This professional skin care lines post was updated on April 5, 2022.
Although I’ve had some pretty good success over the years with big-brand skin care products that can be found easily in any drugstore — like this moisturizer from L’Oreal and this lip care line from ChapStick — the onset of perimenopause a couple of years ago brought with it some significant changes to my skin.
From solving adult acne issues to brightening dulling skin and smoothing fine lines in the absence of regular Botox appointments (thanks, self-isolation), I’ve been putting the professional skin care lines featured below to the test for quite some time. Some I’ve used more or longer than others, but I’ve given each one at least three weeks to get the job done. Or not.
Make no mistake: professional skin care lines aren’t cheap, and some require an appointment before you can purchase them (usually because these are medical-grade products). But the good news is that you often get what you pay for, and an investment in your skin is the gift that keeps on giving.
You’ll note that I’m not linking individual products below, and that’s because if one is discontinued or the link changes down the road, I want to help prevent the frustration that comes with following a broken link. Instead, just use the brand link in each section and then the search functions on each website to find a specific product.
And, three more things before I dive in… First, this list is alphabetical and will grow over time as I try new professional skin care brands. Brands are NOT listed according to any kind of preference.
Second, what’s my skin type? That might be useful so you know if your skin has a better likelihood of reacting to these professional skin care lines the same way mine does, right?! For the most part, I have normal skin with mild sensitivity. That is, until my hormones kick in and then I have classic combination skin that really enjoys making me look like a spotty teenager with the inevitable dry patches that come with aging skin. Fun times! My elasticity is probably slightly better than the average 45 year old; that’s down to good genes and a commitment to facial sunscreen/hats/sunglasses since my 20s. All of this means in the span of an average month, my skin can run the gamut of typical problems YOU might face, too.
Third, since medical-grade skin care doesn’t come with a budget price tag, you might be wondering how to make the most of an investment — especially during potentially troubling financial times. If you have to choose just three products to improve your skin, most beauty experts agree on this combo: vitamin C, retinol and sunscreen.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Every selfie I share in this post is unedited, unfiltered and makeup-free.
Professional skin care lines: AlumierMD
AlumierMD price range: $42 to $380
Where it’s made: USA and Canada
Products I’ve tried:
- EverActive C&E + Peptide
- Retinol Resurfacing Serum 0.25
- Sheer Hydration Broad Spectrum Sunscreen SPF 40
My overall review: The AlumierMD line is available in some select dermatology clinics or you can order online — provided you first connect and have a free consultation with one of its skin experts. Mine took place via FaceTime and lasted about 30 minutes, after which point the expert suggested three products that she thought would make a big difference: a vitamin C serum for the increasingly dull skin I complained about, a light retinol because of a run-in last year with a retinol from Drunk Elephant (long story short, a Sephora employee gave me a sample but told me it was moisturizer; it was freaking retinol and I ended up with a chemical burn); and a moisturizer-sunscreen hybrid because she gleaned from our conversation that I’m busy and don’t mind combining steps to save time.
I absolutely love every product I tried and really wish I could report on the entire line from cleanser to nighttime moisturizer because I think the results of using everything in concert would be incredible. The EverActive C&E complex has a 15% concentration of vitamin C, which is pretty high, and the vitamin C crystals are actually kept in a totally separate container and only get mixed into the serum bottle the first day you use it, which — according to the brand — keeps the C “optimally active.” My only complaint about this product is that if you don’t use it all within about six to eight weeks (which, if you use it daily, you will), it takes on an unpleasant smell. I tested it for three weeks, loved it and set it aside to move on to another skin care line, only to come back to it a few weeks later and peeee-ew! In normal circumstances, you’re likely to use it all before this ever happens since the bottle is small.
The retinol comes in different concentrations, with the 0.25 being the mildest. And it was a really good, gentle way to come back to retinol after my previous experience. By the end of the three-week testing period, I was able to use it nightly without any problems and my skin was in beautiful shape each morning.
Of course, if you’re using retinol, you absolutely must use a daily sunscreen. I even learned during my consultation that we should be wearing sunscreen INDOORS, too, because some UVA rays can actually penetrate windows. And with that comes my favourite of the three AlumierMD products I tried — Sheer Hydration. Not only is it a time-saver since it’s a (really good) moisturizer and SPF (40!) in one, but it also makes my skin look like porcelain. Without fail, every time I put it on and come downstairs, Miss Q — a nine year old who’s only somewhat interested in makeup so far — asks me if I’m wearing foundation.
