You may have noticed that I’m a bit obsessed with antioxidants. I’ve previously written about PCA SKIN C-Strength with vitamin E, a favorite antioxidant in regular rotation in my skincare regimen, as is SkinCeuticals CE Ferulic. Why am I obsessed with antioxidants? Antioxidants are like fire extinguishers for free radicals that destroy DNA. I’m a firm believer that simply spreading them over the face and neck each morning will protect skin from premature aging as well as help correct existing damage. I know this for a fact because I’ve literally seen existing sun spots disappear (over time) as well as a dramatic reduction in the appearance of new sun spots - all after I started layering antioxidants under my sunscreen! It’s one of the most important ingredients to include in your anti-aging arsenal and I often find it to be the one product missing from most home-care regimens.

That said, vitamin C is often expensive due to the need to stabilize it; high concentrations of it are not ideal for many skin types because of its low pH. That’s where Replenix CF with green tea ($50), comes in! I first heard about the Replenix line from dermatologist Dr. Leslie Baumann, who recommended layering the serum with SkinCeuticals CE Ferulic under sunscreen. According to the AAD, adding high-quality antioxidants to sunscreen boosts the body’s natural defense against the formation of UVA-induced free radicals and serves as a second layer of protection against UV radiation.

Replenix CF, made by Topix Pharmaceuticals, is available as a sheer serum or in cream form. The major polyphenolic compound in green tea is Epigallocatechin 3-Gallate (EGCG), a potent free radical fighter and an anti-inflammatory. Antioxidants must be listed within the first five ingredients to demonstrate concentration and efficacy. Replenix CF has 90% polyphenol isolates of green tea, listed as the third ingredient - one of the highest concentrations available!

Marta has previously noted that topical application of green tea extract over a sustained period “exhibited significant photochemoprotective effects.” Studies have shown green tea is over 100 times more effective than vitamin C and 25 times more effective than vitamin E. Moreover, according to the Archives of Dermatology, green tea polyphenols (also found in PCA SKIN Phaze 24 Rejuvanating serum) have anti-carcinogenic properties. Don’t be deceived by the brown color of the serum, which is an indicator of the high concentration of polyphenols.

While there are claims that white/red tea are more potent, green tea has numerous studies backing its efficacy. In addition, green tea is not fermented prior to steaming, unlike white tea, which preserves the polyphenols. Green tea is not only one of the most powerful, well-researched antioxidants (along with vitamin C), it is also (drumroll…) suitable for ALL skin types!

The Replenix CF formulation also contains anti-inflammatory and soothing ingredients like chamomile and cucumber extract as well as bisabolol, making it safe for rosacea and sensitive skin types. Both the Replenix CF serum and cream are in a moisturizing hyaluronic acid base, yet they are lightweight and fast-absorbing, rendering the products ideal for oily skin types.

The “CF” stands for caffeine USP (anhydrous powder form), which fortifies the strength of the green tea with the added benefit of tightening skin to give the appearance of smaller pores. Caffeine also temporarily constricts blood vessels to make them less visible, thereby helping to alleviate redness. Replenix CF has the same amount of caffeine used in the Rutgers study, which determined that topical caffeine could reduce skin cancer development by suppressing the replication of precancerous cells produced by the protein ATR.

Lastly, Replenix CF’s excellent price point has been noted by TIA readers and beauty editors alike.

Replenix CF has it all - antioxidant, anti-aging, and anti-inflammatory benefits. You can even use the green tea serum with your home LED treatments!

Ingredients: Purified Water, Caffeine USP, 90% Polyphenol Isolate of Camellia sinensis Leaf, Sodium Hyaluronate, Bisabolol, Cucumis sativus (Cucumber) Extract, Chamomilla recutita (Chamomile) Extract, Triethanolamine, Polysorbate 20, Carbomer, Methylparaben, Diazolidinyl Urea, Tetrasodium EDTA