Although I think that Skin Nutrition’s flagship Cell CPR is an excellent antiaging product, I’ll grant you that at $173 (available in the TIA store) it is expensive. So I have been trying out some of Skin Nutrition’s maintenance products – the cleanser, toner and moisturizer – to see if we can embrace more affordable products in the line. I am still testing the moisturizer, but at this stage I am able to give the cleanser and toner a big thumbs up.

Both the Cleansing Gel and the Toner Spritz are packed with skin enhancing botanicals. The mildly foaming cleanser is non drying but does a really good job of refining pores and the toner gives me a refreshing start to the day. After using them my skin looks incredibly clean and restored. With minimalist design for the packaging and a hint of a clean, fruity smell, both products are comfortably unisex (worth keeping in mind as Father’s Day approaches).

The first batch of ingredients in the cleansing gel are benign. For example, peg-150 pentaerythrityl tetrastearate  is a thickener that is a less irritating substitute for diethanolamide (DEA). Ditto for peg-6 caprylic/capric glyceride, which goes by the name of Softigen 767 and seems be non-irritating. Thereafter it starts to get interesting with cactus pear being a key ingredient in both the cleanser and toner.

The fruits of the cactus pear, some of you may be interested to note, are a hangover cure. More pertinent is the fact that recent studies have shown the extracts to have antioxidant properties and reduce DNA damage. Cactus pear fruit contains substantial amounts of vitamin C, biothiols, and taurine and betalain, a kind of pigment that tests have shown are especially responsible for the plant’s antioxidant potency.  People who ate 500 g fruit pulp daily for two weeks showed decreased lipid oxidation and improved antioxidant status (doing a better job than vitamin C alone, according to one study).

As well as an orchard of other antioxidant fruits, the cleanser has glucose oxidase, which contains three important amino acids, and lactoperoxidase, an antioxidant enzyme from milk.

Also in both, but more prominently featured in the toner is vitex agnus castus extract. Known more commonly as monks pepper (because folklore had it that it was an an aphrodisiac), it has some research backing it up as an effective treatment for PMS.  Whether it can help hormonal-related skin conditions isn’t clear.

All in all, Skin Nutrition’s cleanser and toner live up to the high standards set by Cell CPR. And although neither are priced for bargain bin, the quantities (3.4 fl oz for the cleanser and 4.2 fl oz for the toner) ensure they will get plenty of use.

Ingredients in cleanser

Water (Aqua), Sodium Peg-7 Olive Oil Carboxylate, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Lauryl Glucoside, Glycerin, Peg-150 Pentaerythrityl Tetrastearate, Peg-60 Almond Glycerides, Peg-6 Caprylic/Capric Glycerides, Glucose, Butylene Glycol, Glucose Oxidase, Citric Acid, Opuntia Ficus-indica (Cactus Pear) Extract, Vaccinium Angustifolium (Blueberry) Extract, Rubus Idaeus (Raspberry) Leaf Extract, Lycium Barbarum (Goji Berry) Fruit Extract, Euterpa Oleracea (Acai Berry) Fruit Extract, Fragaria Vesca (Strawberry) Fruit Extract, Vaccinium Macrocarpon (Cranberry) Fruit Extract, Lactoperoxidase, Vitex Agnus Castus Extract, Borago (Borage) Officinalis Extract, Phaeodactylum Tricornutum (Algae) Extract, Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate (Vitamin C), Tocopherol (Natural Vitamin E), Tocopheryl Acetate (Vitamin E), Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Peel, Glyceryl Caprylate, Lonicera Caprifolium (Honeysuckle) Flower Extract, Lonicera Japonica (Honeysuckle) Flower Extract, Sodium Levulinate SN-NPS™ * (Proprietary Natural Preservative System) *Patent Pending

Ingredients in toner

Water (Aqua), Peg-60 Almond Glycerides, Butylene Glycol, Glycerin, Glucose, Hydrogenated Lecithin, Opuntia Ficus-indica (Cactus Pear) Extract, Vaccinium Angustifolium (Blueberry) Fruit Extract, Rubus Idaeus (Raspberry) Leaf Extract, Lycium Barbarum (Goji Berry) Fruit Extract, Euterpa Oleracea (Acai Berry) Fruit Extract, Fragaria Vesca (Strawberry) Fruit Extract, Vaccinium Macrocarpon (Cranberry) Fruit Extract, Citric Acid, Glucose Oxidase, Lactoperoxidase, Vitex Agnus Castus (Monk's Pepper Berry) Extract, Sodium Levulinate, Borago Officinalis (Borage) Extract, Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate (Vitamin C), Phaeodactylum Tricornutum (Algae) Extract, Tocopherol (Natural Vitamin E), Tocopheryl Acetate (Vitamin E), Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Peel Oil, Glyceryl Caprylate, Lonicera Caprifolium (Honeysuckle) Flower Extract, Lonicera Japonica (Honeysuckle) Flower Extract SN-NPS™ * (Proprietary Natural Preservative System) *Patent Pending