Hopefully, I’ll have an opportunity to add more to my AlumierMD arsenal soon.
Professional skin care lines: AnteAGE
AnteAGE price range: $47 to $276
Where it’s made: Irvine, California
Products I’ve tried:
- Overnight Lash Serum
- AnteAGE System (includes AnteAGE Serum and AnteAGE Accelerator)
- AnteAGE Home Microneedling Intro Kit
My overall review: I think it’s important to start my AnteAGE section by noting that it’s been a year since I’ve had Botox/Dysport, so these photos will inevitably look “older” than the others throughout my professional skin care lines roundup. I mean, not only am I an actual year older but Botox really does make a remarkable difference and I will have no qualms about resuming when the time is right!
The science that goes into AnteAGE is impressive; this is a clinical lab setting where the research comes first and the direct-to-consumer side of the business is just a fraction of what AnteAGE does. Their work is the stuff of scientific journals.
First and foremost, AnteAGE is a pioneer when it comes to using human bone marrow stem cell technology. Scientists harvest and extract the powerful growth factors and cytokines found inside healthy bone marrow and then discard the cell itself. Products are 100 per cent free of inflammatory cells, cell fragments, RNA or DNA, and they’re also cruelty-, paraben-, and pathogen-free.
But what the heck are “growth factors” and “cytokines” exactly? Glad you asked. Growth factors are a subset of cytokines with extracellular polypeptide proteins — these are fibrous proteins, like collagen and elastin — found in a variety of cellular processes. They help with cell growth and are integral for wound repair.
Damaged and dead tissues count as wounds in this context, so when you apply growth factors topically, they can help the outer (or epidermal layer) of skin cells multiply and thicken the skin. What happens when you thicken aging skin? You help prevent and treat the damage: wrinkles and fine lines.
I want to kick off the specific product reviews with the Overnight Lash Serum, which is the reason I discovered the AnteAGE brand in the first place. As some of you may know, EyEnvy is ceasing production of its culty must-have lash serum in June 2022 citing supply chain challenges. INSERT PANIC HERE. Like many of you, I’ve been using EyEnvy since April 2020 when COVID stopped me from getting eyelash extension fills.
Full disclosure: I was using EyEnvy right up until the day before I switched over to AnteAGE’s serum, and was already happy with my lashes, so this won’t be fully representative of the results someone might have who has not been using a serum at all; it could take three months before you see a real difference (as it did for me when I started using EyEnvy). I used the AnteAGE lash serum morning and night and within four weeks, i noticed an improvement in density and length. You may not notice it as much in my before and after pics below, but it was a discernible difference to my eye. I should also add that I sleep on the left side of my face and my lashes on the outer corner of my left eye always suffer.
I will be trying other brands as EyEnvy fades out of the consumer dashboard, but I’m glad to know I already have a solid back-up. It’s $106, though, which is significantly more than I’m used to paying but I started using it on February 1/22 and I’m writing this on April 5/22 and there’s still serum in the tiny little bottle. I may not get a full six months like I do with EyEnvy, but it’ll be close.
Now onto the AnteAGE System, which consists of the AnteAGE Serum and AnteAGE Accelerator. Using these, your suggested morning routine looks like this: cleanse, apply a pump of Serum followed by a pump of Accelerator, SPF. I personally didn’t find this introduced enough hydration, so after two weeks of this regimen, I added a moisturizer before SPF or used a moisturizing SPF. I also added eye cream, though I did use the AnteAGE System around and under my eyes.
Let’s walk through the brand promises one by one to see how they delivered:
- Initiates a pro-healing and anti-inflammatory response — if “pro-healing” was supposed to help prevent or treat acne, that component didn’t work for me; I still got the same amount of hormonal acne as I would have without using these products
- Reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles — I see a difference, do you see a difference? Particularly on the left side of my forehead above the brow and the creases creating laugh lines. I also noticed improvement around my eyes. All of these results are fairly subtle to be sure, but I suspect with extended use, there would be continued benefits; this was only eight weeks after all!
