Generally, Clinique is run-of-the-mill department store skincare in our books, but the brand does occasionally attempt to step outside the box. With it's newest serum to hit the shelves, Clinique goes one step further: they compare the Repairwear Laser Focus Wrinkle and UV Damage Corrector ($44.50) to laser surgery.

I did chuckle when I first read it, but couldn't overlook the specificity of their claims: At 12 weeks, the visible wrinkle-reducing power is remarkably close to a dermatological laser procedure, 63% to be exact.

The reasoning is that in place of laser's intense light, which wounds skin to prompt more intense repair, Repairwear Laser Focus will deploy a cocktail of antioxidants that helps keep free radical activity in check while jump starting a natural repair process that reverses UV damage and mends 'solar scars', or collagen loss from extended UV exposure. Interesting.

Free radical protection is provided by vitamins C (in the form of aminopropyl ascorbyl phosphate) and E, ergothioneine, a metabolite produced by fungi that has been shown to have strong antioxidant properties, and punica grantum (pomegranate). There are several peptides here that the brand claims boost natural skin-plumping collagen production. Retinyl palmitate is one of them, as well as whey protein and acetyl hexapeptide-8, which limits the movement of facial muscles. Not bad so far.

The enzymes in the product are supposed to penetrate the skin's surface via a liposome delivery system, which the brand claims protects cells from free radicals and other stressors. According to Cosmetics Business, these enzymes are micrococcus luteus, photolyase fermentate (which probably comes from the plankton extract) and OGG-1 fermentate. Micrococcos lysate is supposed to repair UVB damage, while photolyase fermentate is supposed to absorb visible light to promote natural cellular repair. There were no concrete studies about the latter in particular, but plankton extract has been purported to reverse DNA damage.

Other notable ingredients:  A plant called arabidopsis thaliana, which is a potent antioxidant, sea whip extract, which is known for it's anti-inflammatory properties, and pinanediol, which according to studies increases microcirculation. Hyaluronic acid and sodium hyaluronate are also present, presumably to provide hydration and elasticity.

I am disappointed by the bevy of silicones that top this ingredient list.  It isn't the best way to start off, but at least there are antioxidants and peptides in there in some form as well. It seems as if the brand is slowly realizing they need more than standard ingredients in their products. While the 63% comparison to laser surgery may still be unbelievable, kudos for trying to step in a more effective direction.

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Clinique Repairwear Laser Focus wrinkle & UV damage corrector ingredients:

Water, Dimethicone, Butylene Glycol, Polysorbate 20, Methyl Trimethicone, Vinyl Dimethicone/Methicone Silsesquioxane Crosspolymer, Bis-PEG-18 Methyl Ether Dimethyl Silane, Glycerin, Silica, Polymethylsilsesquioxiane, Lauryl PEG-9 Polydimethylsiloxyethyl Dimethicone, Methyl Gluceth-20, Polysilicone-11, Sigesbeckia Orientalis (St. Paul’s Wort) Extract, Retinyl Palmitate, Plankton Extract, Punica Granatum (Pomegranate) Juice Extract, Arabidopsis Thaliana Extract, Sea Whip Extract, Whey Protein/Lactis Protein/Proteine Du Petit-Lait, Pinanediol, Camphanediol, Glycine Soja (Soybean) Protein, Ergothioneine, Acetyl Hexapeptide-8, Caffeine, Micrococcus Lysate, Palmitoyl Oligopeptide, Anthemis Nobilis (Chamomile), Linoleic Acid, Sodium Mannose Phosphate, Ethylhexylglycerin, Caprylyl Glycol, Carbomer, Glyceryl Polymethacrylate, Cholesterol, Aminopropyl Ascorbyl Phosphate, Hyaluronic Acid, Sodium Hyaluronate, Tocopheryl Acetate, PEG-8, Xanthan Gum, Sodium Citrate, Sodium Carbomer, Disodium EDTA, Phenoxyethanol.