Given the pharmaceutical background of Topix (the company behind the Replenix brand), it's surprising that they sell a scrub and don't sell AHA or BHA exfoliants. When well-formulated, either AHA or BHA exfoliants are vastly preferred to scrubs, especially for those concerned with breakouts, bumps, or signs of aging. Of course, some people prefer scrubs, but that doesn't change the fact that when it comes to exfoliation, you get more for your money with an AHA or BHA product.
This fragrance-free scrub has a somewhat thick gel texture that's a bit grainy. Sodium silicoaluminate and bamboo stem extract are the scrub agents and, because they're not buffered by creamier thickeners, this scrub can feel rough and should be used gently (if at all) because it can "tear" into the skin, and that's damaging, not beneficial.
Price-wise, this isn't preferred to any scrub from the drugstore or to using a washcloth with your regular cleanser. Although this contains antioxidants and vitamins, they are rinsed from the skin before they can be of much benefit. If you decide to try this scrub (though we don't recommend you do), it's best for combination to oily skin, but at least take a peek at our list of Best Exfoliants to find better, less expensive options.
Topix Replenix Fortified Exfoliation Scrub is specially formulated to deliver a soothing wave of heat as it gently removes dry dead skin cells, excess oils and residue to reveal healthier, younger looking skin.
Butylene Glycol, Sodium Silicoaluminate, Bambusa Arundinacia (Bamboo) Stem Extract, PEG-8, Camellia Sinensis (Green Tea), White Tea, Ascorbyl Palmitate, Retinyl Palmitate, Tocopheryl Acetate, Dimethicone, Methyl Gluceth-20, Hydroxypropylcellulose, Hydropypropylmethylcellulose, Petrolatum, Titanium Dioxide
Strengths: Most of the products are fragrance-free; packaging keeps light- and air-sensitive ingredients stable during use; several good products with retinol in varying strengths; good moisturizers and cleansers; very good body lotions.
Weaknesses: Expensive; the physician allure may seem enticing, but these products do not require a doctor's visit or medical supervision; no AHA or BHA exfoliants; no viable skin-lightening options; fragrant toner; the growth factors in the Citrix serums are potentially risky ingredients.
Topix is best known for its two chief skin-care brands, Replenix and Citrix. Of the two, we're asked most often about the Replenix collection; the Citrix line is smaller and focused on anti-aging products with vitamin C. The Replenix products contain a broader range of anti-aging ingredients, such as retinol, green tea, and grape-derived resveratrol, and the claims are broader, too—so little surprise that the Replenix products appeal to more people concerned with signs of aging. Both Replenix and Citrix offer fragrance-free formulas, albeit at fairly high prices, which is typical of most physician-dispensed lines.
A chief selling point of Topix is its physician-dispensed angle, which gives the products a medical élan; in truth, however, not a single ingredient in these products is "medicinal," prescription, or exclusive to physician-sold products. That is, you don't need to see a doctor to be "prescribed" Topix products; rather, they can be obtained from several websites, no appointment necessary. The big question is whether or not you should add any Topix products to your shopping cart—and the answer is "it depends."
Within the Replenix line, the most interesting products include the serums and moisturizers. Although none of them are superior to the best options available, most of them do offer good (though pricey) formulas that treat skin to a range of beneficial ingredients.
If you're keen on retinol (and it's a great anti-aging ingredient), Replenix has you covered with several serums offering different strengths of retinol. The various strengths allow you to "step up" to stronger retinol products once your skin has acclimated to the lower strengths. Although that sounds intriguing, it's not really necessary. As we explain in the reviews, more retinol is not necessarily better, and some may find the higher-strength retinol products too sensitizing, so caution is warranted. Indeed, some people cannot tolerate any amount of retinol!
The Citrix products aren't all that exciting unless you want vitamin C in every product. Although there's nothing wrong with vitamin C, it's a mistaken notion to focus on one hero ingredient because skin requires a variety of beneficial ingredients to look and act younger. Topix also adds growth factors to their Citrix serums, but these growth-factor ingredients are unproven for topical use and may present risks (we explain why in the reviews). In short, Citrix isn't all that exciting, and several of these products fall short in one way or another.
Our research revealed that Topix has some intriguing products, but, with few exceptions, there is nothing that you cannot find elsewhere for less money. It's important to let go of the notion that skin-care products sold at a doctor's office are superior to those sold elsewhere. The truth is: There are good and bad products in every retail outlet—knowing what you're buying is more important than where you're buying it or who's selling it!
For more information about Topix, call (800) 445-2595 or visit www.topixpharm.com.
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