Our Rating: 4 stars

Avitalin’s Time-Defense ($55 in the shop) is an anti-aging daily hydrator billed as an “ultra-light” cream formulated for all skin types, and is included under Avitalin’s “normal” skin type regimen. While I like this aloe-based moisturizer, I found it to be very rich and probably too heavy for certain skin types; thus, I likely would have slotted into the “dry” and/or “mature” skin type regimens. The moisturizer does take a few minutes to completely absorb; however, the long-lasting hydration and softness it provides, without feeling  gooey or sticky, renders it worth the wait.

The richness and lasting hydration of this cream is due to the occlusive properties derived from sunflower seed oil, emulsifying wax and jojoba oil, which prevent trans-epidermal water loss. These ingredients are ideal for keeping moisture in dry, mature skin. Further, sunflower seed oil also has antibacterial properties. Meadowfoam seed oil (also found in YBF Private Reserve Antioxidant Oil) is known not only for its moisturizing abilities, but also for providing ultra-violet protection.

I like the inclusion of phospholipids, which Marta discussed here as well as alpha lipoic acid (ALA). ALA is a universal antioxidant that fights future skin damage as well as repairs past damage by diminishing fine lines and boosting the efficacy of other antioxidants, such as vitamin C (ascorbyl palmitate) and vitamin E (tocopherol), which are also included in the formulation. Moreover, topical ALA reduces puffiness in the face and eye area and minimizes wrinkles and pore size.

DMAE appears to be favorite ingredient of Avitalin’s esthetician founder, Marina Volod, as it is found in many Avitalin products. On the company website, DMAE is indicated to be an antioxidant cell stabilizer, which is a point of contention on TIA (see DMAE anti-ager or cell-killer), so I won’t get into it. I did note that the ingredients in Time-Defense were somewhat similar to the ingredients in Avitalin’s Firming Fluid. The notable differences are the inclusion of DMAE in Time-Defense; whereas, the Firming Fluid has a variety of peptides.

Though Time-Defense doesn’t contain any of the cutting-edge ingredients such as those found in Youth Essentials or Vitality Phytocell Complex, which can be used under makeup during the day, it is ideal to layer over a serum at night (I found it too heavy for daytime use under sunscreen). A little of this cream goes a long way, and although the directions indicate to avoid direct contact with the eyes (which I was careful to do), I dotted just a pea-sized amount under my eyes for extra hydration.

Overall, I like Ms. Volod’s approach (dubbed as “corneotherapy”) which is to focus on maintaining the outermost layer of the skin, or the stratum corneum. Avitalin is free of skin irritants and pore cloggers like lanolin, synthetic perfume, petroleum, phthalates, formaldehyde, paraben preservatives, detergents, mineral oil and synthetic fillers.

Ingredients: Aloe barbadensis (aloe) juice, Helianthus annuus (sunflower) seed oil, emulsifying wax, vegetable glycerin, phospholipids, Limnanthes alba (meadowfoam) seed oil, cetyl alcohol, Simmondsia chinensis (jojoba) oil, dimethylaminoethanol (DMAE), alpha lipoic acid, ascorbyl palmitate (vitamin C ester), Glycine soja (soybean) oil, stearic acid, tocopherol (vitamin E), potassium sorbate, Salix nigra (black willowbark) extract, Rosmarinus officinalis (rosemary) oleoresin, fragrance (essential oils)