If anyone has tried IS Clinical Active Serum ($128), I would love to hear from you. I have been staring at it for quite some time trying to make up my mind as to whether to try it, but I have to feel a little rush of excitement when I consider spending well over $100 and my emotions are curiously flat.
The dominant ingredient in IS Clinical Active Serum after water is, glycerin
, a perfectly respectable moisturizer that has a fair amount of data to demonstrate that it improves hydration of the skin and provides a protective barrier. Glycerin isn’t super sexy though and fter that its thickeners and alcohol. My flexible friend is likely to remain in my wallet unless I can get excited about the botanical extracts that come next.
First up is sugar cane extract. The reason for including this in cosmetics is that it is a source of glycolic acid, a type of alpha hydroxyl acid
. Glycolic acid is the AHA with the smallest molecule and the greatest penetration, so deeply exfoliates to remove skin that is dry, coarse, or dead. I don’t know what the concentration of it is, but I wouldn’t want to use this exfoliating agent every day. Especially as it is not alone.
IS Clinical Active Serum also has willow bark
, another exfoliant and this time a beta hydroxy acid. Willow bark is often used for acne control and can be drying for the skin. Although willow bark does have anti-inflammatory properties, I feel a little wary of a daily serum with relatively few ingredients having a BHA and AHA. I would hazard a guess that arbutin
, a skin lightener, might be drying as well.
The aforementioned glycerin might counter this, but that’s a bit like taking uppers and downers at the same time. Meanwhile the couple of botanical antioxidants, bilberry and mushroom, look a little lost.
Glycolic acid needs to be pH-balanced
to be effective and this probably explains the presence of triethanolamine
, which tends primarily used as a pH adjuster. Unfortunately, it is also a human skin, immune system and respiratory toxicant.
My suspicion is that IS Clinical Active Serum will give short-term results due to the exfoliating agents, but may ultimately make the skin dry and dull. IS Clinical, though, goes out of its way to say it is not drying. I did once have a fairly good experience with IS Clinical’s Youth Eye Complex
, so I’d be happy to hear from anyone who has had the same with the Active Serum. For now, my credit card remains unused, especially as IS Clinical warns the "hyper-sensitive" against Active Serum.
Ingredients: Water/Aqua/Eau, Glycerin, Glyceryl Polyacrylate, Butylene Glycol, SD Alcohol 30, Saccharum Officinarum (Sugar Cane) Extract, Vaccinium Myrtillus (Bilberry) Extract, Triethanolamine, Arbutin, Salix Alba (Willow) Bark Extract, Polyporus Umbellatus (Mushroom) Extract, Menthol, Phenoxyethanol.