Reviewed by Dee


Poor Ponce de Leon, having to travel all that way looking for the Fountain of Youth!And lucky us, who can conduct our search in comfort, with only an internet connection and the fearless guidance of Truth in Aging.


My latest exploration involves the discovery of a new way of using the legendary aloe vera.(Okay, I didn’t discover it, some people in a lab did.)The idea behind Sustainable Youth is based on growing evidence that connects inflammation in the body to a host of ills, including skin aging.Research by University of Mississippi scientists indicated that extracts from inside the rind of the aloe plant contain more immune-stimulating power than usual-suspects aloe, and this extract is featured in Sustainable Youth’s centerpiece ingredient complex, trade-named Alasta.(For more on the science, see Marta’s March 12 post, and Nancy’s April 21 review.)


TIA sent me a sample kit containing the Immune Performance Elasticity Cream and a month’s worth of Elastifirm Supplements.(Some other testers received the cream and Immune Performance Revitalizing Serum; Marta used all three products and reported on the results in her April 19 review.)I took the twice-daily capsules for four weeks, and am still using the cream.


I wanted to test it out for an extra week or so before submitting my review to make sure that an extra-bad acne flare-up I experienced in week four wasn’t related to the product.(My skin has indeed calmed down since, so I feel little doubt that the breakout was caused by my frolicsome hormones -- Clearly they don’t want me to miss out on any of the fun of adolescence just because I’m in perimenopause.)


I’ve very much liked the experience of the cream.It comes in a pump bottle (better for potency and cleanliness), and it feels very light and fresh, with a reassuring botanical scent; and my skin feels hydrated yet matte.The label says that the cream can be used on the skin around the eyes (although it cautions you to avoid getting it in the eyes), and much of the time I’ve actually pressed it in to double-duty as my eye cream. It gives the area a nice feeling of long-lasting moisture without greasiness.


As for the appearance of my skin in general:I’d say that the surface texture is looking pretty good these days, though I don’t see a big difference from the results of my last product tryout (Skin2Skin Anti-Wrinkle Night Recovery).And I can’t say that I see a real change in my skin’s elasticity – the incipient slackening of contours seems about the same as it did before.But as they always say (and as it says on the cream’s label), results may vary; and in the double-blind independent-lab studies that the company refers to on its website, the significant improvements in skin elasticity were documented after subjects had taken the supplements for 12 weeks, or had used the topical products for 8 weeks.


And it seems likely that using the Serum and Cream together could give you better and swifter results. For one thing, the star ingredient Alasta is found more than halfway down the ingredients list of the cream, while the serum features it near the top of a much-smaller list, so obviously the concentration is greater in the serum.)


I’m glad that Sustainable Youth’s topicals don’t contain some of the worrisome-but-hard-to-avoid ingredients that are found in so many products even in the “natural” or “organic” end of the market – There’s not even any phenoxyethanol in the cream or serum.They do both contain lavender oil, but I’m hoping that it’s used at less than the .25% concentration that’s been shown in at least one study to be cytotoxic.(I learned this from Marta’s 5/4/2008 post.)My other concern is that the cream also contains clove flower oil (the serum has clove leaf oil), and according to some online abstracts I’ve read (also based on the research of the scientists at Marta's alma mater!), clove oil can be cytotoxic at concentrations as low as 0.03%.


As I write this, I do realize that Pope’s admonition, “A little learning is a dangerous thing,” was perhaps never more true than in the age of the Internet, and that I may be living proof....


Overall, I liked the day-to-day experience of using Sustainable Youth, and while I don’t feel at this point that I’ve hit upon the Fountain of Youth, I agree with Marta that the products might turn out to be a good investment in the future look and health of not-giving-in skin.