Skinceuticals CE Ferulic is one of those cult products that has devotees eulogizing to an extent that makes Claire's ode to Jurlique look restrained. So I was excited to be given a small vial of Skinceutical's latest potion Phloretin CF. Five years in the making, Phloretin CF is supposed to take CE Ferulic to new antioxidant heights.

The difference between the two is that Phloretin CF has no vitamin E (CE Ferulic had 1%) and has reduced the dose of vitamin C from 15% to 10%. It has kept the 0.5% drop of ferulic acid and added in phloretin at 2%. Ferulic acid is a powerful, plant-derived antioxidant that seeks and destroys free radicals and improves the performance of vitamins C and E. I have been experimenting with success with a DIY concoction of ferulic acid and vitamin C cream.

But what is phloretin? It is a flavenoid that is found exclusively in apples. According to the Journal of Biological Chemistry, phloretin is an inhibitor of sugar transport amongst red blood cells. And a study in Chemical Research in Toxicology found that it is extremely efficient at trapping cytotoxic compounds such as methylglyoxal. Other studies have (tentatively) concluded that it can prevent the onset of cardiovascular diseases. A Dutch research team has pronounced it to be an inhibitor of lipid peroxidation.

All of which goes to show that the adage of an apple a day has a pretty strong scientific foundation. Nonetheless, my experience with Skinceuticals Phloretin CF has been disappointing. For the last six weeks I have dabbed a little every day on the creases between my eyes. I thought I'd given it a pretty easy job because these wrinkles are comparitively new and tiny. Six weeks later, not one whit of difference. If anything, I found it extremely drying and dulling.

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