Product Review: Olay Regenerist Luminous

Olay Regenerist Luminous

As longtime readers of the FutureDerm blog know, I’m a huge fan of one of the major ingredients in Olay Regenerist and Olay Regenerist Luminous: niacinamide, or vitamin B3. This is a superb ingredient that has been shown to alleviate everything from age spots to dry skin to skin sallowness to mild discoloration (Cutis, 2005) when used in concentrations ranging from 2-4%. So, as long as niacinamide is listed as one of the first five ingredients, this is a “must-have” in your skin repertoire.

Unlike other skin lighteners like hydroquinone, niacinamide doesn’t stop hyperpigmentation by inhibiting enzymes, so you’re also not at risk of major side effects, even if you have one of the darkest skin tones.

So you can imagine how excited I was to recently try Olay Regenerist Luminous!

What is the Difference Between Olay Regenerist and Olay Regenerist Luminous?

Olay Regenerist Luminous Review Texture Ingredients

The biggest difference between Olay Regenerist and Olay Regenerist Luminous is actually the user experience, as in, the scent and the texture. Olay Regenerist Luminous feels like a silky cream, with a scent that is reminiscent of the original Olay moisturizer from the 1930′s. (Not that I was around to use that one, but…) On the other hand, the original Olay Regenerist has a texture more like a cushiony balm, with far less of a scent.

On a bright note, the chemists over at Olay wised up and eliminated several ingredients that don’t do much of anything except sound fancy and change the texture a little, like soluble collagen, elastin, and allantoin.

The other difference is the addition of glucosamine to Olay Regenerist Luminous and the removal of green tea and carnosine (boo). This makes Olay Regenerist Luminous designed to treat hyperpigmentation, whereas Olay Regenerist was more for facial hydrating and fine lines/wrinkles/firming.

Glucosamine is where Olay Regenerist Luminous claims to remove more dark spots in just 8 weeks. The combination of N-acetyl glucosamine (NAG) and niacinamide has been shown to significantly reduce facial hyperpigmentation in both Japanese and Caucasian subjects in two well-conducted clinical studies (Cosmetic Dermatology, 2008). Interestingly enough, this combination was also used in a moisturizer called Olay Definity about a decade ago, though that formulation lacked the silky texture and luxurious scent of Olay Regenerist Luminous (not to mention the marketing dollars).

What are the Ingredients in Olay Regenerist and Olay Regenerist Luminous?

Ingredients in Olay Regenerist Luminous

Water, Cyclopentasiloxane, Glycerin, Niacinamide, Aluminum Starch Octenylsuccinate, Acetyl Glucosamine, Dimethicone, Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Polyethylene, Panthenol, Tocopheryl Acetate, Palmitoyl Pentapeptide-4, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Allantoin, Sodium PEG-7 Olive Oil Carboxylate, Acrylamide/Sodium Acryloyldimethyltaurate Copolymer, DMDM Hydantoin, Laureth-10, Laureth-7, Dimethiconol, Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate, Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Disodium EDTA, PEG-100 Stearate, Iodopropynyl Butylcarbamate, C13-14 Isoparaffin, Fragrance, Titanium Dioxide, Yellow 5, Red 40.

Ingredients in the Original Olay Regenerist
Water; Glycerin; Isohexadecane; Niacinamide; Isopropyl Isostearate; Aluminum Starch Octenylsuccinate; Nylon-12; Dimethicone; Panthenol; Tocopheryl Acetate; Sodium Hyaluronate; Palmitoyl Pentapeptide-4; Carnosine (Amino-Peptide); Camellia Sinensis (Green Tea) Leaf Extract); Aloe Barbadensis (Aloe Vera) Leaf Juice; Soluble Collagen; Elastin; Allantoin; Stearyl Alcohol; Polyethylene; Cetyl Alcohol; Sodium Acrylates Copolymer; Behenyl Alcohol

Is Olay Regenerist Luminous Really Great for Sun Spots and Discoloration?

Based upon the number and quality of research studies out there, here is my analysis of the best ingredients for sun spots and discoloration at this time:

Best ingredients for age spots in skin care

Olay Regenerist Luminous: What Can It Be Expected To Do?

Olay Regenerist Luminous Review box

I would expect an impact on hydration, because that’s just what niacinamide does. To a lesser extent, your skin’s sunspots will fade somewhat after 8 weeks of continuous twice-daily use, but I would caution that other treatments, like 4% hydroquinone in prescription products or 2% in Ambi Fade Cream work better.

I would also expect a mild decrease in the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, and skin sallowness. Expect your skin to look a bit brighter!

