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AQ Skin Solutions Active Serum

by AQ Skin Solutions

Five Best for Wrinkles 2016

AQ Skin Solutions Active Serum 1
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$ 149.00
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Size: 1.0 oz (30 ml)

AQ Skin Solutions Active Serum is designed to erase the signs of aging and repair the environmental damage that can cause wrinkles, fine lines, sagging skin, and hyperpigmentation. The anti-aging facial serum is formulated with stem-cell-derived growth factors to promote healthy skill cell regeneration and renew your complexion, as well as a mix of potent antioxidants to stimulate collagen production, fade dark spots, and fight free radical damage. Like all of the products offered in our store, this anti-aging serum has been tested and reviewed by women in the TIA community. So you can feel completely sure that you’re purchasing a product that fights the signs of aging and enhances your complexion.

AQ Skin Solutions Active Serum contains a concentrated blend (over 40%) of the same growth factor proteins found in healthy, young skin. This GF technology restores cell functions to a younger state, eliminating fine lines, wrinkles, and dark spots. With regular use, skin looks smoother, brighter, firmer, and more radiant — and skin cell functions are restored to a younger state.

TIA Review by Marta:
AQ Serum is up there with the greats - at least the ones that qualified for my Five Best anti-aging serums of 2011. There is no doubt that when I update the list later this year, AQ will be amongst them.

When Kristen did my makeup for the last few videos, she said "whatever you are doing to your skin, keep doing it." Mostly what I was doing was AQ - mornings only. I find that as long as I add in three or four nights a week Your Best Face Control and Skin Nutrition's Night Cream, I don't need to layer a moisturizer over the AQ serum.

However, I do think that most users will find the solution less oily than BioEffect and less gel-like than ReLuma's serum. AQ is a slightly milky, very light solution. It goes a long way and, in my experience, need only be used sparingly - indeed, should be used sparingly to avoid pilling under makeup.

AQ's formula is simple: a couple of vitamins, lactic acid and glycerin with the dominant ingredient being the active human fibroblast conditioned media. According to the bumpf that came with my free sample, AQ has a concentration of 42% of these growth factors.

For a quick primer on what this is: from progenitor cells of human fibroblast, new cells are created in a laboratory and the conditioned media is, in fact, the solution (sugars, amino acids and such) secreted in the petri dish in which the cells are grown. These proteins are what make it into our serums, and they are said to contain growth factors that stimulate skin cells to repair damage that has accumulated over the years, such as hyperpigmentation and wrinkles. AQ says that it uses a "cell sorting technology" to ensure that the formula only includes growth factors that are beneficial to the skin.

My (not especially elegant) plastic pump is said to hold enough for about 8 weeks. I would say it will last as least as long as that. I can also tell you that I will be using it to the end and will purchase a second bottle.

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  • Benefits:
    boosts collagen production, evens skin tone, fades dark spots, fades sun spots, fights free radicals, firms skin, Five Best, freshens dull skin, heavy hitter, reduces fine lines, reduces hyperpigmentation, reduces wrinkles, silicone-free, smoothes skin, tightens skin

Our Take...

I ended my introduction to AQ Skin Solutions Active Serum ($149 for 1oz in the shop) at the beginning of last month with the words “now let’s see how it works.” Well, here’s my answer after a five-week trial: it works. I mean really works. And really what more is there to say.... Read Full Article

Your Take...

  • 5 stars 3 out of 5

    This product goes on smoothly and absorbs quickly. I do like it but I do not see much improvement in texture or firmness of my skin.

  • 5 stars 4 out of 5

    I ordered this and gave it an honest shot due to its cost. I have to say- as one with visible pores, some acne scarring and a huge scar on my face from 2009, this product definitely helped me with all the areas I wanted to see improvements on. I am finally getting to the point that I am comfortable with wearing only a moisturizer to work and in the daytime. That has been my goal and to appear to look younger even with my hectic stressful life. I will definitely purchase the product again. I am also one to try new items that come out as technology and awareness becomes more advanced. Any and all recommendations that come across here I take seriously and purchase if I can. Thanks for everything.

