Reviewed by Eva

A while back I was suffering from hormonal acne due to the fact I had come off the pill, which left a couple of scars and red marks on my face I was quite happy to get rid of. TIA sent me a bottle of Osmosis Renew, which promises to “remodel, replenish and restore healthy skin.” It is formulated with 0.1% retinaldehyde (a form of vitamin A) and niacinamide to help “renew” the skin, so to speak. Having moderately hopeful expectations, I tested this product for 8 weeks. I had read about retinaldehyde, which the body can turn into retinol and is rather effective, but less irritating than retinol itself. The other ingredients appeared useful as well. There is the aforementioned niacinamide, which helps suppress melanin production and increase cell turnover, and is supposed to alleviate acne by reducing inflammation as well as fade subsequent red marks. Furthermore, the formula contains some peptides (tetrapeptide-3 and palmitoyl tripeptide-38), beta-glucan (stimulates collagen, helps speed wound healing and diminishes lines and wrinkles), lactic acid (gentle exfoliant), hyaluronic acid (moisturizer), algae extract and various essential oils. So far, so good.

Now, to the actual results… I know that in case of using forms of vitamin A, such as retinaldehyde, things may have to get worse before they get better (which is why I tested this product for a good 8 weeks), and worse they definitely got. Suddenly, I was breaking out again and at the same time, my skin was drying out and flaking off like never before, but I stuck to it, every single night. After a couple of weeks, I’d say 3 to 4 weeks, all dryness was gone, but I was still breaking out. For the last 3 months, I have not added any new skincare product to my routine and my skin had been clear for more than a month before I started using this serum, so I am fairly sure Osmosis Renew is the culprit. In fact, the last 2 weeks, I even stopped using any type of makeup, apart from a mica, zinc oxide and titanium dioxide mineral foundation, and still the breakouts persisted. I drank tons of herbal tea, took zinc supplements as well as burdock root and probiotics, but no banana; still, I kept breaking out. Sadly, I’m forced to conclude that whatever it is, Osmosis Renew makes me break out, which is clearly two steps back when it comes to reducing acne scars.

As for the anti-aging qualities, I am 24, so I don’t think I can fairly judge them since I don’t have many fine lines or any wrinkles yet. At least the serum did not irritate my sensitive skin, which turns bright red as soon as I am using something too aggressive, but that is about the only positive thing I can mention about this serum. However, everyone’s skin is different, so if you like the sound of the ingredients (they do draw you in) and you are not prone to breakouts, by all means, go ahead.

Ingredients: Aqua (Harmonized Water), Lecithin (Phosphatidylcholine), Niacinamide, Glycerin, Alcohol Denat., Cyclodextrin, Chlorella Vulgaris Officinalis Extract, Epilobium Angustifolium Flower/Leaf/Stem Extract, Caprooyl Tetrapeptide-3, Palmitoyl Tripeptide-38, Asiaticoside, Beta-Glucan (D), Fulvic Acid, Lactic Acid (L), Sodium Hyaluronate (L), L-Hydroxyproline, Thioctic (R-Lipoic) Acid, Retinal (.1% Retinaldehyde), Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Oil, Pogostemon Cablin (Patchouli) Oil, Rubus Chamaemorus (Cloud Berry) Seed Oil, Santalum Austrocaledonicum (Sandalwood) Wood Oil, Lonicera Caprifolium (Honeysuckle) Flower Extract, Lonicera Japonica (Honeysuckle) Flower Extract, Benzyl Alcohol, Hydroxypropyl Cyclodextrin, Dextran, Dimethyl Sulfone, Pentylene Glycol