In the past year, I've had the pleasure to being introduced to a number of great Canadian beauty and skincare brands. You wouldn't know it when perusing your local drugstore, but there are a lot of fantastic Canadian brands out there! One such that I've recently been introduced to is Neostrata.
As one of Canada's first "cosmeceutical" skincare lines, Neostrata firmly places itself in the category of scientific based products that pride themselves on efficacy and affordability. Known primarily for their focus on AHA, Neostrata is a big proponent of the use of glycolic acids to reveal more radiant, youthful skin.
I'm fairly new to using alpha-hydroxy acids (AHA) in my skincare and if you are too, then here is a quick primer.
How Alpha-Hydroxy Acids Work
AHA work as chemical exfoliants, that trigger your skin to begin its natural renewal process. As we age, that renewal process slows, resulting in thicker, duller skin. AHA speed this process up so that our bodies naturally shed old skin cells. The same results can be achieved with physical exfoliants, but chemical ones are less prone to damage your skin and are a good alternative for those with dry, or sensitive skin conditions. With continued use, AHA can help your skin look more even, with less fine lines and wrinkles and can even balance your skin so it's neither excessively dry or oily.
There are several types of AHA commonly used in skincare: lactic acid, citric acid, malic acid, tartaric acid and glycolic acid. Neostrata's AHA of choice is glycolic acid, which is derived from sugar cane. The type of AHA you use doesn't seem to be too important, but what is key is the concentration. Neostrata offers a variety of concentrations, ranging from 2-10%, but never start out at 10% right away as it can take time for your skin to get used to an AHA regime.
Also, while using an AHA product, you should avoid over-exfoliating as your skin is already being exfoliated by the AHA and you could cause breakouts and inflammation if you exfoliate too much (something I've done before!). Also, a major side-effect of AHA is that it makes your skin more sensitive to the sun - kinda ironic considering it also helps repair sun damage!
As I'm now in my 30's *shudder* I've been interested in the possibilities of what AHA could do for me, so I was excited to try the Neostrata Securewhite Brightening Serum. This gentle serum can be used both day and night and is designed to rapidly reduce dark spots. In clinical studies, the Neostrata Securewhite Brightening Serum resulted in a 52% reduction in dark spots and a 42% increase in skin luminosity in just 2 weeks!!
The Neostrata Securewhite Brightening Serum is primarily made up of:
- Glycerin - a humectant (draws moisture to skin)
- Vigna aconitifolia seed extract aka moth bean - a natural form of retinol that helps refine skin's texture and reduces signs of aging
- Sodium citrate - helps to balance the pH of your skin and acts as an antioxidant
- Sucrose dilaurate - an emulsifier
- Polysorbate 20 - a surfactant (cleanser) and emulsifier
Other ingredients of note include hydroxyphenoxy propionic acid (fights hyper-pigmentation), pisum sativum aka pea extract (antioxidant), and acetyl glycyl beta-alanine (fights hyper-pigmentation).
Price & Packaging
A single 30 ml bottle costs $48.99 and can be found in drugstores like London Drugs. The opaque bottle looks quite clinical, which fits Neostrata's clean and simple branding and the lid is removable to reveal a pump underneath.
Since I was a bit wary of experiencing any tingling from introducing acids into my routine (as I experienced recently with Paula's Choice) I opted to start off my trial of the Securewhite Brightening Serum by using a single pump of serum once a day, although the instructions say to use this twice a day.
The Securewhite Brightening Serum is fairly watery and of a translucent white color. It spreads easily across the face and dries down matte. Although glycerin is the second ingredient, I didn't find this serum to be particularly hydrating, so I've been using a hydrating toner beforehand.
Now, that 2 week claim by Neostrata is pretty ballsy to make for anything, so I was pretty skeptical to say the least, but I was pleasantly surprised by the Securewhite Brightening Serum. After just a couple of weeks, I really did notice a difference in my skin, and not to exaggerate, but it's actually hard for me to remember when my skin has looked this good! My face is super clear and just seems to have a slight glow to it. My skin even feels softer and looks less textured, if that even makes sense. I wouldn't say that my dark spots are 52% reduced, but my spots have been there a long time so maybe it's going to take a long time to get rid of them completely, but between this serum and my HG Avene Triacneal solution, I'm feeling pretty good about myself!
Buy - if you're over 25 and you want a little pick-me-up for your skin, then you need this brightening serum!