BRANDS I LOVE : SKIN REGIMEN MODERN APOTHECARY FACIAL SKIN CARE
I love great packaging. I love great brand stories. I love great product names. But in the end, it’s just love. None of that matters when it comes to the health of your skin! The only thing that really matters is a well-formulated product that’s pro-skin health and delivers what your skin needs.
But, seriously, love does matter for something, doesn’t it? We’re not robots. If I didn’t love all of that stuff — the packaging, the brand stories, the product names and, yes, the formulas — I wouldn’t be sitting here writing this blog article about a brand I recently discovered.
And one that I kinda love.
As with most first impressions, looks count. Skin Regimen caught my eye because of its gorgeous, artistic, modern apothecary aesthetic. Its black glass bottles, text heavy, prescriptive labels, even the high-gloss ebony caps and droppers are just so sexy!
I only recently discovered the lux high-science Skin Regimen brand created by Comfort Zone, the skincare division of the Davines Group based in Parma, Italy (my motherland!). Oh, the Italians just have a way with things, don’t they?! Until a month ago, I’d never heard of Skin Regimen. Beyond all that sexy black glass, there’s a real depth to the brand that I was hoping I’d find. And did!
Skin Regimen’s motto, “healthy skin has no age,” couldn’t resonate with me more. With their skin health positioning, the brand’s focus is on the daily stressors of the modern lifestyle on our skin — and all the consequences that come with it. Like splotchiness, dehydration, premature aging and, most commonly, sensitization.
Skin Regimen frames it all this way: “The city, with its rhythms, its flow of people and its intrinsic vitality, forms the backdrop for Skin Regimen…For urban dwellers who want to be the best version of themselves while coping with the effects of daily stress and pollution, those unavoidable, critical factors of city living. Skin Regimen is a modern skincare system, clinically proven to reduce the effects of stress and lifestyle aging on both skin and mind.”
They’re not alone in recognizing the stressors of city life and pursuing solutions for preserving skin health in the face of constant external attacks — some of them natural (UV) and some of them unnatural (pollution). One of the latest K-Beauty trends coming out of Seoul is skin care that helps skin defend against pollution, UV and blue light — a trifecta of damaging aggressors that further compromises skin, degrades collagen and elastin, increases sensitivity, and accelerates skin aging.
Skin Regimen is both beauty and brains — with a firm commitment to sustainability and our environmental impact on our world. In December 2016, parent company Davines Group became a certified B Corporation “with the purpose of making our business a source of positive impact for people and the planet.”
Certified B Corporations are businesses that meet the highest standards of verified social and environmental performance, public transparency, and legal accountability to balance profit and purpose. B Corps are accelerating a global culture shift to redefine success in business and build a more inclusive and sustainable economy. - B Corps
To that end, all Skin Regimen products are packaged with fully recyclable materials, including glass, sugarcane-derived plastic, safety-certified aluminum and FSC-certified paper.
Meet Skin Regimen
What about the Skin Regimen formulas? Well, I’ve been trying five of them over the last several weeks and I’d say they align perfectly with the brand’s skin health philosophy — as well as my own Skincarma philosophy focused on maintaining and optimizing skin health. Under the guidance of Dr. Davide Bollati, a cosmetic chemist known for his sustainable approach to beauty, Skin Regimen’s functional products are formulated with high concentrations of ingredients of natural origin including soothing antioxidant-rich botanicals, vitamins, humectants and replenishing plant oils. Skin Regimen says each of its dozen or so products is formulated with its exclusive “Longevity Complex™, made of organic superfood extracts and carnosine, counteracting the effects of stress and aging accelerators.”
15.0 Vitamin C Booster
The Skin Regimen 15.0 Vitamin C Booster is, as the name implies, powered by 15% Vitamin C in the form of Sodium Ascorbate and Ascorbic Acid — the purest, most effective and most unstable form of Vitamin C. That’s why Skin Regimen keeps the Vitamin C separate from the rest of the formula until you’re ready to start using it. It comes in two parts, what Skin Regimen calls base one and base two.
Base one contains water and penetration enhancers Propanediol and Dimethyl Isosorbide — a clear, slightly oily liquid that functions as a solvent and is a terrific alternative to denatured alcohol in a skincare formula. I wish the chemists at more companies (L’Oreal, Amore Pacific and Shiseido among them!) would make use of DMI instead of weakening the skin barrier with alcohol to enhance penetration of actives. This isn’t 1975!
