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A&G Skin Solutions Eye Serum

August 3, 2008 Reviewed by Marta 14 Comments

Urged by a reader, I bought and have just started to trial A&G Skin Solutions new Eye Serum ($120 for 0.25 oz). I am putting it through its paces by limiting it to my left eye so that I can compare it to YBF Correct, which I have been using for a month or so, am very pleased with and will continue using around my right eye.

I am perversely going to risk the wrath of A&G's loyal and vocal fan base. When I criticized the packaging of the Active Serum, I was inundated as the fans sprang to A&G's defense. Anyway, here we go again because I have to say that the Eye Serum is just bizarre. It looks like a plastic tampon applicator. I'm sorry, but it just does. And it doesn't work properly. I have resorted to using both hands (one to hold the damn thing and the other to push the pump at the base).

Now, as I mentioned vis-a-vis the serum, my real problem with the packaging is that the ingredients include Human Fibroblast Conditioned Media without explaining what it is (you have to make a trip to the website to work it out - but, if you read on, I'll save you the trouble).

Human Fibroblast Conditioned Media is A&G's secret sauce. It is in Active Serum, which I am continuing to use and do believe it has erased a few wrinkles. The loyal and vocal fan base doesn't miss any opportunity to report on the near-miraculous results that they have had with Active Serum. Still, there is something about Human Fibroblast Conditioned Media (HFCM) that makes me a little uneasy. Probably because I don't feel as if I've really got to the bottom of what it is.

It is hard to tie back HFCM to A&G's website because it is never mentioned on it. What the site does say is that its products use a patent-pending combo of four ingredients: transforming growth factor (TGF-b); platelet; grannulocyte monolyte colony growth; and interleukins. (TGF-b), platelet, and grannulocyte monolyte colony growth
are all proteins found in human skin and they regulate cell growth.
Interleukins are molecules that do the same thing. The website also cites research using vitamins and evening. So I initially assumed that these all go to make up HFCM.

On the other hand (and this is where the plot thickens) there are other companies that claim to use HFCM and this is what one of them, called Revitacell, says it is: "human collagens (soluble), hyaluronic acid, essential amino acids, natural antioxidants, and naturally occurring growth factors such as TGF Beta (induces collagen synthesis), KGF (stimulates growth of epidermal cells), VEGF (increases blood flow), and IL3/IL6 (reduces inflammation)".

In fact, HFCM is really nothing more than actual skin cells and they are increasingly used to heal wounds at the cellular level. The Skin Deep Cosmetic Database says: "Human Fibroblast Conditioned Media is the growth media removed from
cultures of humanfibroblasts after several days of growth. The starting media is Dulbecco's Modified Eagle Medium, supplemented with calf serum."
Incidentally, Dulbecco's Modified Eagle Medium is a solution of glucose. It is used in laboratories to keep cell cultures stable while they are being grown.

I imagine that A&G's fibroblasts are grown in a laboratory. However, the practice of using HFCM in cosmetics and wound treatment has given rise to some imaginative speculation on the internet as to how scientists get hold of their fibroblasts. There is a widely held view that male foreskins are used and some websites for mothers are scandalized by the idea that they come from new born babies. (Perhaps rabbis have a little sideline going).

Anyway, back to A&G Eye Serum. In addition to this vexing HFCM stuff, it has the two peptides that make up matrixyl 3000 and acetyl-hexapeptide-8 (the muscle freezing peptide) and green tea. There are three  ingredients for treating dark circles. Dipeptide-2, for which I could find no substantiating research. Chrysin, a derivative of passionflower, that is controversial because research on fish showed it to be toxic. Hesperidin methyl chalcone, a citrus flavenoid, is often used as a dark circle treatment because research shows that it lowers the filtration rate of capillaries. However, the research is on oral use and the effects on the organs of guinee pigs and rats. Some people claim it is unlikely to do much for dark circles under the eyes. (Click on coninue reading for the full ingredients list)

Immediate application of A&G resulted in an unpleasant, but short-lived stinging sensation. I shall stick with it over the next few weeks and report back.

Ingredients in A&G Skin Solutions Eye Serum: Water (aqua), human fibroblast conditioned media, acetyl hexapeptide-8, glycerin, hesperidin methyl chalcone, steareth 20, dipeptide 2, palmitoyl tetrapeptide-7, butylene glycol, evening primrose seed extract, polysorbate 20, chrysin, n-hydroxysuccinimide, palmitoyl oligopeptide, aminoethylphosphinic acid, xanthan gum, green tea leaf extract, grapefruit extract, lactic acid, bergamot oil, phenoxyethanol, 1,2-hexanediol, caprylyl glycol.

