Somehow, I’m ashamed to admit, I’ve developed sunspots again.
I had sunspots whenever I was 19 and started to use Skinceuticals CE Ferulic. After about three months of daily use, my sunspots were gone. I rejoiced. And I started obsessing even more about which skin products work and which don’t – hence the buying of the book Cosmetic Dermatology, and the starting of this blog. (Really!)
But now, I’m 27, and due to the number of samples I’ve been given, I have been switching my skin care regime around for a while (meaning no CE Ferulic for the past year or so). Between that and traveling a lot for FutureDerm, my sunspots have returned, despite varied but religious daily antioxidant and sunscreen use.
Rather than return straight to my beloved Skinceuticals CE Ferulic, I decided to first start a public experiment with Exuviance Opti-Light Tone Corrector ($62.00, Neostrata.com) for two weeks. Yes, the company did send me a sample, but they are well-aware of my straightforward review policy – my readers have to come first. So a sample does not guarantee a review, nor does it ensure a positive review. (In general, nowadays I try not to say anything if I don’t like a product that I was sent as a sample. But for an experiment like this, I have to be completely public about the results, good or bad!)
That said, I decided to select Exuviance Opti-Light Tone Corrector because it has fairly amazing ingredients for sunspots, and because it makes the bold claim that it only needs to be used for two weeks at a time.
So I’ll be back with photos Sunday, July 9 for sure. In the meantime, here’s the ingredient lowdown:
Of all the products I’ve seen with acetyl glucosamine, Exuviance Opti-Light Tone Corrector has the highest concentration, as it is listed on the ingredients list directly after water. Acetyl glucosamine has been proven to make a statistically significant difference in age spots with twice-daily use, as reported in the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology in 2009.
Like many other hyperpigmentation fighters, acetyl glucosamine stops melanin (skin pigment) production by inhibiting the enzyme tyrosinase.
I’m on the fence about tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate, and I’m anxious to compare how it performs on my skin compared to L-ascorbic acid.
On the one hand, tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate is more stable in light and air than L-ascorbic acid. It also penetrates the skin better than L-ascorbic acid: According to a study published in Dermatologic Surgery, tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate penetrates directly into the epidermis and dermis. Other ascorbic acids were found to sit on top of the stratum corneum (uppermost layer of the skin) without a solution like ethoxydiglycol or ethanol (found in many CE serums). The same study also found tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate less irritating than L-ascorbic acid.
On the other hand, tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate is not as exfoliating as L-ascorbic acid, due to the higher pH. It also is really hard to compare the potency of tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate serums. While L-ascorbic acid is sold in clearly-labeled 10%, 15%, and 20% solutions, I’ve never seen anyone label their product as 2% tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate (the typical amount). What’s more, even if they did, we don’t yet know if it takes 2% or 20% tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate to be as potent as, say, 10% L-ascorbic acid. There’s really no means of comparison amongst the two yet.
I must admit, I never use retinol during the day. It makes the skin more photosensitive, and I’m simply more comfortable using it at night. Still, Exuviance Opti-Light Tone Corrector is for twice-daily use for two weeks, and it contains retinol to promote cell turnover all day long. So I’ll go along with it for the purpose of this experiment – though I normally would avoid daytime retinol like the plague.
Initial Use and Opinions
Here’s the low-down:
- Smells great (like citrus fruit and mildly of flowers)
- Absorbs quickly into the skin
- Great base for applying sunscreen after
- Suitable for normal/dry, normal/oily skin types.
- May not be hydrating enough for the driest of skin, nor mattefying enough for the oiliest of skin. Would need to be combined with other products for those skin types.
I’ll be back in two weeks to let you know how the sunspot lightening goes!