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AQ Skin Solutions Vaginal Rejuvenation System- reader reviewed and recommended

Reviewed by TIA Community Member June 21, 2012 35 Comments

Reviewed by Danielle

For all you women who are in your mid to late 50s and are experiencing the onset, or full-on effects of menopause, this review is for you. For I have finally found a product that alleviates the painful symptoms of Atrophic Vaginitis, or Dry Vagina Syndrome (sounds like a spoof on a Hollywood movie). This is a condition common among perimenopausal and postmenopausal women, and is characterized by a thinning and inflammation of the vaginal walls due to a decline in estrogen. What does this mean exactly? It means that if you are sexually active, it’s not the pleasant experience you remember it was when you were younger. Penetration is painful, can make you feel like your partner has wrapped a sheet of 40 grit sandpaper around his member (or her dildo), and can cause micro tears and bleeding at the entrance to your vagina. This is not fun.

I have been experiencing an increase in this condition for the last few years (I’ll be 59 soon) and have tried everything from prescription meds (Estring: a ring inserted into the vagina which dispenses small doses of estrogen over a three-month period and often gets bumped into during intercourse; and the Vagifem pill, which gets inserted into the vagina twice a week and does essentially the same thing as the Estring), to therapies recommended by nurses and websites devoted to women’s sexual health. (I.e. inserting moisturizing lubricants into the vagina at night; manually massaging the vulva to stimulate blood circulation and skin health; regularly stimulating the internal vaginal walls with a vibrator for 10 to 15 minutes daily, not the worst thing in the world). None of them have worked.

It seems like the lack of research and treatment for this condition has been the result of willful neglect by a male-dominated pharmaceutical industry. After all, men have Viagra, Cialis, and all variety of medications for Prostate enlargement, and it’s only right that there should be the equivalent attention paid to women’s sexuality. Perhaps the culture is finally changing for us. So let me tell you about this product.

AQ Skin Solutions Vaginal Rejuvenation System ($199 in the shop) is a serum formulated with Human Fibroblast Conditioned Media. I will paraphrase from some of Marta’s most recent and well-researched review of Human Fibroblast Conditioned Media on TIA here:

Human fibroblast conditioned media, or human adipose stem cells, or epidermal growth proteins have increasingly been appearing in cosmetic serums on the market.

The progenitor cells of the human fibroblast are typically taken from newborn baby foreskins or human fat – adipose – cells. They are called adult stem cells to differentiate them from embryonic stem cells, which are not used in cosmetics. From the progenitor cell, many thousands of new cells are cloned in the lab and which are supposedly pristine.

Conditioned media is the solution (sugars, amino acids and such) that is put in the petri dish in which the cells are grown. It contains proteins that have been secreted by the cells and these proteins are what make it into our serums.

The technology used by AQ Skin Solutions for using Human Fibroblast Conditioned Media (and for all their products) is called Growth Factor technology. According to a July 13, 2010, newsletter from the Brookhaven National Laboratory, Growth Factor Technology is used to design synthetic peptides for tissue regeneration. They state, “The bioactive peptides are designed to communicate growth signals to cells of damaged tissue in order to foster efficient, rapid healing.” GF technology is proprietary and many labs have patented their own formulas, just as AQ Skin Solutions has patented its version of GF Technology for its purposes and products.  If you want a more detailed explanation of how this technology works, you can go to AQ Skin Solutions’ website: http://www.aqskinsolutions.com.

In a nutshell, however, what AQ tells you is that, “Growth factors turn essential cellular activities ‘on’ and ‘off,’ and they play a role in increasing cell production, cell division, blood vessel production, and collagen and elastin production.” It is further stated that, “In 2001, two independent double-blind studies testing topical creams containing either natural or bio-engineered GF were presented to the Society of Investigative Dermatology. The results were surprising – when applied to skin twice a day for four to six weeks, both types of creams produced better results than Botox! Each study showed significant increases in production of collagen, hyaluronic acid, elastin, fibroblasts, and epidermal thickness.”