  • December 3, 2015

    by Marta

    Hi Karen, the review is here:
    However, somewhere along the way, the brand changed its name to AQ Skin Solutions and a more up to date review is here:
    And on the product page in our store:

  • December 3, 2015

    by Karen

    re: A&G Skin Solutions Eye Serum Reviewed by Marta on August 3, 2008.
    The last sentence says that Marta will get back to us after trying A&G Skin Solutions Eye Serum for a few weeks. But I haven't been able to find a follow-up, and it is now Dec 2015. Is there a follow-up?

  • March 22, 2009

    by marta

    Hi Howard,

    Men - especially with a sense of humor - are very welcome at TIA. In fact, we have plenty of men in the community and, of course, there is the talented and handsome Jimmy, our regular reviewer of male grooming products.

    Can't help you with the - ahem - chevre. But we did come across bull semen:

  • March 22, 2009

    by Howard

    As a male I guess I shouldn't even be here or commenting, but you'd be surprised how many there are of us. Our skin ages too!

    I've read the comments, and all I can do is apply common sense to evaluating these products since you'd need a few degrees if not a doctorate in bio-engineering to understand the science behind these products. I do agree with one poster that you can tell the general age of someone at 50 paces, but what interaction happens at that distance between people ("Watch out, a truck is coming!")? In that scenario the medics would comment about how well toned the person's skin was as they scrape him or her off the road.

    I've tried all kinds of products over the years (secretly of course), and some mildly worked. I feel like a cocaine addict always looking for the nirvana of that first buzz anymore. The rest of me looks like crap while I am still trying to decrease wrinkles under my eyes. I've instituted a whole body fix at 50. I am working out, drinking lots of water, and showering a lot to revitalize myself. I also take at least a half-dozen supplements as an inside-out approach to staying youthful. Not sure if all that is working too well either. I say buy the cheapest creams you can find that have a good reputation with worthwhile ingredients that are thoroughly tested, proven, and safe for a wide variety of conditions. I am not a big fan of surgery which is the only thing that truly can make a substantial difference, but if you can afford spa level treatments I'd say that's the way to go along with a healthy lifestyle. I think the most important thing however is a healthy attitude toward aging. I colored my hair the other day, and I couldn't help but look at myself and think, "I have this brown helmet head on top of an old face." It just didn't match. You really need to think of this issue when you're doing all this youth chasing. Most of the time, and inevitably, you become one big joke. And insult to injury, broke too!

    I have my eye on a cream made with a protein synthesized from goat testicles as I speak.
    Good luck! HC

  • January 22, 2009

    by Paul

    Unless a serum or cream can add youthful VOLUME to an aging face (the way Sculptra or Fat-Grafting does)... it's just a waste of time and money.
    Why can we tell the difference between a 25-year-old and a 45-year-old at a distance of 50 feet? It all has to do with facial volume and shape... not fine lines and wrinkles. (You can't see fine lines at 50 feet, yet you can tell the difference between a young person and an older person.)

  • August 8, 2008

    by jo

    <p>The packaging looks similar to what Remergent uses for their Clarifying Concentrate and their Microcirculation Therapy.</p>

  • August 7, 2008

    by Mike626

    <p>Perhaps it's me, but I don't understand how the waste products of the fibroblasts cell division ("rich milieu of cytokines, growth factors, chaperone proteins, and antioxidants that have been released by the progenitor cells.") can be beneficial to the skin. </p>

    <p>It seems to me like a rather shady method of selling what amounts to 'skin poop' at a hefty markup.</p>

  • August 7, 2008

    by marta

    <p>Thank you C for being such a diligent carrier pigeon. And thank you very much A&G for such a thorough and informative response. It will be of great interest to our readers.</p>