  • 5 stars 2 out of 5

    This does not agree with me, unfortunately. I expect it's the Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate, which causes dermatitis in many people, me included. I don't break out in a rash from it so much as just looking slightly sickly and my eyes get puffier. So I can't use it.

    What an expensive error. I wish I had bought Reluma instead, which is great on my skin.

  • 5 stars 3 out of 5

    after reading all the glowing review, I gave in and ordered the AQ serum. i treated my marionette lines for 8 days and felt, they responded well. Unfortunately, my skin reacted with redness and itching. I still miss the effect of that serum and feel, its was really doing something against the first lines

  • 5 stars 4 out of 5

    The bottle says one drop is enough for the entire face and neck, but I always end up having to use at least 2-3 drops since surprisingly it does NOT go a long way as it dries quickly on skin. It has not restored firmness (which was my main goal), but it has made my overall skin tone very luminiscent and healthy. For firmness and lines I'd go for MitoQ or YBF control.

  • Hi Tish, yes it plays nice with makeup. As with most good serums a little goes a long way. As a general point, when serums pill under makeup, it is because too much has been applied.

  • Does this product play nice with makeup and/or sunscreens? Also, can it be used with a moisturizer with glycolic acid? I don't want to cancel out AQ's effects.

  • Hi Stacie, they don't exactly cancel each other out. Any heavy duty exfoliator (which is what retinol is) will cause your skin to try to recover the sebum that has been removed. As it is busy doing this, it will slow down the rate at which the skin is able to make use of the growth factor actives. The best thing is to use them at different times - growth factor in the morning and retinol at night. Better still keep the retinol down to a few times a week rather than every day.

  • Hi Marta - I have a question. My skin care provider recommended using a growth factor lotion like this one in conjunction with my retin-a, but you mention below that the two cancel each other out. Why is that?

  • 5 stars 4 out of 5

    I have loved using AQ skin Solutions in the past (I have used this and the eye serum) and I am thinking of coming back to it again as I seem to remember Pamela saying it got rid of that peach fuzz fine hair on the face in post meno? Also how does it help with pigmentation? Which ingredient does this?

  • 5 stars 5 out of 5

    I love the AQ serum so much because of the way my skin looks! Its great for firming & lifting along with improving on the overall texture. Ill be ordering another bottle very soon.

  • 5 stars 4 out of 5

    I use AQ Skin Solutions Active Serum and have gotten good results. The serum is light, dries quickly, and gives my face a dewy, radiant glow. I've only been using it for about a month so I can't say I've really noticed a difference in fine lines, however I do find it firming. Great product, would definitely purchase it again.

  • Hi Sarah, AQ is a great serum for wrinkles and collagen replenishment. The manufacturer does not makes claims that it will help with adult acne. And I would not recommend it for that other than helping repair acne scarring. I would recommend blue LED light as there is clinical research supporting that this treats and prevents acne. There's more information here:

  • This is a question.
    My Facial therapist has recommended AQ face serum for my adult acne. From what I have read, it seems that AQ is for skin tightening and pigmentation.

    Would you know if it works for acne?


  • Pamela,
    is there an additional benefit of using AQ "Face" vs "Eyes" on under-eye skin? Can AQ "Face" be used under eyes just as effectively as "Eyes"?
    thank you!

  • Hi Sandra,

    There is no negative effects of using this product alongside Retin-A for acne. In fact, if you ARE using retin-A for acne, this would be a good compliment in that it will help your skin to heal faster from the exfoliation of the retin-A. However, do note that if you are using retin-A, or retinoids or glycolics for the purpose of anti-aging, these two products contradict the effects you're trying to achieve. Again, there's no danger combining the products, however, when using for wrinkles and aging skin, they sort of cancel each other out. If you need to use retinoids, I would alternate them. One week of AQ and another of that. Or use retinoids maybe once a week. I hope that helps!

