Sunday, November 30, 2014

Influenster VoxBox: Equitance

Influenster VoxBox: Equitance Brightening Serum and Spot Corrector

I was sent this Brightening Serum + Spot Corrector by @EquitanceUSA to try out and review through @Influenster (#contest).

Ingredients (Taken from their Website)
Water, butylene glycol, squalane, ascorbyl glucoside, olea europaea (olive) fruit oil, glycerin, linoleic acid, prunus yedoensis leaf extract, alpinia speciosa leaf extract, soluble collagen, cystine, potassium hydroxide, carbomer, pentaerythrityl tetraethylhexanoate, guvuina avellana seed oil, polygyceryl-10 laurate, lecithin, dimethicone, cholesteryl/behenyl/octyldodecyl lauroyl glutamate, methylparaben, xanthan gum, fragrance, tocopherol, hreonine, ethylparaben, sodium chondroitin sulfate, propylparaben

I will admit to a fair bit of skepticism about this product, especially after seeing the price tag. I mean, you can use Vitamin C serums and BHA lotions to achieve the same effect. But, for me at least, it seemed to really help our with the acne scarring I am still trying to get rid of from my insane PCOS breakout this year. 

I had been using a vitamin c serum and various other "brightening" products and had seen a bit of success with them. I would say that it took a few weeks, but I definitely noticed a bit of a boost in the fading once I worked this Brightening serum into my routine. It does seem to have plateaued after about two months of usage where I'm not seeing the same results I was, so this might be one of those products that doesn't progressively make improvements, or can only take care of surface acne "scarring" and not the deeper pigmentation.

Now on to the ingredients which I feel is where the real important facts lay. Above I bolded the items their website claims are the effective ingredients, and in red are the ones I would also look out for. While there isn't any alcohol listed, butylene glycol can be just as drying for some people and is listed as the second ingredient meaning there is a significant amount present. Dimethicone isn't generally bad for your skin, but some people are allergic to silicones so it's worth it to note it's presence although it is close to the bottom of the list. Regarding the "olea europaea fruit oil",  olive oil based products have been known to break me out personally so I patch tested this before beginning to use it on my entire face. For the record, I had no issues with breakouts while using this product.

Running the ingredients through COSDNA doesn't show any major red flags (see below). I did a little extra research on their claimed actives and posted what I found below, but please take into account that I am just a consumer with google, not a scientist.
  • Ascorbyl glucoside is a derivative form of Vitamin C, but I couldn't find any studies that substantiated it's efficacy. 
  • Linoleic acid, which in this instance they have derived from safflower oil, is an essential fatty acid which can cause dermatitis among other things if you don't have enough in your body. I was able to find several sources which site topical usage as an effective treatment for all kinds of skin disorders.
  • Prunus yedoensis leaf extract, aka cherry blossum extract, is supposed to be used for treating rough and inflamed skin, but I couldn't find any studies backing that up after a quick search. That's not to say that the science isn't out there, I just didn't see it.
  • Alpinia speciosa leaf extract is derived from shell-flower which seems to have all kinds of uses for stomach irritation. The extract has been approved as a moisturizing product in Japan, and that looks like it's how it's used here. 

  • Smells amazing! Seriously, it's like a newly printed magazine. Weird for a skincare serum to smell like that, but I LOVE that smell so it works great for me!
  • Non-irritating and non-drying. I have this problem with my Vit C and BHA serums, so the fact that this seems to achieve the same results while being totally non-irritating is amazing!
  • Acts like a light lotion or emulsion more than any serum I've ever used. The texture is a semi-thick white cream which feels calming and moisturizing. And did I mention it smells amazing?

  • Yes, I really think it works. But do I think it is worth $125 plus tax and shipping? Not for me. If I had more disposable income I would probably pick it up, but as it is...
  • The ingredients could be a drawback if you are allergic or have had known reactions to any of them in the past. Always patch-test! 
  • Some of the extracts they say are the most effective seem to have pretty thin evidence of viable usage in beauty products, but obviously I feel like this serum helped me personally so I guess something in there is working.
If you have $125+ to drop on an extremely effective serum for facial brightening, I would say to pick this up before anything else. I do feel like the drop-off in results that I am seeing after two months of useage is due to the serum not being effective on deep pigmentation. The surface stuff seemed to lighten up considerably. For the deeper stuff, I would suggest careful use of acid peels. 

Also, there is a code they gave me (INFL15) that is good for 15% off this serum, as well as a free #Equitance skin care trial kit. Visit to check it out and for further details.