- Reduction in skin redness and sensitivity — absolutely! I can see a more soothed and balanced skin tone and I feel like my skin sensitivity also decreased
- Protects from environmental assault — who knows? This would be impossible to determine in a home environment. You probably need a baseline dermal scan to really see the effects of this claim
- Reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles — yep! See above
- Supports a healthy skin defense system, barrier integrity and microbiome — again, this is a tough one to objectively measure at home
- Reduces the appearance of large pores and balances moisture levels — I can’t say I specifically noticed a difference in my pores and I don’t agree that it balanced my moisture levels because, although I tried, I couldn’t do without moisturizer
- Gently increases skin renewal at the cellular level — it must be doing this if I can see an improvement in wrinkles and fine lines
- Defends skin against environmental free radical damage — no clue
- Maximizes the rejuvenating effect of AnteAGE Serum — I’m sure they work in tandem and need each other to be a complete system, so I’m going to go with “yes” here
And, finally, the AnteAGE Home Microneedling Intro Kit. I had never tried microneedling before this and the experience has led me to seek out professional-level microneedling. Based on the results I can achieve at home, I’m dying to see what a pro can accomplish with longer needles.
This is a bit of a process because to ensure you don’t introduce yuckies into your skin, you have to soak your roller in alcohol for at least five minutes and then let it dry, then do the same afterwards. It’s more time and process devoted to your probably already-involved skincare routine, but I really looked forward to my skin the morning after a microneedling session.
This intro kit comes with a microchannel roller (.25mm) and two vials of AnteAGE Microneedling Solution, which is made up of stem cell growth factors and hyaluronic acid. You want to be very careful about what you use on your face when microneedling at home, because many skin-care products aren’t meant to go directly beneath the skin’s surface; instead, they’re supposed to go on the outer layer and either absorb or stay there. With this kit, you know you’re using something safe.
No joke, the morning after microneedling, you’ll have that dewy, plump youthful glow to which those of us in our 40s and older are trying to preserve. It takes some getting used to (I found my skin extremely tight and itchy after my first use), but it’s worth hanging in there. Ultimately, I would microneedle around 6 p.m. and then around 10 p.m., I’d dab some Egyptian Magic all over my face to act as an occlusive and also add much-needed hydration.
And while I absolutely love the results of the AnteAGE Home Microneedling Kit, the cost is not insignificant. At $150 per kit, the roller itself needs to be replaced every 20 uses and each vial of solution is only good for a maximum of four uses in my experience. Then it’s $157 for another pack of five vials (about 20 sessions, or $7.85 per session — without factoring in the cost of a new roller every 20 uses). You can microneedle up to five times a week, but at these prices, I kept it to once a week. The good news? Even once a week still made a difference. The bad news? For ongoing use, I will probably look for a less expensive roller and use some of the hyaluronic products I have left over from my SkinCeuticals testing so I can increase the number of times each week I can roll. That way, once or twice a year, I can splurge for the AnteAGE kit.
Professional skin care lines: Biologique Recherche
Biologique Recherche price range: $34 to $825
Where it’s made: France
Products I’ve tried:
- Lait VIP cleansing milk
- Lotion P50
- Collagene Marine Serum
My overall review: I first heard about Biologique Recherche about five or six years ago when a magazine article called its P50 toner “Jesus in a bottle.” Intrigued, I tried to track it down in the Toronto area and — at the time — there was only one place I could find it. I called this medical spa to inquire about buying a bottle and they told me I had to book a facial first.
Their resident aesthetician also happens to be the Canadian trainer for Biologique Recherche and not only was her facial the longest and most expensive I’ve ever had in my life, but all these years later, it’s still the best. And three hours later (!!!), I left with the three products she recommended most for my skin. Mostly because I couldn’t afford more and I asked her to prioritize the best three based on our time together.
It turns out I hate cleansing milks like Lait VIP. I get zero gratification from anything that does’t foam and I really didn’t find that it removed makeup well. But it was gentle and hydrating. The collagen is still probably one of the most expensive skin care products that I’ve ever bought, and I can’t really say I noticed a huge difference when I used it and then stopped and later resumed, so it’s also one of my biggest regrets. It could be that I just wasn’t using it with a good moisturizer, but I wasn’t impressed for the $100+ it cost me.
The P50, on the other hand, is a WOWer. It’s every bit as great as the celebrities and skin gurus and beauty editors say it is. You have to tread gently at first while your skin gets used to it, and it will make your face smell like a salad thanks to the apple cider vinegar in it, but it tones, exfoliates, brightens and even seems to shrink pores. It may not be Jesus himself inside, but to call it a miracle in a bottle isn’t an exaggeration.
