By Natalie K. Bell
La Jolla Spa MD Vitaphenol Daily Defense Cream ($335 for the system) is a special formula intended to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. With powerful antioxidants and moisturizers, it’s supposed to work in two weeks with a two times daily application to the face, neck, and chest.
This is basically an antioxidant cocktail consisting of green and white teas, mangosteen, and pomegranate extract. And it’s been shown to be effective in studies (Journal of Drugs and Dermatology). Twenty women between 35 and 60 with visible wrinkles rubbed vitaphenol on one side of their face and a placebo on the other twice a day for 60 days. At the end of the study, 41% of the women preferred the side with vitaphenol, while only 0.06% of the women preferred the placebo. And the individual ingredients are pretty tried and true.
EGCG, found in green and white tea, was found to prevent oxidative stress as well as increase antioxidant enzymes after UV irradiation when applied topically (Carcinogenesis). In a study done where mangosteen — not relation to mango— was compared with 18 other plants in Thailand, researchers found it to have the highest antioxidant and free radical scavenging properties (Skin and Allergy News). Pomegranate has been found to protect human keratinocytes form UVA and UVB damage (Journal of Photochemistry and Photobiology), as well as help proliferate the production of keratinocytes (Journal for Ethnopharmacology).
This is one of the NMF or natural moisturizing factors in the skin and along with lipids they keep skin young and smooth. In cosmetics, this pulls water into the skin — which reduces trans epidermal water loss TEWL — and temporary rehydrates the skin (Paul Begoun). According to Dr. Howard Murad, using NMFs for hydration puts the skin at optimum performance, meaning it’s better able to fight against environmental damage. It doesn’t really provide permanent wrinkle-reduction, rather it does so on a temporary basis.
Chamomile works as an anti-inflammatory (though, if you have a ragweed, sunflower, or aster family allergy, you’ll be pretty inflamed with a rash) that’s soothing and helps aid in wound healing (Mosby’s Handbook of Herbs and Natural Supplements). Its healing powers were tested in a double blind study, where participants’ weeping wounds were treated with chamomile or a placebo, the chamomile group healed notably faster (Longwood Herbal). Its effectiveness was once again shown in a study with ostomy patients, where it was demonstrated that chamomile reduced inflammation, relieved itch, and helped aid in wound healing.
Personal Use and Opinion
Though I didn’t have dramatic results with La Jolla Spa MD Vitaphenol Daily Defense Cream, you can more than likely chalk that up to the fact that I don’t really have fine lines and wrinkles — so I’m not the best test subject on a personal level. Otherwise, I found it to be fast absorbing with a pleasant smell. I didn’t feel any negative sensation, rather it felt like I was putting on a mild lotion.
The Bottom Line
Studies have shown the effectiveness of the ingredients in La Jolla Spa MD Vitaphenol Daily Defense Cream to act as an anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, free-radical scavenger, and skin hydrator. For someone looking to reduce fine lines and wrinkles, it’s a good system – even better in conjunction with a retinoid at night and a sunscreen during the day to really have an anti-aging, wrinkle-reducing, fully-protective combination.
Product Rating: 8.5/10
- High or optimized concentration of key ingredients: 3/3
- Unique formulation or new technology: 3/3
- Value: 1.5/3
- Sunscreen or sunscreen-enhancing antioxidants: 1/1