I am always interested in new stem cell human growth factor serums and was intrigued to try out Regenica Replenishing Crème ($175) with human conditioned media. Especially since Regenica was developed by one of the original team members behind SkinMedica TNS (Tissue Nutrient System), which arguably pioneered the use of human growth factors in skincare.
I was given a bottle of Regenica Replenishing Crème, and I used it as my night cream for six weeks. In the mornings, my skin looked refreshed and felt softer. I believe that there was a positive impact on wrinkles but no visible firming. Overall, I would recommend Regenica, with a couple of reservations.
Human Fibroblast Serum Free Conditioned Media is the most dominant active here. These growth factors (or cytokines) are naturally occurring proteins that stimulate cells to go forth and multiply and differentiate themselves from other cells. Growth factors bind to specific receptors on the cell surfaces. Regenica says that it gets its human fibroblasts from "neonatal cell banks".
Regenica has added in some other actives. There is laminaria, a brown seaweed that retains water in its plant tissues. In cosmetics, it is used to form a moisturizer barrier on the skin. One thing I noticed about Regenica Replenishing Crème is that it did leave my skin looking polished. This is due to a couple of exfoliants. Galactoarabinan is a non-irritating exfoliator derived from larch and there is retinyl palmitate, a more controversial ingredient that the FDA has warned can become toxic when exposed to sunlight (in this instance it is OK since I was using Overnight Repair solely as a night cream). Plus there’s salicylic acid, a beta hydroxyl acid.
I’m not that big on exfoliation and would not use a cream or serum with three potent exfoliators every night. I did use Regenica nightly during my trial period, but typically this is the type of product that I would confine to using a couple of times a week.
The only other standout (though the sodium hyaluronate and vitamin C are perfectly respectable) is ceramide 3. Ceramides are natural components of human skin. There are different ceramide types (conveniently numbered – i.e. ceramide 3) and they play an important role by creating a barrier which reduces infection and helps to retain the skin’s moisture.
In a formula that is mostly benign, the only bad guys include drying alcohol, synthetic emollients and the potential neurotoxin, phenoxyethanol.