  • Can I use this product along with retin-a I'm using the retin-a for acne

  • 5 stars 5 out of 5

    This serum has always delivered as a wonderful wrinkle reducer. I have used it on and off over the last few years. Each time I start using it again, I wonder why I stopped in the first place

  • 5 stars 5 out of 5

    When I use it regularly, I see an overall improvement in my skin. It tackles wrinkles, sagging and discoloration. It's non-irritating, absorbs quickly and works great under face cream, sunscreen or makeup

  • 5 stars 5 out of 5

    This is a wonderful product. It soaks in easily and has given my face an overall "better" appearance. I have been using this for about two months only in the morning. I cleanse, tone, apply this serum and wait a few minutes (my usual thing to do after applying serums) before moisturizing and applying sun screen. Considering the price of many serums out there, I didn't find this to be an unreasonable price point, and imagine that I will continue with its use after this bottle is finished.

  • 5 stars 5 out of 5

    I LOVE AQ Serum for the face. I have tried 4 different serums, but having gotten my glow back, with no make up on at all, I'm sticking with it until I need something else, or this no longer works for my skin. It is absolutely fantastic. Worth the price, as I don't have to use much. After second month of using is regularly, my skin looked amazing! My husband, who doesn't ever notice things like that asked me if I had gone to the dermatologist and had something done.

  • 5 stars 5 out of 5

    I didn't realize how much this product had been working for me until I stopped using it for about 4 months or so. Sometimes when I am using several things, I do not always accurately discern which of them is most effective, and I only targeted this one after I discontinued it's use. My skin was definitely plumper and firmer and brighter when I was using this product. Also, I have a pet peeve about bottles and this one is easy to use and I did not find that product got wasted from the bottle design. I just ordered another one and look forward to its arrival!

  • Hi Kim,

    As Marta will tell you, using this product in conjunction with Retinol usually will counteract any anti-aging of the products. The Growth Factors in AQ will go to heal the excessive pealing instead of build more collagen. You can definitely use it instead of a retinol formula and use the retinol formula less frequently. This should help to calm your skin from the irritation and redness that you've had with retinol and help to balance your skin back out. Also, our formula already has vitamin C and Vitamin E in it. You would just need to add a good moisturizer. I'm sure Marta could make some good recommendations!

    Pamela Xiong

  • I just started using this product, so mine is a question: can you use this with retinol, or are some of you using it instead? I've had lots of peeling and irritation, even with the most gentle retinol formulas, so I'm looking for anti-aging alternatives.
    What about this product, plus a C & E serum?

  • Hi Mary,

    I apologize that I did not see your comment earlier. I love the new TIA layout, it's much more mobile friendly, but I'm not able to see anymore when someone has left a question regarding our products unless I manually perform a search.

    In any case, let me answer your question! Prolonged contacted of the active serum with the hairline could potentially cause those follicles to weaken. I have never heard it reported, but speaking from a scientific point of view, the potential is there. My solution to that would be to apply the AQ Eye Serum around the hairline. the Eye Serum can actually help to strengthen and improve the hair follicles there as we have seen it improve for the eye area, and this should keep things in balance if not even improve the health of the hair there.

    I hope this helps!! Please feel free to continue to ask questions! and thank you for your patience with me as I manually search and look in on your comments every not and then to make sure I'm properly replying to them!


  • Hi,
    Not a review, but a question.
    Pamela said "Allow me to help clarify! You have a very good question. The AQ FACE Serum includes a TGF-Beta GF that actually inhibits hair growth. So if you are using the face serum on your face, it will not cause your facial hair to grow stronger or thicker. "
    I was wondering if that could inhibit hair growth at the hairline at the top of the forehead (causing a slight recession of hairline), as serum often gets slightly wiped into the hairline when applied.

  • 5 stars 5 out of 5

    I'm always skeptical of trying new products, especially those connected with high prices but I was beyond pleased with this product and didn't realize how much so until I ran out. My skin looked brighter within a very short time and the reddness from the broken capillaries in cheeks was greatly reduced. I felt and saw the difference in my skin but as I said didn't realize how much until I ran out of product. I've been out for three weeks and my skin doesn't look the same. I don't plan on ever running out again!

  • 5 stars 5 out of 5

    Where have you been all my life, AQ? It is my "go-to" brand when I am worn out reading labels and just want results. You know it is good when it is constantly sold out.

