Thanks to the eagle-eyed Joan, I discovered that a new $100 cream called Revive DNA by Pure Radiance had a near identical twin, CSI Telomere Fine Line Repair Cream. The CSI cream is just over $60, but seems to be permanently on sale at Vitacost for $31.75, making it nearly one third of the price of Revive. Since we had reviewed and recommended Revive DNA (before we knew about the CSI version), I had to give its budget brother a try. I bought a pot of CSI Telomere and I have to say that to all intents and purposes it is every bit as good as Revive.

CSI Telomere has the same rich but light texture as Revive. It has a really good hydrating effect and an impact on (as it says on the tin) fine lines. The only difference between the two in the ingredients line up is a Middle Eastern plant called astragalus. Topically, it can also be used to treat wounds and burns. According to the University of Maryland, it is an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory and there is some research indicating that it acts on telomeres. This is in Revive, but not in CSI.

The key ingredient here is teprenone, which also gets to work on telomeres. First, a quick telomeres 101. If DNA is broken there are two options after the cell cycle is stopped: repair or death. If cells divided without telomeres, they would lose the end of their chromosomes, and the necessary information it contains. They are often described as being like the tips on the ends of shoelaces that stop them unraveling. Telomeres shorten every time a cell divides. When they become very short, they trigger cell crisis and cell death. As we know, cells can only replicate a limited number of times – a phenomena called the Hayflick Limit. There’s more on telomeres in an article posted last August.

Teprenone, also marketed as Renovage, promises to stabilize telomeres so that they won’t shorten any further than they already have. In addition to Revive, you’ll find teprenone/Renovage in Your Best Face’s Boost and Osmotics Renovage eye cream.

There’s not much more to this cream. In addition to hyaluronic acid, there is xylitylglucoside anhydroxylitol xylitol, a sugar found in wheat and olives that helps skin retain moisture and boosts the skin’s natural hyaluronic acid. It improves the barrier function of the skin, increasing ceramide synthesis. This ingredient isn’t all that common, but you will find it in Hydrapeptide’s Lash growth product.

It must be noted that there are a few fillers; polyacrylate is a film former, polyisobutene is a thermoplastic, and polysorbate 20 is an emulsifier that can cause skin irritation. Whilst eshewing parabens, Revive uses the preservative phenoxyethanol, a known allergan. But you’ll feel a lot better about them knowing you are paying $31.75 rather than $99.97.

We have found more products twins (identical formulas by different brands) and if you come across any, please let us know.

See our FIVE BEST recommendations including Five Best for sagging skin, Five Best with vitamin C and Five Best eye creams

Ingredients in CSI Telomere

Purified water, squalane, hyaluronic acid, caprillic/capric triglyceride, teprenone, polyacrylate 13, polyisobutene, polysorbate 20, xylitylglucoside anhydroxylitol xylitol, phenoxyethanol and ethylhexylglycerin.