I am irredeemably high maintenance when it comes to skincare. Even if I didn’t have a website giving me the perfect excuse to indulge myself, I would not have a simple skincare routine. I believe that micro-targeting (specific skin issues) is more successful than expecting my skin to behave the same everywhere everyday. Nonetheless, I have spent the past month testing a multitasker that promised me I would need no other face serum, toner or eye cream. Dermagenics Ultra Anti-aging Moisturizer ($85 and now in the TIA store) hasn’t quite won me over to the austerity of one cream fits all, but it performed the tasks I set it well enough for me to heartily recommend it for anyone who craves simplicity.

Dermagenics Ultra Anti-aging Moisturizer is based on a peptide called hexapeptide-9 and artemia extract, which are supposed to boost collagen production amongst other things. I’ll come back to the ingredients in a moment after giving you a bit more color on how Dermagenics performed. I found it to be a good face cream that is pleasantly, but not overly moisturizing and does a good job at smoothing out forehead lines. I wasn’t all that impressed with it as an eye cream though and after 10 days stopped using it as such. I am delighted, however, with it as a hand cream. My hands have been looking dry and sun damaged and I have been looking for something to take care of them before matters get worse. Dermagenics Ultra has done such a good job smoothing and plumping the skin on the backs of my hands and fading some hyperpigmentation, that it will be kept in service until the pot is finished.

I should also mention that the texture of Ultra is very light and extremely well-behaved: it smooths on easily, is completely absorbed, leaving no greasy residue and it is without much scent.

So back to the ingredients. Hexapeptide-9 is often marketed under the name Collaxyl and is widely touted as a repairer of acne scars. A relatively new peptide, hexapeptide-9 is supposed to boost collagen synthesis, although I couldn’t find any studies that back this up.  On the other hand, artemia comes with a better pedigree. According to researchers this alga is pretty impressive. It boosts the effects of other anti-aging ingredients, protects DNA against UV and free radicals.

There are three moisture givers that also play an important role. I particularly like phospholipids. This ingredient is a veritable workhorse that retains moisture, helps other ingredients penetrate and imparts antioxidants.  There’s also quenching squalane and sodium hyaluronate. In addition, there is a powerful and stable form of vitamin C, tetrahexydecyl ascorbate, and antioxidant green tea.

Dermagenics does seem to help fade hyperpigmented skin, but it doesn't use typical ingredients to do so. In fact, the company makes much of its decision to eshew AHAs and glycolic acid. The company’s CEO wrote explaining this to me and here is what she said:

Although Glycolic acid, AHA (lactic, citric, mandelic acid) are known to have positive epidermal and dermal effects when used as a stand alone product, causing increased cell turn over by their peeling effect, we believe rejuvenation can be achieved by safer ways.

Glycolic acid and AHA’s rely on a low pH of about 2 to be effective at drying and peeling the skin. On the other hand, moisturizing products operate in the normal skin pH range of about 5. Moisturizers claiming to have Alpha Hydroxys and/or Glycolic Acids in them will actually neutralize the acids, thus rendering the acids inactive. Thus, it becomes more of a marketing issue than a skin health issue. Additionally, there is some gray area as to the efficacy of over use of AHA and Glycolics, even at this reduced effectiveness combination.

By using a Hexapeptide-9 combined with the artemia extract, delivered by way of our trans-dermal penetration process, we achieve a collagen and elastin synthesis at the dermal-epidermal junction, in a way that is both more effective and safe.

As I mentioned in my introductory post on Dermagenics Anti-aging Moisturizer, I could do without the silicone and the usual suspects in the preservative department. These quibbles aside, this is a good product especially for anyone who wants to keep their beauty regimen streamlined.


Purified water, squalane, ceresin, sodium acrylates copolymer, hydrogenated polyisobutene, phospholipids, polyglyceryl-10 stearate, sunflower seed oil, hexapeptide-9, cyclopentasilioxane, dimethicone, vinyl dimethicone crosspolymer, glycerin, ethoxydiglycol, jojoba oil, sodium hyaluronate, artemia extract, sodium pca, green tea extract, tetrahexydecyl ascorbate, allantoin, phenoxyethanol, mixed tocopherol, methylparaben, propylparaben.