Do Not Use Either Cream without a Resveratrol Supplement or Topical!

I personally don’t go near niacinamide-based products without using resveratrol.

Niacinamide has been shown to work against sirtuins, which are essentially energy-saving machinery within your cells believed to help you age more slowly. So if you introduce niacinamide to the mix, your cells could keep working too hard (i.e., unnecessary gene expression). In this 2005 study conducted at Johns Hopkins University, it was found that niacinamide inhibits sirtuin activity in a very specific reaction that is well-known to be a part of cellular energy generation. Boo.

In plain English, this means that your natural sirtuins’ attempts to prolong the life of your cells by turning off unnecessary gene expression will most likely be negated somewhat by niacinamide.

So what’s a skin care-crazed person to do? I personally will use a resveratrol supplement or cream each and every time I use a niacinamide-based cream. Resveratrol has been shown to promote sirtuins, or save cellular energy. So if you have niacinamide fighting sirtuins and resveratrol enhancing them, together, there should be no net deleterious effect for your cells. In fact, it is probably beneficial!

Bottom Line

I like both Olay Regenerist and Olay Regenerist Luminous.

However, because both contain a high concentration of niacinamide, a known sirtuin inhibitor, I wouldn’t go near either without taking a resveratrol supplement or using a resveratrol-based cream.

Which is right for you depends on what your concerns are. The original Olay Regenerist is better for those with fine lines, wrinkles, skin sagging, or young men and women who are looking to stay younger-looking for longer. The Olay Regenerist Luminous is best for those with mild to moderate sun spots and skin discoloration. However, if skin hyperpigmentation is severe, I would skip Olay Regenerist Luminous altogether and go for something with hydroquinone, like Ambi Fade Cream.

What are your thoughts on this product? Let us know in Comments below!

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Product Review: Olay ProX Professional Anti-Aging Skin Care Line

For the past few years, I have been a huge fan of Olay, and particularly Olay Regenerist Night Cream, with its relatively high concentration of niacinamide (for skin texture, fine lines, wrinkles, and hydration) and palmitoyl pentapeptide-7 (for collagen production/skin firmness). So you can imagine my excitement when I found out about the new Olay ProX Professional Anti-Aging Starter Kit ($61.50, Amazon.com), with Age Repair Lotion with SPF 30, Eye Restoration Complex, and Wrinkle Smoothing Cream. So exciting!

The main active ingredient in all three products in the kit is niacinamide (vitamin B3). According to Bissett et. al., niacinamide does it all: reduces fine lines and wrinkles, hyperpigmented spots, red blotchiness, and skin sallowness (yellowing), and increases elasticity. Further, according to a 2005 study by Draelos et. al., niacinamide may help alleviate some of the symptoms of rosacea by increasing hydration and barrier function of the stratum corneum (the uppermost layer of the skin), and may have some anti-tumor characteristics as well. Lastly, niacinamide has limited functionality in fighting acne: in a 1995 study by Takozaki et. al., it was reported that a 4% topical niacinamide treatment applied twice daily may help to treat acne by reducing inflammation with similar efficacy to 1% clindamycin gel.

All three products feature niacinamide, palmitoyl dipeptide 7, palmitoyl pentapeptide 4, and tocopheryl acetate, in addition to the UVA/UVB protection provided by chemical sunscreens in the Olay ProX Age Repair Lotion SPF 30 (included in the kit). Palmitoyl dipeptide-7 is a relatively new ingredient in skin care. According to the International Journal of Cosmetic Science, dipeptides are relatively new and increasingly popular in skin care. The addition of fatty acids (i.e., “palmitoyl” = palmitate) to dipeptides allows them to better diffuse across the stratum corneum, without any found undesirable effects. With that said, the palmitoyl dipeptide 7 is a new addition for Olay, as it is not found in their earlier Olay Regenerist or Olay Total Effects lines, amongst others.

According to Dr. Mary Lupo, the second peptide in the formulation, palmitoyl pentapeptide-4 (pal-KTTKS) has the same specific peptide sequence as type I collagen. Palmitoyl pentapeptide-4 has been found to stimulate production of certain types of collagen and glycosaminoglycans. Limited studies from Procter and Gamble (the makers of Olay), including this 2003 study by Linter et. al., further demonstrate that 100 ppm palmitoyl pentapeptide (pal-KTTKS) exhibits similar effects to 0.02% all-trans retinoic acid, which are typical concentrations found in drugstore products. (Unfortunately, no published, reviewed study at this time compares the efficacy of 100 ppm palmitoyl pentapeptide to 0.6% or 0.9%, which are concentrations available in products like Green Cream Levels 6 and 9, respectively). With that said, palmitoyl pentapeptide-4 is available in a number of skin care products, including Olay Regenerist Night Cream.

