Zelens serum (without fullerenes C60)
Zelens Skin Science Radical Defense Serum has replaced fullerenes C60 with a cocktail of 14 anti-oxidants. I have recently started to use it and it is a really nice product - it is too soon to say if it is effective, but the early signs are good. Before reviewing it, however, it is worth a quick detour to find out why the C60 has been ditched.
When I looked into Zelens a couple of weeks ago following a friend's recommendation, I was under the impression that the range still contained C60. Zelens was certainly churning up controversy in online forums because some people maintained that, whilst fullerenes may be an extraordinarily effective zapper of free radicals, they might have destroyed the cells of fish and damaged the live of humans. Consumer Reports, the British watchdog, quoted the Nobel Prize winning scientist who discovered C60 as saying (rather sanctimoniously, in my view) that he wouldn't use fullerenes for something so trivial as a face cream.
It is worth noting that that there are many counter claims and, again in my view, measured and reasonable voices saying that C60 in the quantity you would put in a cream is perfectly safe. Still, the controversy must have got too much for Zelens.
So what is in the reformulated Zelens range and does it measure up to the potency of C60?
Zelens Radical Defence Serum still has some powerful ingredients including, for example, retinol and dimethylmethoxy chromanol (a potent anti-oxidant), synthetic vitamin E (also used in Elizabeth Arden's Prevage). Zelens also contains Arguireline (acetyl hexapeptide-8), which I consider to be a waste of time since all it does is superficially, temporarily and not very effectively inhibit muscle movement. AH8 (or AH3 or Arguireline) is the key ingredient in StriVectin, Freeze 24:7, Avetone and Athena 7 Minute Lift.
Zelens claims that the "synergistic" combination of 14 anti-oxidants is its new secret sauce. These include arnica, squalane, centella asiatica (a plant in the carrot family), echinacea, green tea and ginseng. Whether they all add up to something as potent as fullerenes C60 remains to be seen.
As for my first impressions: there is a fresh (and shortlived) fragrance, silky texture and the skin feels soft and comfortable. I'll report back in a few weeks on whether I think it is having any discernible impact.