld. Allure has granted Best of Beauty Awards to the Triple Lipid Restore and Physical Fusion UV Defense 50. Women’s Health gave the LHA Cleansing Gel a Healthy Skin Award in 2018.
The cult favorite C E Ferulic serum has won Allure’s Best of Beauty for three years. On TheDermstore.com, more than 2,300 reviewers give it a five star rating. Fans say “This product really seems to help with my hyperpigmented acne scars. I put it on before I moisturize in the morning. Will continue to use in the future” and “I was recommended this product a few years ago after my first chemical peel. It helps balance my skin tone and makes my skin so supple without causing breakouts! It’s super expensive but I can’t live without it!” Those who gave it a low rating commented on its smell (some online reviews liken the smell to “hot dog water” or bacon) or said that it did nothing for them. “I’ve been using this product since September; about 5 months. There is no difference in my skin at all. My skin tone is still uneven with fine lines. My complexion is neither brighter nor glowing. No difference at all!”
The Hyaluronic Intensifier also gets a 5 star rating on TheDermstore.com from around 227 reviews. Positive feedback includes “I just love the way this product makes my skin look. It seems to fill in the fine lines around my eyes and mouth almost instantly. I sometimes forget to wear foundation because my skin looks so good. I use it every morning and most evenings. Highly recommend.” Customers who didn’t rate it highly complained that it was irritating to their skin or didn’t see any improvements. “I have combo oily acne prone skin. I love SkinCeuticals but this did not work well with my skin. It was a little too rich for me.” Others complained that the product pilled on their skin.
Nearly 300 reviewers declared the Triple Lipid Restore 2:4:2 to be a 5 star product on TheDermStore.com. Although some reviewers commented on the high price tag, others called it their “favorite moisturizer.” “Love this product. Been using it on the advice from my plastic surgeon. Feels great. My skin looks much better” and “I received a sample and fell in love. I love the way my face plumps and glows after application. I quickly ordered.” Those who weren’t impressed said that it was too rich and heavy. “Not sure if it was this but not only did I not really notice any difference, my skin was slightly irritated. I love the smell of lavender, but I really thought given the price and research I would notice a difference.” Others didn’t like the smell of the product or found the scent to be too strong.
What Are Some Alternatives to SkinCeuticals?
SkinCeuticals products may not be for everyone, given the high price tag or they may not react well with your skin.. If you’re looking for skincare products to address the signs of aging, consider Formulyst and Advanced Dermatology.
Formulyst’s philosophy is long-term and effective skincare. The brand wants to help its customers achieve their best looking skin, rather than covering it up with makeup. The comprehensive line of products targets everything from wrinkles to dark spots and dry skin- as well as the delicate eye area.
Formulyst Active Serum is packed with good for you ingredients, such as nourishing vitamins B and E, and skin brightening vitamin C. Rounding out the all-star list are ferulic acid and niacinamide. The antioxidant ferulic acid fights free radical damage and helps stabilize vitamins C and E, and boosts their potency. Niacinamide also plays a key role- this antioxidant is anti-inflammatory and helps reduce redness. This powerful ingredient is a version of vitamin B3, which works to smooth fine lines, improve elasticity and brighten the skin.
The star ingredient in Formulyst’s Anti-Aging Night Cream is the gold-standard of wrinkle fighters – retinol. This vitamin A derivative helps tackle fine lines, crow’s feet as well as dark spots. What makes this formula different is that it contains a high dose of retinol as well as ultra-soothing and hydrating safflower seed oil and jojoba, which lock moisture in and help minimize any potential irritation.
Fans of skincare kits, which take all the guesswork out of creating your own regimen, should try Advanced Dermatology. This no nonsense brand offers a pared down approach to skincare. The packaging is simple and streamlined, and the products bring skincare back to the basics. The kit contains just six essential items including a daily cleanser; serum; anti-wrinkle firming treatment; night cream; day cream and an eye cream. In other words, everything you need to achieve your best possible looking skin.
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