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What I'm Testing Now

What I'm Testing Now

Reviewed by Marta July 2, 2015 21 Comments


I usually post my latest reviews every week on Mondays. As I am not quite through all my testing just yet, I thought I’d share a sneak preview of what’s on the testing shelf of my medicine cabinet and what you will be seeing in my reviews in the weeks to come. It is an exciting and interesting line-up with some new, as well as familiar names.

First up is my new sunscreen by Dr. Dennis Gross. I was fortunate to recently meet Carrie Gross, the business brains (and beauty) behind her husband’s skin care line. We discussed a very exciting program, which will involve me—and several lucky NYC-based members—getting an in-office peel at the Dr. Dennis Gross clinic, followed by a skin care regimen from the product line. The regimen would include, for example, the Triple C Peptide Firming Oil ($62) and the Ferulic Acid + Retinol Brightening Solution ($88).

In the meantime, I have embarked on the sunscreen, which as you might expect, is like no other. Dr. Dennis Gross Dark Spot Sun Defense Broad Spectrum SPF50 ($42) is a physical (not chemical) sunscreen that is formulated to not only protect the skin from UV light, but also to reduce dark spots and even out skin tone. I am very excited by the idea of a sunscreen that will also help fade my areas of hyperpigmentation. The ingredients include three forms of vitamin C, vitamin E, a peptide, black rice extract and melatonin. The latter is a very interesting ingredient that helps to counteract the harmful effects of UV, as well as acts as a buffer to protect the skin from internal and environment stress. More details to come in my upcoming review.

As you know, I’ve been wowed by Your Best Face’s new mist, UpLift ($22 in the shop), a fatigue-fighting spritz of antioxidants. Right now, I’m trying another mist, this time by iS Clinical and I am super excited that it has copper PCA. This is natural salt of copper and helps regulate the skin’s sebum. Plus, there is kola seed and the botanical extract pullinia cuppana seed, which are both sources of caffeine.

iS Clinical is a line that I am looking forward to getting to know. As well as the Copper Firming Mist ($38), I am also testing an intriguing vitamin C serum with an “advanced” olive leaf extract. It is supposed to be good for rosacea, acne, minor skin trauma, as well as reducing fine lines. I can check off a few of those symptoms so I am putting iS Clinical Pro-Heal Serum Advanced+ ($82) through its paces.

I recently heard from an old friend of Truth In Aging, Justin Dotterweich, who used to be at the skin care company, Hydropeptide. He is starting his own line called ExPürtise. I am really enjoying the Eye Serum ($65). It has a really impressive line-up of natural ingredients, from passion flower to gotu kola, and heavy hitters such as Matrixyl 3000, hyaluronic acid, Matrixyl Synthe '6 and vitamin K. I am about two weeks in to my test and have a strong inkling that the results are going to be good.

Summer rescue may be mine in the form of Organic Beauty Now Green+Glam Waves Sea Spray ($26.99). This styling aid gives lift, controls frizz and keeps soft waves in place. I just started using it, but it met the challenge of days that were windy and humid. There’s no sulfates or parabens, corn starch gives the hold and there’s some nice botanicals. Green+Glam reached out to us recently and described themselves as “small and growing’ with natural hair and body products. I’m also testing a body butter with lavender and marjoram.

Finally, I’m just getting started with my trial of SimySkin Gel Cleanser ($45). It has some great ingredients, but my favorite is moringa. This extraordinary ingredient is so efficient at getting rid of pollutants that it is used in India to clean up wells. Its pods and flowers have more vitamin C than oranges and more vitamin A than carrots. It is also a powerful antioxidant with copious amounts of a cytokinin called zeatin.

I’ll be back over the coming weeks with full reviews.

  • July 16, 2015

    by J. Douglas

    Please see the following link for a brief summary (with linked references) of some of the ethical and safety concerns associated with utilising human foreskin fibroblast-derived ingredients in the cosmetic and medical product industries:

    Also, SkinMedica, the manufacturer of cosmetics containing foreskin fibroblast-derived ingredients mentioned in this article, is facing a proposed class-action lawsuit alleging that it’s Tissue Nutrient Solution (TNS) product line is misbranded and unlawfully marketed, and could increase the risk of cancer and pose other health risks:

  • July 5, 2015

    by Marta

    Hi Santos, if you go to the search tool at the top right of every web page on this site, you can type in Skinmedica, AQ, Neocutis and anything else you are interested in and read reviews and see what the experience of the community has been.

  • July 4, 2015

    by Santos

    Hi again Marta,

    Thank you very much for your time and helpful answer, you are very nice.

    Well I contacted a well known physician and later a plastic surgeon, and both of them had the same opinion and told me that plants and adipose tissue growth factors have no real impact on skin, results are of 2% of improvement or even 0%. I'm not an expert so I can not confirm this, but because of their reputation I want to beleive them...
    However apparently only Human Fibroblast Conditioned Media from healthy baby foreskins have dramatic results on wrinkles after 3 months and fine lines firmness after 6 months. Thats why I wanted to know if Human Adipose Derived Stem Cell Conditioned Media in Reluma was exacly the same as Human Fibrolast Conditioned Media in SkinMedica.

    My sister uses Skinmedica TNS for 8-9 months and I almost didnt recognized her. But there's no way that I spend 280$ every 30 days, and anyway I'm not financially stable at the moment.

    I visited my dermatologist on friday, and I told her about Reluma and she didnt know what it was. Later she called me telling me not to buy Reluma because apparently they are under investigation because of the quality of their growth factors and risks with continuous use... My mom lives near Irvine and she stoped by the company Invitrx (apparently manufacturer of Reluma) and there was a notice on the company's door confirming this.

    Is AQ a trustful brand? Did you use it for a long time? does it reduce your wrinkles and firm skin dramaticly?

    I also heard about Neocutis PSP as an alternative to Skinmedica TNS, it is so much more cheap and apparently firms and erases wrinkles the same way as Skinmedica. Did you try this brand? Did it erase your wrinkles?

    Again I thank you for your time Marta,

  • July 4, 2015

    by Marta

    Hi Santos, human fibroblast conditioned media is a generic term and does not imply where the stem cells are derived from. In general what happens is that a progenitor cell is taken (sometimes from baby foreskins) and then replicated in lab. Adipose simply means that the progenitor cell was taken from adipose fat (around the knee in the case of ReLuma). Adipose stem cells are used for wound healing and have a lot of research to back up their results. If you do an online search on adipose stem cells you will see what I mean. I can't imagine why anyone would tell you that adipose gets results of only 2%. Nor do I believe anything would be, as you say, "100% effective". What does that mean exactly?

    You might find this article on stem cells and human conditioned media helpful:

    You might also want to look at AQ's serum - it has a very good human conditioned media complex and is one of our bestsellers. It is the best stem cell serum I have found.

    Finally, you mention spending $280 a month. These serums are very concentrated and only a small amount is needed and a bottle should last 2-3 months.

  • July 3, 2015


    I have just ordered the Best New Face's Uplift. While I am very excited to try it, the review of the Copper Firming Mist sounds more appropriate for people like me who have a need for products that can really help firm their skin. What do you think given I am working on firming, toning and sculpting my face and jaw line? I currently use a serum and moisturizer to help with firming and toning.

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