I have had more stops and starts with Cellular Skin Rx SuperMax Multi-Peptide Serum ($64 for 0.5oz) than a learner driver trying to master a car with a dodgy clutch. I even had problems getting started with it. As I wrote in an earlier post, "I’ve been looking at the ingredients list on and off for a few days, trying to decide whether this potion is complex and sophisticated or just jumping on the peptide bandwagon." Eventually though, it was time to stop squinting at the small print and take SuperMax out for a spin.

The earliest false starts were due to the fact this serum caused me to breakout. To give it a fair chance, I stopped using it for a few days, let my skin calm down and then started up again. By the third go, I also noticed that my skin was looking dry, really dry - even a tad crepey. I took a couple of days off, then I made sure to combine SuperMax with a moisturizer. To no avail. My skin was actually looking older (and spotty). I am afraid, that in the end, I concluded that SuperMax is not for me.

I had two reasons for persevering with SuperMax. The first was that Kate reviewed it a while ago and really liked it. She used it with Cellular Skin Rx's C+ Firming Serum and announced that they made her skin "positively glow". Who would have guessed that I would end up with precisely the opposite result. The second reason is that the ingredients list majors on the presence of not one, but three peptides that modulate facial muscle movement. AND there isn't just the antioxidant Matrixyl, but its even more potent sibling, Matrixyl 3000, as well.

I don’t think I’ve seen three neuropeptides in one serum before. The thing about neuropeptides is that it is difficult to believe that they are really doing much. Even with three of them at once, I had no sensation of restricted movement. Come to think of it, I'm pretty sure I've never seen both the Matrixyls together either. Since all of these peptides do slightly different things - for instance, SNAP-8 is supposed to be more effective at reducing wrinkle depth, while acetyl hexapeptide reduces surface muscle tension - this could be a very nuanced combination. Or, on the other hand, overkill.

All in all, this potentially powerful cocktail just didn't suit me. And I can't help thinking that maybe it's possible to have too much of a good thing.

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Seaweed extract, purified water, hyaluronic acid, Argireline, pentapeptide-3, tripeptide, acetyl glutomyl heptapeptide-1, palmitoyl oligopeptide, palmitoyl tetrapeptide-3, phenoxyethanol, ethylhexylglycerin.