Posted by Copley
If you were to buy an ounce of something for $270, you'd probably expect it to contain a nugget of pure gold or at least trace amounts of diamonds. But Orlane's Thermo-Active Firming Serum
relies on a common gemstone to base claims of priceless anti-aging benefits.
This costly serum was inspired by the aesthetic technique of fractional thermal remodeling, which targets wrinkles, skin sagging, and loss of firmness. The procedure uses infared heat to warm hundreds of points in the dermis, triggering an immediate contraction of collagen and stimulating its production. Orlane Laboratories has tried to reproduce these effects with tourmaline
, a semi-precious stone that emits infared light. Orlane claims that when tourmaline comes into contact with skin, heat from its infared light raises the skin's temperature.
So, can adding micro-particles of tourmaline to a face serum really stimulate a warming effect that synthesizes new collagen? Orlane seems to think so. Using a thermograph, Orlane measured tourmaline's effects on collagen contraction through in vitro tests on collagen cultures. These tests demonstrated an average 35.5% collagen lattice contraction for up to 95 hours after application. There is certainly a good deal (although not independent) of science behind it.
Tourmaline may be the centerpiece of Thermo-Active Firming Serum, but its other actives deserve some credit as well. There is a tetrapeptide that has shown exceptional results for restoring skin's density by reactivating the production of small leucine-rich proteoglycans (SLRPs), which are responsible for binding collagen fibers together. For aged skin that has lost its ability to counteract the effects of gravity, rye extract has been added to replenish its natural buoyancy. In vitro tests with these two ingredients showed a 115% increase in the synthesis of SLRPs and an 80% increase in the synthesis of retractile elements in old fibroblasts.
The serum's natural oat seed extract coats skin with a smoothing film, minimizing wrinkles and other imperfections, while green tea
extract purifies and detoxifies the skin to eliminate unsightly deposits. Lastly, a B21 anti-aging complex, common to all of Orlane's products, is charged with the task of stimulating cellular energy and regenerating the skin.
Although I haven't felt any hint of a warming sensation over the two weeks that I have been trying Orlane's serum, I wouldn't expect to pick up on a change in cellular temperature spread out over a span of several days. Unlike most gel-based serums, Orlane's texture is velvety and practically melts into your skin. It's not moisturizing enough to replace your regular day or night cream, but it makes for a perfect base layer. I am aware of a perceptible smoothing effect every time I spread on the opalescent serum, though firming results remain to be seen.
What is it: tourmaline
Updated 2008: Five best anti-aging serums