New ingredients in the Olay ProX Professional Anti-Aging Starter Kit that are not found in earlier Olay formulations provide some temporary cosmetic filling of fine lines and wrinkles, in particular the line’s high concentration of dimethicone.

Overall, I love the Olay ProX Professional line, although I can’t say that the addition of palmitoyl dipeptide-7, a silicone-based filler, and more sunscreen makes the 2.5 oz Olay ProX Age Repair Lotion SPF 30 worth $26.04 than 2.5 oz of Olay Regenerist Lotion SPF 15 (and those are the discounted prices on Amazon.com!) That’s a little more than $1.00 more an ounce, and in reality, I can’t see consumers noticing that much difference between active ingredients in niacinamide and palmitoyl pentapeptide-4 in Olay Regenerist SPF 15 and niacinamide, palmitoyl pentapeptide-7, and palmitoyl dipeptide-7 in Olay ProX Age Repair Lotion SPF 30.

With that said, though, if you spring for the Olay ProX Professional Anti-Aging Starter Kit ($61.50, Amazon.com), I honestly believe you’re getting one of the best skin care systems out there, and for less than $22 a product. If you’re in the market for a day cream, night cream, and undereye treatment, this is a great way to go. Product rating: 9.0/10. (High concentration of well-researched ingredients: 3/3. Novel technology or ingredients: 2.5/3. Value for the money: 2.5/3. Sunscreen: 1/1.

Ingredients

Age Repair Lotion with SPF 30 Active Ingredients: Homosalate (8.0%), Avobenzone (3.0%), Octocrylene (2.25%), Ensulizole (2.0%)
Inactive Ingredients: Water, Glycerin, Niacinamide, Isopropyl Lauroyl Sarcosinate, Nylon 12, Dimethicone, Isopropyl Isostearate, Triethanolamine, Palmitoyl Dipeptide 7, Palmitoyl Pentapeptide 4, Carnosine, Panthenol, Tocopheryl Acetate, Sodium Acrylate/Sodium Acryloyldimethyl Taurate Copolymer, Isohexadecane, Pentylene Glycol, Titanium Dioxide, Stearyl Alcohol, Cetyl Alcohol, Polysorbate 80, PEG 100 Stearate, Methylparaben, Carbomer, Ethylparaben, Propylparaben, Cetearyl Alcohol, Cetearyl Glucoside, Disodium EDTA, Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate, PEG 4, Decyl Glucoside, Lactic Acid, Ammonium Polyacrylate, Benzyl Alcohol, Iodopropynyl Butylcarbamate, Dimethiconol, Behenyl Alcohol, Stearic Acid, BHT

Eye Restoration Complex:
Inactive Ingredients: Water, Cyclopentasiloxane, Glycerin, Niacinamide, Dimethicone, Polymethylsilsesquioxane, Isohexadecane, Polyethylene, Caffeine, Isopropyl Isostearate, Behenyl Alcohol, Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Tocopheryl Acetate, Panthenol, Palmitoyl Dipeptide 7, Palmitoyl Dipeptide 4, Carnosine, Dimethiconol, Stearyl Alcohol, Sodium Acrylate/Acryloyldimethyl Taurate Copolymer, PEG 100 Stearate, Cetearyl Alcohol, Cetearyl Glucoside, Cetyl Alcohol, Sucrose Polycottonseedate, Titanium Dioxide, Polysorbate 80, Propylparaben, Stearic Acid, PEG 4 Dilaurate, PEG 4 Laurate, Decyl Glucoside, Lactic Acid, Iodopropynyl Butylcarbamate, PEG 4, Citric Acid, Methylparaben, Ethylparaben, Ammonium Polyacrylate, Disodium EDTA

Wrinkle Smoothing Cream: Inactive Ingredients: Water, Glycerin, Dimethicone, Niacinamide, Isohexadecane, Isopropyl Isostearate, Dimethiconol, Panthenol, Tocopheryl Acetate, Palmitoyl Dipeptide 7, Carnosine, Palmitoyl Pentapeptide 4, Elastin, C13 14 Isoparaffin, Stearyl Alcohol, Polyacrylamide, PEG 100 Stearate, Cetearyl Alcohol, Cetearyl Glucoside, Cetyl Alcohol, Benzyl Alcohol, Behenyl Alcohol, Polymethylsilsequioxane, Sucrose Polycottonseedate, Laureth 7, Stearic Acid, PEG 4 Dilaurate, PEG 4 Laurate, Decyl Glucoside, Titanium Dioxide, Tin Oxide, Lactic Acid, Citric Acid, Methylparaben, Ethylparaben, Propylparaben, Disodium EDTA, Ammonium Polyacrylate, Mica

