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When I first came across LiftLab I had to do quite a bit of forensic detective work to find out about its active ingredient, a fish plasma protein. It turned out be a very worthwhile exercise as it is an extremely interesting ingredient (it’s a kind of natural anti-freeze) and I am enjoying using LiftLab’s Lift & Fix High Potency Solution ($95 in the shop), which is proving very helpful for red, crepey skin.

If you ever wondered how arctic fish, swimming around in freezing waters, survive then I can give you the answer; they synthesize anti-freeze. As I far as I understand it (and I am obviously no marine biologist), there is a protein in the fish’s blood that keeps the temperature of the blood from freezing. This is actually processed and sold commercially as a kind of anti-freezee. Researchers have also found that the same protein protects cells from death. So, the fish plasma protein has found a new role as a cosmetic anti-ager.

I was amused, but not surprised, to find that LiftLab Lift & Fix works better if kept in the refrigerator. Naturally, a natural anti-freeze is going be more active if things are little chilly. It also strikes me as yet another good reason to install a mini-bar when I next remodel my bathroom.

The rest of the Lift & Fix formula is interesting as well. A dominant ingredient is the amino acid methylsilanol hydroxyproline aspartate and is a protein that controls the elasticity of connective tissue fibers. And there’s another ingredient that comes from something that is good at withstanding extreme cold, a bacteria called alteromonas ferment extract. Researchers have found that it retains moisture.

A useful cosmetic workhorse is dipotassium glycyrrhizate, licorice root. Studies have shown it to help reduce the redness and irritation. Botanicals include neem (melia azadirachta) and, more unusually, a plant used in Ayurvedic medicine called coccinia indica. This is an antioxidant, according to animal tests, and seems to work by elevating vitamin C levels in plasma. It is in great company with eggplant, a potent antioxidant (source) that is surprisingly uncommon in anti-aging cosmetics, as is holy basil extract (Ocimum sanctum), and anti-inflammatory turmeric.

Although I haven’t so far (its been about six weeks of testing) found that Lift & Fix has had much impact on deeper forehead wrinkles, it has been great at refining the complexion by dealing with broken veins and rough red patches of skin. I find the consistency a little too thin, but that is a minor quibble since I’d hate LiftLab to gum it up with a bunch of silicones. Especially as the only things not like are the preservatives of choice – triethanolomine and phenoxyethanol, both of which can be irritating (Lift & Fix has not been at all bothersome to my fairly sensitive skin) and potentially toxic - and benzophone 4.

Talking of silicones, there are a handful of them in LiftLab’s moisturizer. Having said that, it is a pleasant to use cream that is an appropriately pale arctic blue. I’ll be back with a review of it in a couple of weeks.

Ingredients in Lift & Fix

Water, glycerin, aloe leaf juice, methylsilanol hydroxyproline aspartate, ethoxydiglycol, peg-7 glyceryl cocoate, glycereth 26, methyl gluceth 20, butylene glycol, arnica, algae extract, oat kernal extract, alteromonas ferment extract, fish plasma protein (Cell Protection Protein), dipotassium glycyrrhizate, adenosine, glycosphingolipids, hordeum vulgare extract, sodium hyaluronate, beta-gluca, melia azadirachta leaf extract, amino esters-1, coccinia indica fruit, solanum melongena (eggplant) fruit extract, aloe flower extract, henna extract, ocimum sanctum leaf extract, turmeric extract, pearl powder, chamomilla recutita flower oil, bis-PEG-18 methyl dimethyl silane, phenyl trimeticone, jojoba wax PEG-120 esters, PEG-32, glyceryl acrylate/acrylic acid copolymer, cyclomethicone, alcohol, PPG-26-buteth-26, PeG-40 hydrogenated castor oil, benzophenone-4, acrylates/C10-30 alkyl acrylate copolymer, carbomer, disodium edta, triethanolomine, phenoxyethanol, caprylyl glycol