I recently bought the Galvanic Spa from Nu Skin and have been trying it out with success, particularly on the brow and eye areas. So I thought I should also test Nu Skin’s ageLOC Transformation skincare products. The cleanser/toner, serum and day and night creams ($410 for all four) are based a “proprietary new ingredient blend” that is called ageLOC that is promised to “slow down the signs of aging at their source”.

Nu Skin says it worked with scientists at Purdue University to discover an internal source for aging skin – that is to say, something within us, rather than environmental factors such as sun damage. The culprit is an enzyme that the research team decided to call ArNOX. The enzyme lives on the surface of our cells and works tirelessly to generate skin damaging free radicals. Once ArNOX had been discovered, the next step was to find out how to stop it.

ageLoc is a bundle of antioxidant botanicals such as schizandra chinensis, a fruit native to China and Japan that has long been used as a tonic for skin disorders. Recent studies have shown it to have antioxidant properties. It has also been found to have phytoestrogens and there are conflicting studies as to whether these cause or prevent cancer. There is also narcissus tazetta, which is basically daffodil bulb extract.

I started, logically, with the cleanser. Described as a “gentle cleanser and tone”, I found that the toning part is definitely dialed up and this has a tightening effect on pores. My skin is a little on the oily side and it took to this foaming cleanser well. The ingredients are mostly gentle surfactants and the signature narcissus and schizandra are backed up by salicin, which has aspirin-like, anti-inflammatory abilities and is used as a treatment for acne and to treat other skin irritations.

My favorite product is the night cream, which has the botanical formula of pea extract, narcissus tazetta extract, bambusa vulgaris stem extract and schizandra chinensis. Pea is an antioxidant and bamboo is a source of natural silica. In fact, bamboo is 70% silica and silicon is humans is important to the integrity of the skin, ligaments, tendons and bone. The night cream also has glucosamine HCI, an anti-inflammatory. Shea and sodium hyaluronate moisturize.

I have been using the serum and find it good, but not outstanding. Although it has the ageLOC botanicals, there are five silicones, which is about four too many and a lot of fillers – including the mile-long ammonium acryloyldmethyltaurate/beheneth-25 methacrylate crosspolymer. I am also curious about hexapeptide-2  as I can’t find any information about it at all (normally peptides, even if obscure, can be tracked down).

I have not tried the day cream since its SPF22 is provided by four chemical sunscreens and I have never met one that my skin hasn’t had a bad reaction to. Like the night cream, the day cream has two of my least favorite preservatives, phenoxyethanol and chlorphenesin.

Ingredients in cleanser

Water, glycerin, cocamidopropyl hydroxysultaine, betaine, sodium methyl cocoyl taurate, lauryl methyl gluceth-10 hydroxypropylimonium chloride, salicin, polysorbate 20, narcissus tazetta extract, disodium laureth sulfoccinate, schizandra chinensis, citric acid, fragrance, caprylyl glycol, 1-2 hexanediol, tropolone.

Ingredients in serum

Water, butylene glycol, cetyl dimethicone, cyclopentasiloxane, pentylene glycol, polymethylsilesquinone, glycerin, HDI/Trimethylol hexylactone crosspolymer, isoceteth-20, 1-methylhydantoin-2-imide dimethicone, ethylhelxylglycerin polysilicone-11, glucosamine HCI, polysorbate 80, lemon peel extract, sclerotum gum, cetyl alcohol, ammonium acryloyldmethyltaurate/beheneth-25 methacrylate crosspolymer, ammonium acryloyldmethyltaurate/VP copolymer, gyceryl stearate, pea extract, narcissus tazetta extract, bambusa vulgaris stem extract, sodium hyaluronate, hexapeptide-2, schizandra chinensis, PEG-75 stearate, isohesadecane, steareth-20, ammonium polyacryloyldimethicone, citric acid, disodium EDTA, fragrance, chlorphenesin, potassium sorbate, phenoxyethanol.

Ingredients in night cream

Water, pentylene glycol, caprylyl methicone, cyclopentasisloxane, shea butter, caprylic/capric tryglyceride, hydrogenated lecithin, ammonium acryloyldmethyltaurate/VP copolymer, hydroxyethylcellulose, glucosamine HCI, salycin, pea extract, narcissus tazetta extract, bambusa vulgaris stem extract, ceramide-3, schizandra chinensis, sodium hyaluronate, xanthan gum, tetrasodium EDTA, fragrance, chlorphenesin, phenoxyethanol

Ingredients in day cream

Actives: avobenzone (3%) homosalate (5%), ostisalate (4%), octocrylene (2%)

Water, glycerin, cetyl dimethicone, cyclopentasisloxane,acrylamide/sodium acryloyldmethyltaurate copolymer, glycleryl stearate, PEG-100 stearate, dimethicone, cyclohexasiloxane, dimethicone/vinyl dimethicone crosspolymer, cetyl alcohol, methyl gluceth-10, steareth-2, steareth-21, isohexadecane, nylon-12, hydrolized jojoba esters, salicin, pea extract, narcissus tazetta extract, bambusa vulgaris stem extract, shea butter, glucosamine HCI, polysorbate 80, schizandra chinensis, titanium dioxide, butylene glycol, citric acid, disodium EDTA, fragrance, chlorphenesin, phenoxyethanol, caprylyl glycol, 1,2 hexanediol, tropolene.