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I received a request recently to review Strivectin Power Serum for Wrinkles ($93.99, Amazon.com), and I must admit that I was a little reluctant to do so. I love their StriVectin SD Neck Cream, but then I the-opposite-of-loved their StriVectin SD Original Formula. So, again…reluctance.
And then I looked at the ingredients in Strivectin Power Serum for Wrinkles and tried it, and I was relieved.
Myristyl nicotinate – NIA-114TM
As with the StriVectin SD Neck Cream, you’re getting a powerhouse version of vitamin B3 – myristyl nicotinate. This is also found in the NIA 24 line. Another form of vitamin B3 found in skin care is niacinamide, seen in Olay products. Myristyl nicotinate has been noted to improve skin barrier function, mitigate signs of sun damage, and reduce the incidence of atopic dermatitis (U.S. Pharm, 2009).
Plant Stem Cells
Oh, plant stem cells. Nothing has gotten me into more debates in skin care.
On the one hand, there is limited in-house research from plant stem cell manufacturers that plant stem cells may reduce wrinkle depth by up to 15% after 20 days of treatment (source). That’s fairly significant, though there are ingredients out there, like concentrated retinoids and glycolic acid, shown to reduce wrinkle depth by 30% or more in the same period.
It also doesn’t make clear sense how plant stem cells work within the skin. The suggestion is that plant stem cells firm up your skin. But how would this work? There are only two ways I can think of: One, plant stem cells would be able to grow and differentiate into human tissues, or two, that plant stem cells would signal human cells to grow and divide faster or in greater magnitudes. But it hasn’t yet been proven that plant stem cells can do either.
So what to do? I play by this rule: If I would like the product without the stem cells, I go for it. But if it has nothing going for it besides stem cells, I put it back on the shelf. They’re pricey and not yet proven. And if I had to make an educated guess, I’d say they’re probably not doing much of anything – nothing more than we can get from concentrated retinoids, alpha hydroxy acids, and the like. But again, we don’t know for sure yet.
One of my favorite dermatologists, Dr. Leslie Baumann, M.D., author of The Skin Type Solution, recently told me that she is skeptical of peptides: “Peptides do not penetrate the skin, and they are unstable in the formulations.”
However, unlike plant stem cells, several peptides have some research backing outside of the manufacturers (at least, as far as we can tell, the research is unaffiliated with any manufacturers!).
In Strivectin Power Serum for Wrinkles, there are two peptides: palmitoyl oligopeptide and palmitoyl tetrapeptide-7. What is great about palmitoyl oligopeptide is that it significantly stimulates collagen production in human fibroblasts, as shown in a 2007 study in Dermatologic Therapy. When used twice daily for a significant period of time – about six months – this means firmer skin, provided that other factors remain the same (i.e., weight, sun exposure, etc.).
On the other hand, palmitoyl tetrapeptide-7 may reduce inflammatory cytokines, known as interleukins (Clinics in Dermatology, 1999). By reducing inflammation, palmitoyl tetrapeptide-7 may potentially reduce the cumulative amount of damage that occurs following exposure to UV light, pollution, and other environmental stressors.
So if palmitoyl tetrapeptide-7 and palmitoyl oligopeptide do in fact work, then Strivectin Power Serum for Wrinkles is quite a buy.
The truth of the matter is, we know for certain that myristyl nicotinate works, and we’re pretty sure that peptides work, but we can’t be sure, with some prominent dermatologists being skeptical. But we’re altogether doubtful that plant stem cells are doing much of anything (if anything).
Product Rating: 8.5/10
- High or optimized concentration of proven ingredients: 2.5/3
- Unique formulation or new technology: 3/3
- Value: 2/3
- Sunscreen or sunscreen-boosting antioxidants: 0/1
Water, Dimethicone, Butylene Glycol, Myristyl Nicotinate, Dicaprylyl Carbonate, Polysorbate 20, Neopentyl Glycol Diheptanoate, Glycerin, Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Polymethylsilsesquioxane, Zea Mays (Corn) Starch, Globularia Cordifolia Callus Culture Extract, Polymethyl Methacrylate, Maltooligosyl Glucoside, Glyceryl Stearate, Trimethylsiloxysilicate, Sigesbeckia Orientalis Extract, Hydrogenated Starch Hydrolysate, Sorbitan Laurate, Lecithin, RabdosiaRubescens Extract, Tocopheryl Acetate, Hippophae Rhamnoides Oil, Menthol, Menthyl Lactate, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Sodium Dilauramidoglutamide Lysine, Glycine Soja (Soybean) Sterols, Bisabolol, Polyacrylate-13, Dimethicone/ PEG-10/15 Crosspolymer, Acetyl Hydroxyproline, Palmitamide, Brassica Campestris (Rapeseed) Sterols, Tocopherol, Palmitoyl Oligopeptide, Palmitoyl Tetrapeptide-7, Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Extract, Cetearyl Alcohol, Polysorbate 60, Behenyl Alcohol, Fragrance (Parfum), Magnesium Aluminum Silicate, Acetyl Dipeptide-1 Cetyl Ester, Carbomer, Polyisobutene, Stearic Acid, Ethylhexylglycerin, Phenoxyethanol, Hexyldecanol, Chlorphenesin, Benzoic Acid, Menthoxypropanediol, Disodium EDTA, Potassium Sorbate