Focus and discipline are probably the more difficult aspects of testing a new facial product.
The more complicated and tedious the instructions, the easier I get distracted – by other new products on my dresser! I am looking for a product that not only works quickly but effectively with the least effort from my side.
For the last month, I committed to very thorough testing of the NeoStrata® Skin Active Range.
I focused on how the range incorporates a surprising amount of active ingredients successfully in just a few products; why the range is popular amongst women with mature, sun-damaged skin and if the range can prove itself with a personal, first-hand experience.
I was super excited upon receiving my superbly packed parcel from Dermastore®! I receive many parcels, every day in fact, but there’s just something different about Dermastore® packaging that distinguishes it from all the rest. The overall impression is that it is packed with care and respect for the contents.
I received five products all neatly wrapped within the tissue paper: NeoStrata® Skin Active Exfoliating Wash; NeoStrata® Skin Active Antioxidant Defense Serum; NeoStrata® Skin Active Matrix Support SPF30; NeoStrata® Skin Active Cellular Restoration and the NeoStrata® Skin Active Intensive Eye Therapy. I already had NeoStrata® Skin Active Triple Neck Firming Cream in my cupboard and decided to add this to the testing range.
The products come with comprehensive instructions from Dermastore® so I knew exactly how to use the products and also what to avoid.
What attracts me to the American Dermatologist-developed cosmeceutical range is the comprehensive scientific research behind it and the use of potent active ingredients. Cutting-edge skincare that packs a punch!
I want to know everything I can about the products I apply on my face, and for this reason, I love the Dermastore® website. Each product on the site features in detail, with descriptions, key ingredients, how to use the product and additional tips given by Dr Ian Webster, Dermatologist and founder of Dermastore® – where you can purchase Dermatologist recommended products online.
It is also important to me that the manufacturing endorses anti-cruelty and does not contain harmful ingredients like parabens.
NeoStrata® Skin Active Exfoliating Wash (R547.00)
I like to wash my face with water in the mornings (not evenings, when I cleanse using a cream cleanser), thus I was immediately impressed with this foam cleanser. The Skin Active Exfoliating Wash is formulated to stimulate cell renewal. It foams but is soap-free and it’s pH balanced. It is specifically targeted for mature, sun-damaged skin. It gently exfoliates without drying the skin. Poly Hydroxy Acids (PHAs), including Gluconolactone and Maltobionic Acid, stimulate cell turnover and remove debris from the pores, enhancing skin texture and clarity.
According to the instructions, this cleanser is not suitable for sensitive or rosacea-prone skin. As the product contains active ingredients, users are advised to introduce the product slowly so that your skin can get used to it.
The purpose of this cleanser is, first of all, to properly cleanse the skin and to prepare the skin for the other products in the range.
I apply the cleanser with the use of my Clarisonic skin cleanser, by first wetting the Clarisonic and then spraying the foam onto it. I gently massage my whole face with circular motions before rinsing my face thoroughly. My skin feels clean, without dryness or any tightness.
There is no toner in this range as the cleanser already does the job of a toner – balancing your skin’s pH. I have to admit that I did miss my toner as I am so used to using one.
NeoStrata® Skin Active Antioxidant Defense Serum (R905.00)
The next step in the regime is the day serum. This serum is a powerful antioxidant that protects the skin from daily environmental stressors, preserves healthy DNA and targets the visible signs of ageing in dry, mature, sun-damaged skin.
The ingredients include eight powerful, multi-action antioxidants and Polyhydroxy acids that help to prevent sun-induced cellular damage.
I used the serum twice a day, morning and evening after cleansing. The instructions advise that you wait until the serum has been absorbed before applying the moisturiser – I used this time to brush my teeth. The serum has a see-through consistency and a small amount goes a long way. One pump was enough for my face and neck. I really like the cool gel-like texture.
NeoStrata® Skin Active Matrix Support SPF30 (R811.00)
Normally experts advise the use of an additional sunscreen over and above your moisturiser, but I really don’t always feel up to the extra time and effort it takes to apply it – especially if I use a BB cream or foundation that already contains a sunscreen. This moisturiser contains a broad-spectrum SPF30, thus I reckon that my skin is protected enough against sun damage – and it is also winter. I am impressed with this all-rounder moisturiser.
NeoStrata®Skin Active Matrix Support SPF 30 is formulated to help repair the skin’s deep matrix (your skin’s mattress). It is packed full of multiple anti-ageing ingredients and patented peptides that help stimulate collagen production. NeoGlucosamine inhibits melanin production thus reducing brown marks and pigmentation, while Retinol stimulates cell turnover and reduces fine lines and wrinkles.
The battle against ageing skin demands an effective combination of ingredients that work synergistically resulting in skin that is noticeably smoother, firmer, even-toned and brighter. I was really impressed with this multipurpose day cream that not only prevents further damage but also repairs and protects all day long.
