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Reviewed and rejected: Skinceuticals Phloretin CF

September 7, 2012 Reviewed by Marta 11 Comments

Skinceuticals CE Ferulic is one of those cult products that has devotees eulogizing to an extent that makes Claire's ode to Jurlique look restrained. So I was excited to be given a small vial of Skinceutical's latest potion Phloretin CF. Five years in the making, Phloretin CF is supposed to take CE Ferulic to new antioxidant heights.

The difference between the two is that Phloretin CF has no vitamin E (CE Ferulic had 1%) and has reduced the dose of vitamin C from 15% to 10%. It has kept the 0.5% drop of ferulic acid and added in phloretin at 2%. Ferulic acid is a powerful, plant-derived antioxidant that seeks and destroys free radicals and improves the performance of vitamins C and E. I have been experimenting with success with a DIY concoction of ferulic acid and vitamin C cream.

But what is phloretin? It is a flavenoid that is found exclusively in apples. According to the Journal of Biological Chemistry, phloretin is an inhibitor of sugar transport amongst red blood cells. And a study in Chemical Research in Toxicology found that it is extremely efficient at trapping cytotoxic compounds such as methylglyoxal. Other studies have (tentatively) concluded that it can prevent the onset of cardiovascular diseases. A Dutch research team has pronounced it to be an inhibitor of lipid peroxidation.

All of which goes to show that the adage of an apple a day has a pretty strong scientific foundation. Nonetheless, my experience with Skinceuticals Phloretin CF has been disappointing. For the last six weeks I have dabbed a little every day on the creases between my eyes. I thought I'd given it a pretty easy job because these wrinkles are comparitively new and tiny. Six weeks later, not one whit of difference. If anything, I found it extremely drying and dulling.

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  • July 17, 2017

    by Connie

    My dermatologist recommended Phloretin CF and Triple Lipid Restore after laser treatments. I used too much of both at first and had a lot of trouble with red, flaky patches and whelps. I went back to the dermatologist who prescribed it and she gave me steroid cream but did not tell me to stop the product. I decided on my own to switch to the C E Ferulic and had no problems. With 3/4 of a bottle of very expensive serum, I decided to try it on my neck and chest, only to wake up to a terrible case of hives! Clearly I cannot tolerate the phloretin.

  • June 23, 2017

    by Jen

    Alcohol in this product i am assuming is for product absorption. I know some formulas need alcohol to help other ingredients within the product combine. For products to be beneficial to the skin especially antioxidants topically, they need to absorb (alcohol) deep into the skin. I found the Phloretin cf stimulating and with continued use, my skin adjusted to it and it working great. Some people think instant results out of products, but time everyone, time... the world is too fast and impatient. Slow down

  • March 2, 2016

    by Kim

    Have you thought of using Camu Camu. It is said to have the highest concentration of Vitamin C than any other substance in the world.
    My original formula using L Ascorbic Acid and Hyaluronic acid had my skin looking like I was in my early 40's, I'm nearly 57 (from Perth, Australia and never used sunblock). At last I looked as young if not younger than most of my friends even though I am much older than them.
    I'm going to experiment with using my Camu formula on one side of my face and my L Ascorbic Acid formula on the other side and see what happens.

  • October 21, 2015

    by Laurie

    This product has been of benefit to a very specific skin problem for me. Got a good peel from talented esthetician. It did it's job. Unfortunately, my husband didn't understand what was "left" when he came back from a trip- told me I had "something under my eye" and proceeded to rip a small piece of peeling skin...Oh. My.

    Left me with a problem. In my 50s, it was slow to heal. Nothing worked, and I truly though I was headed for a cosmetic surgeon- very noticeable. One drop of Phloretin CF, twice a day, directly on the area, though, caused it to scab/slough/scab until it was gone. After that, the product has "lifted" the dark pigmentation.

    Other than that? Eh, it really hasn't done much for the rest of my skin.

  • May 29, 2014

    by Mary

    Be careful with this product. It took me a while to figure out that every time I put some of this on my face, it became itchy and swollen. I do not have any other allergies. Will not use!

  • July 9, 2012

    by M Mellado

    If you truly want a transformation, the Obagi Nu-Derm System provides just that, with results in 6 weeks or less, it totally transforms your skin down to the cellular level, something SkinCeuticals does NOT do.

  • March 21, 2011

    by Eva

    This product has an enormous amount of denaturated alcohol, which can cause free-radical damage (and this product is supposed to prevent free-radical damage), also, blocks the antioxidant benefits of phloretin, so, it's like nothing, you're not going to have anything from phloretin with this serum, and obviously, this is the reason of why you have found this stuff drying and dulling.
    I wouldn't recommend it to anyone, until SkinCeuticals do sommething with this. It's so disappointing, without the alcohol, would be an amazing serum...

  • August 5, 2010

    by NYC Aesthetician

    Dear Marta,
    Don't expect miracles! The truth is, no skin care product is efficacious enough to "correct" wrinkles. Wrinkles are caused by repeated muscular contractions, especially in the area you are referring to (crow's feet). Only botox or disport will soften those, my dear.

    Phloretin CF is the best antioxidant I've ever used. I've noticed changes in skin tone and texture after several weeks of use. My skin went from dull to radiant. A year later, my skin has never looked better.

  • January 18, 2010

    by Medical Spa Frisco Texas

    SkinCeuticals Vitamin C Serums are not formulated to correct wrinkles. The serums are a part of their skincare line (under the "Prevent" step) to fight the effects of damaging free radicals caused by sun/ultra-violet exposure. The SkinCeuticals website has much information ob this, as it relates to the use of the serums - as they are meant to be used with a cleanser, and a moisturizer or hydration product (such as the B5 Hydrating Gel). We use the product in our services, and sell it to our patients who get GREAT results from the serum (depending on their skin type, and which serum they use) in conjunction with a great cleanser, moisturizer and skin care program.

  • December 22, 2009

    by april

    It takes longer than 6 weeks to see the kind of results you're looking for, from any product. What I love about phloretin cf is how smooth my skin has become! It's all about safe cell rejuvenation, which is something you'll be thankful for over time, but won't notice in the short run.

  • September 4, 2009

    by Nilay

    This product is recommended for preventing and correction of sun damage mainly. It comes with wrinkle correcting side effects which is a plus. You might looking to see something that this product won't provide for your wrinkle correction.

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