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5 Easy Ways for Savvy Recessionistas to Save Big on Skin Care

111708-money

With economy concerns running rampant and the holiday season quickly approaching, what’s a savvy skin care recessionista to do (besides break out and endure dry skin, that is)?  Here are 5 ways to make sure your skin glows — and that your wallet doesn’t have to pay the price for it.

1.  Find products that do more than one job. 

Numerous products serve more than one purpose.  Take, for instance, Neutrogena 3-in-1 Eye Cream ($17.00 for two, Amazon.com), which is an eye cream, sunscreen with SPF 20, and concealer all in one.  Using it in place of your regular eye cream every morning will make your eye cream last twice as long — and you get the benefits of a concealer and sunscreen!

Another cult favorite is Neutrogena Daily Moisturizer SPF 30 ($23.63 for two, Amazon.com).  A daily moisturizer with antioxidant vitamin E, it keeps skin hydrated and smooth, while providing the super anti-aging benefits of sunscreen – a win-win situation!  :-)

2.  If you must sacrifice a product, ditch the expensive cleanser or toner first. 

Unless you have acne or breakout issues, or are recommended a specific regimen by a dermatologist or other licensed physician, you may not need that high-priced cleanser or toner.  In general, cleansers and toners generally don’t have the same level of effective ingredients as similarly-priced moisturizers or toners.  In addition, according to renowned dermatologist Dr. David E. Bank, cleansers need to be applied to the skin for at least one full minute before rinsing in order to achieve their full benefit.  With that said, why not opt for a cheaper, yet still effective cleanser (like Cetaphil) and invest in a high-performance moisturizer or serum?

3.  If you must eliminate or add in products, do so one at a time. 

That way, you will be able to determine which product you “need” to keep your skin clear, moisturized, firm, etc.  Allergists take a similar path when they are determining what is the cause of a specific symptom.   Take too much away at once, and you’ll never be able to tell which is the product that has been saving your skin.   Same thing goes with adding in new products – stick with just one new product for at least two weeks through twice-daily application (unless it is irritating or whatnot), and see how your skin reacts.    

4.  Consider using certain body products on your face. 

This is a definite “consideration,” and I say this with some reservation.  In general, face products tend to have less potentially irritating ingredients, and have a greater variety of formulations for different skin types (dry, oily, normal, etc.).  However, if you are blessed with normal skin and are really in a pinch financially, there are some body products that should be fine for use on the face.  Take, for instance, the body-formulated Olay Quench Body Lotion for Normal to Dry Skin ($18.64 for two 20.2 ounce bottles, Amazon.com) versus the face-designed Olay Regenerist Night Recovery Cream ($19.10 for 1.7 ounces).  For 50 cents less, you get nearly 24 times as much product when you go with the body cream!  And they are very similar ingredients-wise, as shown from the lists below.  The major differences are that the more expensive for-the-face Olay Regenerist Night Recovery Cream contains a high degree of silicone-based cyclopentasiloxane, which will help to temporarily fill in fine lines and make for a smoother application, and its addition of firming pentapeptide-3.  However, for the difference in price, if you consult with your skin care expert and s/he gives the OK, substituting with a body lotion should be better than going without any moisturizer at all

Olay Quench Body Lotion for Normal to Dry Skin: Ingredients
Water, Glycerin, Niacinamide, Isohexadecane, Petrolatum, Isopropyl Isostearate, Dimethicone, Stearyl Alcohol, Cetyl Alcohol, Panthenol, Aluminum Starch Octenylsuccinate, Polyethylene, Caprylic/Capric Triglycerides, Sodium Acrylates, Behenyl Alcohol, Fragrance, Tocopheryl Acetate (Vitamin E), Benzyl Alcohol, Cetearyl Glucoside, Mica, Titanium Dioxide, Tin Oxide, Ethylparaben, Dimethiconol, Disodium EDTA, Stearic Acid, PEG 100 Stearate, Chamomilla Recutita Extract, Propylene Glycol, Sodium PCA, Betaine, Sorbitol, Glycine, Alanine, Proline, Serine, Thereonine, Arginine, Lysine, Glutamic Acid, Methylparaben, Propylparaben, C12 13 Pareth 3, Laureth 7, Sodium Hydroxide

