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Osmosis Relieve Review

is a Solution for:
Fine Lines, Redness, Rosacea, Wrinkles
osmosis relieve
February 3, 2014 Reviewed by Marta 2 Comments
TRU Rating
An effective serum with vitamin A and botanicals


A surprisingly gentle retinol


Too strong for very sensitive skin

Osmosis Relieve ($50) is a gentle vitamin A serum. If that sounds like an oxymoron, then note that the form of vitamin A is retinaldehyde at a 0.025% concentration. I can vouch that Osmosis Relieve is gentle as retinols go, but it is not for the very faint-hearted – with my very sensitive skin, I found that I could not use it every day.

Retinaldehyde (retinal) can be converted by the body to either retinoic acid or retinol (which, in turn, can be converted to retinyl palmitate). Because of this metabolization, treating the skin with retinaldehyde is theoretically effective, while reducing the usual side effects of irritation and dryness. Studies show that retinaldehyde works to increase epidermal thickness and elasticity. However this is at a 0.05% – for which you would need to turn to Osmosis Correct

I can only use Osmosis Correct on my neck – it is too tingly for my face. And even Osmosis Relieve had to be, as I mentioned above, cut down to two or three times a week as my skin would become quite red (especially where I am prone to rosacea). If you are not, however, the dermatological equivalent of the Princess and the Pea, I would recommend Osmosis Relieve as a retinol serum that is likely to be well tolerated.

Most of the ingredients in Relieve are stellar. Worthy of a call out is phosphatidylcholine, which is the third ingredient on the list and has fatty acids that assist with repairing cell membranes. There is some evidence that phosphatidylcholine can treat acne. Next up is asiaticoside, a derivative of the plant gotu kola and a proven booster of collagen 1. Many will recognize niacinamide as an effective anti-aging ingredient that gets a thumbs up from Dr Oz.

Among the handful of botanicals, such as antioxidant sea buckthorn and chrysanthemum, there’s a more perplexing ingredient, fulvic acid. Formed by the microbial degradation of dead plant matter (think leaves turning into soil), it is peddled in supplements and sold as a cell energizer. I have yet to find any solid evidence of its health or skin care benefits.

  • February 3, 2014

    by Marta

    The copper peptides issue is frustrating to say the least. It was out, then back in and is now out again. We aren't sure why, but at this stage I think its probably out for good.

  • February 3, 2014

    by Valerie

    Great Review, Marta. I've used Osmosis on and off over the years, primarily based on TIA reviews. I did notice that they appear to have removed the copper peptides from all their products, which I kind of thought was a signature ingredients of their formulas. I was curious if you knew the "why" behind the change. I love using Correct with my LED and thought the copper added an extra boost. Still even w/out, I enjoy many of their products.

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