Hey there, I have been [crawling] the internet looking for advice, and I wondered if you might be persuaded to take pity on me and help me out with my dilemma?!
I recently purchased argireline solution 10% to help with my eye lines (I’m 38 and getting quite a few these past few years suddenly – guess my collagen production is waning – dammit!). Any way I also have retinol 1% in Squalene, along with a night cream with creatine and vitamin C and CoQ10 in it.
I sometimes use lipoic acid too – sorry to be complicated – but I’m so confused about which products work well together. It’s all so expensive and I am on disability benefits. I really don’t want my efforts to be going to waste and counterproductive… mainly i’m confused about argireline and retinol. I’m pretty sure it’s not good to mix it with vitamin c already.
Any help or advice would be so gratefully received. -X
I understand your confusion. There are a lot of fantastic skincare products and ingredients out there, and even more fantastic salespeople and marketers who are trained to make everything sound like the new Avocado Toast. (Like most millennials, I happen to love avocado toast, but that’s another post for another time.)
So let’s talk about your specific concern: undereye wrinkles. Like most wrinkles, undereye wrinkles primarily occur as a result of muscle contraction without enough corresponding collagen and elastin production to counteract crease formation. In addition, the skin around the eye area is thinner, more delicate, and has fewer oil glands, so wrinkles will appear earlier than other areas of the face.
However, whether they are crow’s feet around your eyes or Marionette lines around your mouth or the elevens between your eyebrows, all wrinkles essentially need the same ingredients. I recommend the following:
- 15% L-ascorbic acid (vitamin C);
- 2% vitamin E;
- 0.75% coenzyme Q10;
- 8% argireline;
- 2-5% glycolic acid and 1-4% lactic acid, depending on how sensitive your skin is, and how light your skin is. If it’s sensitive and light, go 2% and 1%, respectively; if it’s more resilient and darker, you can tolerate 5% and 4%, respectively;
- 0.75% grape seed extract.
All of these ingredients are available in the FutureDerm Customizable Day Serum. It is tolerated well around the eyes in all testers. Email me if you want to place an order with help; I’m happy to help personally!
That said, I know some of our readers become irritated when all I do is promote our own products. I understand that — I read a number of blogs, and I get tired when all other bloggers do is promote their own products. So other ways to get the ingredients above would include the following:
- Drunk Elephant Framboos Glycolic Acid Serum, followed by
- Skinceuticals CE Ferulic or Maelove Vitamin C Serum, followed by
- Vintner’s Daughter Active Botanical Serum
- 0.5-1% retinol, depending on how sensitive your skin is. If your skin is particularly sensitive, start on the lower end, and work your way up as tolerated; if your skin is resilient, start higher. For the delicate undereye skin, I will say, most people want to start lower.
- 4% niacinamide;
- 8% argireline;
- 3% Matrixyl;
- 2% green tea;
- 1-4% lactic acid, again depending on how sensitive your skin is.
Again, these ingredients are all available in our FutureDerm Customizable Night Serum. I recommend using retinol and vitamin C separately, because the pH is off. The pH optimal for retinol esterification (activation) is between 5.5-6.0, as mentioned in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology. Most acidic ingredients work best at a pH of 4.5 or less, and when they are used in conjunction with retinol, they will negate its activity.
How much does this matter? It honestly depends on the formulation. This effect can be slight, as in formulations that are already made with retinol and acids, which are typically only slightly out of the ideal range for retinol activation. On the other hand, this effect can also be significant, as when you use separate retinol and acidic products, which typically have a pH of 2-4 and can penetrate the skin very well, taking the skin out of its ideal retinol esterification range.
If you are looking for the above ingredients in a regimen that is not from FutureDerm (sad face, but hey, I understand, there are more brands than my own), I recommend:
- Peter Thomas Roth Retinol Fusion Serum, followed by or mixed with
- Paula’s Choice Peptide Booster, followed by
- Skinceuticals Metacell Renewal with 5% niacinamide, or Olay Regenerist, which I estimate has 4% niacinamide.
It doesn’t hurt to use the ingredients mentioned above all over your face. However, you mentioned that you’re more budget-conscious right now, and in that case, using a dime-sized amount of the products above daily around the eyes only should make the products last 3-4 months, rather than the standard 30 days that most 1-2 ounce skincare products last.
Hope this helps!
All the best,