Olay Regenerist Night Recovery Moisture Cream: Ingredients

PEG 100 Stearate, Water, Cyclopentasiloxane, Glycerin, Polyethylene, Niacinamide (Vitamin B3), Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Dimethicone, Stearyl Dimethicone, Propylene Glycol, Butylene Glycol, Panthenol, Palmitoyl Pentapeptide 3, Tocopheryl Acetate (Vitamin E), Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavendar) Extract, Arnica Montana Flower Extract, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Alanine, Arginine, Betaine, Glycine, Lysine, Proline, Serine, Threonine, Glutamic Acid, Sodium PCA, Sorbitol, PEG 10 Dimethicone/Vinyl Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Cetyl Ricinoleate, Disodium EDTA, Phenoxyethanol, PEG 10 Dimethicone, Benzyl Alcohol, Butylparaben, Ethylparaben, Isobutylparaben, Methylparaben, Propylparaben, Red 40, Blue 1, Fragrance

5.  Invest in just one high-ticket item for morning and night. 

…And then build the rest of your skin care regime around it.  In my particular case, I like 3-4 drops of Skinceuticals CE Ferulic ($89.88, Amazon.com) for day, and since it boosts sunscreen protection and provides great antioxidant protection and some hydration for my normal skin, I can go with a cheaper (yet still high SPF) product after.  And then for night, I like a high-potency retinol like Green Cream Level 9 ($50.00, Amazon.com), and since retinol is potent, then I can go with a gentle, cheaper cleanser and moisturizer. 

Be sure to share your favorite ways to save below!  :-)

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Product Review: Olay Regenerist 14-Day Intervention

Olay Regenerist - 14 Day Skin Intervention - 14 treatments 

With Olay Regenerist 14-Day Intervention ($25.99, Drugstore.com), the company claims you will experience “a stronger skin structure as the intensely hydrating system improves skin’s moisture barrier.” The kit comes with 14 vials, one for each of 14 days. According to the company, days 1-7 are “specially formulated to ignite the cellular regeneration within skin’s surface, infusing your skin with repairing moisture and an Olay peptide – B3 complex.” Days 8-14, on the other hand, contain a high concentration of an Olay peptide – B3 complex. Further, on these latter days, wrinkles are filled with “polishing micro-powders” and “hydrating moisture improves skin’s structure as you experience a lifted look to your skin.” But is this the best Olay treatment out there for the money?

What I love about it

If you read my blog often enough, you know that there are few things in skin care I love more than high concentrations of ingredients that have been proven to be effective in peer-reviewed scientific journals. Olay Regenerist 14-Day Intervention has some great ones: niacinamide, vitamin E, and green tea are all in fairly high concentrations in both phases 1 and 2.

According to a study by Bissett et. al., niacinamide does it all: reduces fine lines and wrinkles, hyperpigmented spots, red blotchiness, and skin sallowness (yellowing), and increases elasticity. A 2005 study by Draelos et. al., also revealed niacinamide may help alleviate some of the symptoms of rosacea by increasing hydration and barrier function of the stratum corneum (uppermost layer of the skin), and may have some anti-carcinogenic characteristics as well. And finally, in a 1995 study by Takozaki et. al., it was reported that a 4% topical niacinamide treatment applied twice daily may help to treat acne by reducing inflammation with similar efficacy to 1% clindamycin gel.

Vitamin E is an antioxidant that is naturally produced in the sebum of the skin. According a 2006 study by McDaniel et. al., vitamin E has a higher antioxidant activity than kinetin, ubiquinone, vitamin C, or lipoic acid, as measured by the Environmental Protection Factor (EPF), a method of measuring antioxidant activity that has been adopted by the Elizabeth Arden companies (manufacturers of Prevage, amongst others).

Lastly, the polyphenols in green tea have been found in a 2003 study in Molecular Epidemiology and Cancer Prevention to prevent UVB-induced oxidation of lipids and proteins and against the depletion in antioxidant enzymes experienced after UVB exposure in mouse skin. In addition, according to Dr. Gary Goldfaden, M.D., “In a recent dermatological comparison study, the use of a lotion containing a tea extract produced a 70% improvement in rosacea compared to use of a lotion containing the base ingredients alone. This tea extract is rich in antioxidant polyphenols and contains a variety of potent flavonoids.” Verifying this is a 2003 study in the Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry, which reports that green tea reduces UVB-induced inflammation as measured by double-fold skin swelling.

