Our Rating: 5 stars

Reviewed by Marta on August 19, 2013


Medik8 Red Alert Solution (15ml/$60 in the shop) isn’t your mother’s anti-redness, broken vein treatment. This extremely targeted formula has just one active ingredient that is cutting edge and remains quite rare. I have been trying out on my roscacea, thread vein-prone cheeks and and sides of the nose and find this to be the most effective solution so far. For an added bonus, that rare ingredient I was talking about also repairs wrinkles.

The active is teprenone. To appreciate what it does and how it works, we need a 101 on telomeres, recently discovered by scientists and regarded as one of the keys to aging. Telomeres allow cells to distinguish chromosome ends from broken DNA. If DNA is broken there are two options after the cell cycle is stopped: Repair or death.

Telomeres shorten every time a cell divides. When they become very short, they trigger cell crisis and cell death. As we know, cells can only replicate a limited number of times — a phenomena called the Hayflick Limit. In cosmetics, the objective is not to lengthen the teleomeres, but stabilize them so that at least they won’t shorten. Maintaining telomere length extends, we are told, the Hayflick Limit by one third.

And that is what teprenone is supposed to do — stabilize the telomeres. And, as such, may be a useful anti-aging active. It is also said to mend broken veins and calm rosacea. The only problem is that there’s no independent research to corroborate these claims. Actually, there’s another problem with teprenone. It seems to be shrouded in patents and this may be why I have seen very few cosmetics using it. Medik8 says it operates under an “exclusive” license from the IP owner. Sederma (the makers of Matrixyl and Matrixyl 3000) manufacture teprenone under the brand name Renovage, which can be found in products by Osmotics and Your Best Face.

My one-woman trial suggests that teprenone can help greatly with redness, rosacea and broken veins and I see Medik8 Red Alert having a regular place in my skincare routine. The formula is rounded out with vitamin E and sage extract. As always with Medik8, I wish for a little less silicone, but otherwise there’s nothing to dislike.