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I am a woman in my fifties with normal to combination skin, and live in an area which, depending on the season, can be either terribly humid or impossibly dry. I have the usual problems that come with aging skin: fine lines, wrinkles, a bit of discoloration in pigmentation, the beginnings of sagging eyelids, and some neck crepiness. However, my skin is pretty good for my age. I am a long-term user of tretinoin (retinol), and was interested in Michael Todd's claim that a substance called Arophira worked in a similar manner.
Michael Todd True Organics Antioxidant Carrot Multivitamin Serum ($37) was packaged in a pretty, sealed bottle with a pump. However, upon unscrewing the lid to remove the seal, the pump sprang off the container. I was able to put everything back together and continue using the serum with intermittent bouts of readjusting the pump, but either they need to rework their packaging, or I received a bad container.
The True Organics Antioxidant Carrot Multivitamin serum initially smells slightly herbal, but that dissipates quickly. The pump distributes a lot of product, so one good pump should be sufficient for your entire face, neck, and upper décolletage. I gently massaged the product in, and it disappeared into my skin without any greasy residue. It was even moisturizing enough that I could wear it alone under my sunscreen and makeup. The container of serum I received was a lotion, so I’m unable to comment on the current gel-like consistency of the new formula. However, it soaked into my skin well, and looked fine under makeup.
According to Michael Todd True Organics, the benefits of Antioxidant Carrot Multivitamin Serum include a 30% reduction in sebum and tightened pores in four weeks, a noticeable reduction in acne scars, reduced breakouts, wrinkles, and discoloration, and improved skin texture.
I applied this serum once a day as my skin is quite accustomed to retinol. However, if yours is not, I recommend starting out with using it two to three times a week in order to prevent irritation. I discontinued my favorite retinol when using this since it contains Arophira, an ingredient that supposedly works in a similar fashion. However, since Arophira doesn’t cause photosensitivity, I was able to wear it during the day!
My pores are now smaller, but not by much. I don't usually have too many problems with acne, just a few pimples on my chin at times. However, my skin was perfectly clear during the duration of this trial. It also appeared to exfoliate my skin, leaving me looking bright and fresh, and my fine lines almost completely disappeared.
Overall, I can say that after nearly one month's use, my face looks the same as it did when I was using my prescription retinol. Since I lost no ground from discontinuing my retinol in exchange for this serum, it must help in overturning old cells and producing new ones in a similar fashion to retinol. However, I could find very little on its most active ingredient, Arophira. Product specifications indicate there are no known toxins associated with it, and information I did find revealed that its main ingredient comes from a Mediterranean sea fennel (crithmum maritimum), a plant known to be a rich source of vitamin C, essential oils, trace elements and minerals, as well as antibacterial properties..
Since I had no breakouts, no irritation, and my fine lines and wrinkles have improved (especially around my lips!), I believe that this serum does what it claims. I'm excited that I can wear this during the day as it did not cause photosensitivity. The Michael Todd Antioxidant Carrot Multivitamin Serum is also much cheaper than prescription retinols, with the same results. Other than the bad lid, I would definitely recommend this to people who can't or don't want to use a retinol.
Ingredients in Michael Todd True Organics Antioxidant Carrot Multivitamin: Aloe Barbadensis (Organic Aloe) Leaf Juice, Isopentyldiol, Glycerine, Niacinamide (Vitamin B3), Salicylic Acid, Sodium Hydroxide, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Hydrogenated Vegetable Oil, Crithmum Maritimum (Sea Fennel) Extract (Arophira), Xylitylglucoside, Anhydroxylitol, Xylitol, Salix Nigra (Willow) Bark extract, Mugwort (Artemesia Vulgaris) Extract, Algae Extract, Saccharum Officinarum (Sugar Cane) Extract, Citrus Medica Limonium (Lemon) Fruit Extract, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Fruit Extract, Pyrus Malus (Apple) Fruit Extract, Camellia Sinensis (Green Tea) Extract, Oryza Sativa (Rice) Bran Extract, Rosmarinus Officinalus (Rosemary) Leaf Extract, Helianthus Annus (Sunflower) Extract, Daucus Carota Sativa (Carrot) Root Aromatic Extract, Chondrus Crispus (Carrageenan), Tocopherol (Vitamin E), Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate, Sorbitol, Xanthum Gum, Maleluca Alternifolia (Tea Tree) Leaf Oil, Lavendula Angustifolia (Lavender) Oil, Sodium Benzoate, Hydroxypropyl Starch Phosphate, Benzyl Alcohol, Dehydroacetic Acid, Citric Acid