Difinsa53 Skin Protectant Lotion ($62.50 in the shop) is specifically formulated to help prevent and treat radiation dermatitis (aka the skin damage or burns caused by radiation). The brand's website touts five key ingredients: dimethicone, silybin (silibinin), aloe barbadensis leaf juice (aloe vera), hyaluronic acid, and niacinamide.
Dimethicone offers several benefits: It provides a protective barrier that prevents water loss and can also function as an anti-inflammatory. Hyaluronic acid helps skin retain moisture while strengthening the skin barrier, and niacinamide is used to increase ceramides and fatty acid levels, which in turn helps prevent water loss. Topical application of niacinamide has also been known to help reduce blotchiness and hyperpigmentation and to even skin tone.
Aloe Vera has been used as a topical skin treatment for thousands of years and is often used to help heal burns. However, studies conflict as to its burn-healing efficacy; research is also conflicting regarding its treatment of radiation dermatitis. Lastly, silybin is a purified extract of milk thistle, which has been shown to be a helpful treatment for rosacea by reducing redness, papules, and itchiness. Milk thistle also blocks free radicals and protects against UVB damage.
With the exception of silybin, the ingredients in Difinsa53 are not uncommon in face lotions and did not initially compel me to use the product. When I originally searched silybin on the internet, I did not find a lot of information regarding topical use, so I was reluctant to use the product on my face. Thus, my initial testing of Difinsa53 was on my body. (A subsequent search using “milk thistle” as the search term yielded a bit more information.)
When used on my hands, Difinsa53 temporarily smoothed fine lines and provided long-lasting light hydration that would probably work fine for warmer months. But I did not find it to be moisturizing enough in the colder winter weather, and I didn't see any significant changes in the youthfulness of my hands after testing.
During part of my testing period, I was going through an extremely busy time. With an overloaded schedule and the benefit of winter clothing, one of the low priorities on my list was shaving and moisturizing my legs. The drawback to skipping this part of my routine was that they began to itch. Difinsa53 provided immediate and long-lasting relief from the annoying itchiness.
Based on the testing above, my initial assessment of Difinsa53 was neutral. On the positive side, the non-greasy lotion absorbs quickly and provides long-term hydration. Plus, a little goes a long way. But given the price point, I wasn’t wowed enough. Just as I was about to start writing my product review, Marta posted her review of Difinsa53. Her feedback persuaded me to see Difinsa53 would help with the rosacea and redness on my cheeks.
After just a few days of use, my face started looking noticeably better. Then, I got the flu. As mentioned, my skin is already prone to redness, but it can be especially bad when I'm sick. My 30-something, very fair complexion does not hide illness well at all. Impressively, the Difinsa53 helped keep any blotchiness in check. After three days of fever and still not feeling 100%, I returned to work and my coworkers commented on how well I looked for being sick. In addition to minimizing redness, the lotion also healed my chafed nose quicker than my go-to Neosporin.
Based on my experience, I would recommend giving Difinsa53 a try if you have redness or rosacea. The reduction in redness that I have experienced over the past couple of weeks has allowed me to wear only my powder foundation (rather than a liquid foundation with powder over top). The thin, fast-absorbing consistency of the lotion makes it easy to layer with other products. Lastly, the 3-ounce size—as compared to the typical 1.7-ounce size of many other lotions and creams—will last quite a long time.