Some great ingredients to have in high concentration!

What is the difference between Phase 1 and Phase 2?

Phase 1 and Phase 2 are fairly similar, as both contain the ingredients described above. However, phase 1 contains amino acids, namely Glycine, Alanine, Proline, Serine, Threonine, Arginine, and Lysine. Amino acids are the building blocks of proteins. Unfortunately, topically applying amino acids has never been shown in any published, peer-reviewed scientific studies to assist the skin in regenerating or synthesizing new proteins. Instead, amino acids may only assist in hydration: according to a 1989 study in the British Journal of Dermatology, amino acids are found in lower levels in skin with chronic xerosis (dry skin), and higher levels in normal skin. However, even the hydrating power of amino acids have not been established.

Phase 2 contains a higher concentration of cyclopentilosane, a silicone-based compound that is designed here to temporarily “fill in” fine lines and wrinkles. Under make-up, this is slightly effective, depending on the depth of the fine lines and wrinkles. In addition, Phase 2 of Olay Regenerist 14-Day Intervention contains two pivotal ingredients that Phase 1 does not: caffeine and witch hazel. Topical application of caffeine has been shown by Lu et. al in a 2007 study to have a sunscreen-like effect, enhance UVB-induced apoptosis, and inhibit UVB-induced skin carcinogenesis when applied to the skin of mice. The exact mechanism by which caffeine achieves these aims is not yet known, but it may be related to the fact that the caffeic acid found in caffeine has been found to have some antioxidant activity. Topical application of caffeine additionally dehydrates the skin and constricts blood vessels, so skin may appear drier, yet smoother and less puffy. On the other hand, witch hazel should soothe irritated skin.

What I Don’t Like About the Product

I have three major problems with the product:

The first problem is that Olay Regenerist 14-Day Intervention (~$25.99) costs about 25% more than Olay Regenerist Night ($17.14, Amazon.com). Yet, you are getting only 42% as much product (21 mL in Olay Regenerist 14-Day Intervention versus 50.2 mL in Olay Regenerist Night, and all of the major ingredients (niacinamide, peptides, vitamin E, green tea) are in similar concentrations. In addition, the more expensive Olay Regenerist 14-Day Intervention contains the less-proven peptide, palmitoyl pentapeptide-4, rather than palmitoyl pentapeptide-3. Which brings me to problem #2…

As I have said before, all peptides are not created equal. While it is certainly possible that palmitoyl pentapeptide-4 is every bit as effective as palmitoyl pentapeptide-3, this has not yet been shown in any published, peer-reviewed scientific studies. What has been shown (according to a review in the journal Dermatologic Therapy) is that palmitoyl pentapeptide-3 has been demonstrated to stimulate feedback regulation of new collagen synthesis and to result in an increased production of extracellular matrix proteins (types I and II collagen and fibronectin). For information about peptides, please click here for the update from March 4, 2008.

Lastly, let’s not forget the importance of sunscreen. Using Olay Regenerist 14-Day Intervention in the morning under make-up may sound like a good idea due its inclusion of wrinkle-filling cyclopentilosane, but sunscreen application is still necessary. For the effects of all the beneficial ingredients in Olay Regenerist 14-Day Intervention, plus the more proven peptide and vitamin C as L-ascorbic acid and sunscreen, I recommend Olay Regenerist Regenerating Lotion with UV Protection ($17.14, Amazon.com).

In summary…

I like Olay Regenerist 14-Day Intervention, but I don’t love it, particularly when there are other Olay treatments with better ingredients for less money (and more product!) For day, I would alternatively choose Olay Regenerist Regenerating Lotion with UV Protection, and for night, I would choose Olay Regenerist Night.

For more information on Olay products, please visit the company website here.

Ingredients in Olay Regenerist 14-Day Intervention

Phase 1: Water, Cyclopentasiloxane, Glycerin, Polyethylene, Niacinamide*, Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Dimethicone, Stearyl Dimethicone, Propylene Glycol, Butylene Glycol, Panthenol, Palmitoyl Pentapeptide-4**, Tocopheryl Acetate, Arnica Montana Flower Extract, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Flower/Leaf/Stem Extract, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Petrolatum, Allantoin, Betaine, Sorbitol, Glycine, Alanine, Proline, Serine, Threonine, Arginine, Lysine, Glutamic Acid, Sucrose Polycottonseedate, Sodium PCA, Bis-PEG/PPG-14/14 Dimethicone, PEG 10 Dimethicone, Cetyl Ricinoleate, PEG 10 Dimethicone Crosspolymer, PEG 100 Stearate, Disodium EDTA, Ethylparaben, Propylparaben, Benzyl Alcohol, Fragrance, Blue 1, Red 40.

