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Tuesday, September 14, 2010
Yup, I'm a Strivectin Insider
You may not have heard yet (though, I do think that the news is getting a bit hard to avoid), but Strivectin has completely revamped their product formulas and is embarking upon a major campaign to make sure you know about it. There are clever ads, placements of product in stores, and there was even an article in the NY Times about the re-release.
(I have to say that I did think the article was a bit unfair as they only mention one of the active ingredients, there is no real mention of the anti-oxidants or peptides included in the formula, as well they didn't seem to understand that Strivectin's research on the new product was done with the product in it's final form, not just parts of the products.)
Regardless, Strivectin has decided that part of the release would be a panel of bloggers trying out the product and sharing with their readers. Yup, I was picked to be one of the bloggers. What does that mean? They asked me to try out the products, write about them a few times, and I get to hold a giveaway. There was no mention that I should have a particular opinion about the products, no pressure to like the products, but they did want me to understand what is in the products, so they held a very informative webinar to teach everyone about the technology.
All of this makes me kinda love Strivectin. I admit that I've long been curious about the brand, but didn't want to spend the money on the products myself to try them out. I jump all over opportunities to give products away to my readers. But best of all, they openly told us to be honest about our opinions with our readers!
Read on to see what exactly is in this stuff.
So, what are the active ingredients in these products?
First, take a quick peek at my anti-aging check list. It's been a while since I've broken this out (I've slowed down a lot on my skin care testing since my pregnancy means I can't use retinoids or hydroxy acids in skin care products), but as a reminder these are the ingredient categories that I try to hit in my anti-aging routine. Anti-oxidants, Hydroxy Acids and Peptides I think of as anti-aging ingredients even though really only retinoids have been found to reverse the actual wrinkles. The other ingredients are definitely helpful and shouldn't be ignored. I try to use a concentrated retinoid product as my skin can tolerate, and sunscreen is the best way to prevent further aging. (I shoot for SPF 30 if possible, though usually I end up at SPF 15. Get it in your morning moisturizer or a separate sunscreen product, that SPF listed on your makeup is not enough unless you are using about half the bottle.) You can click on each ingredient category in the check list to learn more about how things work.
The check list for the Strivectin-SD Intensive Concentrate (this is the main product) looks like this:
The product has 4x the amount of peptides included in the old Strivectin formula, not to mention a ton of anti-oxidants (the ingredient list is insane. Peptide after peptide is listed, they went with the thought that they'd include as many as possible just in case they targeted slightly differently. I love that!).
The "main" active ingredient is one that is unique to Strivectin. They've taken Niacin (an ingredient that acts as a humectant when in it's Niacinamide form), and slightly tweaked the chemical structure to make it more fat-soluble. What does this do? Makes it penetrate deeper into your skin, where it can work on the deeper cell layers. Niacin will help these cells to improve DNA repair, improve their energy usage, activate Sirtuins (these are proteins that help protect the cells and makes them "act" like younger cells. I'm not sure how they do this, but I do know of a few other products that work on Sirtuins as well.)
Just a quick note about Strivectin and pregnancy. Technically, Strivectin advises pregnant women to check with their physician about using their products. In order for a product or ingredient to be considered "safe" for pregnancy, it really needs to be proven safe, not just have no evidence against that ingredient. If there is no information about safety, then the pregnancy/breastfeeding category reflects that and women are advised to avoid that ingredient.
I asked about Strivectin at my OB's office before starting to use the products, and they really had no idea what Strivectin was (in my nurse's words, "If it isn't a retinoid or hydroxy acid, you're probably ok"). I have a feeling that asking at an OB in say, Los Angeles, would likely have a different result (more specific really) than me asking here in the midwest. (Now I am wishing I had just asked my med school roomie, who is an OB on Rodeo Drive. I bet she knows!) I think asking your dermatologist (if you have one) about a topical product is a great idea as well.
Personally, since I'm a pediatrician I just looked up the pregnancy categories myself for things I had questions about after I spoke to my OB nurse. Pretty much I have to avoid all retinoids (and any other forms of Vitamin A), hydroxy acids, sunless tanners (true), and most ingredients that fight hyperpigmentation. Niacin is frequently used in an oral form to fight high cholesterol so there is quite a bit of evidence that using it at "normal" oral doses is fine in pregnancy (the topical amounts in Strivectin are lower. Niacin becomes a concern when used in very high oral doses to fight particular genetic types of hypercholesterolemia), the peptides and anti-oxidants were all fine as well.
The Strivectin Eye Concentrate contains both Sorbic and Benzoic Acid, which just don't have any evidence about safety in pregnancy and breast feeding so avoidance is recommended. So, my Eye Concentrate is sitting here in a box of things I want to try out after delivery and breast feeding, in 18 months (Yes, I'll likely give it away to a friend or family member before that time).
I'm comfortable with the information I have about safety in pregnancy regarding the Intensive Concentrate and Scrub, so I have been using both of those. My use of these products should not be taken as a statement that these products are fine to use in pregnancy (please see my disclaimer in which I go over and over the fact that I am a doctor, but I'm not your doctor). However, I did want to state that I'm using 2 of the products, and if you're pregnant you shouldn't totally take them off your list of "ok to use while I'm pregnant." If I was a 15 Minute Beauty Fanatic reader that was interested in using these products during pregnancy, I would definitely still consider using them. Just print a list of all the ingredients off (available on the Strivectin site), then take the list in to your OB or dermatologist's office to check it out with them. My use of the products is not a replacement for checking this out yourself.
How do I like Strivectin so far? I've been using the products for about 3-4 weeks so far, and I do like the Intensive Concentrate quite a bit. It only takes about a pea sized amount to spread over my entire face and most of my neck (that tube might be expensive, but it really will lasts for months!), and it takes a few minutes to absorb but I can apply makeup over it if I want. I haven't had any issues with breakouts due to the Strivectin, and I've found that so far it is enough moisture for my combination skin.
Watch for a more indepth review of how I like Strivectin coming in October, and in November there will be a product giveaway!
I received samples of 3 Strivectin products for my reviews.
As noted above, I'm part of a team of bloggers that agreed to review the products and post about them for Strivectin. As also noted above, Strivectin told me to be honest about my opinion. I have signed no legal paperwork making this arrangement more official, and I'm not being paid for these posts in any other monetary form.