Anti Aging Serums - Yes, I know they don’t come cheap. But this is the heavy artillery and they can be eked out by only targeting them at stubborn wrinkles and problem areas, while using a less expensive anti-aging serum for regular use (see my recent Five Best for Under $65 for some ideas). There are two notable serums that were in the 2010 Five Best Anti-aging Serums for 40-somethings and 50-plus, but I am excited by some new finds from Chella, ReLuma and LiftLab.

Chella Master Protocol 7 Cellular Defense Serum
($135) . Primary function: skin firming. I like Chella Master Protocol enough to reach back for it again and again and was thrilled when our guest reviewer, Ann, said she used it and got compliments. It is one of the few products that seems to help with labionasal lines. Chella calls it a silver bullet. That may be pushing it, but with one shot it is imparting a lot of very impressive anti-aging and wrinkle prevention ingredients, including Renovage (teprenone).  This ingredient is the one that works on protecting your telomeres at the ends of your DNA.  The longer the telomeres, the healthier and younger we are. One of the many other heavy hitters, is thermus thermophillus ferment, a biotechnologically derived marine extract. Being heat activated (eg when the skin is exposed to the warmth of the sun). There’s a bit more silicone here than I would like, but other hand,  Master Procol works. Read my review and Ann’s.

LiftLab Lift & Fix High Potency Solution ($85 for 3.4 fl oz in the TIA shop). Primary function: reversal of sun damage, skin rejuvenation.One of my most recent finds, LiftLab and its four products have got rave reviews from all the TIA testers. For me, Lift & Fix has been great at refining the complexion by dealing with broken veins and rough red patches of skin. The active ingredient is a fish plasma protein that is a kind of natural anti-freeze that prevents cell death. The rest of the Lift & Fix formula is interesting as well. A dominant ingredient is the amino acid methylsilanol hydroxyproline aspartate and is a protein that controls the elasticity of connective tissue fibers. And there’s another ingredient that comes from something that is good at withstanding extreme cold, a bacteria called alteromonas ferment extract. Researchers have found that it retains moisture. Read my review in full

ReLuma Skin Illuminating Anti-aging Serum ($135 for 20mL and $199 for 30mL in the TIA shop). Primary function: wrinkle repair. It takes a few weeks to see results, but when ReLuma kicks in, it visibly smoothes out wrinkles. ReLuma’s formula is deceptively simple. In fact, it is based on human conditioned media and ReLuma has quite a complex combination of what are essentially proteins. As we age, the critical proteins for healthy skin start to decline. These proteins and growth factors can be isolated as PDGF, VEGF, FGF, IGF3 and TGF-B. Of these, TGF-B is thought to be the most important because its signals are recognized by the majority of cells. TGF-B expression is also induced during wound healing and studies show that it can increase collagen and fibronectin.  However, it is the combination of different growth factors that is supposed to give results. Read my full review.

E’shee Cellular Repair Serum ($179 for 0.34 oz in the TIA shop). Primary function: wrinkle and broken capillary repair. A Five Best for the second time, this serum (which I bought a replacement of) is hugely beneficial for rosacea, broken veins and deep wrinkles. The key active is the cutting edge FGF 1 (a Recombinant Human acidic Fibroblast Growth Factor). FGF1 is rather bossy and signals FGF2 to get on with fibroblast growth and collagen production, hyaluronic acid and elastin, while getting FGF7 to get busy with keratinocyte resulting in rejuvenated skin. They also support angiogenesis, which is the growth of new blood vessels. The horse chestnut is also a repair for broken capillaries and the combination with FGF1 does make a visible difference to thread veins. The only other botanical is mulberry. This is typically used in skincare as a whitener. Studies have been shown mulberry leaf extract to inhibit tyrosinase activity. Additionally, several phenolic flavonoids, such as gallic acid and quercetin, and fatty acids, such as linoleic acid and palmitic acid, have been isolated from its leaves. With sodium lactate and lactic acid providing exfoliation and sodium hyaluronate, this formulation covers most bases. This is an expensive potion for 10 ml or 0.34 fl oz., so I target it only where really needed – deep wrinkles and areas of rosacea prone skin with some tiny broken veins. The results are very impressive. My original review of E’shee and see a video showing that a little really goes a long way.

Skin Nutrition Cell CPR ($173). Primary function: complexion enhancer, radiance restorer. Another Five Best from last year that has stayed the course. I bought a third bottle of this with my own hard earned. Skin Nutrition, the maker of Cell CPR says “if our skin came with a manufacturer’s maintenance elixir, Cell-CPR™ is what it would have come with!” I’d have to say that my skin agrees with this bold claim. Skin Nutrition’s philosophy is that skin cells are complex things made up of phospholipids, proteins (enzymes, oligopeptides, amino acids), oligosaccharides, oxygen, vitamins and minerals. And so, therefore, is Cell CPR with a whopping 70 or so ingredients. The peptides are especially worth a call out hexanoyl dipeptide-3 (which is lecithin and norleucine Acetate) activates skin cell regeneration by stimulating the natural desquamation process of the skin, leading to a gentle peeling. Rh-oligopeptide-1 (Egf) is a recombitant human epidermal growth factor. I have seen it in hair growth products and, apparently, it also repairs wrinkles and wounds. More familiar to me is another wound healer, copper tripeptide (also known as copper GHK). One of the most fascinating ingredients is adenosine triphosphate (ATP). It is the main energy source for the majority of cellular – and muscular – functions. This includes the synthesis of DNA. Full review of Skin Nutrition Cell CPR.