So what is the protocol for using Vaginal Rejuvenation System? A single therapeutic regimen retailing for $200 (in the Truth in Aging shop) consists of six vials of serum. The directions on the box say to start with one tube every two to three days, but depending on the severity of dryness, it can be used more or less frequently, as necessary. If I have one complaint, it is the lack of clarity on this. How long should or could the effects of this dose last? Only as long as I’m using it regularly, which means I’m buying this monthly? Is this a once a year dose, a six month dose? Not knowing more, I started by using one vial each night for three nights in a row since my symptoms were severe, and then skipped a night thereafter until all six vials were used. In a subsequent email communication between Marta and one of AQ’s representatives, it was indicated that an individual should not exceed two vials per week, which alarmed me. Ultimately, I communicated with the representative directly and learned that there was no danger in overuse, but because the growth factors can work overtime as your own body begins to respond and heal itself, there’s no need to waste the product, which could be saved for a later date. Too bad, I feel like I just wasted $100 worth of product.

In any case, my husband has been a champion collaborator and has willingly abided by my performance schedule to test the efficacy of this product. I’m happy to report that I felt a tenfold improvement of my symptoms after the third night and now eight days from the time I used the last tube I am still pain free. One of AQ’s claims is that VRS may “enhance female sexual arousal and intercourse,” and I can’t say I’ve experienced that. However I am greatly encouraged by the results so far. Only time will tell whether or not this is truly long-lasting or not.  But for the time being, I’m thrilled to be back in the saddle and pain free.

AQ Skin Solutions appears to be a very accessible and friendly company and its representative, Pamela Xiong, is eager to communicate with anyone who might have questions about AQ’s product and technology.

Ingredients: Human Fibroblast Conditioned Media, Water (Aqua), Glycerin, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Xantham Gum, Hydroxyethyl Acrylate/Sodium Acryloyldimethyl Taurate Copolymer, Squalane, Polysorbate 60, Rosemarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Oil, Lactic Acid, Chlorphenesin

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  • June 26, 2013

    by Michele Watson

    I am also now experiencing this at 52-have an appointment to investigate hormonal creams tomorrow actually although I don't use HRT and am still not sure what route to go- in Perth Australia I am battling to find a GP to advise me with any real conviction. Is it possible to try a sample? I know that AQ has worked for me in the past so I am sure it will in this regard. Is it totally risk free?

  • March 23, 2013

    by Barbara wicklund

    I would love to try this, but not willing to spend $200 right now. As an Esthetician I am curious as to why this wouldn't be a great facial treatment?

  • March 22, 2013

    by Gloria

    Yes Marta - I used the AQ VRS for pain and soreness. I had quite a bit of pain with intercourse. The thinning of the vaginal wall is what caused it due to menopause. So I feel the AQ VRS helped strengthen the walls and alleviated the pain so intimacy was very pleasurable. At times dryness is still a problem, but the Aloe Cadabra helped with that. Since it is a natural product it was just like part of you. I will definitely order the AQ VRS again but now maybe only every 3-4 months instead of monthly. It is like going to the chiropractor. You have to keep up with the plan to sustain the treatment for your health and well being.

  • March 22, 2013

    by Gunilla

    Hi all,
    I was given the opportunity to try this product, as one of the TIA "test pilots" a few weeks back.
    Unfortunately, I had to quit using the product. This is what happened:
    The day after I'd used the third tube I experienced some discharge and itching, but since it went away the next day I didn't think any more about it. However, the same thing occurred the day after the fourth tube, as well, so I made an appointment with my gynaecologist. After his examination of me - and the ingredient list for AQ VRS - he told me that my mucous membranes looked a bit irritated, probably on account of something in AQ VRS, and that I should discontinue the use and come back in a week.
    Which I did, yesterday. Everything looked OK, so his opinion is that I'm oversensitive to one of the ingredients and that I should skip AQ VRS altogether.
    I think it's too bad, but considering what this product aims to achieve, it's kind of counter-productive (what with discharge and itching) to continue the usage...

  • March 22, 2013

    by Marta

    Hi Gloria, just wondering whether you were using it for lubrication only, or were you treating soreness and micro-tears such as those mentioned in Danielle's original review.

  • March 22, 2013

    by Pamela Xiong

    You're most welcome Gloria! Thank you for your great review!

  • March 21, 2013

    by Gloria

    Hi Pamela,
    I am quite sure that the AQ was the reason I had such success with the Aloe Cadabra. Very little product has to be used and I think your product is great. If you can afford it for the first 2 months I believe you can maintain the results with less and less over time. Thanks AQ for a wonderful product!

  • March 21, 2013

    by Pamela Xiong

    Hi Gloria!

    It is so wonderful to hear that you are still having success with AQ. It is also great to hear that you are able to find a more cost effective way to maintain your results with the other product!

