When I looked at my sample of Cell CPR ($170), sent to me by Skin Nutrition, my first thought was that it had been formulated by some manic insomniac scientist. At my count, Cell CPR has over 70 ingredients. Mind you, Skin Nutrition makes no claim to simplicity. After all, skin cells are complex things made up of phospholipids, proteins (enzymes, oligopeptides, amino acids), oligosaccharides, oxygen, vitamins and minerals. And so, therefore, is Cell CPR.

Skin Nutrition is nothing if not self-confident, saying "if our skin came with a manufacturer's maintenance elixir, Cell-CPR™ is what it would have come with!" Well, we shall see as I'll be trying out over the coming weeks. In the meantime, what is in this elixir? There's glycerin and the odd silicone, but very few of the 70-odd ingredients are fillers. In fact, this potion has so many actives it could take an aerobics class.

Amongst the most dominant is vitex agnus castus extract. This botanical is a new one for me and it turns out to be a well-researched treatment for PMS. It also seems to be an effective mosquito repellent. More recent studies suggest chasteberry, as it is commonly known, is an antioxidant. Next there is phytosphingosine with its bacteria-killing properties. Not only does this enable phytosphingosine to prevent acne from forming, but recent studies in France have also shown it to act as an anti-inflammatory at concentrations as low as 1%. One of the new 'it' ingredients these days is apple stem cells and, as well as finding it in Cell CPR, it is also in IMAGE Skincare's Ageless serum.

Just when I thought I was getting my head around peptides, Skin Nutrition seems to be introducing a host of new ones. Hexanoyl dipeptide-3 (which is lecithin and norleucine Acetate) activates skin cell regeneration by stimulating the natural desquamation process of the skin, leading to a gentle peeling. Rh-oligopeptide-1 (Egf) is a recombitant human epidermal growth factor. I have seen it in hair growth products and, apparently, it also repairs wrinkles and wounds. Another wound healer is copper tripeptide (also known as copper GHK).

Wild yam root caught my attention. It can cause skin irritation, depending on how it has been prepared and the concentrations used. Although it contains diosgenin, research has shown that it does not convert into the estrogen hormone in humans. On the other hand, it does seem to an anti-inflammatory. I was pleased to see arctostaphylos uva ursi leaf extract. This is bearberry and it contains arbutin, a skin whitener, and it can inhibit melanin precursors.

Finally, worth a call out is perfluorodecalin, whose ability to dissolve oxygen is thought to revitalize skin and reduce wrinkles, increasing the partial pressure of oxygen (pO2), according to researchSome studies have shown that formulas that include Perflurodecalin improve the skin’s barrier function resulting in increased moisturizing efficacy. However, there are no studies to prove that added oxygen can actually repair wrinkled skin or prevent lines from forming.

Update: A full review of Cell CPR, which is a recommended product and is now available in the TIA shop

Ingredients

Water (Aqua), Glycerin, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Dipropylene Glycol, Cyclopentasiloxane, Lecithin, Hydrogenated Lecithin, Vitex Agnus Castus Extract, Stearic Acid, Cetyl Alcohol, Phytosphingosine, Malus Domestica Fruit Cell Culture, Ascorbyl Tetraisopalmitate, Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate, Tocopherol, Tocopheryl Acetate, Steareth-21, Panthenol, Retinyl Palmitate, Cyclodextrin, Hexanoyl Dipeptide-3, Norleucine Acetate, Centella Asiatica Extract, Lycium Barbarum Fruit Extract, Rh-oligopeptide-1 (Egf), Rh-polypeptide-1 (Bfgf), Copper Tripeptide-1, Dimethicone/Vinyl Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Peg-12 Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Sodium Polyacrylate, Carbomer, Xanthan Gum, Isohexadecane, Polysorbate 60, Butylene Glycol, Arctostaphylos Uva Ursi Leaf Extract, Mitracarpus Scaber Extract, Superoxide Dismutase (Sod), Saccharomyces Ferment Lysate Filtrate, Sodium Hyaluronate, Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein, Adenosine Triphosphate (Atp), Yeast Polysaccharides, Acetyl Tyrosine, Proline, Oleyl Alcohol, Dioscorea Villosa (Wild Yam) Root Extract, Glycine Soja (Soybean) Sterols, Perfluorodecalin, Ceramide 3, Rhodochrosite Extract, Hematite Extract, Phaeodactylum Tricornutum Extract, Citrus Aurantium Bergamia (Bergamot) Fruit Oil, Sodium Pca, Trehalose, Allantoin, Peg-32, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Olea Europaea (Olive) Fruit Oil, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Steareth-2, Peg-30 Dipolyhydroxystearate, Alcohol,Disodium Edta, Sodium Hydroxide, Phenoxyethanol, Caprylyl Glycol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Hexylene Glycol .