Phase 2: Cyclopentasiloxane, Water, Glycerin, Polyethylene, Dimethicone, Niacinamide*, Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Propylene Glycol, Panthenol, Caffeine, Butylene Glycol, Palmitoyl Pentapeptide-4, Tocopheryl Acetate, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Hamamelis Virginiana (Witch Hazel) Water, Cucumis Sativus (Cucumber) Fruit Extract, Allantoin, Polysorbate 20, C13 – 14 Isoparaffin, Polyacrylamide, Dimethiconol, Laureth-4, Laureth-7, Titanium Dioxide, PEG 100 Stearate, Ammonium Polyacrylate, Disodium EDTA, Ethylparaben, Propylparaben, Benzyl Alcohol, Yellow 5, Red 40.

*Vitamin B3, **Amino-Peptide

Ingredients in Olay Regenerist Night Treatment (courtesy Amazon.com)

Water, Cyclopentasiloxane, Glycerin, Polyethylene, Niacinamide*, Dimethicone crosspolymer, Dimethicone, Steryl dimethicone, Propylene glycol, Butylene glycol, Panthenol**, Palmitoyl Pentapeptide-3***, Tocopheryl acetate †, Lavandula angustifolia (lavender) extract, arnica montana flower extract, camellia sinesis leaf extract¿¿, Alanine, Arginne, Betaine, Glycine, Lysine, Proline, Serine, ThThreonine, Glutamic Acid, Sodium PCA, Sorbitol, PEG-10, Dimethicone/Vinyl Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Sucrose Polycottonsedate, Allantoin, Petrolatum, BIS-PEG/PPG-14/14 Dimethicone, Cetyl Ricnoleate, Disodium edta, PEG-100 Stearate, Phenoxyethanol, PEG-10 Dimethicone, Benzyl alcohol, Butylparaben, Ethylparaben, Isobutylparaben, Methylparaben, Propylparaben, Red 40, Blue 1, Fragrance. *Amino-Peptide, **Vitamin B3, ***Pro-Vitamin B5, ¿Vitamin E, ¿¿Green Tea

Ingredients in Olay Regenerist Regenerating Lotion with UV Protection

4% Octisalate|2% Avobenzone|1% Ensulizole|1.25% Octocrylene|Water|Glycerin|Niacinamide|Isopropyl Isostearate|Panthenol|Palmitoyl Pentapeptide-3|Ascorbic Acid|Tocopheryl Acetate|Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract|Allantoin|Cetearyl Glucoside|Polyacrylamide|C13-14 Isoparaffin|Laureth-7|Dimethiconol|Triethanolamine|Titanium Dioxide|PEG-100 Stearate|Ammonium Polyacrylate|Polytetrafluorethylene|Carbomer|Behenyl Alcohol|Cetyl Alcohol|Disodium EDTA|Cetearyl Alcohol|Stearyl Alcohol|Benzyl Alcohol|Ethylparaben|Methylparaben|Propylparaben|Fragrance

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Spotlight On: Niacinamide

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Niacinamide is an amazing ingredient. According to Bissett et. al., niacinamide does it all: reduces fine lines and wrinkles, hyperpigmented spots, red blotchiness, and skin sallowness (yellowing), and increases elasticity. Further, according to a 2005 study by Draelos et. al., niacinamide may help alleviate some of the symptoms of rosacea by increasing hydration and barrier function of the stratum corneum (uppermost layer of the skin), and may have some anti-tumor characteristics as well. And finally, in a 1995 study by Takozaki et. al., it was reported that a 4% topical niacinamide treatment applied twice daily may help to treat acne by reducing inflammation with similar efficacy to 1% clindamycin gel. What’s not to love?

What is niacinamide?

Niacinamide, also known as nicotinamide, is a water-soluble component of the vitamin B complex group. In vivo, nicotinamide is incorporated into nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD) and nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate (NADP), coenzymes participating in a variety of enzymatic oxidation-reduction reactions essential for processes such as tissue respiration, lipid metabolism, and glycogenolysis (Wikipedia). However, topical application of niacinamide proves effective in treating the skin via reduced transepidermal water loss (TEWL), increased replicative potential and histone acetyltransferase activity, increased melanosome transfer from melanocytes to keratinocytes, and decreased inflammation (see below).

Is niacinamide extremely hydrating?