According to the instructions note received, one can expect to experience some flaking (due to the increased cell turnover). This shows that the product is working! If you find this aspect bothersome, the Dermastore® team suggests you introduce the product slowly so your skin can get used to all the active ingredients. I did experience flaking in the first week of use, especially on my forehead, but did not find it overly noticeable or irritating.
NeoStrata® Skin Active Cellular Restoration (R1072.00)
Speak of potent! This night cream is a heavyweight and packs a serious punch when it comes to anti-ageing. It is formulated to target the visible signs of ageing and to restore the skin to optimum health. This obviously means that it has to get rid of the old, damaged layer of skin and for this action, a number of potent active ingredients are utilised.
The key ingredient is the SynerG Formula 15 – this ingredient helps to increase cellular turnover and strengthen the skin. Apple stem cell extract protects and maintains the skin’s own essential cells, while peptides enhance collagen production. Glycolic acid helps to increase collagen. Maltobionic acid and Gluconolactone are powerful antioxidants which help to stimulate and repair the skin by preventing the breakdown of collagen. All these ingredients work together repairing and renewing the skin while you sleep.
I use the cream after cleansing and apply the serum in the evening. My experience was interesting: every morning it felt as if I had a layer on my skin that made “frimmels” , especially if I used oil on my skin before cleansing. I could not believe that all the frimmels were dead skin coming off and consulted the Dermastore® team.
“Do not worry and continue with the routine,” was the response from the team. The explanation was that the product contains Maltobionic Acid that forms a protective gel matrix on the skin’s surface. This does not prevent product penetration, it seals in the moisture and active ingredients – this was what I saw as frimmels every morning.
NeoStrata® Skin Active Intensive Eye Therapy (R1014)
Eye cream is the one luxury that I allow myself in abundance. The skin around the eye area is delicate and thin and does not absorb normal moisturiser effectively. A product specifically formulated for the eye area is thus an essential item and should not be considered unnecessary.
NeoStrata® Skin Active Intensive Eye Therapy is a deeply hydrating, nourishing eye cream. It targets fine lines, crows feet and puffiness and helps to plump up and build the skin around the eye. It contains apple stem cell extract which protects the longevity of your own stem cells and peptides which help to produce more collagen. Other active ingredients like NeoGlucosamine, antioxidants and hyaluronic acid help limit the formation of brown marks and lessen the visible signs of ageing in this delicate area.
I use the eye cream twice a day, morning and night after my serum but before my moisturisers. It is more a gel than a cream and application are easy. One pump is enough for both the eyes. My favourite anti-ageing trick is applying the left-over eye cream on my top lip!
NeoStrata® Skin Active Triple Firming Neck Cream (R922)
My neck does not look too bad for my age. I firmly believe it is because I have always had long hair that protected my skin against the elements. Well – that is my story and I am sticking to it!
Recently, I am more and more aware of my neck and decolletage – as I am noticing the effects of age in those areas – dry skin, occasionally crepe-like and the colour is becoming darker with visible loss of firmness. Help to target this area is in SERIOUS demand.
I had the NeoStrata® Triple Neck Firming Cream in my test cupboard and decided to include the use of it with the rest of the range. What I really like is that the amount /size of the product is not skimpy. It is a reasonable size that encourages liberal use in the entire area – no skimping as a lot of women do, as using your facial moisturiser on your neck area can be quite expensive (a big mistake as the neck area does not contain oil glands and thus is more prone to dryness).
The texture of the neck cream is rich and applies easily, leaving the skin hydrated but not oily. It does not come off on my shirt collars. Indeed a winner in my book!
A note on the packaging of this range
It comes in airtight containers which means that contact with the cream is avoided – except the tiny bit that you pump out onto your finger. This means that bacterial contamination is avoided. The integrity of the active ingredients is ensured thus the product remains effective. This is the way forward for all packaging, I believe. I am more and more reluctant to use open jars where I have to dip my fingers or a spatula into the product.
Results after three weeks :
The range is easy and effortless to use – a decided plus point. I initially experienced a light prickling sensation, especially in the evenings after applying the day and night creams. This was expected as the level of active ingredients is high. If I did not experience this, I might have been disappointed.
It takes time to get used to the “frimmels” in the mornings, but I like the idea that my skin has a barrier to lock the moisture in during the night.
By the third week, my skin texture and tone was more even, and the red tiny veins around my nose area were less prominent. The most noticeable difference was the thickness of my skin. I do not have a scientific method to measure it, but I noticed a difference in the denseness of my skin. It appeared to me as if the matrix of my skin was a little thicker and this is good as it means more collagen production has taken place.
The skin around my eye area also looks more firm and my neck and decolletage is more moisturised and even.
For a cosmeceutical range that is specifically targeted for mature skin, the NeoStrata® Skin Active range fits perfectly. It is effective and not exorbitantly expensive and addresses anti-ageing on the mark. Definitely your money’s worth.