Exuviance Review: Vespera Bionic Serum and Evening Restorative Complex

For a few weeks now I've been using Exuviance products at night, and I have to say that I have been pretty happy with the results. My skin is soft and non-irritated, well hydrated and definitely looks great!

The big "claim to fame" in this line is the use of Poly Hydroxy Acids (PHAs), which according to my reading are very similar to alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) in their effects. They stimulate cell turnover and perhaps increase collagen production. The main difference though is in the chemical structure: they are a bit larger resulting in slower absorption into the skin. This in turn is thought to result in fewer side effects such as redness and irritation that many experience with AHAs. In fact, there are a few clinical studies that have compared these ingredients head to head, the results have shown that the PHAs result in similar and perhaps slightly better anti-aging effects but are better tolerated than AHAs overall. So, if you have had tolerance issues with AHAs, then PHAs may be the right choice for you!

Vespera Bionic Serum
After washing my face each night, the Bionic Serum was the first product that I applied. This clear gel has a faint citrus smell and easily spreads across my skin. Only a small amount is needed to cover my face and neck. While it doesn't sink in immediately, it does after a few minutes without residue. This product is packed full of hydroxy acids and anti-oxidants for the skin, a great way to add these ingredients to your daily regimen!

Aqua (Water),
Butylene Glycol- humectant and stabilizer
Glycerin- humectant
Gluconolactone- PHA
Lactobionic Acid- Antioxidant
Polysorbate 80- Surfactant and emulsifier
Triethanolamine- pH adjuster, can be a known skin irritant in those with very sensitive skin
Mandelic Acid- AHA
Parfum (Fragrance)
Arginine- An amino acid, can be used as an emulsifier
Tocopheryl (Vitamin E) Acetate- Antioxidant
Retinyl (Vitamin A) Palmitate- Antioxidant and retinoid
Tetrahexyldecyl (Vitamin C) Ascorbate- Antioxidant
Algae Extract- usually has antioxidants
Citric Acid- AHA
Hydroxyethylcellulose- Thickener and stabilizer
Disodium EDTA- Stabilizer
Propylene Glycol- A commonly used "base"
Phenoxyethanol- Bactericide and preservative
Sodium Dehydroacetate- Bactericide and preservative
Chlorphenesin- Antifungal and Antibacterial
Methylparaben- Preservative

Evening Restorative Complex
After applying the serum each night I applied this lotion for hydration. It is a thick cream that has a light teal color and a fragrance that is slightly floral but I frankly can't describe it! Only a small amount is needed, it spreads nicely and feels silky on the skin. This product also contains PHAs and anti-oxidants! You can see from below that the ingredient list is huge, so I only went through the first bit of ingredients, but you'll see further down that there are a lot of the same ingredients as in the serum, such as Vitamins A, C and E.

Overall, I thought this product was nicely hydrating without being too much moisture, it felt great on my skin and I would recommend it.

Ingredients (refer to the moisturizer post for more details):
Water (Aqua)
Cyclomethicone- Silicone, common base product
Gluconolactone- PHA
Propylene Glycol- A commonly used "base"
C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate- Emollient, thickening agent
Glycerin- Humectant
Triethanolamine- pH adjuster, can be a known skin irritant in those with very sensitive skin
Lactobionic Acid- PHA
C12-15 Alkyl Ethylhexanoate- Thickener
Cetearyl Alcohol- Emuslifier
Ceteareth-20- Thickener and penetration enhancer
Ethoxydiglycol, Hydrogentated Vegetable Oil, Octyidocecyl Myristate, PEG-100 Stearate, Butylene Glycol, Dimethicone, Tocopheryl (Vitamin E) Acetate, Ascorbyl (Vitamin C) Palmitate, Retinyl (Vitamin A ) Palmitate, Glycyrrhiza Alabra (Licorice Extract), Anthemis Noblis (Chamomile) Florwer Extract, Algae Extract, Calendula Officinalis Flower Extract, Echinacea Purpurea (Coneflower) Extract, Beta-Glucan, Hydrogenated Lecithin, Caprylic/Capric/Stearic Triglyceride, Glycosphingolipids, Phospholipids, Gyceryl Stearate, Isostearyl Neopentanoate, Phosphatidylcholine, Xanthan Gum, Sodium Hyaluronate,Titanium Dioxide, Steareth-2, Cetearyl Alcohol, Hydroxyethyl-cellulose, Palmitic Acid, C13-14 Isoparaffin, Stearic Acid, Laureth-7, PEG-60 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Myristic Acid, Disodium EDTA, Aluminum Hydroxide, Polyacrylamide, Phenoxyethanol, Chlorphensesin, Methylparaben, Parfum (Fragrance), CI 42090 (Blue 1)

All of the Exuviance products are very easy to find for purchase on-line (I found them on Neostrata's website, Amazon.com and numerous other sites), but you can also visit them at ULTA

Exuviance by Neostrata


  1. I was pleased to see this review and your thoughts on these products! I bought the Bionic serum several weeks ago and have found it just okay. The PHAs work well for me b/c I dry out more with AHA's... but I'm not seeing the overall brightening and smoothing effects that I expected from this product. I think I must respond better to serums with a higher concentration of Vit C. But anyway, the review and list of ingredients with explainations was very helpful. Thanks!

  2. I really enjoyed reading your blog. I use Exuviance skin care and the evening restorative complex is a favourite of mine.


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