    At AQ, we hope that we can help boost your body's own effectiveness enough that you can go on a lighter maintenance schedule, or that you are able to suffice with a lubricant afterwards. It pleases us more to know that AQ can be effective enough that a customer does not have to make too many repeat purchases to maintain the same level of results.

    I do wonder Gloria, if the other product would still be effective had you not used AQ first and started with the aloe product? If anyone else has tried the other product alone, and not post AQ, I'd love to hear your experience with it vs. AQ.

    Thank you!

  • March 20, 2013

    by Gloria

    Okay TIA -It has been another 10 weeks and I can say I do not have any problems. I have been using it once every 2 weeks. There has been no pain and the dryness seems to be about the same as when I was using it 2-3 times a week.

    The only problem I have with this product is the price. At $199 it is very costly to keep up with. I would say it is worth it to be able to have a fulfilling sex life, but I recently ordered another product called Aloe Cadabra. I am a regular reader of the Fabulous Over Fifty (FOF) website, and it was mentioned when menopause was brought up. I ordered it and I am quite impressed. You can read about it here www.aloecadabra.com. It is 95% certified organic aloe. As much as I love the AQ products I have to say I got the same results at a fraction of the cost, (3 bottles for $30.) I am happy with the results thus far. So sorry AQ. You have an awesome product and I do believe it has helped a great deal. I have to say Aloe Cadabra has my vote for the budget conscience

  • February 6, 2013

    by betsy cortez

    I would love to be able to try this product. I have tried various estrogen replacement products as prescribed by the doctor but I am not satisfied with the results. both my partner and I would like it if we could find a product to use that is easy without the health risks of the hormonal treatments.

  • February 6, 2013

    by Nancy L Klein

    I would love to give this product a try. With my medical history estrogen therapy would be almost like asking for problems. I have just started to have symptoms and would love to see if something like this could do the trick.

  • February 6, 2013

    by "tried everything"

    Would very much to give this a full attempt!
    I tried this once before without having good instruction, so I am afraid I did not see any desired change. (Note: focus word "desire")!
    I have used Estrace, Vagifem, and AQ seems like it should work (and I've had great results with the face and eye serums). This is a difficult, silent problem of mine that I would like to stop ignoring. I look forward to more feedback from the TIA ladies!

  • February 6, 2013

    by Gunilla

    I'd love to try this product! I've used prescription drugs for both menopause problems in general (lousy sleep, serious flushing etc) as well as vaginal dryness, and to be able to skip at least one of the oestrogen products would be a huge blessing - not to mention reduction in health risk... Fingers crossed :)

  • January 4, 2013

    by Gloria

    Hi All,
    I just wanted to write back on my results from this product from AQ. My results are undecided at the moment. I think they have been good but not what I was hoping for. I am going to try a bit longer to see if I just need more time for it to change. Everyone is different and it has only been a month.

    I do feel the dryness is better but the biggest improvement has been the fact of no pain. So I will say it is better and I have had no adverse effects as far as problems with sensitivity as I am also prone to skin issues. I will write back again.

  • January 3, 2013

    by Pamela Xiong

    Hi Michelle,

    Thank you for your question and your research! I've forwarded this information to our scientists. I will let you know what we make of it!

  • January 2, 2013

    by Michelle

    Most of the ingredients seem to be and research as pretty harmless. However, I am concerned about the use of Hydroxyethyl Acrylate as I have read that acrylates can cause skin sensitivity. I am worried that in the vagina, a very sensitvie tissue, this acrylate could cause a problem for me as I am very sensitive to skin products. Can you please comment? Does AQ Skin Solutions have any plans to replace this ingredient an ingredient that doesn't cause skin sensitivity?
    http://www.inchem.org/documents/sids/sids/818611.pdf
    Kind regards,
    Michelle

  • December 3, 2012

    by Gloria

    Thank you Oksana for the information. I too will look into this rx topical depending on how the AQ works.

  • December 3, 2012

    by Oksana

    Pam,
    see below the link - cannot describe better. I do not use, but prescribe. See, what feels wright for you and discuss with your provider.
    http://www.womentowomen.com/menopause/treatmentsforvaginaldryness.aspx

  • December 2, 2012

    by Pam

    Hi Oksana, Can you please tell me the brand of rx topical vaginal cream you use. None of the doctors where I live seem to know anything about this stuff. Thanking you in advance, Pam
    pamnote@gmail.com

  • December 2, 2012

    by pam

    I just purchased this product based on Danielle's review. Thank you Danielle for this wonderful review. I agree it is expensive and the instructions are vague at best. There is no description of this product on the company's website either. I hope this product works for me, as Danielle's description of intercourse feeling like 40 grit sandpaper is right on the money! Really unbearable and you know no one talks about this stuff either. I think this company should look at a more complete description of their product in the future.