Professional skin care lines: Caudalie
Caudalie price range: $14 to $179
Where it’s made: France
Products I’ve tried:
- Vinoperfect Concentrated Brightening Essence
- Vinoperfect Radiance Serum
- Beauty Elixir
My overall review: First off, although I don’t normally like facial skin care products that are scented (in part because “fragrance” can be a dubious ingredient since it’s not regulated in Canada, and in part because some are so strong that as they’re applied, it’s a bit of an assault on the sniffer), the Caudalie products I’ve tried have a lovely, faint orange-y scent that layer beautifully. The brand is also committed to using as many “natural” ingredients as possible and every product in the line is free of parabens, phenoxyethanol, phthalates, mineral oils and animal-derived ingredients.
The Brightening Essence is essentially a toner that’s designed to prepare skin for the Radiance Serum, which contains “Viniferine” — a proprietary ingredient the brand claims is 62 times more effective than vitamin C at boosting radiance. I will tell you that you could use these two ingredients in combination and notice a real difference in the even-ness of your skin tone in a night or two. They really do what they say they do.
The star of the show for me, though, is the Beauty Elixir. I love it so much that I keep a full-sized Elixir on my bathroom counter and keep a travel-sized one in my carry-on. Well, you know, when we aren’t mid-pandemic and travel is part of my everyday life. It can be used in a few different ways, making it one of the most versatile beauty products you’ll find, acting as a toner, primer and makeup setting spray. It’s also perfect for a quick facial pick-me-up if you’re running from the office to drinks in Normal Times. More often than not, I’m using it to set makeup and I swear it helps my face paint stay in place twice as long if I’m under bright lights or in a hot, sweat-inducing environment. This stuff is gold.
Professional skin care lines: Glo Skin Beauty
Glo Skin Beauty price range: $10 to $150
Where it’s made: USA
Products I’ve tried:
- Glycolic Resurfacing Cleanser
- Phyto-Active Toning Mist
- Conditioning Mist
- Daily Power C+
- Daily Hydration+
- Renew Serum
- Rentinol+ Resurfacing Serum
- Phyto-Active Light Moisture
- Hydra Radiance Moisturizer
- Conditioning Hydration Cream
- Phyto-Active Eye Serum
My overall review: I absolutely love this brand. It took me a good three weeks to figure out the best regimen for my skin, so I ended up extending the testing period for Glo Skin Beauty to six weeks as a result, and there’s a reason “Glo” is in its name — because my skin was GLOWING with regular use. It’s definitely tied for my second-favourite line (with SkinCeuticals, which I’ll get to near the end thanks to the alpha-listing of this post). But for the products’ more accessible price points, I think they pack a great punch for the average consumer. My only disappointment was opening the Phyto-Active Light Moisture and finding a defective pump. First-world problem, I know.
I’ll start by telling you that the Glycolic Resurfacing Cleanser just does NOT work for my skin. At all. I tried on three separate occasions during the course of three weeks to use it and every time I did, my skin became red, super-dry and very flaky for days afterwards. Yes, glycolic acid is a mega-exfoliant and turns over skin cells to help resurface skin over time, and some redness and a bit of flaky skin is to be expected, but this was not OK. Either the 10% concentration in this cleanser is just too high for me or the way it’s delivered stresses my skin out. I used my trusty Warsh Cloth instead to clean my skin and as soon as I removed this product from the lineup, I fell in love with Glo Skin Beauty.
Every morning on clean skin, I’d spritz my face with the Phyto-Active Toning Mist before applying five drops of Daily Power C+ — which features an incredible 20% vitamin C blend — and three drops of Daily Hydration+, a hyaluronic acid that can keep an incredible amount of hydration locked into your skin (it holds 1,000 times its own weight in water). Then I usually turned to the Hydra Radiance Moisturizer for even more vitamin C and the tiniest hint of highlighter. Sometimes my skin tingled but it was a good tingle and never came with any kind of redness or irritation.
By night, my routine looked like this: clean skin, a couple sprays of Conditioning Mist, then every other night I’d apply either of the retinol serums (starting with the milder product, Renew Serum, in the first week or two, and then alternating with the stronger Retinol+ Resurfacing Serum thereafter) and wait 30 minutes before adding a pump of Conditioning Hydration Cream. On the nights I didn’t use retinol, I’d skip straight to moisturizer and call it a night.
