StriVectinLabs Anti-Wrinkle Hydra Gel Treatment
Sometimes we hate our job. Not that we don't love sharing the research about what works for skin and what doesn't—because we do. But in this case, the marketing spin for this product is just maddening. This is a shockingly expensive "system" that could easily be replaced by a less expensive product, as well as one that is less time consuming to use. For $69, you get two small patches and a ½ ounce of a balm. From our perspective the cost is just silly for what you get.
StriVection claims this product was "Initially invented by two biochemists [the bold letters are from the company's website] searching for a cure to skin cancer, StriVectin discovered that NIA-114 repairs, rejuvenates and transforms skin." You're not told who the biochemists were or what they found in their research—but it sure sounds good!
NIA-114 is supposed to be a "unique and patented active form of Niacin that penetrates skin to the deepest epidermal layer to address the root cause of aging and create healthy, ageless skin." If you believe any of this by now you're probably thinking $69 is a bargain while we are choking on the exaggeration. NIA 114 turns out to be myristal nicotinate, a component of vitamin B3 that is similar to niacinamide. It is not a miracle ingredient by any means nor is it unique to StriVectin. Patents are only about claims for an ingredient or group of ingredients, not about effectiveness; you can obtain a patent without needing to prove something actually works. This isn't to say that myristal nicotinate isn't a beneficial ingredient for skin because it is, it just isn't a must-have, miraculous ingredient.
Anti-Wrinkle Hydra Gel Treatment from StriVectin comes with two separate products you apply one after the other after waiting 15 minutes between each step. Step 1 involves applying the Anti-Wrinkle Precision Patches. Each one comes in a small foil packet containing a Band-Aid like "patch" you are supposed to place over the wrinkled areas of your face. You leave that on for 15 minutes and then remove the patch but leave the residue on your skin. Next, you apply the Anti-Wrinkle Smoothing Balm to the treated area.
The patches are well-formulated, containing the aforementioned myristal nicotinate, sodium hyaluronate and beta-glucan, an antioxidant. While not a robust formula it is still well done.
The notion is that these showcased ingredients can better penetrate skin when applied in a patch form than if you apply a product with these ingredients directly on the skin and allow it to absorb. First, none of these ingredients absorb any better into skin whether applied in a patch or traditional moisturizer.
Also worth noting: This doesn't duplicate what a hyaluronic acid injection can do as sodium hyaluronate in a skin-care product is easily diffused through skin. Skin care patches don't work like nicotine patches where you need the ingredients to slowly release into the blood system to be effective. Whatever depth of penetration StiVectin is trying to convince you occurs, there are easier less time-consuming ways to take great care of your skin.
The Anti-Wrinkle Smoothing Balm is actually an impressive formula with a great mix of antioxidants, emollients, and skin-repairing ingredients in air-resistant packaging. This would have received a BEST rating from of us if the amount of perfume in the formula wasn't so high. Fragrance is never skin care; the irritation it causes is a problem for all skin types.
All in all, given the price and the needless two-step system you would do better with just one well formulated nighttime moisturizer.
- Impressive formulas loaded with beneficial ingredients.
- Time-consuming two-step process doesn't provide any extra benefit over a traditional moisturizer.
- Contains a large amount of perfume and fragrance of any kind is never skin care.
Anti-Wrinkle Hydra Gel Treatment is a two-step wrinkle-smoothing system offering an instant and progressive solution to visible wrinkles and expression lines. Step 1, Anti-Wrinkle Precision Patches, instantly plumps and smoothes out surface lines and wrinkles. Step 2, Anti-Wrinkle Smoothing Balm, seals in the actives and, with continued use helps diminish the appearance of all types of facial lines.
StriVectin put itself on the skincare map with its original StriVectin-SD cream, designed to treat stretch marks. The product took off and became the cornerstone of skincare collection whose focus is now on anti-aging. Its main selling point is its use of myristyl nicotinate (called NIA-114 in brand literature), which is related to and has many of the same properties as niacinamide.
Overall, the brand has some worthwhile products and for the most part theyre in packaging that will protect their ingredients from light and air. Unfortunately there are a number of options that include fragrance and other potential irritants, which are noted in our individual reviews.
As of 2019, StriVectin no longer sells in mainland China and is now cruelty-free. For more information about StriVectin, visit www.strivectin.com.
About the Experts
The Beautypedia team consists of skin care and makeup experts personally trained by the original Cosmetics Cop and best-selling beauty author, Paula Begoun. We’re fascinated by skin care and makeup products and thrilled when they meet or exceed our expectations, but we’re also disappointed when they fail to perform as claimed, are wildly overpriced, or contain ingredients scientific research has proven can hurt skin.
Our mission has always been to help you find the best products for your skin, no matter your budget or preferences. Beautypedia’s thorough and insightful reviews cut through the hype and provide reliable recommendations for all ages, skin types, and skin tones.