  • August 7, 2008

    by CK

    <p>Again I passes your message to A&G and I just got their reply this morning, here it is:<br />
    "A & G thanks Marta for her interest in A & G Active Serum, and in response to Ms Marta's question: A & G Active Serum is derived from skin progenitor cells that have been genetically selected and sorted to capture healthy, identified cells using state-of-the-art cell sorting technology. Using proprietary techniques, A & G laboratories stimulates the cells and specially collects the rich milieu of cytokines, growth factors, chaperone proteins, and antioxidants that have been released by the progenitor cells.<br />
    Hence, Active Serum contains a multitude of biochemical factors normally found in young, healthy skin. Through the application of these factors to the skin by the topical application and absorption of A & G Active Serum, the normal complement of biochemical factors found in young, healthy skin is reintroduced to aged and damaged skin, thereby restoring the damaged and aged skin to a more youthful, healthy state. In particular to answer Marta's<br />
    question about HFCM: HFCM has been standardized by US regulatory agencies and thus A&G is following industrial standards. However, A&G's HFCM is superior to other HFCM in terms of quality and purity because of the aforementioned technology used in its production; technology that only A & G<br />
    possesses and uses in the production of Active Serum. The source of the progenitor cells originates from the foreskin of newborn babies who underwent circumcision and whose parents donated their skin to the hospital's tissue bank for research and development. These cells are also used for the production of A&G's skin grafts that are used to treat wounds caused by burn, trauma, and diabetic ulcers (Drs. Al-Qahtani and Maguire<br />
    have personally treated child burn victims for no charge using this<br />
    technology). NO BABIES WERE hurt in the process and this type of procedure has been practiced under strict regulations by the state and federal governments. A&G is not hiding anything, to the contrary A&G has been very active in educating people about their products and the science behind it, and hopefully our participation in the Truth in Aging site is a testimony to this. With regards to Marta and her readers from the scientists at A & G."<br />
    Thanks A&G and thank you Marta<br />

  • August 6, 2008

    by marta

    <p>Interesting that they should hone in on chrysin, which was mentioned en passant. I'd love to hear what they have to say about human fibroblast conditioned media - which is what the post was about. Where and how do they source it? What are the concentrations of the four proteins. </p>

    <p>By the way, I love being called Ms Marta - makes me feel like a governess. </p>

  • August 6, 2008

    by CK

    <p>Hi Marta,<br />
    As a big fan of this site and a fan of A&G, I went ahead and emailed the scientist your article, this what they replied to me:<br />
    "Citing one study that was obviously viewed in an excerpt from a Wikipedia article hardly warrants the review that A & G Eye Serum received from Ms Marta, claiming that one of our ingredients, namely Chrysin, "is controversial because research on fish showed it to be toxic." Rather, if one carefully studies the literature on Chrysin one will see that Chrysin is an anti-inflammatory in humans, and that Chrysin has been used successfully<br />
    to treat, among other conditions, metastatic colorectal cancer in humans with no measurable signs of toxicity. The data for Chrysin that Ms Marta cites in the study of isolated and cultured cells from the liver of trout can be attributed to a very specific biochemical pathway in a very specific group of cells in telesost fish liver that were carefully considered and found not to be germane to constituent cells of the human derma. While A & G<br />
    may be criticized for its packaging, as scientist, A&G's founders and workers in our laboratories would appreciate that criticism of the scientific merits of our products be based on well formulated scientific arguments and not on a cursory perusal of web based speculation." <br />
    Thanks<br />

  • August 5, 2008

    by CK

    <p>I'm a consumer of A&G products and use Active Serum since it first came out in California. Upon reading your review, I'm confused as to the purpose of this forum: is this a forum to discuss the application of products and share experiences, or a marketing forum on packaging? A&G founders are scientists, and from their basic website, we can see that they're not experts in packaging, rather in the science of anti-aging. It makes sense that as scientists they look toward practicality than product decor. I look forward to reading Marta's follow-up on the effects of Eye Serum on the left eye. Hopefully the package proves that it's the substance that counts.</p>

  • August 4, 2008

    by Kathy

    <p>Hi Marta,<br />
    I am one of the fans and I've been using A&G Eye serum as well as the Active serum and I have to say that, their products work better than any other products i've tried. I am 57 yrs young and I met one of the doctors at the Vegas show. I agree the packaging is not that good to look at but it sure is PRACTICAL. For example, the Eye pump is airless and allows for small quantity dispensing. They don't leak and they are heat resistant. I live in Vegas, to me this is very important. In the last 10 years I've tried every high-end product with the best packaging I can find, and all I've done is buying a nice bottle with no results to my skin. I am over that and now I am spending money on products that makes sense and give results.<br />
    Helen: give A&G a try and lets see what you think of it after you try it.</p>

  • August 3, 2008

    by Helen

    <p>You are soo funny! This is not the first time I have read a Truth in Aging review and laughed and laughed. I don't know anything about this product line or particularly care what its fans say--that packaging _does_ look like a tampon applicator. Or maybe a Swiss medical sample vial!</p>

    <p>Thanks for the giggle!<br />

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