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What I'm Testing Now

What I'm Testing Now
July 2, 2015 Reviewed by Marta 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.

  • July 3, 2015

    by Tricia

    Living in an upper mountain desert has brought on it's skincare challenges as I try to take good enough care to look like I'm from the humid south when I've lived my whole life in Montana. At 43 everyone is leathered and weathered here. To keep the Pistol Jane look at bay I sleep with a humidifier and my copper threaded pillowcase layered up with creams and serums even with a outdoors lifestyle. I'm always game to try new product so copper mist me! Thanks Marta! Keep the recommendations coming!

  • July 2, 2015

    by Ann

    I'd love to try the iS Clinical Copper Firming Mist with you. I've heard great things about copper peptides and my 67 year old oily skin could use the help. Is this really a mist? Interesting application method. So curious about how that works.

  • July 2, 2015

    by vera

    Hi I will turn 71 on Sunday. I have had a tremendous fall and am happy to be alive. I suffered tremendous bruising over my eye and face and face still shows bruising. Consequently my face is sagging and my lines have gotten deeper. I have always looked after my skin but this time a really took a hit. Help .I need a lot of help any suggestions.

  • July 2, 2015

    by Karen

    Copper products are phenomenal for those of us at 60 and beyond, and even lower end products with copper, such as drug store brands do provide some benefit to aging skin (have used a few, and they do help). Clinical Copper Firming Mist seems to be a way to gain the benefits of copper in a easy to apply form without a lot of hassle and time involvement. All of the products that Marta tests and the follow up information help so many of us to discover what we need to use and would surely love to test at any time or place. Please keep the reviews rolling. There is no end in sight to what so many of these reviews provide for aging solutions. Thanks for being the "willing" guinea pig on all of these products, Marta.

  • July 2, 2015

    by Santos

    Hello Marta,

    I recently discovered your website and I should say that I like the concept.
    I'm always looking for the new "miracle" ingredient for a younger skin and I have to say that growth factors get always my attention.

    I contacted very known surgeon William Silver from Atlanta and physician Leslie Baumann to understand a little bit more about growth factors. They both had the same opinion and told me that plants and adipose tissue growth factors are only 2% effective on wrinkles and fine lines long term, and that only Human Fibrolast Conditioned Media growth factors are 100% effective on wrinkles after 3 months and 100% effective on fine lines and firmness after 6 months.

    I was ready to buy Reluma, but I saw on the list that they mention Human Adipose Derived Stem Cell Conditioned Media and not Human Fibrolast Conditioned Media. My question is: Can you explain me the difference between Human Fibrolast Conditioned Media from SkinMedica and Human Adipose Derived Stem Cell Conditioned Media from Reluma? Because 280$ per month is VERY expensive for me and I would prefer to buy a cheaper version of SkinMedica TNS Essential Serum.

    Waiting for your answer, I thank you,

  • July 2, 2015

    by Linda

    A firming mist? Sounds divine, especially to this very "hot" mama from Florida! Lack of firmness is my #1 concern. I would be ever-grateful to be chosen as a trial person for this product!

  • July 2, 2015

    by Cindy

    I would love to try Clinical Copper Firming Mist. I will be 60 in September and have actively stayed in good shape - look younger than my age (mostly), except may sagging jowls. Please consider me for the test.

  • July 2, 2015

    by Rita

    I only recently discovered your web site and it is wonderful. I am retired and frequently try new products. At 73, it is important to continue receiving compliments about how young I look. Everyone guesses my age at 48-49. Lucky me! Please keep me in mind to test your products.

  • July 2, 2015

    by Virginia

    Loved to read about these new items. I am 65 and also very interested in all anti-aging and healthy skin products. I tend to have sensitive skin but have done well with copper products. Would love to know how you compare them to the AQ line as you go along with your trial. Please consider me for testing these new and very interesting products.

  • July 2, 2015

    by Andrea

    REALLY looking forward to your review on Dr. Gross's spf and sun spot broad spectrum

  • July 2, 2015

    by Cheryl

    I have great skin but it is due to the products I buy from TIA. I have never been a tester but am methodical about my buy and try regimefor the past 18 months. I have tried all the Five Best so have a good background for testing a new product. My mature but unlined skin responds well to copper so am very interested in trying the Firming Mist product or the eye cream.

  • July 2, 2015

    by Sandy

    I'd love to try the iS Clinical Copper Firming Mist. I'm all about copper -- I've seen it do amazing things to my skin and my hair. And I enjoy using facial misters regularly. I'm currently using a facial mister infused with gold. I'd love to see what a misting solution with copper would do.

  • July 2, 2015

    by Paula Vanderburg

    Hi. I would be happy to test any product you want. But please know I am freckled and just turned 60. I grew up in a beach community where sunbathing was nearly a daily activity. I am very skeptical of most skin products. To date, I have tried a variety of creams and find I only like vitamin C serum and the facial device I purchased through your website. Otherwise, I find it hard to believe a cream, serum, or mist will reverse skin damage or improve aging skin, including the removal of age spots. Plus much of the information provided about ingredients are lost on me. I need a simple, reliable skincare program that actually works. Not sure this exists. Thanks for listening.

  • July 2, 2015


    I would love to try ANY product containing copper peptides. I've done my own reading and researching copper peptide and believe in it's ability to help the skin across a variety of problems.

  • July 2, 2015

    by Cindy

    Marta ... MY CHEEKS ARE SAGGING! Help!

    I've recently lost a bit of weight (yay), and although I'm thrilled with how my clothes are fitting, my face is drooping, and it's freaking me out.

    iS Clinical Copper Firming Mist sounds promising, as does the ExPürtise. Eye Serum.

    I'm anxious for your review, and would love to be chosen to try one of these firming products.

    You've never steered us wrong, and I really appreciate having TIA as my go-to resource for everything skin related.

    (I'm 66, with healthy skin, and bound and determined to keep it youthful and glowing with the best and safest products I can find.)

  • July 2, 2015

    by Mary Ann

    I would love to test some almost 66. ...especially anti aging so keep me in mind. MARY ANN SIGLER Lynchburg VA

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