The Phyto-Active Eye Serum felt really nice but I still found that I needed a more moisturizing eye cream (which makes sense, because a serum isn’t necessarily a hydration boost). I liked using it on my lips even more than my eyes, I think!
All said and done, when I look back at some of the photos I took of my face while I was testing these professional skin care lines, my no-makeup Glo Skin Beauty face is definitely the brightest and clearest of the bunch:
Professional skin care lines: Ole Henriksen
Ole Henriksen price range: $11 to $98
Where it’s made: Denmark
Products I’ve tried:
- Glow Cycle Retin-ALT Power Serum
- Goodnight Glow Retin-ALT Sleeping Creme
My overall review: I’m sorry, Mr. Henriksen, but your Glow Cycle Power Duo system absolutely does not work for me! Maybe it’s because your products use bakuchiol — a plant-based retinol alternative — and that doesn’t agree with my skin, or maybe it’s the addition of AHAs, but you and I are breaking up for good. Not only did I NOT see results while using the Power Serum and Sleeping Creme combo, but my skin consistently broke out when I did. Even during a hormonal cycle when I wouldn’t normally have any acne! Uhhh, no thanks.
I guess if you’re vegan and looking for vegan retinol-like, cruelty-free products, this might be an option, but don’t say I didn’t warn you. It does deserve an honourable mention for being free of sulfates SLS and SLES, parabens, formaldehydes, formaldehyde-releasing agents, phthalates, retinyl palmitate, oxybenzone, coal tar, hydroquinone, triclosan and triclocarban, though.
Professional skin care lines: Rodan + Fields
Rodan + Fields price range: $50 to $200
Where it’s made: USA
Products I’ve tried:
- The UNBLEMISH regimen (comes with Refining Acne Wash, Clarifying Toner, Dual-Intensive Acne Treatment and Invisible Matte Defense Broad Spectrum SPF 30)
- Active Hydration Serum
- UNBLEMISH Clarifying Mask
- REDEFINE Multi-Function Eye Cream
- REDEFINE Lip-Renewing Serum
My overall review: Brought to you by the two doctors who first created another well-known acne treatment line back in the ’90s, I turned to the UNBLEMISH regimen when perimenopause sent my skin into an acne-prone tizzy two years ago. I was breaking out in unpredictable patterns (i.e. not just the days leading up to my period) and had worse acne than I ever had as a teenager; and none of my regular go-to products could nip it in the bud.
I ultimately needed to layer in the Active Hydration Serum (which, by the way, is delivered in a precise pump that measures each “dose”) after the toning step to prevent my skin from getting too dry, and I didn’t like the SPF as a moisturizer at all so I changed that out, but within two weeks of using the rest of the UNBLEMISH line morning and night, my skin did a complete 180. I kept it up religiously for another two weeks and that was the last time I had to use acne products. I’ve since read other accounts of people who needed to use it only temporarily to combat their bout of adult acne and then — POOF! — never again. It’s like it fixes whatever underlying problem you’re having…kinda like magic.
If I have a pimple coming on, I’ll use the Clarifying Mask and that’s usually enough to get everything balanced again.
I also quite like the R+F Multi-Function Eye Cream. As eye creams go, it’s a nice mid-weight cream that absorbs well and keeps my eye area well-hydrated until the next application.
My all-time favourite Rodan + Fields product, though, is its Lip-Renewing Serum. I actually tried these little capsules for the first time more than a decade ago when a friend in the States started selling R+F and she sent me a pack of these little wonders. (Yes, it’s MLM; but you can also buy products online directly if you prefer. No, I don’t sell them.) With key ingredients like vitamin E, peptides and shea butter, the gel tingles a bit when it first goes on and has the glossiest shine ever. So glossy that sometimes I use it in the mornings, too, instead of gloss. This is a product I would buy again and again.
A nice selling point is that all R+F products come with a 60-day money-back guarantee, even if your bottles are totally empty.
Professional skin care lines: SkinCeuticals
SkinCeuticals price range: $41 to $185
Where it’s made: USA
Products I’ve tried:
- Simply Clean
- C E Ferulic
- Retexturing Activator
- Retinol 0.5
- Physical Matte UV Defense SPF 50
- Physical Fusion UV Defense SPF 50
My overall review: The first time I heard of SkinCeuticals, my mom and I were watching TV together (I’m embarassed to recall that it was Dr. Oz on Oprah, back when Dr. Oz wasn’t just a shill), so this was a long time ago. Long before L’Oreal purchased it. And this also marked the first time I’d ever heard the term “cosmeceuticals” and learned that there were highly professional, medical-grade products that were available “over the counter” for regular folks who didn’t have fancy dermatologists.
