When we pulled together our Five Best glycolic creams, several of you asked us to take a look at Vivité Vibrant Therapy ($71). It’s taken a while, but I have finally purchased a bottle and have just started to test it. With more than just glycolic in its arsenal, this has been formulated to tackle age spots and hyperpigmentation. I am using it on a large (ahem) freckle on my right hand.

The most intriguing thing about the Vivité range is that it is made by the company that is behind two other controversial products, the Latisse eyelash growth product and, of course, Botox. Vivité is formulated around something it calls GLX Technology – “a hydrating glycolic” blended with antioxidants. Actually, Allergan is using a fairly common synthetic form of glycolic called ammonium glyconate. The only thing that is unusual is that it is the most dominant ingredient after water – although the percentage concentration is not revealed. But, this being Allergan, there must be a big gun somewhere. And there is.

Nestling in the ingredients list is methyl dihydroxybenzoate. This also goes by the name of methyl gentisate. This is a tyrosinase inhibitor (preventing future pigmentation), as is for that matter alpha arbutin – however, there is some research that indicates that methyl gentisate works better. Plus, unlike the skin bleaching agent hydroquinone, it is fairly safe – actually, the phrase used tends to be along the lines of “significantly less cytotoxic than hydroquinone”. I’d prefer it if was not at all cytotoxic, but then I’m fussy.

Never mind, there are several antioxidants to help me out such as mulberry and green tea. Glycyrrhiza glabra (licorice) is another one of them and is also a proven anti-inflammatory. There is less convincing research that it, too, can act as a skin whitener. A useful ingredient, given that there is retinol (that can irritate a little and along with the glycolic increases risks due to sun exposutre), is allantoin glycyrrhetinic acid. This combines the anti-inflammatory, anti-allergic and skin whitening properties of glycyrrhetinic acid (a component of licorice) with the mild keratolytic properties of allantoin, which promotes natural exfoliation of stratum corneum, makes skin smoother and helps retain moisture. It is also supposed to reduce the irritant effect caused by cosmetics, environmental agents and sun exposure, particularly to individuals with skin sensitivity.

There are most of the usual suspects in the preservative department including diazolidinyl urea/idopropynyl butylcarbonate and a couple of parabens. Notwithstanding these and the vivid yellow color of this potion, I am curious to see how Vivite Vibrance performs. I’ll report back in a few weeks.

Ingredients

Purified Water, Ammonium Glycolate And Glycolic Acid, Glycerin, Sucrose Cocoate, Sorbitan Stearate, Ceresin, Steareth-2, Isohexadecane, Glyceryl Stearate, PEG-100 Stearate, Magnesium Aluminum Silicate, Butylene Glycol, Methyl Dihydroxybenzoate, Glycyrrhiza Glabra (Licorice) Root Extract, Morus Nigra (Mulberry) Fruit Extract, Camellia Oleifera (Japanese Green Tea) Leaf Extract, Grape (Vitis Vinifera) Extract, Tocopherol, Bisabolol, Dimethicone, Retinol, Polysorbate 20, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Xanthan Gum, Diazolidinyl Urea, Feoniculum Vulgare (Fennel) Seed Extract, Lycopene, Soy Isoflavones, Squalane, Methylparaben, Disodium EDTA, BHT, Propylparaben, Olea Europaea (Olive) Leaf Extract, Allantoin Glycyrrhetinic Acid, Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate, Superoxide Dismutase, Iodopropynyl Butylcarbamate.