  • December 1, 2012

    by Oksana

    on the other hand, small amount of Rx topical vaginal estrogen cream will help to prevent age- and estrogen loss associated stress incontinence (don't forget about your urethra, etc - they need estrogen too), keep you moist, help prevent early onset mental fog and dementia, and heeart disease - number 1 caus eof death among women. Topical estrogen absorbed systemically in minute amounts, but the benefits are tremendous. Cost little as well.

  • November 30, 2012

    by Marta

    Yes, Gloria, please do report back. I think this is an important issue and am very keen that Truth In Aging is a trusted resource on this.

  • November 30, 2012

    by Pamela Xiong

    You're welcome Gloria. It is my pleasure to support our partners and users. Please do report back on your experience!

  • November 30, 2012

    by Gloria

    This helps a great deal. Thank you for always coming through on helping us understand your products.
    It is a shame that more women don't come forward about this problem. I want to be able to look forward to having a wonderful sex life in the years to come. Since this is not a hormone and I am not willing to try HRT again I believe I will try it and I will report back to my results as well

  • November 29, 2012

    by Pamela Xiong

    Hi Gloria,

    A very valid question! This product launched late 2011 in the US and we wanted to see how the US market would respond to this type of product before we could market it. It's been very popular overseas, but it's a condition that people in general shy away from talking about in the US. We wanted to get a good amount of feedback from our quiet launch so we would better understand how to position it.

    Also, this product missed our latest update to our website because we didn't have photos of the product yet. We will be updating our website soon when all of our new photos come in and it will be added to the website. We recently have been gathering feedback from all of our clients regarding this product and have JUST developed an FAQ that I can post up here. We will be sending a copy of it to TIA as well. I hope it answers all of your questions. If not, you are always free to contact me directly at pamela@aqskinsolutions.com and I can help to answer any more questions for you!

    Thanks!

    Q: How often should I use VRS?
    A: VRS can be used once every 3 days, not to exceed more than twice per week, until desired results are achieved.

    Growth Factors are naturally made by the body and are safe for topical application. There is no danger in overuse of the product. However growth factors are designed to assist your body’s own natural healing response. It is important to allow your body to respond to the VRS as you may notice an increased improvement in your symptoms over the next few days.

    Once the desired results are achieved, a maintenance schedule can be determined based on how long the results last for individual users.

    Q: How long is the effectiveness of the VRS?
    A: The duration of effectiveness will vary from person to person depending on severity and underlying causes of the condition. Some conditions are caused by diet or medication changes while others are a direct result of hormone changes and aging.

    Since VRS does not cure aging, or loss of hormone, the symptoms could reoccur based on the rate that the body continues to age.

    Just the taking of a health supplement, if your body no longer produces the nutrients it needs to be healthy, these nutrients need to be continually replenished by supplements. Similarly with a good skin care routine. If a good skin care routine is discontinued, eventually the condition of your skin will return to the state it was in prior to beginning the routine.

    While some users have reported lasting result for several months after their last application, others have reported results lasting only a few weeks.

    A maintenance schedule can be determined by individual analysis of how long each individual effectiveness period lasts. Some may need to use 1 tube of VRS once to twice a month while others may only need to use 1 tube of VRS every 6 months after the initial relief of symptoms. There is no universal maintenance recommendation as each individual body will respond differently to VRS.

    Q: Can VRS be used before intercourse?
    A: Yes,VRS is safe to use before intercourse.

    Q: Are there any dangers in overuse of topically applied Growth Factors?
    A: There have been no reports or publications regarding any negative effects of topically applied human growth factors for over 10 years since they have first been used.

    Q: Is VRS intended to cure my condition?
    A: No, VRS is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

    VRS may help to relieve the symptoms caused by a certain condition, but it will not treat or cure the condition that is causing vaginal discomfort.

    Q: Can VRS be used in conjunction with other products?
    A: VRS should not be used in conjunction with any other vaginally inserted products that are specifically intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. This includes yeast infection treatments, topically applied herpes medication, and spermicidal gels.

    However, the use of VRS will not affect oral medications that are being taken.