In addition to Vitamin C, Skin Regimen infused their watery serum with several other antioxidants in the form of soothing botanical extracts. Comprised of 92.8% natural-origin ingredients, what makes the Skin Regimen Vitamin C treatment perfect for summer mornings is its light-as-water texture. Most of the Vitamin C serums I prefer using are oil-based, meaning extra time is needed for full absorption and layering. This one is so watery that it absorbs instantly. But, because it’s dissolved in water, you have to use it up quickly (a month or two max) in order to benefit from the potency of the Vitamin C before it breaks down and loses its efficacy.
I eschew physical scrubs with one exception: an enzymatic powder. They tend to be super gentle on skin with a mild cleansing and exfoliating effect. But even gentle powders like the Skin Regimen Enzymatic Powder aren’t a uniform breed. Some have a thicker texture that creates something closer to a creamy mask when mixed with water; others are so fine that they dissolve nearly completely, leaving a very light foamy residue on the skin as the enzymes work their exfoliating magic. Skin Regimen’s Enzymatic Powder is the latter.
Because it has only a mild cleansing effect, I like using it first thing in the morning when I don’t need to wash my face as much. Made with 64% natural-origin ingredients, Skin Regimen says it’s “recommended for city-gray or dull complexion to obtain a luminous and smooth skin while fighting environmental triggers that accelerate skin aging.” If you suffer from a “city-gray complexion,” you may have bigger issues than this powder can correct!
The water-free formula’s first ingredient is Cellulose Acetate — derived from cellulose, a naturally occurring fiber found in the cell walls of plants. It gives the formula a lightly abrasive effect much like a physical scrub, but without scratching and damaging the skin barrier. Cellulose Acetate also has “anti-caking” properties that prevent the formula from being too chunky and muddy when mixed with water. It’s just so smooth! Rice Powder delivers a more intense physical exfoliation which is, again, mild enough to do no damage.
The formula’s enzymatic action comes from a natural papaya extract, Carica Papaya (Papaya) Fruit Juice, which dissolves the bonds between dead cells, helping to release them and leave your complexion fresh and, presumably, not so city-grey.
**WATCH MY VIDEO REVIEW OF SKIN REGIMEN’S MODERN APOTHECARY FACIAL SKIN CARE ON MY YOUTUBE CHANNEL HERE.**
1.85 HA Booster
IMO you can never get enough Hyaluronic Acid in your skin care — and in your skin. I’ve been doing a lot of research on the miraculous humectant that’s naturally found in skin and does a damn great job of holding water in the skin’s layers like a magnet. Hydration is everything. And your skin is in a constant battle to hold as much of it as it can. I’ve said it before but it’s worth repeating: hydration is essential to skin health. That’s the central tenet of K-Beauty — and of my Skincarma philosophy! In the winter cold, the dry air literally sucks water out of our skin through the skin barrier. In summer, we simply sweat it out in the heat. If you’re envious of the beautifully healthy looking skin of the average Korean woman (I’m super jealous!), her secret is likely that she works hard to keep her skin hydrated. And humectants like Hyaluronic Acid are her secret weapon!
HA isn’t the only humectant — others include Glycerin, Aloe and somewhat new and trendy Beta Glucan. I’ve spoken before about Beta Glucan, a polysaccharide sugar derived from yeast that’s at the heart of the amazing Kosmetic Immunity JKosmmune Beta Glucan Serum I reviewed in last week’s blog on my Quick Summer Skincare Regimen.
As for Hyaluronic Acid, there are multiple forms of the humectant in various molecular sizes — often referred to as low molecular weight and high molecular weight. Those weights are important because the molecules penetrate at varying degrees. All of this is why I’m intrigued by the Skin Regimen 1.85 HA Booster serum. It blends three forms of Hyaluronic Acid for broader, more effective humectant power: Hydrolyzed Sodium Hyaluronate, Sodium Hyaluronate and Sodium Hyaluronate Crosspolymer. It’s the latter that caught my eye. Sodium Hyaluronate Crosspolymer is a unique, “cross-linked” from of HA that chemically binds together multiple molecular weight molecules to create a humectant “mesh” with supercharged water-binding properties — making it 5x more effective than common Hyaluronic Acid. Come on, that’s crazy cool science— and one of the more intriguing aspects of Skin Regimen’s formulas.
