Hi-Impact Serum ($185 in the shop) is a departure for its creators at Stemulation. The formula is, compared to, say, the Stemulation Facial Serum, pared back and focused. Notably, there is a different kind of growth factor than in the rest of the range. Hi-Impact lives up to its name, and it is certainly the best product that Stemulation has made so far.
It took me a few days before I started to appreciate Hi-Impact. The first thing I noticed was that, less than a week into my test, my skin was feeling velvety. After two more weeks, it was clear that this was not merely superficial. Areas of aged, rough skin were being rendered smoother and wonderfully hydrated. Overall, my skin was looking clearer.
Indeed, these seem to be the three objectives for Hi-Impact — to hydrate, brighten and repair. All the ingredients appear to have been carefully chosen with those objectives in mind.
Stemulation’s signature ingredient has been a stem cell extract from human conditioned media (HMSC). This is in Stemulation Facial Serum, for example. In Hi-Impact, this has been replaced by a synthetic peptide, sH-oligopeptide-1, that has an identical chemical structure to an epidermal growth factor. The thing about HMSCs is that they are suspended in a “culture” and not pure and isolated in the way that sH-oligopeptide-1 is.
Stemulation’s co-founder Laurie Nicoll gave me a helpful analogy: HMSC is like a multivitamin with broad spectrum benefits, whereas the oligopeptide is targeted. It is certainly a growth factor that is gaining popularity with formulators. It is also in, for example, the relatively new Blue Copper Prime product from Osmotics.
Hi-Impact’s well-chosen ingredient list kicks off (after water) with pseudoalteromonas exopolysaccharides. This is an interesting ingredient that comes from a strain of bacteria found in Antarctica. Research suggests that it is really good at retaining water and it may also help boost collagen. Water is also attracted and retained by sodium hyaluronate and hyaluronic acid.
Brightening ingredients include Madonna lily leaf extract, which according to at least one study may prevent hyperpigmentation by inhibiting tyrosinase activity. Sodium lactate, vitamin C and niacinamide are also helpful for evening out skin tone. And there is hexapeptide-33, which is said (there isn’t much documented research on this one) to brighten skin as well as repair wrinkles.
Apart from the usual suspects in the preservative department, there’s nothing to dislike. Hi-Impact is highly recommended for those looking for wrinkle control, complexion brightening, skin smoothing and hydration. Finally, the half ounce bottle goes a long way and I would expect to get at least 10 to 12 weeks from it.