Anyone familiar with the "fish doctor," Dr. Perricone, will recognize alpha lipoic acid, vitamin C ester, and DMAE as a sort of holy trinity (within a larger temple) of anti-aging ingredients. Though Perricone has embraced these elements as a significant part of his pet project, they are by no means proprietary to his skincare line. In fact, these three ingredients can be found in various combinations and concentrations across all sorts of cosmetics. Reviva Labs Alpha Lipoic Acid Vitamin C Ester & DMAE Night Cream is one such item ($23 in the TIA shop).

At around $13 on Amazon, this cream costs a fraction of the prices within Perricone's range. Moreover, while Perricone's products typically highlight only one or two key ingredients, Reviva's cream boasts a whopping three. To top it off, alpha lipoic acid, vitamin c ester, and DMAE appear higher on the ingredients list in Reviva than they do in the greater part of Perricone. For example, in Perricone's Concentrated Restorative Cream (Vitamin C Ester), which sells for $95, you'll find DMAE as the 20th and vitamin C ester (ascorbyl palmitate) as the 29th ingredients. These names appear in the 9th and 10th slots on Reviva's label.

Too good to be true? Well, let's investigate. The first plus that jumps out from Reviva's formula is soy phospholipid liposome, which enables deep penetration of active ingredients to the skin with a sustained release over time. In addition, phospholipids and liposomes help the skin retain moisture and restore the barrier functions of the skin. Thus, while you are sleeping, this vehicle helps Reviva's three active nutrients get to work under the skin's surface: the potent antioxidant alpha lipoic acid protects cells from environmental damage; DMAE tightens and firms facial skin; and vitamin C ester delivers additional antioxidant benefits to fight free radicals and prevent cellular aging.

Though this anti-aging complex is the star of Reviva's cream, the good stuff keeps on going. Glyceryl stearate, stearyl stearate, and cetyl alcohol all condition and soften the skin. A natural emollient, soybean oil absorbs well into the skin, delivering a high content of fatty acids and vitamins A and E. Whole wheat proteins are rich in cystine, an important sulfur-containing amino acid with moisturizing properties. There are also vitamins A, E, and D, as well as aloe vera gel and allantoin.


With all of its skin-nourishing, wholesome goodness, Reviva can be forgiven for a couple of stray parabens and imidazolidinyl urea. But it must be held accountable for a large amount of vegetable oil, which can wreak undue havoc on the face, clogging pores and prompting pimples. If you are prone to breakouts and tend to have sensitive skin, the vegetable oil in this cream could trigger a flare-up.


However, I know two 50+ women who swear by Reviva and have consigned their fancier creams to the back of the medicine cabinet. One of them, a victim of hypersensitive skin, told me that she can feel it sinking into her skin at night and knows that it has made a difference. Hard to believe at such a low price point, but Reviva may have beaten Perricone at his own game.


Ingredients:

Demineralized spring water, glyceryl stearate, soybean oil, stearyl stearate, vegetable oil, cetyl alcohol, soy phospholipid liposome gel, alpha lipoic acid, DMAE bitartrate, ascorbyl palmitate (vit C ester), whole wheat protein, tocopheryl acetate (vit E), retinyl palmitate (vit A), ergocalciferol (vit D), aloe vera gel, allanotin, citric acid, polysorbate 20, simethicone, xanthan gum, methylparaben, propylparaben, imidazolidinyl urea.


Note: the ingredients have been reformulated removing parabens and substituting sodium benzoate


Demineralized Spring Water, Glyceryl Stearate, Soybean Oil, Stearyl Stearate, Vegetable Oil, Cetyl Alcohol, Soy Phospholipid Liposome Gel, Alpha Lipoic Acid, DMAE Bitartrate, Ascorbyl Palmitate (Vitamin C Ester), Whole Wheat Protein, Tocopheryl Acetate (Vitamin E), Retinyl Palmitate (Vitamin A), Ergocalciferol (Vitamin D), Aloe Vera Gel, Allantoin, Citric Acid, Polysorbate 20, Simethicone, Xanthan Gum, Potassium Sorbate, Sodium Benzoate, Citric Acid.