You may have missed the news, but StriVectin recently updated the formulation of their best selling StriVectin SD Intensive Concentrate for Stretch Marks and Wrinkles, which is a product that I really loved when I reviewed it back in 2010.
StriVectin SD was insanely popular. “With one tube sold every 59 seconds around the world, we realized rather quickly that StriVectin SD was a skin care phenomenon,” said JuE Wong, CEO of StriVectin. “We took this cult classic often credited with starting the cosmeceutical category and went back to the lab to create a new groundbreaking age-fighting formula with state-of-the-art highly active ingredients proven in clinical trials to help visibly transform skin and fight wrinkles.”
StriVectin has done more than just update the packaging and add Advanced to the name! Many of the previous active ingredients are still there, like their exclusive NIA 114 and a big list of peptides, super moisturizers and even anti-oxidants. Added to this formula is the Collagex-CE Wrinkle Repair Complex, which is a complex of ingredients that work work together to increase Collagen, Elastin and Hyaluronic Acid in the skin.
What’s in StriVectin SD Advanced?
I have a complete list of ingredients (from the StriVectin website) at the bottom of this post, but I thought it was easiest to look at the actual list of ingredients and break it down into ingredient groups, which I’ve highlighted above. What does what, and will it really do what it claims?
Collagex-CE Wrinkle Repair Complex This is the biggest new feature of StriVectin SD Advanced, and while I haven’t been able to find the exact list of ingredients included in the Complex, it is described as a group of ingredients that work together with an energy complex to increase Collagen I and III production (more on those later). Really, this is a group of peptides combined with copper to get the job done.
• Peptides: Peptides are amazing things! They stimulate the increase in numbers of fibroblasts in your skin, these cells in turn increase collagen production when exposed to the peptides, and the collagen is broken down more slowly due to the peptides. Peptides also help copper to reach further down into the dermis to do it’s thing. Learn more about how peptides increase collagen in the skin.
• Copper: Copper is great for wound healing, in large part because it actually stabilizes collagen to keep it around longer. Research studies have shown improvement in fine wrinkles, hyperpigmentation and decreased photodamage with copper use. As well, copper has anti-oxidant properties.
NIA 114 NIA-114 is a patented variation of Niacin, an ingredient that you’ll find in a ton of skin care products such as Olay, Clinique, Rodan & Fields… I could go on and on. Almost every brand has Niacin in a product, simply because it works. There are many forms of Niacin, such as regular Niacin, Nicotinic Acid, Niacinamide… StriVectin has added a long tail to the molecule, which helps it to penetrate further into the skin (learn more about why NIA-114 is different). Note that it is during this penetration into the skin that the NIA-114 is converted over to Nicotinic Acid, activating it. Many of the side effects of Niacin that we don’t like, such as redness, are associated with Niacin and not Nicotinic Acid.
Once it has been activated and is in the right spot, the Nicotinic Acid gets to work! It will increase cell turnover which helps treat hyperpigmentation and evens out your skin texture. Melanin transfer within the skin is disrupted, which fights hyperpigmentation. Sirtuins are activated within cells, helping to support the skin cells so they live longer. Nicotinic acid also has anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant effects, both of which help to prevent damage to cells that can cause aging. Because NIA-114 is converted to Nicotinic Acid, it is the only Niacin derivative that also releases Leptin, which acts as a natural repair hormone in the skin.
Anti-Oxidants I’ve seen other brands make claims about Anti-Oxidants including immediate anti-aging/lose 10 years to other miracles I won’t mention here. What’s the truth? Anti-oxidants are free radical scavengers (learn more about how anti-oxidants help to prevent aging). They go after free radicals/reactive oxygen species and neutralize them before they can damage (or further damage) your skin. They prevent the damage, but they can’t reverse it or fix it. Because those free radicals/reactive oxygen species are often an issue with sun exposure, pollution and even exposure to second hand smoke, it’s a great idea to incorporate anti-oxidants into your daily skin care routine! Note that I’ve color coded most of the ingredients with anti-oxidant properties as such, but several of the key ingredients here including NIA-114 and Copper, also have a lot of anti-oxidant activity.
Super Hydrators The new StriVectin SD Advanced was formulated to specifically be more hydrating than the previous StriVectin SD. There are a lot of hydrating ingredients packed into this formula, and I think that it definitely is more hydrating than the previous version. With SD I needed to add a light moisturizer over the SD at night, even in the summer. The new SD Advanced is just the right amount of moisture for my skin this fall, so there is definitely more hydration than before.
