SkinActives Vitamin A Cream 2.0 fl oz
Reviewed by Lori

When the jar of SkinActives Vitamin A Cream ($30) arrived, I was initially, let’s say – unimpressed. Having grown accustomed to the intriguing, high-tech packaging of most skincare products these days, this simple little jar with its nondescript label reminded me of something I would have found in my mother’s box of beauty secrets as a child. The 4 oz. plastic jar is dark green and the lid white. The label is white with black writing and a green logo. Let’s just say, I certainly did not begin this product trial with nearly as much enthusiasm as I have with products in the past.

“Ok,” I thought, “don’t judge a book by its cover – check out what’s inside.” Well, the inside certainly did not provide any “wow” factors; the cream is beige with a soft smell that ummm… reminded me of my mother!

Now, totally feeling like a skincare product snob, I needed to check out the company’s website and see just what I was in for. To my surprise, this simple nondescript jar of cream suddenly became quite complicated. According to the website, SkinActives scientists supply skincare actives to home users and small private label firms who wish to design products customized for their own needs. SkinActives’ experts review scientific and industry literature to find the best skincare actives and then provide its customers with the information they need in a way that is easy to understand.

I must say that browsing through the website was not easy for this gal to understand. While I clearly understand that the best product for someone else’s skin might not be the best for my own (shelves of unused bottles of someone else’s “miracle” lotion can attest to that) having never dabbled in do-it-yourself much of anything, I was tremendously thankful to be reviewing one of the brand’s ready-to-use products. Although I know there are many TIA members who would be brave enough to take control of their skincare with DIY products, I needed the support of a biochemist. But for you risk-takers – check out the SkinActives site!

Vitamin A is absorbed through the skin, increases the rate of cell turnover, and gives an increase in collagen, resulting in a more youthful appearance. Some “building blocks” have been added to enable the retinoid to do its job (sea kelp bioferment and everything it contains: niacinamide, natural active peptides, carnosine, sodium hyaluronate, coconut endosperm, pomegranate seed oil and other oils). Allantoin was added to help with skin renewal, and tetrahydrocurcuminoids, astaxanthin, lycopene and others to provide their antioxidant power.

If you’ve tried to use Retin-A and found it to be  irritating to your skin, Hannah Sivak, founder of SkinActives, cites research by Fu et al (2010) that shows that retinyl ester at 0.3% leads to significant improvements in wrinkles, comparable to those obtained by using the prescription medication retinoic acid (Retin-A). Two questionable ingredients appeared on this list: PEG Stearate and Triethanolamine.

I have never worn much makeup and love any product that helps maintain a natural glow. Of course, each passing year makes this a bigger challenge! My first concern when using anything new is whether or not my 56-year-old, highly sensitive skin will accept it without a fight. The directions simply state to apply at night on clean skin (This product increases the risk of sunburn, so care should be taken to protect treated skin from overexposure to ultraviolet light.) I discontinued the use of any other nighttime products.

Twilight Awakening is a silky cream that is absorbed quickly into your skin. You only need to use a small amount as it glides nicely over your face. I’m already thinking that if this product works, this 4 oz jar will last me quite some time – and at a mere $30, I’m suddenly feeling very hopeful!

The next morning I noticed a definite response from my skin – a soft, smooth, happy response! I prayed there would be no rebellion in the days to come – and there were none! My skin has tolerated this product really well and I am very pleased to share that my skin continues to feel wonderfully smooth, soft and subtle each morning. After eight weeks of use, my skin is clearly brighter, more even toned and some annoying spots even seem lighter! Dr. Sivak recommends using this along with her Classic Collagen Serum ($42) and, if your skin tends to be dry (mine certainly is in the winter), to add some Dream Cream ($30) on top. I would love to see what that trio can do together!

Lesson learned: maybe it was products that looked and smelled like this one that made my mom so beautiful.

Ingredients: Distilled Water, Jojoba (Simmondsia chinensis) Seed Oil, Lactobacillus/Kelp Ferment Filtrate, Niacinamide (Vitamin B3), Sorbitol, Butylene Glycol, Cetyl Alcohol, Glyceryl Stearate, PEG-100 Stearate, Stearyl Alcohol, Sesame (Sesamum Indicum) Seed Oil, Sweet Almond (Prunus amygdalus dulcis) Seed Oil, Avocado (Persea gratissima) Oil, Allantoin, Hydrolyzed Collagen, Retinyl Acetate (Vitamin A), Carnosine (L-), Hyaluronic Acid, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Fruit Juice (Endosperm), Tetrahydrocurcuminoids (Tetrahydrodiferuloylmethane, Tetrahydrodemethoxydiferuloylmethane, Tetrahydrobisdemethoxydiferuloylmethane), Pomegranate (Punica granatum) Seed Oil, Tocotrienols, Tocopherol (Alpha-D-Tocopherol, Vitamin E), Astaxanthin, Lycopene, Xanthophyll (Lutein), Alpha Lipoic Acid [R-(+)-], Beta Carotene, Palmitoyl Pentapeptide-4 (Pal-Lys-Ths-Ths-Lys-Ser-OH), Polysorbate 20, Citric Acid, Dimethicone, Carbomer, Triethanolamine, Diazolidinyl Urea, Phenoxyethanol, Methylparaben, Propylparaben