Skin loves nutrients — and it eats them up! One of the best nutrient-rich ingredients used in skin care is algae in one form or another. Algae is increasingly finding its way into skin care products for its high concentration of minerals, micornutrients, and vitamins that help to replenish the skin, enhance water flow and deliver antioxidant protection. The third ingredient in the Skin Regimen Microalgae Essence is Euglena Gracilis Extract — an energizing form of algae that can help to firm skin and counter fatigue.
Made from 94.8% natural-origin ingredients, Microalgae Essence has a pulpy texture that drenches skin in hydration and natural moisturizing factors (NMFs). I’m not sure if it’s a toner or an essence — or a little bit of both. This weekend, I actually used it as one of two toners in the 7-Skin Method and loved the results. My skin felt healthy and hydrated all day long as I ran around the City in the 100-degree heat.
Microalgae Essence is loaded (and I mean loaded!) with antioxidant botanicals, notably organic Spinach Leaf Extract and Wild Indigo Extract as well as carrageenan — a nutrient-rich polysaccharide that’s extracted from red seaweed.
Skin Regimen says it’s a “highly concentrated lotion that optimally recharges and hydrates the skin countering the effects of intense lifestyle, stress and dehydration due to heating, air conditioning and traveling.”
I love this stuff!
Skin Regimen Night Detox
I think this product may be the unsung hero of the bunch. It’s perhaps the most unique and unexpected — and even a bit misunderstood. Starting with the name. “Night Detox” isn’t quite what I’d call it. It’s overly simplistic. Setting aside the fact that topical treatments cannot detoxify the skin (detoxifying the body is performed by our livers!), the Skin Regimen Night Detox is a surface-exfoliating, moisture-replenishing, antioxidant-infusing overnight treatment that works throughout the night to perk up the complexion by morning.
They should call it Surface-Exfoliating, Moisture-Replenishing, Antioxidant-Infusing Overnight Treatment!
Comprised of 98.7% natural-origin ingredients, its key technology and most intriguing active ingredient is Gluconolactone — a Polyhydroxy Acid (PHA) that is chemically and functionally similar to AHAs like Glycolic Acid, Lactic Acid and Mandelic Acid. Because the PHA molecule is much larger than, say, a Glycolic Acid molecule, it doesn't penetrate as deeply and thus has a reduced potential for irritation — particularly in sensitive skin. Nothing, of course, is as potent and effective a chemical exfoliator as glycolic, but skin doesn’t always need that level of resurfacing, especially in a leave-on overnight treatment like Night Detox. And, according to my skincare muse Paula Begoun, “polyhydroxy acids can also function as antioxidants and may promote some amount of improvement in skin’s surface strength.”
In addition to intriguing Gluconolactone, the formula contains high levels of humectant Glycerin and moisturizing Shea Butter as well as several antioxidant oils and extracts. It has a thick, balm-like texture that forms a light “second skin” that holds it in place. It’s still quite noticeable on my skin in the morning, with no discernible residue on the pillow. I love how soft and refreshed my complexion looks the morning after.
Interestingly, Skin Regimen recommends using it in “a cycle of 28 days every 3 months.” I didn’t (and wouldn’t) use it for 28 straight days (is there enough in the jar for that?!) — but it sure would be an interesting experiment!
That’s it, guys! I’ve had so much fun playing with these Skin Regimen formulas and caressing all this polished black glass bottles as if they were gems. Remember, it’s what’s inside that counts!
**WATCH MY VIDEO REVIEW OF SKIN REGIMEN’S MODERN APOTHECARY FACIAL SKIN CARE ON MY YOUTUBE CHANNEL HERE.**
The Ingredient List of the Skin Regimen 15.0 Vitamin C Booster:
Base 1: Aqua / Water / Eau*, Dimethyl Isosorbide, Propanediol*, 1,2-Hexanediol, Aristotelia Chilensis Fruit Extract*, Carnosine, Disodium Edta, Spinacia Oleracea Leaf Extract / Spinacia Oleracea (Spinach) Leaf Extract*, Sodium Metabisulfite, Carrageenan*, Citric Acid, Caprylhydroxamic Acid, Xanthan Gum*, Tephrosia Purpurea Seed Extract*, Sodium Benzoate, Potassium Sorbate.