That day, I scoured the GTA to find the Physical Fusion UV Defense SPF 50 — a truly weightless, tinted facial sunscreen that was my first foray into physical/mineral-based sunscreens. You have to shake it really well before applying and I found over time it separated even more, but I loved that sunscreen enough that I bought it many times over, despite it being well out of my budget range in those early days.
Fast forward to a couple of months ago when I started using all of the other products listed above, and I swear (hand on heart) that I noticed a difference overnight. ONE NIGHT!
I’ll start with the Simply Clean cleanser because — whoa — it’s the best cleanser for my face that goes through so many weird hormonal cycles these days. It removes makeup really well (though I always do a second round with a Warsh Cloth just to make sure), doesn’t dry out my skin at all but keeps it super clear, and it also foams up really nicely thanks to glycine and coconut oily fatty acids. I use this in tandem with my Clairsonic Mia II once or twice a week for an extra-deep clean.
I was most excited to try the award-winning C E Ferulic, and it didn’t disappoint. I only use 4 to 5 drops and that’s enough to do my face and neck; and I love the way it absorbs into my skin, leaving no residue behind even after just a couple of seconds. Boasting 15% pure vitamin C (L-ascorbic acid), 1% vitamin E (alpha tocopherol) and 0.5% ferulic acid (a powerful antioxidant that boosts the performance of other antioxidants), I didn’t just see my skin get brighter but it got noticeably firmer, too. This isn’t something I can show you in a series of selfies, so you’ll just have to trust me: I felt a difference.
The Retexturing Activator has the resurfacing power of a 20% glycolic acid treatment, but has never once irritated my skin. Maybe it’s because it works in concert with hyaluronic acid so it balances any potentially drying effects with excellent hydration? I don’t know, but I’ve used it in combination with the Retinol 0.5 and I wake up with darn-near-perfect skin. I only use it at night and I love the way it glides across my face.
Retinol 0.5 has the benefit of 0.5% pure retinol paired with chamomile-derived bisabolol, making it a nice night cream, too. It’s gentle enough that I can use it every night if I want to.
Emollience is a gorgeous moisturizer that I can see using year-round, provided I’m not skiing in the mountains. It may be a touch too light for the winter conditions that tend to cause extra-dry skin, even though the brand says it’s “optimal for high altitudes and cold, dry climates.” It’s rich, but time will tell this winter if it’s enough to combat ski-face.
Finally, I tried the Physical Matte UV Defense SPF 50 and much preferred it to the Physical Fusion UV Defense SPF 50. You don’t have to shake it, it doesn’t separate, and its whipped texture goes on beautifully. It’s slightly tinted so I’m not sure how it would look on darker skin tones but it’s undetectably on mine and goes on more like a primer. It has great staying power and I trust it enough to put retinol on my face the night before and wear this sunscreen the next day for a big bike ride in the sun. It hasn’t let me down yet.
At SkinCeuticals, studies are conducted on commercially available formulations; other skin care brands may only assess efficacy based on a single active ingredient — often at a much higher strength than the concentration found in the final product. Like many professional skin-care lines, this brand is backed by science and is worth every penny. Like I mentioned earlier, it’s tied for my second-favourite pro line to date.
Professional skin care lines: Truth Treatments
Truth Skin price range*: $19 to $279
I am not an affiliate but the brand has generously offered my readers a 20% discount on any regular-priced products across the entire line. Just use ANDREA20 at the checkout.
Where it’s made: USA
Products I’ve tried:
- Perfect Dose Spoon
- Peppermint Salicylic Cleanser
- Biometric Mineral Mist
- Transdermal C Serum
- Hyaluronic Mineral Hydrator
- AHA Energizing Mineral Exfoliator
- Omega 6 Healing Cream
- Transdermal C Balm
- Resurfacing 1% Retinol Light
- Vita Mask
My overall review: It took me a minute to get used to this line. Because it’s unlike any other system I’ve ever tried. Doled out in a tiny spoon and mixed together like an at-home chemistry experiment, Truth Treatments (distributed by Truth Skin in Canada) is a compound pharmacist-created professional skin-care line that is rooted in purity and simplicity.