  • 5 stars 5 out of 5

    Hi Dina
    We recommend AQ for 40-somethings onwards. Human conditioned media - the growth factors that are the key active - need wrinkles to repair. They don't prevent aging that doesn't yet exist. For sagging, we recommend LED light/ultrasonic:
    And for age prevention, we recommend products with plenty of antioxidants. You could look at BRAD, La Vie Celeste, Sevani lines

  • Hi! Not a review (sorry) just a question. I'm very keen on trying this product but I'm not sure what age group this product is recommended to? Would it be a good product to use to prevent premature ageing and correct initial signs of the cheeks dropping? Or do I need something else? I was recommended a product called Jyunka but after reading reviews of AQ I'm on the fence. Any advice would be much appreciated! Thank you.

  • 5 stars 4 out of 5

    I have been using AQ skin and eyes for about 4 weeks now. I can't see a noticeable difference in my eyes (crepiness above, dark circles, puffiness underneath) but I do notice a definite improvement to my facial skin. Enlarged pores have clearly diminished, skin is smoother and looks healthier. I will continue with the eye serum to see if results appear there, too.

  • 5 stars 5 out of 5

    Thanks so much for reviewing andoffering this product. This is the first product I've used with growth factors and I have been more than amazed at the results after just shy of 4 weeks use. The changes it has made on my
    chest area have just been shocking to me and those changes I noticed within two weeks. It has made the skin on my chest smooth and radiant replacing what was becoming an aging, sun damaged mess!
    I am curious if these results are cosmetic or are actual changes in the skin. I've just purchased a second set of the duo face serum/eye cream as I'm hoping with long time use I could see some improvement in my jaw line and some rather deep wrinkles around my lips that I've developed from years of chewing on the inside of my mouth. (amazing how you twist your mouth up to perform that habit!)

  • 5 stars 5 out of 5

    Wow! Love this stuff! I was using TNS essential serum before, but hated all the naughty ingredients in it. I am so happy to have found this website and this product! After a month of using this my skin looks terrific, wrinkles are fading and years are disappearing of my face. I can also see tremendous improvements in the texture and radiance of my skin. I must have desert island product for me!

  • 5 stars 5 out of 5

    Hi Nanci, I checked in with AQ and they confirmed that they do not conduct any testing on animals

  • Marta,
    I am considering using this after reading these reviews. What I can not find on this or AQ's website is whether they are cruelty free (no animal testing). Can you help me with this?

  • 5 stars 5 out of 5

    This is the first product I have ever used that I can say is 100% worth the money. I am 65, have extremely fair skin. I have taken good care of my skin but was beginning to develop those fine lines from the cheek bone down. I have been using AQ serum for about five weeks. Any problem with fine lines is gone. I have increased elasticity in the skin in my cheeks and jaw line. As a plus, the crows feeet around my eyes are significantly less noticable.

  • 5 stars 5 out of 5

    I have almost every product on your
    "What's working for me now list"
    :-) My favorite so far is AQ and hydropeptide :-)

  • Gloria! I vote for AQ!

  • @ Deb, I did use the Skin Medica TNS Essential Serum for a few months, I can say it does work but then I discovered the TIA Community and looked further into the some of the ingredients. I was then looking for alternatives. I tried Reluma and I got better results and better ingredients and a better price. Skin Medica is a good line if you don't mind the nasty parabens that are in there. I do still love the Reluma but I too feel my skin needs a change so I will be trying the AQ, for a bit or the BioEffect. Can't quite decide on which one though. Any thoughts

  • 5 stars 5 out of 5

    Wow! This really works. After only 10 days I've noticed a difference. Others must agree. Sunday when I went to register for a 12K race, they asked me if I were in the 40-44 age group--as you remember I almost qualify for the 70-74 (soon!) group. Of course a great lifestyle doesn't hurt. Thanks!

  • 5 stars 5 out of 5

    I have been using this for 1 week now and it is definitely as good or better than the Reluma. It could be that after using the Reluma for 6 months my skin needed a change but noticeable was firming and fine lines diminished. This ,at night, then waiting for 5 minutes, then adding Clinque moisture surge intense on top has resulted in a almost smooth face and plumped up lines in the morning mirror. I am age 62 .