Base 2 : Sodium Ascorbate*, Ascorbic Acid*.
The Ingredient List of the Skin Regimen Microalgae Essence:
Aqua / Water / Eau*, Propylene Glycol*, Euglena Gracilis Extract*, Polysorbate 20, Propanediol*, Xylitol*, Betaine*, Sodium Lactate*, Sodium Pca*, Glycerin*, Glycine, 1,2-Hexanediol, Aristotelia Chilensis Fruit Extract*, Carnosine, Disodium Edta, Spinacia Oleracea Leaf Extract / Spinacia Oleracea (Spinach) Leaf Extract*, Lactic Acid*, Carrageenan*, Xanthan Gum*, Juniperus Virginiana Oil*, Caprylhydroxamic Acid, Citric Acid, Phenoxyethanol, Tephrosia Purpurea Seed Extract*, Juniperus Phoenicea Gum Extract*, Glucose*, Fructose*, Niacinamide, Urea, Sodium Benzoate, Copaifera Officinalis Resin / Copaifera Officinalis (Balsam Copaiba) Resin*, Potassium Sorbate, Aniba Rosodora Wood Oil / Aniba Rosodora (Rosewood) Wood Oil*, Inositol, Tocopherol.
The Ingredient List of the Skin Regimen Enzymatic Powder:
Cellulose Acetate, Talc*, Glucose*, Magnesium Oxide*, Disodium Lauryl Sulfosuccinate, Oryza Sativa Powder / Oryza Sativa (Rice) Powder*, Sodium Lauroyl Glutamate*, Distarch Phosphate, Maltodextrin*, Ci 77891 / Titanium Dioxide*, Carica Papaya Fruit Juice / Carica Papaya (Papaya) Fruit Juice*, Camellia Sinensis Leaf / Camellia Sinensis Leaf Powder*, Chlorella Vulgaris Powder*, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice Powder*, Allantoin.
The Ingredient List of the Skin Regimen 1.85 HA Booster:
Aqua / Water / Eau*, Glycerin*, Hydrolyzed Sodium Hyaluronate*, Propanediol*, Caprylyl Glycol, Sodium Hyaluronate*, Aristotelia Chilensis Fruit Extract*, Carnosine, Spinacia Oleracea Leaf Extract / Spinacia Oleracea (Spinach) Leaf Extract*, Xanthan Gum*, Carrageenan*, Citric Acid, Caprylhydroxamic Acid, Pentylene Glycol, Sodium Hyaluronate Crosspolymer, Tephrosia Purpurea Seed Extract*, Sodium Benzoate, Potassium Sorbate.
The Ingredient List of the Skin Regimen Night Detox:
Aqua / Water / Eau*, Glycerin*, Propanediol*, Butyrospermum Parkii Butter / Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter*, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride*, Gluconolactone*, Cetearyl Isononanoate*, Sodium Acrylate/Sodium Acryloyldimethyl Taurate Copolymer, Cetyl Alcohol*, Crambe Abyssinica Seed Oil*, Hydroxyethyl Acrylate/Sodium Acryloyldimethyl Taurate Copolymer, Zea Mays Starch / Zea Mays (Corn) Starch*, Neopentyl Glycol Diheptanoate, 1,2-Hexanediol, Sodium Hydroxide, Juniperus Virginiana Oil*, Hexyldecanol*, Hexyldecyl Laurate*, Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Aristotelia Chilensis Fruit Extract*, Carnosine, Disodium Edta, Spinacia Oleracea Leaf Extract / Spinacia Oleracea (Spinach) Leaf Extract*, Hydrogenated Lecithin*, Xanthan Gum*, O-Cymen-5-Ol, Caprylhydroxamic Acid, Juniperus Phoenicea Gum Extract*, Yeast Extract*, Citric Acid, Tephrosia Purpurea Seed Extract*, Copaifera Officinalis Resin / Copaifera Officinalis (Balsam Copaiba) Resin*, Caprylyl Glycol, Aniba Rosodora Wood Oil / Aniba Rosodora (Rosewood) Wood Oil*, Sodium Benzoate, Potassium Sorbate.