Why do you want to have more moisture? Dehydrated skin looks aged. It’s really that simple. Hydrating the outer layers of your skin will plump up those cells, making fine lines and imperfections disappear. It is the perfect way to instantly look younger!
Hydroxy Acid Hydroxy acids are great for your skin! While most of them aren’t considered pregnancy friendly, the one included in StriVectin SD Advanced is Lactic Acid, which is fine for pregnancy. Hydroxy acids will increase cell turnover, helping to improve hyperpigmentation and texture. There is even evidence in the medical literature that hydroxy acids will increase collagen and elastin production in the skin, helping to reverse the signs of aging (read more on how hydroxy acids help your skin).
Reading through the ingredient discussion above probably gives you a pretty good idea of how all of the active ingredients are working together. Cell turnover is increased, helping improve both texture and tone. Melanocyte transfer is affected, resulting in improved hyperpigmentation. Sirtuins are stimulated, helping skin cells to live longer. And due to the anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory effects of the ingredients, further damage is decreased, helping to fight aging.
But a lot of the emphasis with this new formulation is on the collagen production. The peptides will help to increase the number of fibroblasts in your dermis, and stimulate them to create more collagen. The collagen is then stabilized by the copper for longevity, and the peptides will actually slow the breakdown of the collagen even more. The end result is more collagen in your skin!
“I’ve always discussed with my patients the importance of rebuilding collagen as a critical way to improve fine lines and wrinkles,” says Dr. Ellen Marmur, New York City dermatologist.
One way in which this formula is different than other peptide containing products is that it not only targets Collagen Type I, but also Collagen Type III. Within the dermis there is a mostly random appearing matrix of proteins that provide the structure of the dermis. This matrix is about 80-85% Collagen Type I, 10-15% Collagen Type III and the rest is elastin fibers and other molecules. (Note, this is a gross over simplification, but with a hubby who is actually a extracellular matrix scientist, I could go into way too much detail!) Collagen Type III is much more prevalent before we’re born, and later the proportion shifts to mostly Type I. You’ll still find Collagen Type III, primarily around blood vessels. As we then age, in particular early photo-aging as a result of sun exposure, collagen break down is increased. Collagen Type I is broken down a bit more than Type III (this actually shifts the proportion of Type I and Type III collagen), but there will be decreased amounts of both in the skin.
One of the key points for the StriVectin SD Advanced is that it uniquely targets increasing the amount of Collagen Type I and Type III, helping to restore the Type I and Type III proportions seen in healthy adult skin. According to StriVectin’s clinical research, by 15 days of use the production of Collagen Type III has increased by 194%.
“Now, we are realizing the essential role Collagen Type III plays in regenerating the skin,” adds Dr. Marmur. “Skin care products that address this offer a radically new approach to how we look at skin aging.”
Does Strivectin work?
In a word, yes it does, which isn’t surprising given the active ingredients above.
Here’s what StriVectin claims that it does (starting in just 15 days): • Significantly diminishes the number, length and depth of lines and wrinkles • Targets youth collagen and elastin for healthy, younger looking skin • Hydrates and visibly enhances skin texture • Strengthens the skin barrier to maximize skin performance
Their research found: 91% of women saw healthier skin 88% of women saw extremely nourished and restored skin 74% of women saw dramatically improved skin
How did I like Strivectin?
I liked it a lot. I’ve been using it for about 3 weeks, and while you can’t see a difference in my before and after pictures (I think because I’m 37 without a lot of signs of aging yet, I didn’t even both posting them because I know I’ll hear about it!), I do see a difference in person. I think that my skin is well hydrated, is smooth and I think my areas of hyperpigmentation look a little better already. I love that there are so many active ingredients but I don’t have any redness or irritation despite my rosacea related sensitivity being a bit worse while pregnant. It’s also one of the few products that can help hyperpigmentation but is still pregnancy friendly.
This formulation is definitely more hydrating than the previous formula. I’ve been using it in the early fall, and I haven’t had to use another moisturizer over top to add more hydration. It sinks into my skin pretty easily and quickly without any residue, so it is easy to apply makeup over it. I was able to use my BB Cream over it as a foundation and SPF as well.
While I’m technically “done” with my review, I wanted to know if the 15 days was realistic to start seeing a difference and I did, I’m going to keep using StriVectin SD Advanced. I’ve used the StriVectin SD quite often in the past when I’m between product testings, and I know this updated formulation is one I’ll be turning to quite a bit in the future.