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Medik8 Firewall

Medik8 Firewall Review

Reviewed by Marta June 11, 2009 27 Comments
TRU Rating


Potent copper peptide and Matrixyl 3000 serum that really works


Silicones and preservative
An excellent skin regenerating serum

I am just going to cut straight to the car chase. Medik8 Firewall ($145 in the shop) works. It really works. It really, really works.

OK. I suppose you'd like a little more detail so we'll flashback a month. I must admit I approached Medik8 Firewall with some trepidation. The name is silly, there is a gimmicky 'dual chamber' system and, by the company's own admission half the ingredients are there as a smoke screen to deter competitors from hacking their secret, patent-pending sauce. What with all of that and the fact they jumped on the publicity bandwagon of Boot's and its scientist-endorsed Protect & Perfect, it all seemed, if you had asked me, to be too gimmicky to be true. A month on and I've (mostly) changed my tune.

Daily application on the right side of my face for the past 36 days has produced appreciably noticeable results. The biggest change is that my skin is much, much firmer. In a side-by-side pinch test, it puts the left side of my face to flabby shame. The beginnings of a nasolabiol groove are diminished. Crow's feet are smoothed out. Overall skin tone isn't bad, but I'd have to say that this isn't this potion's forte. At least for me, Firewall is a little drying and I've found that I need to follow with a moisturizer.

The dual chamber thingy has turned out to be less fiddly than I had feared. The premise is that the ingredients are most active when they first encounter one another, so they are kept in separate chambers until used. The idea is to pump a drop from each cylinder onto the back of the hand, mix together then apply.

So what are the actives that pack Firewall's punch? There are several forms of copper in Firewall. Copper is the key mineral in lysyl oxidase, an enzyme which weaves together collagen and elastin, and there is a mountain of research on how topical applications of copper heal wounds. However, I am a little skeptical about colloidal copper, which seems to have snake oil abilities to cure everything from arthritis to graying hair.

An especially interesting ingredient is N-acetyl cysteine. This is produced in the human body and plays a role in the sulfation cycle, acting as a sulfur donor in phase II detoxification. Cysteine also helps synthesize glutathione, one of the body’s most important natural antioxidants and detoxifiers. Also on the of-high-interest list is Liprochroman-6, listed here as dimethylmethoxy chromanol. I wager that this is going to be an antioxidant to watch and that it will start showing up more and more in high-end, anti-aging potions. Lipochroman-6 is an able scavenger of two free radicals: RNS and ROS. According to Lipotec, who makes lipochronan-6, it does a significantly better job of fending off oxidative stress than resveratrol, the antioxidant component of grapes.

Although I love the visible effects of Medik8 Firewall, I am less enamored of the ones that might be going on that I can't see. Silicones are toxic and there are fair few of them here. I don't like the preservative sodium benzoate, which in a British study on yeast cells appeared to attack cells’ mitochondria, damaging their ability to prevent oxygen leaks that create free radicals. Methylisothiazolinone is another controversial preservative that is a skin irritant, as ismethylchloroisothiazoline.

So Mr (or Mrs) Medik8, if you were to toss the silicones and revise your preservative strategy you'd have one very loyal fan.

Buy Me
  • May 15, 2015

    by Marta

    Hi Toni, the FDA rules on ingredients labeling are as follows:
    Ingredients above 1% need to be listed in order of concentration
    Ingredients 1% or below can be listed in any order
    Exception: Color ingredients are listed at the end
    As you will note, this review was published in 2009. The formula has since been revised and a new review is here:
    Having said that, I do know that the Matrixyl 3000 peptides in Medik8 Firewall are less than the Sederma recommendation of 4%. For what it's worth I have been told by a couple of chemists (including one at L'Oreal) that Matrixyl works at 1%. It is a very expensive raw ingredient and so it is in Sederma's interests to test at a higher rate.

  • May 14, 2015

    by Toni

    I looked at the ingredient list and the Matrixyl peptides are on the very bottom? The FDA requires cosmetic companies to list the first 50 percent of the ingredients in order of percentage by volume. And allows cosmetic companies to arrange the last 50 percent in any order they choose. Sederma of France the makers of Matrixyl claim that in order to achieve proper results as tested cosmetic companies should use 3 percent by volume in their formulations. Based off the ingredient list I am seeing I cant see how this product could have 3 percent by volume.

  • December 19, 2014

    by Delia Sadler

    I, too would love to try this new Medika 8
    firewall. I bought the previous one and was somewhat impressed. I'd like to see if the new formulation will work.

  • December 18, 2014

    by Allayna

    Please see my response just before this. Everyone needs to learn that copper is excellent for the skin. Of course it needs to be the correct formulation. That is why I would love to try your product(s) please. At least I will tell you the truth. Thank you for kindly letting me try this product after gone underground a loooong ways (scary) in Sweden.

  • December 18, 2014

    by Allayna

    When we went to Sweden as a family to meet our family left in Sweden, we found out about a very interesting story from the oldest copper mine in the world. Over 100 years ago a young man died in the copper mine unfortunately and his body was preserved in the oker (sp?) that was full of copper. When they found him around 70 years later they realized his body was beautiful and well preserved! Then when they took his body to City Hall to show in a clear glass case, an approximately 90+ year old wrinkled up lady just able to walk by was shocked!!! That lady looked and said "That was my financee. We were supposed to be married!!!" Well you could imagine how she felt when he looked better dead and well preserved than she did all wrinkled (I also think with a cain.) Lesson learned: try to use the right kind of copper to protect your skin! That is why I would like to try this product to see if it's good. Please and thank you.

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