Thursday, September 21, 2017

Apothederm Firming Serum & Firming Neck Cream Review

With summer coming to a close and fall just around the corner, it's time to put some care into reversing the sun damage done over those bright summery days. As you know, prolonged exposure to UV rays is bad for the skin and ages the skin faster than it is supposed to. As we age, our body produces less collagen and hormones that regulate the elasticity of our skin. 

Here is an excerpt from Apothederm's blog of how the skin ages over time:
Infancy – The softest, most supple skin we will ever have in our lives is when we are babies. This is because babies are fresh from the womb where their skin has not yet been exposed to friction, damage or the environment. Scientists also believe that a special substance that acts as a moisturizer, wound healer and antiseptic – vernix – is produced in the womb of expectant mothers. Teens – 20s – By the time we reach our teens, hormone levels begin to rise as our bodies change. This causes several bodily reactions including oilier skin and, believe it or not, the beginning of skin aging. At this point, it is helpful to use a facial scrub to exfoliate the skin so that it does not become too oily. By the time we reach our twenties, our skin remains relatively resilient and healthy. (This is only if we take care of our skin, eat right and minimize sun exposure.) The 30s – By this decade, we usually begin to show the first real signs of skin aging as the skin’s natural process of exfoliation slows down and collagen and elastin fibers decrease. The 40s – By this decade, skin imperfections begin to increase as freckles, age spots, and discoloration begin to occur. It is at this point that many dermatologists suggest adding lightening products to your skincare routine such as brightening serums. The 50s – By this decade, significant signs of skin aging occur that are mainly the result of hormonal changes. These changes include pigmentary changes, skin loosening, etc. During this stage in life firming serums are helpful in treating some of these conditions. 60+ – The most dramatic changes to skin occur during these later stages of life including wrinkles, age spots, sagging skin etc. At this stage, estrogen is no longer produced and there is also a corresponding loss of skin moisture.
I'm currently in my 20s and it is never too early to start! Skin aging has already begun whether I can see the signs or not and skin care plays a vital role in keeping my skin looking radiant and youthful.

Apothederm kindly sent over two of their best selling anti-aging products for me to try out - the Firming Serum and Firming Neck Cream! Apothederm's products are formulated with their exclusive patented SmartPeptides Biotehnology which you can read more on their website. FYI: Peptides are the building blocks of proteins in the body, e.g. collagen.

Basically, it consists of

  • Firming Peptide (Heptapeptide-7 to promote keratinocyte proliferation and migration to support skin renewal, essential process for healthy, vibrant skin) 
  • Refining Peptide (Hexapeptide-21 works within the skin's own natural repair and regeneration system to stimulate collagen production and cell turnover; both important to help improve the appearance of damaged skin)
  • Clarifying Peptide (Oligopeptide-10 is based on the body's own antimicrobial peptides and also has visible anti-inflammatory properties to help reduce skin imperfections)
  • Restoring Peptide (Palmitoyl Hexapeptide-14 helps visibly reduce the appearance of wrinkles while increasing firmness of the skin)
  • Nourishing Peptide (Copper Peptide helps stimulate elastin and collagen to slow the visible effects of aging, giving skin a renewed and more youthful appearance)

Packaging and design is really simple. There is a common blue theme going on for the anti-aging line and I think they fit into any bathroom perfectly.
First item I tried is the Firming Serum. This is described as a luxurious serum that hydrates and protects your skin while reducing visible signs of aging. It is meant for all skin types, including mature skin. This is formulated using powerful botanicals and advanced ingredients to help refine and firm the skin. There are two SmartPeptides (Firming Peptide & Restoring Peptide) in this formula to help firm skin and reduce the signs of aging. 
Here are the key ingredients as listed on the product page:

  • Palmitoyl Hexapeptide-14 & Heptapeptide-7 - These SmartPeptides work together deep to stimulate the skin’s own natural repair and regeneration systems.  Tests have shown that these peptides boost collagen production and promote keratinocyte proliferation and migration, thereby reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles while also increasing firmness of the skin. Palmitoyl Hexapeptide-14 is a gentle and non-irritating natural bioactive SmartPeptide shown to stimulate fibroblasts, increase collagen production, reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, and even skin tone. Heptapeptide-7 is shown to support skin structure, and promote keratinocyte proliferation and migration to fill in lines and wrinkles and reduce their appearance.
  • Glycerin - This humectant relieves dehydration by drawing essential moisture into the skin.
  • Trehalose - This naturally occurring saccharide protects the skin from dehydration and helps to restore its natural moisture balance.
  • Thermus Ferment - This inhibits damage from reactive oxygen species, protects natural defense enzymes, shields skin from UV damage, and restores barrier lipids.
  • Palmaria Palmata - This brightens the skin for a more luminous complexion. 