Benjamin Knight Fuchs — Truth Treatments creator — is a registered pharmacist, nutritionist and skin-care chemist who’s been developing pharmacy-potent skin health products for the past 32 years. He believes that you have to treat the health of the skin at a cellular level, and none of the products contain skin irritants like fillers, synthetic ingredients, colours or fragrances. Even the packaging is minimalist.
The first thing you’ll think when your products arrive is, OMG — they’re tiny! I couldn’t believe that these teensy little bottles and jars could possibly last six months or more. But I’m three months in and I have at least half of everything left, except the Biometric Mineral Mist. (That’s because you use it morning and night with all of the products.) These are super-duper concentrated and their longevity has been a really nice surprise.
Nothing has made my skin look like this before. And maybe that’s because, once you get the hang of things, it’s all just so quick and easy. The simplest answer is so often the best, isn’t it?
There are so many standout products in this line, and I’m going to get to all of them, but I’ll start with my least favourite: the Peppermint Cleanser. And not because it doesn’t work — on the contrary, I’ve never had a milky (not foamy) cleanser take off makeup so effectively. On the first try, no less! The problem is that the peppermint, while it smells incredible and sure will wake you up first thing in the morning, finds a way to sneak into your eyes no matter how hard you try to stay away from your eyes. I’m a face-splasher, so perhaps this is remedied simply by wiping off the cleanser with a face cloth rather than splashing with water. But, hey, I am what I am. Has it stopped me from using it? Nope.
Picking a favourite, though, is an impossible task. Especially since they work together in concert most of the time.
The Biometric Mineral Mist is probably the unsung hero of the lot. I will shallowly define it as the emulsifier that makes the rest of the products spread so evenly and go as far as they do. More technically, the mist is an “electrically active mineral solution that has a unique capacity for penetration, delivering its benefits deep into skin tissues and into the cells themselves.” Like I said, I use this product the most and, after three months, my 30mL bottle is nearly done. But there’s a bigger version coming out, so I’d suggest investing in that.
I’m going to try to put the rest of the products in order of preference, but you have to understand that I really, really LOVE them all, so don’t take anything on the bottom half of the list as being subpar. Not even close. They’re all noteworthy:
- Omega 6 Healing Cream — the Canadian distributor of Truth Treatments actually found the line because of this product, which cleared up her baby’s debilitating case of eczema when nothing else would. And it never returned. This is a thick cream originally developed to heal surgical wounds and burns by boosting the skin’s ability to heal. And that means it also works for just about any compromised, damaged or extremely dry skin conditions. Although for the most part I use it in combination with the Mineral Mist and Hyaluronic Hydrator as my morning moisturizer, you can use it anywhere skin is chapped, chaffed, wounded, burned or irritated — including cuticles, elbows, the backs of your arms where those little bumps can appear in cooler temps. And — TMI alert — I also used a dab (I mean, TINY dab) of the Omega 6 Healing Cream on a nagging plantar’s wart I had on my heel for three years that just wouldn’t go away no matter what I tried, including those cold blasts at the doctor’s office, and in three WEEKS, it was gone. True story.
- Vita Mask — oh, how I love this product! Yeah, yeah — you can use it as a mask (though it doesn’t harden like the masks you may be used to), and it’s going to make your skin glowy and supple, but my favourite way to use the Vita Mask is as a rich and intense nighttime moisturizer once a week. I use it the night after a retinol treatment; after cleansing, I spritz some Mineral Mist onto my face and apply a heaping spoonful of the mask and rub it all over my face and neck and then just sleep in it. My skin drinks this stuff up! It contains vitamins A, C, D, E and K and bentonite clay to detoxify and re-energize skin. It also has oat extracts, which help soothe and reduce inflammation. I took the above selfie after waking up one morning following a Vita Mask night.
- Transdermal C Balm — vitamin C like you’ve never seen it before. It’s a balm, not a serum, and it’s a beautiful way to get your vitamin C treatment overnight while keeping precious moisture locked in. It time-releases a high dose of 100 per cent-stable vitamin C into the skin while you sleep, and not just any vitamin C. Lipophilic vitamin C penetrates deeply to work at the cellular level, helping reverse damage and boost collagen. It makes a killer nighttime moisturizer!
