Let’s talk about Strivectin. When it first launched in the UK I was sent a sample to review. I have to admit that there was something about the product that didn’t appeal to me. It may have been a combination of the packaging (which to me is very clinical and for some reason that puts me off) and the name of the product (again its the whole clinical thing). However, I gave the product a try for a couple of weeks. I had a slight reaction to it around the cheekbone area, in the form of Milia, so I stopped using it despite reading some very good reviews from other trusted bloggers.
Intuitively, if we feel a flush, or tingling or stinging sensation or see redness when using a skin care product, we tend to stop, and with good reason. However, some ingredients such as hyaluronic acid, will often create a sensation like this and unless there is a severe reaction, it is sometimes advisable to ‘break through’ the sensation and carry on using it. In some cases, a mild sensation of irritation is simply a sign that the product is working (Alpha-H Liquid Gold being a good example). In the case of Niacin, when topically applied or taken as a supplement, studies have shown that ’the flushing may be part of something important that Niacin is doing and that you wouldn’t want to get rid of it’ and aspirin is recommended to reduce any symptoms.
With this in mind, I recently went to a launch of the newest addition to the Strivectin portfolio, Strivectin-EV (Get Even Brightening Serum) and learned a great deal about the product and how it works, which led me to revisit the brand.
Niacin, or vitamin B3 which is found naturally in the skin, is essential for healthy skin, hair and nails. It has been shown to be very effective in the treatment of rosacea, and also boosts water content in the skin. It is the basis of all Strivectin products, their patented NIA -114™ technology was discovered during skin cancer prevention research to help rebuild skin layers, and the NIA-114™ results are documented in multiple global patents and years of clinical trials.
“As one of the most active forms of Niacin, NIA-114™ enables the maximum concentration of niacin to be delivered into the skin because of its patented lipophilic tail. Providing unique and unrivalled benefits for the skin, niacin repairs skin damage and helps to rebuild skin layers. The result? Healthier skin that functions better and produces visible improvements in skin texture, tone and discoloration as well as dramatically reduces the appearance of deep lines, wrinkles & stretch marks.”
Dark spots or patches of discolouration are a sign of skin damage -usually caused by over exposure to the sun, but also from hormonal changes such as pregnancy or menopause. Hyper-pigmentation is among top 3 concerns for Caucasians, African Americans, Asians and Hispanics.
I fall broadly into the Asian category, and dark spots are a real concern for me now, especially with all the shooting overseas in hot temperatures. I’m fastidious about wearing SPF 50 on my face, but even that doesn’t stop the discolouration and the darkening of existing spots as I get a tan. Additionally, kids like me who grew up in the 70s experienced more sun damage than children do these days, as there wasn’t a great deal of emphasis on sun protection.
Over time, I’ve tested best-selling brightening treatments from Clinique, Darphin, Caudalie and Dermalogica, and have not experienced any visible improvement with dark spots from any of them. So although feeling very sceptical, the clinical studies looked promising and I decided to give this a go.
I started using both the Get Even Brightening Serum (recommended use twice a day) and the Get Even Spot Repair which is a little pen that dispenses a super-concentrated boost of product on to targeted areas daily over 6 weeks ago, and took them with me to a job in Miami.
I tan very easily even with a high SPF, and after 10 days shooting outside in Miami I came back with a very brown face, and an increase in dark brown spots, so in a way it’s been a bit tricky to test this product.
The first thing to mention is that I haven’t had any adverse reaction to Strivectin as before. Phew. Secondly, I really like the texture of the serum, it’s silky and absorbs into the skin really well, leaving no stickiness. In fact, I’ve been pleasantly surprised by how moisturised my skin feels using the serum, a couple of times I actually forgot to apply my usual moisturiser over the top because my skin felt completely comfortable. Unheard of!
As my tan gradually faded over the weeks, I noticed a definite blurring around the edges of some of the more long-standing dark spots and a general, but subtle, brightening of skin tone. Then I started to notice that scarring resulting from some killer spots I once had, also started to fade out slightly. And as this transformation occurred, my hopes for this serum grew.
However, I’m now in the 7th (or 8th, can’t quite remember) week of using Strivectin-EV and the effects seem to have plateaued. Yes, there HAS been a fading or blurring of some of the worse dark spots and scarring, and my skin even appears smoother, but I have to be honest and say that I was hoping for something more dramatic.
And this is perhaps an indication of how we, as women, really do buy into the hype surrounding beauty products. Yes, an effective skin care routine can really transform a woman, but what it can’t do is perform miracles, or completely reverse the damage that time + environment causes. This is just something we have to live with. Until the next ‘wonder product’ comes along to get our hopes up again!
Would I recommend Strivectin-EV? Above all the other brightening serums I’ve tried, yes I would, for sure. But just be realistic in your expectations. I let myself get a bit carried away and imagined my younger, even-toned self, and the fact is, she ain’t coming back!
£79 for the serum, 50ml, and £45 for the pen. You can read more about Strivectin studies here