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I jumped at the chance to review a product from one of my favorite TIA brands, Your Best Face. I started my test of Your Best Face Defend ($130 in the shop) 4 weeks ago with no pre-conceived ideas or expectations. As a multi-tasking cream, I was instructed to use it on my face, neck, hands, and very importantly, to apply an appropriate sunscreen (preferably one with an SPF of 30 or above) over Defend as it does not contain a UV blocker. However, I knew that it was designed to fight the effects of UV exposure, both past and present.
I am in my very late 50s with what most people would call a “mixed-type” skin. Genetically, I was blessed with no acne, either as a teenager or during big hormonal transitions. I was raised and have moved back to an extremely humid and rainy climate (80% humidity is a VERY dry day for us). While humidity can help keep your skin "plumper," it can also increase oil production and grime accumulation from high pollution and brackish rain (I live near the Gulf of Mexico); my T-zone has gotten oilier with larger pores since my return home. During my previous 25+ years on the East Coast with four perfectly spaced seasons, I did experience some facial, neck, and hand dryness and flaking, despite my younger age — particularly in the cold winters with snow and ice. I traveled back to see family during the past 4 weeks and was able to test-drive Defend during some unseasonably cold weather.
I did not change my morning routine in the last month, starting with a cleanser (and toner) containing AHAs and glycolic acid using a Clarisonic handheld device. I then applied YBF’s Hydrate B and Advanced CE to my face, neck and hands and Sciote Vitamin C for eyes. Next, came my usual eye creams and then Sciote’s skin brightener (serum and cream). My physician’s prescribed Pomega5 Healing Cream (for medical use—not optional) was applied next, followed by Defend on my face, neck, and hands. As instructed, I applied a sunscreen over Defend. I used either Dr. Dennis Gross’ Sheer Mineral Sun Spray (SPF 50+) followed by a Jane Iredale Dream Tint (SPF 15) OR an Amarte BB cream (SPF 36). I did a “product” and “control” test with Defend on my hands as I wear a permanent brace on my right dominant hand and forearm (overuse injury as an anesthesiologist).
My experience with Defend was one of delightful surprise! As pre-planned when I was asked to review this product, I’d already weaned myself off of MitoQ and retinol products (except my beloved Amarte Eyeconic Eye). So, I was looking to Defend to do a lot of heavy lifting!
Defend came through for me. My pores, especially in my T-zone—are smaller and I cannot see any oil, especially on or around my nose. Between my continued use of multiple vitamin B and C products and Defend, the few facial discolorations I had are now gone. My neck feels softer than ever, and overall, my skin looks brighter and more rejuvenated, with most of my smaller wrinkles almost invisible and now no noticeable ones on my once lined lower neck. I am still working on some tenacious, but decreased wrinkles on my forehead and around the left side of my mouth. My tester hand is wonderfully soft with no noticeable enlarged pores and no discolorations; my right “control” hand isn’t nearly as soft, has larger pores with less skin color continuity. Defend worked incredibly well with all of the products I was already using. I experienced no pilling or difficulty in layering my skin care products. During my trip back to the colder, dryer East Coast, Defend worked flawlessly. I celebrated my birthday (during my third week using Defend) with a friend whom I do not see often. His immediate response said everything! “What have you been doing that you look younger than you did five years ago?”
Defend has no real scent, has good ‘slip’ and is easily applied over (and under) other products (including my regimen above). While it is a cream, it is extremely light in texture and great for layering. I DO need to add that I continued my pre-test use of the Truth Vitality Lux Renew (mostly red LED) every a.m. with its use in the p.m. approximately 3 times/week. The other four p.m. days, I divided between YBF’s Prep and Skin Trophy’s Microderm M.D. These measures insured that I had the smoothest skin possible, free of dead skin cells, ready to apply my skincare products.
Looking at the ingredients that did the “heavy lifting”, I found several gems. Preventhelia tripeptide-33 provides antioxidant & photoprotective effects. Additional antioxidant protection as well as skin brightening, increased suppleness, balance of oil protection (makes it good for almost all skin types) and synergy with other active ingredients is provided by olive squalane. Defend’s Juveleven hexapeptide-51 protects skin integrity and encourages rejuvenating repair and photo-protection. Colhibin works on many fronts to protect the skin to minimize photo-damage, as an anti-inflammatory, and inhibits enzymes that degrade the quality of the skin. Vitamin E succinate also works as an antioxidant and increases skin tone and smoothness, with the additional benefit of allowing the skin to resurface, irritation-free. Glycyrrhiza glabra (licorice) extract adds to this amazing list of antioxidants, and allows skin brightening and inflammation reduction. Additional antioxidant protection is provided by emoxypine succinate. An isolated, colorless ingredient from turmeric, tetrahydrodiferyloylmethane (turmeric root extract) protects and brightens the skin. And finally, one of Defend’s many signature ingredients, spin trap, is ALSO a highly advanced anti-oxidant that provides skin protection as well as damage & inflammation reduction. (Ingredient information from Darrell Owens, founder of YBF.)
Although this product does contain dimethicone/vinyl dimethicone crosspolymer, (with my chemistry undergrad minor), I believe that while some do not approve of these ingredients, there is no known harm noted in the literature, to date (unless you have an allergy to these products). What these ingredients DO PROVIDE is a stable crème consistency that prevents separation of ingredients and maintains the product with a stable pH.
I will definitely be re-purchasing Defend™ again and it will travel with me wherever I go.