- Hyaluronic Mineral Hydrator — just a pump or two is all you need, so this product lasts forever! It’s intensely hydrating and a hyaluronic serum is a must in your anti-aging arsenal. Truth Treatment’s proprietary polyelectrolyte solution is designed to support hyaluronic acid synthesis in the skin’s deeper layers. If my skin is feeling a bit dry, I’ll sometimes add a pump with the Transdermal C Balm at night and an extra pump in the morning with my Omega 6 cream.
- Transdermal C Serum — most drugstore and retail brands, and even some professional lines, use only up to 20 or 30 per cent active (and often unstable, water-soluble) vitamin C, but this serum has more than 50 per cent active, lipophilic Vitamin C in it (the most concentrated tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate serum available on the market to date). Yes, the biggest bottle is $279, but you need TWO DROPS to cover your entire face. I’m not even close to half finished after three months of daily use. Between this and the balm, my skin has never been clearer and brighter.
- The new ElectroLite Face Masks make my skin feel ultra-hydrated and so supple.
- Resurfacing 1% Retinol Light — having never used more than a 0.5 per cent retinol before this regimen, I was nervous about my skin getting really dry and peeling from a higher concentration. But I have had nothing of the sort. Aside from the slightly strange smell of this product (which I’ll gladly take if it means no added chemical fragrances), my experience with this retinol treatment has been dreamy. It does everything a retinol should, but when I wake up, there’s no redness or irritation at all.
- AHA Energizing Mineral Exfoliator — I got one pimple the day after using this product for the first time, and then the rest of the last three months have been smooth sailing. Literally. My skin is smoother and my pores seem smaller than ever. I use it twice a week, leaving a day between a retinol treatment, and have used this on the odd whitehead that’s popped up on my kids’ faces, too. It’s super clarifying and yet non-drying. It doesn’t give me the same tactile satisfaction that, say, an exfoliating scrub would, but it’s faster and easier and there are no little plastic beads going down my sink.
There’s also an Energizing Exfoliating System bundle that contains some of the products noted above but also a few that you can’t buy individually. This regimen is designed as a once-a-week at-home peel — without all the harsh chemicals you might find in a spa peel service. This should be used at night and NEVER in combination with retinol.
If you’re in the USA, you can buy the Energizing Exfoliating System for 33% off for a limited time HERE.
Here’s the protocol:
- Step 1: Use the peppermint salicylic cleanser and massage a smaller-than-dime-size amount directly to your face, neck and décolleté for 30 seconds, avoiding the eye area. Add a bit of water and continue to massage for an additional 30 seconds. Remove with a cool washcloth.
- Step 2: Using the AHA energizing mineral exfoliator, apply 3 pumps onto a cotton round pad and evenly apply using a criss-cross application method directly to your face, neck and décolleté, avoiding the eye area. This step prepares the skin and removes any surface debris.
- Step 3: Using the multi-fruit acid light, apply using two cotton rounds with 3 pumps per pad; one for each side of your face. Apply a thin layer of multi-fruit acid light using the criss-cross method to the entire area being treated. Apply one layer and leave it on for 5 minutes; you may experience a light tingling feeling on your skin. Caution: avoid your eye area!
- Step 4: Using the vitamin c brightening solution, spritz 5-7 pumps directly over the multi-fruit acid light treatment to saturate the entire treatment area, avoiding eyes. You may experience a slight elevation of activity, followed by an immediate dissipation. Now remove everything completely with a cool washcloth.
- Step 5: Using the cooling mask, apply about a quarter-sized amount of the mask thoroughly in an even layer onto all treated areas, avoiding eyes. Let it sit for 10-15 minutes and remove with a cool washcloth. The cooling mask is calming, refreshing and hydrating and you may feel a cooling sensation at first.
- Step 6: Using the omega 6 healing cream, combine “the perfect dose” (using the Truth Treatments perfect dose spoon, if you have it or a smaller-than-pea-size amount if you don’t) of omega 6 healing cream, blended in the palm of your hand with 2 sprays of biomimetic mineral mist; emulsify and then massage the mixture into skin until completely absorbed. The healing cream encourages immediate healing and regenerating. Once you apply this layer following the “peel” treatment, allow your skin to rest until morning.
The only thing I wish Truth Skin / Truth Treatments would do differently? Add an SPF product to the line!
DISCLAIMER: Some, but not all, of these products were provided for testing and review purposes. This is an unpaid compilation of professional skin care lines that I have personally tried in order to facilitate this post. All opinions are my own.