I’m in my early 40’s and, thanks to having very fair, sensitive and relatively oily skin, don’t have much in the way of sun damage or wrinkles. However, over the past couple of years, I’ve been noticing deeper nasolabial folds and marionette lines. I’ve been seriously considering injectable fillers, but am hesitant to take that plunge. Stemulation Hi-Impact Serum ($185 in the shop) drew me in with its combination of peptides (sH-Oligopeptide-1 and hexapeptide-33) to boost collagen and niacinamide for its anti-inflammatory effects. Could this little bottle keep me from the needle?
First things first—the serum is a lightweight, silky liquid that absorbs quickly and leaves the skin feeling soft and hydrated. It does not feel tight when it dries, which was a positive for me, but may not be for everyone. I did not need to add a moisturizer when using the serum; instead, I continued to use my regular cleanser (Mad Hippie Cream Cleanser) and swapped the Stemulation for my usual moisturizer (Michael Todd Organics’ kNU Anti-Aging Face Lift.) That’s the extent of my regular regimen as I don’t wear makeup. My skin felt very soft and smooth after applying the product. Over the course of a day, I needed to blot away oil several times. This isn’t unusual; I’ve had oily skin and adult-onset acne for years, but I definitely noticed an increase in oil production with this product. I used the product daily for five weeks, and during this time I had several moderate breakouts. I kept up with the regimen because I wanted to give my skin a chance to get used to the product before passing judgement.
Regarding softening lines—I think Stemulation Hi-Impact Serum did work here. It had more of an effect around my eyes than around my nose and mouth, but I could definitely see some improvement. Was it a miracle treatment? Not really. But I’m also not currently tempted to go get chemicals pumped into my face, which can only be a positive, and directly attributable to the serum.
The return of my acne is another story. I’ve struggled with adult-onset acne since my early 20’s, and only found a regimen that keeps it at bay in the last year. Unfortunately, I got too used to what the combination of a mild cleanser and kNU does for me, and just assumed that I could make changes with impunity. This was not the case. This serum is fantastic for people with drier skin, but if you are prone to breakouts or have very oily skin, it may not be the best choice. However, I did really like the positive effects of Stemulation Hi-Impact Serum, so I’ve been using it as a twice-weekly nighttime treatment with good results. This has the added benefit of making my skin really soft before bed, which feels luxurious.