When Senté sent over some testers they nailed two of my quests in one: the latest in cutting edge anti-aging ingredients and a neck cream that looked potentially exciting. Senté claims to be the world’s first cosmetic brand to formulate with an active called heparan sulfate and it is the key ingredient in Senté Firming Neck Cream ($102).
Heparan sulfate is truly a fascinating ingredient and during my research I confirmed that Senté does seem to be one of the very few cosmetic companies to use it. What it is and how it works is a bit complex, so if you are interested take a look at my in-depth article on heparan sulfate. For now, just know that it is a glycosaminoglycan and vital to cellular division and cellular regulation. Actually, it’s vital to just about everything a cell does.
Senté claims that one of the benefits of heparan sulfate is that it is “profoundly moisturizing.” That was not my experience with Firming Neck Cream and I even found that I used a moisturizer over it on some days. Nonetheless, this does not deter me from recommending Senté’s neck cream. It has been smoothing my rather lizardy neck skin and it is most definitely feeling firmer and more elastic when submitted to the pinch test.
Heparan sulfate may be the star of Sentés show, but some of the other cast members are not too shabby. First up is methylsilanol mannuronate, a seaweed derivative that is an antioxidant, tissue regenerator and moisture binder. Because it firms and retains moisture, it is often used in those spa wrap thingies. As is siloxanetriol alginate. This is often used with caffeine — also in Senté’s formula — to combat cellulite and firm fatty tissue.
It seems to me to be inspired thinking to put these skin tightening and anti-cellulite ingredients in a “firming” neck cream. And there’s more. Xymenynic acid comes from sandal wood trees, is rich in fatty acids and is supposed to increase firmness and minimize the appearance of cellulite.
The botanical extract is known as the toothache plant. The numbing effects that give it the name, relax the muscles and have encouraged it to be marketed as a Botox alternative. Some other useful ingredients include lauryl lactate, an alpha hydroxyl acid, plenty of glycerin and squalane and vitamins E and C.
It should be pointed out that the formula is not without controversial ingredients including three harsh and toxic preservatives, a PEG and some silicone. I’d rather do without them, but they aren’t enough to put me off and, while I can already warmly recommend this neck cream, I am curious to go beyond my 30-day test and see how the "master molecule of aging," heparan sulfate, continues to perform.