SkinMedica TNS Essential Serum

I’m always skeptical when another high priced skin care treatment emerges as the new ‘best’ in anti-aging skincare, so I wait for the reviews to come out. It seems the SkinMedica TNS Essential Serum is the real deal. As an avid Skinceuticals user I’m reluctant to try anything new, but many of the reviews were from women who used Skinceuticals CE Ferulic (what I use) and they say they have switched.

Apparently, experts swear by this serum. “No other product besides Retin-A has this science behind it,” said a Wellesley, Mass. dermatologist. A potent blend of antioxidants, peptides, and collagen building growth factors turns back the clock “reversing the signs of aging”, like wrinkles, and thin, papery skin, say Seattle dermatologist, Barbara Schell.

Here’s what the makers say about their product:

TNS Essential Serum is an unprecedented combination of the renowned growth factor formula TNS Recovery Complex in one chamber and APS Corrective Complex, a potent mixture of antioxidants, peptides and other innovative anti-aging ingredients, in the other chamber. Together, these products work synergistically to transform and regenerate your skin for a more youthful appearance.

Skin Medica TNS Essential Serum benefits include:

  • Nouricel-MD helps improve the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles and the overall tone and texture of the skin.
  • Smoothes and tightens skin.
  • Strengthens the skin's natural ability to regenerate itself.
  • Fights against environmental damage.
  • Brightens and lightens age spots.

Before and After for TNS Essential Serum 
Un-retouched photographs of subjects at baseline and after twice-daily use of TNS Essential Serum.

This is a 40 year old woman after one month of use before and after.


This is a 49 year old woman after two months of use before and after.


You can get Skin Medica TNS Essentials Serum, $247 Available here.

Dr. Lewinn for Kinerase

Kinerase is packing up that secret ingredient that many people pay the big bucks for, and bringing it to Walmart and Walgreens stores. Dr. Lewinn for Kinerase uses kinetin, the same irritation free, skin re-charging antioxidant found in premium skincare products, but at a slightly lower percentage. To compensate for the reduced kinetin, it’s combined with other anti agers to lift, tighten, and improve the overall appearance of wrinkles and brown spots.

The reviews are in and the general consensus is that it’s pretty good for the price. Most users saw a slight improvement in fine lines but little in deep wrinkles, and little to no results for brown spots.  They did however see moderate improvement in firmness.

Dr. Lewinn for Kinerase is priced between $10 and $35.

Obaji Professional C Serum 20%
There are a few skincare lines that I swear by, meaning they deliver the results they promise, and one of those lines is Obaji. When I was younger I laid in the sun every day for hours and developed severe sun damage as a result. Large freckles and sun spots on my face, chest, back and arms. I was very self-conscience about them and went to a dermatologist who recommended I go on the Obaji treatment for pigment skin problems. It wasn’t cheap, about $500 for the 6 bottle treatment ( sometimes you need to purchase it twice depending how dark the pigment problems are). But 3 months later, I swear it looked like someone had come and erased every spot off my body. My skin was not only spotless, it had a youthful glow. It has been about 5 years now and with SPF, my skin still looks flawless.

I know that today Obaji’s technology is even better and their products can be combined into one formula that delivered my same results six years ago with several bottles. So when I read the reviews about the Obaji Professional C Serum clearing peoples skin pigmentation problems and radically diminishing wrinkles, I totally believe them.

Here’s what Obaji says about this product:

Obagi Professional C-Serum Offers:

  • Superior delivery system, resulting in greater penetration to all layers of the skin
  • Maximum daily antioxidant protection
  • Greater stability than competitive C products
  • Low side effect profile


  • Helps maintain normal cellular turnover
  • Builds collagen
  • L-Ascorbic acid is essential for cross-linking collagen molecules
  • Lightens and brightens skin
  • Reduces inflammation
  • Decreases transepidermal water loss

Obaji Professional C Serum 20% is $92 Available here.

