I recently received a pot of April Rain Night Rainew ($129) and shall be taking it for a test drive over the coming weeks. Until I have (or have not) results to report, here's some background. Behind April Rain is Dr Vivian Bucay (who, when she isn't potion-making, volunteers her time at the University of Texas Health Science). Her secret source, which Dr B claims is exclusive to April Rain, is Hydropeptide.

In fact, Hydropeptide is a combination of hyaluronate, pseudoalterononas ferment (a strain of bacteria from the Arctic Circle that helps with water retention) and a bunch of peptides. The peptides include a couple of those that prevent facial muscles from moving (dipeptide diaminobutyroyl benzylamide diacetate and AH-3) and a very new one called tripeptide-10 citrulline. The regulation of collagen fibres is controlled by a number of molecules one of which is called decorin. As we get older, decorin activity declines. This new peptide is supposed to mimic decorin so that the collagen fibres are fooled into thinking they should still be productive.

April Rain's website alludes to "independent" trials carried out by lipotec showing that Hydropeptide has dazzling results. Actually, Lipotec is the manufacturer of tripeptide-10 citrulline and so could hardly be described as independent. Still the results aren't bad: the trial was conducted on 43 women, about half of which were given tripeptide-10 citrulline. 54% showed an increase in skin suppleness. Over a two month period, it was shown to make the collagen fibres more uniform. There is also tripeptide 1, which is said to prevent glycation and thereby prevent the loss of collagen.

Meanwhile, lecithin (found in egg yolks amongst other places) is an antioxidant.

Moving on from Hydropeptide, there are a couple of botanicals worthy of a call out. Diacetyl boldine is derived from tree bark and is a skin brightener/lightener. Buddleja davidii extract is purported to be an antioxidant, although I haven't seen any science to back that up. What's more April Rain uses certified organic ingredients.

There are several contact allergans (tropolone) and irritants (phenoxyethanol) and I would really prefer not to have anything to do with sodium benzoate (a British scientist claims that it knocks out DNA). I must confess that shortly after apply April Rain I started to itch. Nevertheless, the peptide mix makes it worth sticking with. I shall persevere and report back.

Water, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Glycerin, Propylheptyl Caprylate, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter), Cetyl Alcohol, Cetearyl Alcohol, Glyceryl Stearate, PEG-100 Stearate, C4-24 Alkyl Dimethicone/Divinyldimethicone Crosspolymer/Isodecyl Isononanoate, HydroPeptide® Complex (Sodium Hyaluronate, Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein, Hydrolyzed Soy Protein, Lecithin, Dipeptide Diaminobutyroyl Benzylamide Diacetate, Tripeptide-10 Citrulline, Acetyl Glutamyl Heptapeptide-3, Tripeptide-1, Pseudoalteromonas Ferment Extract, Carbomer, Xanthan Gum, Triethanolamine, Phenoxyethanol), Hydroxethyl Acrylate/Sodium Acryloyldimethyl Taurate Copolymer, Butylene Glycol, Squalane, Ceteareth-20, Retinyl Palmitate, Tocopheryl Acetate, Panthenol, Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate, Echinacea Purpurea Extract, Buddleja Davidii Extract, Cucumis Sativus (Cucumber) Fruit Extract, PEG-10 Dimethicone, Menthyl Lactate, Propylene Glycol, Polysorbate 60, Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, PPG-12/SMDI Copolymer, Polydiethyleneglycol Adipate/IPDI Copolymer, O-Cymen-5-OL, Disodium EDTA, Sodium Benzoate, Diacetyl Boldine, Tropolone, Caprylyl Glycol, Potassium Sorbate, 1, 2-Hexanediol, Fragrance.