A lot of adjectives go into Korres' description of their Black Pine Firming, Lifting & Antiwrinkle Serum, such as "patented," "advanced," and "ultra-concentrated." While that definitely sounds impressive, the product itself is not as revolutionary as it claims to be, but there's still strong reason to consider it.
This fluid serum is slightly viscous, yet still lightweight enough that it dries on skin in a matter of seconds. It's best for those with combination or slightly oily skin that isn't showing signs of sensitivity.
It has a slightly perfume-y fragrance, though the scent dissipates quickly. Fragrance is not skincare (and we do not recommend using this in the immediate eye area), but on the plus side this serum isn't as strongly scented as some of Korres' other products.
Black Pine Firming, Lifting & Antiwrinkle Serum boasts several beneficial ingredients, including emollients like almond oil and shea butter, as well as antioxidants, and they're packaged in an opaque container with a dropper applicator. All of these ingredients will serve to make skin appear less wrinkled, since adding moisture is one of the chief ways to make skin (and wrinkles) look smoother.
What about the two ingredients that get the most play in the literature for this product? Peptides, such as the hexapeptide-11 that this product contains, can have water-binding agents and cell-communicating benefits, and this particular peptide also seems to have a protective effect on human fibroblasts, cells that generate collagen (Redox Biology, August 2015). However, there's no research showing it can improve elastin production as claimed, which isn't a claim the U.S. FDA allows, anyway.
Interestingly, Korres maintains hexapeptide-11 is a natural ingredient, but that's not necessarily true. This peptide is extracted from yeast, but what begins as natural is then synthesized in the lab, meaning it's synthetic. The Personal Care Products Council's Ingredient Infobase (available by subscription only) categorizes this peptide as synthetic, not natural.
Then we have the "black pine" that this product is named for, a natural ingredient with little research supporting its benefit for skin, though it likely conveys some antioxidant ability.
On balance, this is a good, though not great, serum option. It would have earned our top rating were it not for the fragrance.
Korres is a Greek cosmetics line that was started by Athens-based pharmacist George Korres and his chemist wife, Lena. From its humble beginnings with a natural cough syrup steeped in Greek tradition to a long series of herbal remedies using local ingredients, Korres eventually morphed into a line of skincare infused with natural ingredients, a strong pull for many cosmetic consumers.
A key difference for Korres is that many of the natural ingredients they use are chosen based on the principles of homeopathy, a form of alternative medicine involving the administration of various diluted herbal tinctures to improve diseases. Unfortunately, there’s very little research-based support for homeopathy as it relates to great skincare.
Overall the Korres products are a fairly even mix of pros and cons. Many of their products are tricky for us to recommend, due to the frequent presence of fragrance (a problem for skin, whether it is natural or synthetically derived) and usage of jar packaging for several of their moisturizers.
For more information about Korres, visit www.korresusa.com or call 1-855-9KORRES.
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