CE FerulicPhloretin CF

For the fourth year in a row Skinceuticals has come in number one as the best anti aging skin care on the market. CE Ferulic has won the number one spot 4 years in a row, and the last two years a newer antioxidant, anti aging Skinceuticals serum, Phloretin CF has tied with CE for the number one spot.

As an avid user of Skinceuticals I’m not surprised they come in number one for anything and everything related to improving skin care. Their products are amazing and truly turn back the clock on your skin. I love both of the winning products, CE Ferulic and Phloretin CF, but just as a habit I use CE more regularly.

Here is the difference between the two:

C E Ferulic® is a revolutionary antioxidant combination that delivers advanced protection against photoaging - neutralizing free radicals, helping build collagen, and providing unmatched antioxidant protection. More protection means more youthful looking skin and better defense against environmental aging. 
Containing 15% pure L-ascorbic acid and 1% alpha tocopherol, the addition of ferulic acid doubles the already synergistic benefits of our original high-potency formula, C+E, transforming C E Ferulic® into a super-antioxidant combination. –

Phloretin CF® represents a new class of preventive and corrective topical antioxidant treatment. After five years of extensive research, SkinCeuticals developed this patent-pending breakthrough technology combining the newly-discovered, broad-range power of phloretin with vitamin C and ferulic acid in a biodiverse formulation to divide and conquer sources of damage at every level. 
Phloretin CF®, a broad-spectrum treatment, protects against not only free radicals, but the range of other reactive molecules known to cause damage and DNA mutations among the integral cell types. In addition, it corrects existing damage by stimulating the synthesis of essential proteins and fibers and accelerating cell turnover. The result — a strengthened support structure on the inside and a more youthful, firm, radiant appearance on the outside. –

The difference between the two is Phloretin, a new and promising ingredient in skin care. Also Phloretin CF is said to be better for sensitive skin. Skinceuticals is available here. Use the coupon code BESTSKIN20 for a 20% discount on anything storewide.

Neostrata HQ Skin Lightening Gel



Being fair skinned with dark hair I have had my fair share of sun spots and freckles. Some of the most stubborn, dark freckles took awhile to fade, but fade they did thanks to a single ingredient in skin care products: Hydroquinone. When I first started using it years ago it was by prescription only, but today up to 2% can be found in many over the counter skin care products.

The Neostrata HQ Skin Lightening gel is one of the many products that contains 2% Hydroquinone and is very effective at fading age spots and sun spots. Also, it’s not as pricey as some of the other brands that contain the same ingredients. This gel is odorless and feels light on the skin. $45 Available here.


Clinique Repairwear Laser Focus Wrinkle Corrector

I am a big fan of the brand Clinique, they make effective and affordable skincare products and the latest to be released is the ‘Repairwear Laser Focus’ wrinkle and UV damage corrector. Here’s what Clinique says about their product:

Potent serum gives every skin a second chance against lines, wrinkles, sun damage. In 4 weeks, see obvious reduction in lines, wrinkles, improved texture. At 12 weeks, the visible wrinkle-reducing power is remarkably close to a dermatological laser procedure. 63%, to be exact. Different commitment, different results. And yet impressive results guaranteed.

The reviews for this product are mixed, but with far more favorable than unfavorable, and at $44.50 a bottle it’s worth a try in my opinion. Here’s my review:

It has nice packaging with a small pipette to get your three drops out (suggested amount). It looks like all serums, white, milky liquid and relatively scentless. It is easy to apply and absorbs quickly and a bottle seems to last a long long time. I experienced some tingling after the first couple of uses, which I'm told is not uncommon with products containing Vitamin A, but it wasn't uncomfortable and I had no further side effects. I have been using for 6 weeks, once a day and have approximately a quarter of the bottle left. The results are very good, it’s gotten rid of all my fine lines and has helped with UV damage, however it will not fade freckles, just sun spots.


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