    Q: Who should not use VRS?
    A: Women who are pregnant or have any open wounds, sores or lesions within the virginal area should not use the VRS.

    Q: Are there age limitations in who can use VRS?
    A: Women of 18 years of age or older may use VRS.

    Q: Is VRS available in smaller quantities?
    A: No, VRS is not available in smaller quantities. The amount of VRS applications needed to achieve the desired results is different for each individual. Some may only need a few tubes while others may need 5-6 tubes.

    If VRS is sold in smaller quantities and is not effective in those smaller quantities, it may inaccurately reflect in the product as being ineffective. AQ Skin Solutions would like for every person to have the option of administering all tubes in 1 package before determining that the product is ineffective for them.

  • November 29, 2012

    by Gloria

    Pamela, I am wondering why there isn't any information on your website about this product. Even though Danielle gave a wonderful review of this product, (with the help of her husband) I am wondering how often this product needs to be used in order for you sustain the results. At $200, and a active sex life it could be quite costly. Some things are well worth it though.
    Thank you!

  • July 20, 2012

    by Pamela Xiong

    Hello Isabel,

    You are correct that vaginal lubrication is influenced by estrogen. Estrogen helps to maintain the health, thickness, elasticity and lubrication of the vaginal wall among other functions. However, as estrogen levels decrease in women, the body loses the signal it needs to maintain a healthy vagina. The vaginal wall becomes thin and begins to produce less lubrication, thus resulting in dryness and pain.

    There are also other causes of dryness that are non-hormone related. Even a young woman in her 20's or 30's with normal hormone levels can experience dryness. These other causes can be allergy & cold medications, Sjogren's Syndrome, and douching.

    In most cases, the direct cause of loss of lubrication is the thinning of the inner lining. AQ Skin Solutions VRS does not treat the loss of estrogen, which causes thinning.

    However, AQ VRS helps to nourish the tissue in the vaginal wall because growth factors act as chemical messengers in your body to communicate to the cells that they need to produce more cells and heal the body and increase blood circulation and blood cell production. This helps the body to restore it's mucosal thickness and elasticity and begin to produce lubrication again.

    I hope this answers you question! If there are any more questions, feel free to let me know, I'd be happy to answer any other questions.

    Pam

  • July 20, 2012

    by anna

    Very good article. Would like to add only that hyalauronic acid gel or serum is also very beneficial and, for those of us who pale at $200 tags, substantially cheaper. But HA could be used in tandem with this product, as well as used alone. In studies, outcomes of hyalauronic acid therapy for atrophic vaginitis are comparable to results of estrogen therapy. In looking for a gel or serum to use, though, be careful of the "other" ingredients (e.g., harsh preservatives) as some may irritate already sensitized and damaged tissue.

  • July 20, 2012

    by Isabel Pascua

    I wonder how exactly does VRS lubricates the vagina, when vaginal lubrication is influenced by estrogen especially when the woman is in the 50's. Thank you

  • July 2, 2012

    by Pamela Xiong

    Hi Debbie,

    Thank you for your question. This product is designed to be inserted inside the vagina. Let me know if you have any further questions. Thank you!

  • July 2, 2012

    by debbie callif

    Do you this vaginal rejuvenation in your vagina or just on the outside?
    Thanks.

  • June 24, 2012

    by Beth

    Thank you for this discussion, it's one that is rarely brought up but should be. I have been battling this for 2 years now and have tried everything. Currently I use Key Vit. E suppositories a few times a week along with massive doses of lube. Not fun. What upsets me about this product is the price but at least there is now something out there besides the HRT and the drugstore.

  • June 21, 2012

    by Jan

    Very tasteful and brave review! Thank you - a topic overlooked most will not address honestly. Thanks Danielle, and thank hubby too!

  • June 21, 2012

    by Pamela Xiong

    Danielle,

    Thank you so much for an honest review. I am thrilled you are having success. We at AQ Skin Solutions are already working on a new packaging for the VRS and making clearer instructions will definitely be a part of that process. We appreciate your feedback!

  • June 21, 2012

    by Marta

    Thank you Danielle for being such a good sport (and your husband!). This is such a sensitive and even taboo subject that I feel that women's sexuality post menopause is largely ignored. I was excited when I heard about the AQ product and was very hopeful that it would work. Now I am thrilled to see that it does. A great sex life should be available to us whatever our age - especially as we are spending some much effort on staying beautiful. I shall be looking to add this to the shop.

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