M.A.D Skincare Eye Defense Shielding Serum 0.5 oz

My latest obsession is M.A.D Skincare Eye Defense Shielding Serum ($60). I am a proponent of daily antioxidant use and this lightweight serum is specially designed to protect, hydrate and nourish the delicate area around the eyes. The serum is yet another innovative formulation infused with M.A.D’s signature cutting-edge ingredients.

Prodew-400 is a synthetic humectant modeled after the skin’s own natural moisturizing factors (NMF) and contains eight types of essential amino acids:

-alanine - may combine with the epidermal cells to fill up creases, and thus provide the surface of your skin with a smoother appearance

-arginine - helps build collagen production

-betaine - temporarily decreases wrinkle depth, giving skin a smoother appearance

-glycine - skin firming natural emollient and moisturizer

-lysine - necessary for collagen formation

-serine - aids in DNA production

-sorbitol - prevents moisture loss by pulling water from the air via osmosis

-threonine - assists in creating glycine and serine, necessary for collagen production

The above are combined with sodium PCA (binds moisture to cells, holding several times its weight in water) and l-proline (strengthens and renews aging skin cells) to form a synergistic blend mimicking skin’s NMF. Prodew-400 effectively moisturizes, promotes collagen growth and skin elasticity along with giving skin an overall appearance of smoothness.

Eye Defense also contains shield bact peptide, a new synthetic peptide largely known for its antimicrobial properties with a low propensity for resistance development. It’s also called a cationic host defense hexapeptide (CHDP) to describe the breadth of its properties. According to a 2011 Cellular & Molecular Life Sciences study, these peptides exhibit a broad spectrum of biological activities with non-specific defense properties. CHDPs contain endotoxin-neutralizing compounds and can modulate the innate immune response. Especially intriguing are its amphiphilic properties. I had to Google that term and discovered that it relates to a molecule having a polar, water-soluble group attached to a non-polar, water-insoluble hydrocarbon chain. If you read that definition a few times, you’ll realize how awesome it is to be amphiphilic.

Marta has mentioned the other new kid on the block, Syn-coll (aka palmitoyl tripeptide-3). The peptide has a unique sequence that mimics the human body’s own mechanism to produce collagen via TGF-ß. Syn-coll claims to increase collagen production by 119% and supposedly removes wrinkles. These are indeed eyebrow-raising claims, but Marta noted a visible difference in skin’s appearance after continuous use of a product containing Syn-coll. Her neck was much smoother and, well, younger looking. The peptide is included in a featured product that made the coveted Five Best with peptides for 2013 list.

But there’s even more to rave about in the serum’s formulation, which contains sodium hyaluronate along with several botanicals. I’ve previously mentioned studies regarding the topical application of Celldetox, a purified form of hydrolyzed candida saitoana extract that encourages cell autophagy (the skin’s natural detoxification process) and reduces free-radical damage. It’s worth reiterating that tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate, a mild, stable (it’s oil-soluble) version of vitamin C is used because of its ability to increase collagen levels, reduce melanin production and brighten skin.

Now, I initially didn’t test this product due to the amount of silicones it contains; however, Michael Contorno, president of M.A.D, clarified the inclusion and purpose of the dimethicones. Pharmaceutical-grade silicones are actually the delivery system in this formulation. They give the serum the feel of a primer but rapidly evaporate, leaving only the active ingredients behind to work their magic. I can attest to this as the serum does indeed have the silky consistency of a primer upon application. However, it quickly melts into skin and the slippery feel of the serum disappears within minutes of application, leaving skin soft and smooth. This genius approach enables easy concealer application without suffocating skin.

I apply this serum a couple of minutes after applying Your Best Face Correct ($150 in the shop) and it helps lock in the moisture. This should be used sparingly as an excessive amount will be too thick to apply smoothly. I was actually surprised by the visible difference in my under-eye area (firming and reduced puffiness) with regular use of this serum. M.A.D Skincare is about science; thus, purists may balk at some of the ingredients but I think the results greatly outweigh any risks. This product is definitely worth trying due to the well thought out formula packed with cutting-edge ingredients.

Ingredients: Cyclopentasiloxane, Polymethylsilsequioxane, Polysilicone-11, Bis-PEG/ PPG-14/14 Dimethicone, Water, Dimethicone, Propanediol, Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate, PEG-10 Dimethicone, Glycerin, Butylene Glycol, PEG/PPG-18/18 Dimethicone, Sodium Hyaluronate, Lactobacillus/ Arundinaria gigantea Ferment Extract, Palmitoyl Tripeptide-3, Palmitoyl Hexapeptide-26, Porphyra umbilicalis Extract, Hydrolyzed Candida saitoana Extract, Tropaeolum majus Flower/ Leaf/Stem Extract, Camellia sinensis Extract, Vaccinium macrocarpon (Cranberry) Fruit Extract, Pyrus malus (Apple) Fruit Extract, Phellodendron amurense Bark Extract, Eclipta prostrata Extract, Melia azadirachta Leaf Extract, Moringa pterygosperma Oil, Dipotassium Glycyrrhizate, Sodium PCA, Betaine, Sorbitol, Glycine, Alanine, Proline, Serine, Threonine, Arginine, Lysine, Glutamic Acid, Sodium Lactate, Lecithin, Disodium EDTA , Phenoxyethanol, Caprylyl Glycol