I like that the serum comes in a pump bottle for hygiene purposes and for total control on how much to dispense. There is 1oz /30ml of product and it retails for $79. The serum itself is a transparent gel that feels hydrating, non-oily, non-sticky and lightweight. To use, simply apply a small amount over your entire face and neck or desired areas after cleansing. It absorbs into the skin quickly and instantly makes my skin feel refreshed and moisturized.
These are the benefits as advertised:

  • Reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles
  • Firms and tightens
  • Moisturizes and hydrates
  • Brightens and refines skin texture for a more even and luminous complexion

As you can tell, I do not have a lot of fine lines but my eyelid does have a lot of folds due to them being monolid and hooded. I definitely need this serum to help firm up the skin around my eyes because I always tug away at them when putting on my eyeliner or removing my eye makeup. I haven't used the serum long enough for visible results but I can say that my skin feels a little more tout and uplifted when I use this serum.

The next item is the Firming Neck Cream. This addresses the neck and décolleté areas that are often neglected. The SmartPeptide (Firming Peptide) helps to firm and improve the appearance of the skin and highly emollient botanicals moisturize to make the skin supple and reduce fine lines. This is described to have instant results whereby your neck and décolleté appear more radiant and healthy looking.
The key ingredients are listed as such:
  • Heptapeptide-7 - A bioactive SmartPeptide™ helps support tissue.  It is a peptide made of seven naturally occurring amino acids that are commonly found in the skin and is modeled on natural sequences found as part of the body’s own defend and repair system. The use of Heptapeptide-7 on the skin is similar to the body’s own peptides present in the skin and in the same manner, Heptapeptide-7 performs its function and then is broken down into amino acids which are naturally present throughout the body.  Cellular tests have shown Heptapeptide-7 stimulates collagen production.
  • Sodium Hyaluronate - A super humectant, this can draw 1,000 times its own weight in moisture to the skin and helps maintain hydration balance.
  • Glycyrrhiza Glabra (Licorice) Root Extract - An anti-irritant that helps to reduce the appearance of discoloration.
  • Pichia/Resveratrol Ferment Extract - An antioxidant helps to reduce the appearance of discoloration.
  • Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter) - An emollient moisturizer corrects dehydration and dryness while protecting the skin’s natural moisture balance.
  • Olea Europaea (Olive) Fruit Oil - An emollient that helps soften skin.
  • Theobroma Cacao (Cocoa) Seed Butter - Hydrates and softens the skin.
  • Limnanthes Alba (Meadowfoam) Seed Oil - An emollient triglyceride is composed of more than 98% long chain fatty acids. It also contains naturally occurring antioxidant tocopherols. It forms a moisture barrier and helps prevent moisture loss.
For all the hygiene freaks like me, you'd be glad to see that there is a lid on top of the cream. The Firming Neck Cream contains 1.7oz/48g of product and retails for $79.
The cream itself is thick and white. It feels like a normal moisturizer but it is quite oily when you first rub it in. After it's been absorbed, the oiliness does go away and your skin feels smooth and moisturized to touch.
The benefits are summarized as such:

  • Helps support and firm the skin
  • Reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles
  • Improves skin texture and smoothness
  • Leaves skin soft and moisturized

The results of using the cream are quite dramatic and instant. As you can see, my neck looks a lot more smoother and the lines on my neck aren't so obvious. I must say that I am quite impressed with the performance of this cream!

Like I've said earlier on, it is never too early or too late to start taking care of your skin. I'm starting young because I want to preserve the elasticity and youthfulness of my skin. These small steps will definitely go a long way and I am so thankful for Apothederm's range of products.



This post is sponsored by Apothederm and Shopping Links but all opinions are my own.