  • 5 stars 5 out of 5

    Marta, I am so glad to hear that you loved AQ. I have used both the face and the eye serum on an off since your first review in 2008. It is an amazing product and find myself returning to it again and again. For a 56-year old woman, my skin is remarkably elastic. After using the eye serum for a year, I stopped using under-eye concealer altogether. The skin beneath my eyes is firm and bright.

  • I too tried Reluma last fall and while it worked well enough it made me break out. This usually means there is something in the formula that bothers my super-fussy skin.

    I saw the mention above regarding TNS Serum as a similar/alternate product. Strangely, someone also just pushed TNS on me too. But having very similar ingredients to the AQ, and three nasty parabens, I went for the AQ. I'll try to weigh in once I have tried it...

  • Hi Deb, I haven't personally tried Skin Medica, but they have had some mixed reviews. Here are a couple of links to our reader reviews (with useful comments from the community):

    And the comments after this review, compare it to ReLuma (ReLuma, which is similar to AQ wins):

    Hope this helps

  • Not a review...just a quick question. The salon is go to is pushing Skin Medica's Essential Serum as being the best in serums. At $250 for one ounce, I am sceptical. Especially, after reading your review Marta and those of your readers. Does anyone have experience with the Skin Medica serums and can you compare the two for me. Thanks in advance.

  • 5 stars 5 out of 5

    I’ve used the AQ Skin Solutions in the past (it may have had a slightly different name … A&G?) and will say it is the only product I’ve ever used that made a visible difference in my skin in less than 2 weeks. People noticed and commented on the changes in the appearance of my skin. No other product has ever done that.

    At that time, it was about $199/bottle. I don’t think I ever got 8 weeks out of a bottle. Maybe 6, tops. It was very effective, but eventually I just couldn’t keep spending that kind of money.

    I wish I had never stopped.

    In the last year or so, I’ve tried Reluma Skin Illuminating Anti-Aging Serum, Juice Beauty Stem Cellular Repair Moisturizer and E’shee Serum Cellular Repair (over $370 for the 3 different products) and the results were minimal at best. Nothing special, nothing visible.

    I’m glad to see that AQ has brought their price point down a little closer to earth. I’m definitely going back to Skin Solutions.

  • 5 stars 5 out of 5

    Marta, I’m glad to see that you found this effective, too. I purchased the Active serum from their website a couple of months ago, and I found that it has worked better for me than the ReLuma, which I tried last year. I’m hoarding my bottle, and am using it in the mornings only. I noticed the comment above that it’s recommended to use it at night, though, so perhaps I’ll switch (I do better with my skin regimen in the mornings). I do like this one quite a bit. The texture of my skin has definitely improved.

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  • November 1, 2015

    by Susan

    My nurse uses this on me after I get needled for 6-8 weeks and I use after I roll with my roller every night. 45 and loving the results!

  • June 10, 2014

    by lorimac45

    Question. Is there a shelf life on this product? I have some that I purchased at a discount but I'm not sure how "fresh" it is.

    Thank you.

  • March 15, 2014

    by Maggie

    I have been using AQ Skin Solutions for about two years and was just wondering whether it is a good idea to take a break from it periodically. I have had great results and now use it only at night. I was wondering whether I should use it even less--say a couple of times a week, or take a month off and start over. Do you have any recommendations?

  • August 28, 2013

    by Marta

    Hi Nanci, I think there is always a risk when layering too serums. Plus I think there is a law of diminishing returns. As always, you should find a regimen that seems to work for you, but I would suggest using one serum at night and one in the morning. A little moisturizer on top though should be fine.

  • August 27, 2013

    by Nanci

    I just started using this at night and have been also using the mad hippie vitamin c serum with it. Because I also find it drying I pat a little Kiehl's moisturizer on top of the two serums. Should I be doing this or am I compromising the AQ Serum?

Human Fibroblast Conditioned Media, Water (Aqua), Glycerin, Polysorbate 20, Cellulose Gum, Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate, Tocopheryl Acetate, Lactic Acid, Citrus Aurantium Bergamia (Bergamot) Fruit Oil, Phenoxyethanol, 1,2-Hexanediol, Caprylyl Glycol

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Gently press the pump no more than halfway to dispense onto clean fingers. Lightly spread over clean skin on the entire face, neck, and chest areas.
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