SerumScoop: Tips, tricks and news

Head To Head Comparison: Ultimate Serum™ vs. SkinMedica® TNS Essential Serum®

Ultimate Serum "Compare To" product to TNS Essential Serum from SkinMedica | Larger, Cheaper, 23 same ingredients

Ultimate Serum
is the first direct competitor to award-winning TNS Essential Serum® (NEWBEAUTY™ Beauty Choice Award Winner and InStyle™ Beauty Award Winner) by SkinMedica® which is now owned by Allergan, Inc. The patent on the TNS product relates to the medium called NouriCel-MD®, a "proprietary blend" of growth factors. We at Reviv Serums outflank this patent by simply providing our growth factors in a different conditioned media. In addition to the growth factors, we also include 25 of the top primary ingredients in TNS Essential Serum, and leapfrog by adding two of cosmetic chemistry's latest ingredients: stem cells and hexapeptides.

Regarding the percentage of growth factors in each product: In actuality, the growth factors in both products are quantities measured in micrograms. TNS just lists "conditioned media" as the first ingredient, and does not break down the quantities of the actual factors like EGF, KGF, VEGF, IGF, TGF, etc. Growth factors are signaling molecules, therefore very little volume/quantity is required to be active and effective (they are measured in micrograms, one millionth of a gram). Like a spark plug, a little bit will go a very long way, and more that the recommended quantity is not "better." As for the other non growth factor primary ingredients, they're the same - plus we add the PhytoCellTec® Stem Cells and hexapeptides. Ultimate Serum is twice the size of TNS (2 oz vs. 1 oz) and yet is less than half TNS's hefty price of $320.00+.

While parabens have a great safety profile (despite the hype), and we are not adverse to using them properly (see more here), Ultimate Serum contains a safe Ecocert preservative — Optiphen Plus — instead of the parabens used in TNS Essential Serum.

Ultimate Serum is really 11 different products in one:


• A brightening product
• An antioxidant serum
• A firming and tightening product
• An anti-inflammatory
• A peptide serum
• A green tea complex product
• A vitamin C serum
• A sebum controller
• A collagen stimulator serum
• A growth factor serum
• A moisturizer and light emollient


It’s the ultimate rejuvenator in a single serum. Navigate to its product page here.

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What IS a "serum"?!

Good question. While there are no hard-and-fast definitions, in general a serum is chemically different than a cream, lotion, balm or oil type of "emulsion" (a mixture of non-mixable components). Primarily, the difference involves the use -- or lack thereof -- of an emulsifier. Creams and lotions generally contain lipophilic (fat-loving/fat-soluble) ingredients which need an emulsifier to blend with hydrophilic (water-loving/water-soluble) ingredients. Often, ten times the amount of emulsifier is needed to go along with a fat-soluble ingredient, just to get it to blend.

By comparison, a serum doesn't contain many emulsifiers, or sometimes none at all. This leaves room for more potent, active ingredient percentages, so serums are almost always more powerful and concentrated than other types of emulsions. Typically, the active ingredients in a serum have a smaller molecular size than a lotion or cream so penetrate the skin faster, and deeper. Because the percentage of active ingredients is usually much more than in a cream, serums usually cost more, but of course can be much more effective.

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STEM CELL MYTH-UNDERSTANDINGS | Distinctions between human-derived stem cells and plant stem cells, and how both help

 Lab equipment for stem cell development

Learn the true science behind some common myths surrounding stem cells used in our skin and hair & lash rejuvenation serums.


Excerpts & paraphrases from next month's


MYTH NO. 1: Plant stem cells and human stem cells are exactly the same.


There are some major differences between plant- based and human-derived stem cells. One key distinction is that, although both types of stem cells are able to differentiate, or change, into any type of cell in the organism, plant stem cells can return to an undifferentiated state. Human stem cells reach a point of terminal differentiation, where they are so specialized that they will forever only make a particular type of cell—liver cells will always stay liver cells, for example. With plants, you can take more specialized cells and de-differentiate them, restoring their initial state of unlimited potential.


The controversies that arise for some people regarding safety and/or the ethical nature of sourcing are really about embryonic stem cells only.


Some skincare products contain proteins extracted from human stem cells that are cultivated in a laboratory. The proteins that stem cells release have been proven to stimulate wound healing, and therefore could assist with sun- damaged skin, sensitivity and wrinkles.


...The skin contains approximately 2% to 7% stem cells, which are responsible for skin repair and regeneration. As they diminish over time, the skin loses its ability to efficiently repair and regenerate, causing skin aging. Plant-based stem cells help increase skin stem cell longevity while protecting and maintaining their function.


MYTH NO. 2: Plant stem cells are genetically altered.


Some consumers express concern that plant stem cells are not “natural” — that they’ve been genetically modified in some way, but this simply isn’t true.


Plant stem cells... are an extension of the plant. They’re essentially the plant without the skin.


MYTH NO. 3: Plant stem cells in skincare formulations interact with human skin cells, producing new skin.


Plant-based stem cells do not have this effect on human skin... although they help to protect and nourish the skin, they don’t actually alter or replace human cells...With topical stem cell extracts, it is believed that they send a signal to the tissues to propagate new cells.


Plant stem cells are safe and contain no environmental contaminants;... every batch is standardized through a controlled biochemistry process and... the process of harvesting plant stem cells is sustainable for the environment.


Plant stem cells are a natural extension of a plant, and that fact is what allows them to work the wonders that they do. It really comes down to this: it’s one blank cell that’s compatible with everything else — because everything else started out as this one blank cell.

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All about Vitamin C Serums, and why ours is best

Our Phloretin Serum kit with L-Ascorbic Acid is the gold standard for vitamin C topicals. Check out today's Beauty Brains Blog for details. Our kit produces a serum with up to 20% l-ascorbic acid, the strongest available. And its pH of 3.0 makes it very stable, so it lasts much longer than competitive serums which oxidize pretty rapidly. While that pH is low, it's in the "goldilocks" range -- not too low to be excessively irritating, but low enough to be properly effective. And you can customize the strength if you prefer a more gentle approach.


Here's why you need a Vitamin C Serum:



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We lose a teaspoon of collagen from our faces every year after age 30. Here's how to fix that.

Collagen is a vital underlying structural support for your skin. As we age, the skin loses that more and more of that support, resulting in a loss of elasticity and firmness. Skin becomes weaker and thinner, and wrinkles set it. Here's how to help prevent collagen loss. Note that both our Ultimate Serum and Phloretin Serum contain ingredients shown to target collagen stimulation.


How To Naturally Boost Collagen


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