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Ingredients in Lift & Fix: Water, glycerin, aloe leaf juice, methylsilanol hydroxyproline aspartate, ethoxydiglycol, peg-7 glyceryl cocoate, glycereth 26, methyl gluceth 20, butylene glycol, arnica, algae extract, oat kernal extract, alteromonas ferment extract, fish plasma protein (Cell Protection Protein), dipotassium glycyrrhizate, adenosine, glycosphingolipids, hordeum vulgare extract, sodium hyaluronate, beta-gluca, melia azadirachta leaf extract, amino esters-1, coccinia indica fruit, solanum melongena (eggplant) fruit extract, aloe flower extract, henna extract, ocimum sanctum leaf extract, turmeric extract, pearl powder, chamomilla recutita flower oil, bis-PEG-18 methyl dimethyl silane, phenyl trimeticone, jojoba wax PEG-120 esters, PEG-32, glyceryl acrylate/acrylic acid copolymer, cyclomethicone, alcohol, PPG-26-buteth-26, PeG-40 hydrogenated castor oil, benzophenone-4, acrylates/C10-30 alkyl acrylate copolymer, carbomer, disodium edta, triethanolomine, phenoxyethanol, caprylyl glycol

Ingredients in ReLuma: Human Adipose Derived Stem Cell Conditioned Media, Water, Glycerin, Sodium PCA, DL-Panthenol, Hydroxy Ethyl Cellulose, Allantoin, Phenoxyethanol.

Ingredients in Chella: Water (Aqua), Thermus Ferment, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Cetyl Octanoate, Cyclopentasiloxane, Laminaria Digitata Extract, Glycerin, Cetearyl Alcohol, Cocoyl Glucoside, Cetyl Alcohol, Einkorn (Triticum Monococcum) Extract, Ergothioneine, Limonium Narbonense Flower/Leaf/Stem Extract, Tremella Fuciformis Polysaccharide, Teprenone, Adenosine Triphosphate, Sodium Chondroitin Sulfate, Olive Glycerides, Sea Whip (Pseudopterogorgia Elizabethae) Extract, Polyglyceryl-3 Stearate, Phytosteryl Isostearate, Sodium Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Dimethicone, Phenyl Trimethicone, Cassia Alata Leaf Extract, Maltodextrin, Butylene Glycol, Lutein (Xanthophyll), Sodium Acrylates/Acrylonitrogens Copolymer, Pentylene Glycol, Phenoxyethanol, Caprylyl Glycol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Hexylene Glycol.

Ingredients in Skin Nutrition: Water (Aqua), Glycerin, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Dipropylene Glycol, Cyclopentasiloxane, Lecithin, Hydrogenated Lecithin, Vitex Agnus Castus Extract, Stearic Acid, Cetyl Alcohol, Phytosphingosine, Malus Domestica Fruit Cell Culture, Ascorbyl Tetraisopalmitate, Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate, Tocopherol, Tocopheryl Acetate, Steareth-21, Panthenol, Retinyl Palmitate, Cyclodextrin, Hexanoyl Dipeptide-3, Norleucine Acetate, Centella Asiatica Extract, Lycium Barbarum Fruit Extract, Rh-oligopeptide-1 (Egf), Rh-polypeptide-1 (Bfgf), Copper Tripeptide-1, Dimethicone/Vinyl Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Peg-12 Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Sodium Polyacrylate, Carbomer, Xanthan Gum, Isohexadecane, Polysorbate 60, Butylene Glycol, Arctostaphylos Uva Ursi Leaf Extract, Mitracarpus Scaber Extract, Superoxide Dismutase (Sod), Saccharomyces Ferment Lysate Filtrate, Sodium Hyaluronate, Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein, Adenosine Triphosphate (Atp), Yeast Polysaccharides, Acetyl Tyrosine, Proline, Oleyl Alcohol, Dioscorea Villosa (Wild Yam) Root Extract, Glycine Soja (Soybean) Sterols, Perfluorodecalin, Ceramide 3, Rhodochrosite Extract, Hematite Extract, Phaeodactylum Tricornutum Extract, Citrus Aurantium Bergamia (Bergamot) Fruit Oil, Sodium Pca, Trehalose, Allantoin, Peg-32, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Olea Europaea (Olive) Fruit Oil, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Steareth-2, Peg-30 Dipolyhydroxystearate, Alcohol,Disodium Edta, Sodium Hydroxide, Phenoxyethanol, Caprylyl Glycol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Hexylene Glycol.

Ingredientsin E'shee: Aqua, Hamamelis Virginiana (Witch Hazel) Distillate, Propylene Glycol, 1.3 Butylene Glycol, Aesculus Hippocastanum (Horse Chestnut) Seed Extract, Glycerin, Morus Alba (Mulberry) Extract, Tinocare GL, PEG-40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Sodium Lactate, Sodium Hyaluronate, Triethanolamine, D-Panthenol, Lactic acid, Carbomer, Allantoin, Phenoxyethanol, FGF 1 (Recombinant Human acidic Fibroblast Growth Factor).