Yes! According to Paula Begoun, a published study in the International Journal of Dermatology found that 2% niacinamide was more effective than petrolatum (Vaseline, or a purified mixture of hydrocarbons from petroleum/crude oil) in reducing water loss from skin and increasing its moisture levels. This is extremely telling, as Dr. Leslie Baumann, director of Cosmetic Dermatology at the University of Miami, states in her textbook Cosmetic Dermatology that “petrolatum is one of the most occlusive moisturizing ingredients known…it is often the gold standard to which other occlusive ingredients are compared.” Due to the non-comedogenic nature of petrolatum, it has been popular in skincare formulations since 1872. Yet niacinamide is also non-comedogenic, and it does not have the greasy texture of petrolatum.

Is niacinamide an effective skin lightening agent?

Yes. According to a 2002 study by Hakozaki et. al., in comparison with a control, a topically applied 2% niacinamide+sunscreen lotion significantly decreased hyperpigmentation and increased skin lightness after 4 weeks of use. However, unlike the popular lightening agent hydroquinone, niacinamide does not decrease hyperpigmentation by inhibiting tyrosinase catalyzation of melanin production (Hakozaki et. al.). Instead, in the study, niacinamide was found to reduce hyperpigmentation in a pigmented reconstructed epidermal (PREP) model by inhibiting 35–68% of melanosome transfer from melanocytes to keratinocytes (skin cells). These results were affirmed by Bissett et. al. in 2007, using a niacinamide concentration of 4%. As such, in concentrations of at least 2%, niacinamide seems to provide a rather unique, effective method in decreasing hyperpigmentation.

Is niacinamide a superior anti-aging ingredient?

Maybe — niacinamide appears to be a promising anti-aging ingredient, but more research needs to be done. As mentioned previously, the study by Bissett et. al. demonstrated that 2% niacinamide may stimulate collagen production. A 2001 study by Hatuoka et. al. further demonstrated that aging fibroblast (collagen-producing) cells exposed to 3 mM niacinamide increased replicative potential and histone acetyltransferase activity, which suggests that altered gene expression in skin cells may be restored by niacinamide. However, as Hatuoka is quick to point out, niacinamide may enhance the replicative potential of skin’s fibroblast cells, but seems to have little effect on their growth rate and life span, unlike sirtuins, which have been found to completely turn off gene expression and may actually extend fibroblasts’ life span.

Is niacinamide a good acne treatment?

Perhaps. Studies have not been conducted comparing the efficacy of niacinamide to salicyclic acid or benzoic acid, two commonly prescribed acne treatments. However, in comparison to 1% clindamycin gel, Shalita et. al. have shown that niacinamide yields similar results. In addition, use of niacinamide may be preferrable over clindamycin and other antibacterial agents in the long term because the bacteria tends to re-emerge after a period of antibacterial agent use (Shalita et. al.).

Added November 28, 2007:  Are there any potential drawbacks to niacinamide?

It is not advisable to use your niacinamide products with any products containing sirtuins, such as Avon Anew Ultimate Age Repair Elixir Serum and Night Cream.  This is because, unfortunately, sirtuins are inhibited by niacinamide.  Therefore, your attempts to increase levels of sirtuins in your skin with a CR diet or a cream containing sirtuins may be mostly futile if you use a moisturizer with niacinamide.  On the other hand, topically niacinamide has many documented effects for the skin, so until further research is done, it seems to be a question of whether you want the effects of sirtuins or niacinamide more!

In what products is niacin or niacinamide available?

A form of niacin known as nicotinic acid (related to niacinamide) was first found in the NIA24 skin care line. Unlike niacinamide and nicotinamide, nicotinic acid stimulates the release of the hormone leptin, a natural repair hormone, that aids healing within the skin cells and aids in the reduction of hyperpigmentation (NIA).

Niacinamide is available in Olay’s Total Effects, Definity, and Regenerist (my personal favorite of the three) lines. For the body, niacinamide is available in one of my favorite hydrating lotions, Olay Quench Body Lotion for Normal to Dry Skin ($18.64 for two, Amazon.com). While Olay tends to imply that it does too much with its advertising campaigns (no cream can make you look like you just had a professional cosmetic procedure), their products with relatively high concentrations of niacinamide will help improve your skin’s moisture levels, texture, and pigmentation, and may improve your skin’s aging as well.

Altogether, niacinamide has strong scientific research backing the cosmeceutical claims, putting it in a class with antioxidants, retinoids (or kinetin if you have sensitive skin), hydroquinone and amino acid peptides. An excellent ingredient — try to fit it into your skin care régimé!

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