Thursday, July 3, 2014

Summer Glow in the City: Radical Skincare Advanced Peptide Antioxidant Serum

It's getting hot in here! It's also getting pretty muggy, and sticky, and gross - welcome to summer in New York City. Not gonna lie, compare to the mild, rainy climate of the Pacific North West, NYC has been sort of screwing my skin up: the harsh winter turns it into a dry mess, the humidity kicks my oil production into another gear and causes eczema flare-ups, the sun burns my fair complexion in 15 minutes flat, and the air pollution... I guess it's just freaking me out.
So when I was offered an opportunity to test and review the Radical Skincare Advanced Peptide Antioxidant Serum* ($190 for 1 fl oz/ 30 ml, available on, while the older version of this product, called Peptide Infused Antioxidant Serum, is also available on,, Barney's and SpaceNK), I thought it'd be a great product to accomodate the changes in my skin's needs. The concept behind Radical's new product is 'one serum for all skin types, all ages, all ethnic origins to fight the 16 causes of aging once and for all'. Sounds pretty neat, right?
And there's lots of cool science stuff to back it up: my press release goes on to enumerate all 16 causes of aging, which Lionel de Benetti, Radical's Scientific Advisor, established during his cosmetics research. I'm just going to mention a couple that may not come to mind automatically, and which are also factors even younger skins often struggle with, like poor hydration, pigmentation disorders, cell inflammation, weak lipid barrier, and poor nutrition. The Advanced Peptide Antioxidant Serum uses 13 different active ingredients, including two hexapeptides, which work in synergy to fight all the causes of aging for optimized results. The active ingredients are backed up by Radical's Trylacel Technology for a maximum anti-aging protection and skin repair in a stable formula.

The Advanced Peptide Antioxidant Serum claims to increase hydration, improve skin's permeability for better absorption of other skincare products, diminish fine lines & wrinkles, improve skin's firmness, tone and clarity, and provide broad spectrum antioxidant protection. Now, these are some seriously high claims to fill, and right off the bat, I honestly can't evaluate some of these on my 27 year old skin without conducting all sorts of lab tests that I have no business pretending to know about. But I can still tell you about my experience using the serum once a day in the morning for over a month.
The texture of Radical's serum is somewhere between a gel and a lotion, with a good slip for easier application and not an overly strong clean floral fragrance that dissipates after a couple minutes. The smooth, thin and blendable texture is partly thanks to some silicones in the formula (so I don't recommend trying to rub the serum into the skin - I like patting it in), which also help the product to absorb quickly with no sticky residue and a soft, glowy satin finish, which is why I find it perfect to use in the mornings before doing my make-up. I quite like that the packaging has this handy locking pump mechanism, but I wish there was a 'window' on the side of the bottle to see how much remaining product I still have.
After over a month of testing the Advanced Peptide Antioxidant Serum, my skin seems softer, plumper, more even and hydrated. The serum doesn't clog my pores but it also doesn't keep my skin clearer - which isn't its purpose anyway. I don't have very many fine lines to begin with, but it keeps some dehydration lines on my forehead and around my mouth at bay. I only use one pump of the serum each time to cover my entire face and neck, and I'd say it's definitely hydrating enough even on its own for my combination skin in the summer, thanks to hyaluronic acid and some lovely carrier oils in the formula (desert date, rice bran, sweet almond, jojoba) but in the winter, or for dryer skin types, I'd definitely recommend using it in conjunction with a good moisturizer.
The most surprising result I've achieved while using the Radical Skincare Serum is how much more even and calm my sensitive skin has become. I regularly suffer from redness (broken capillaries around my nose, irritation from products/environment, generally pink skintone) as well as post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation marks, freckles and some weird, red/purple splotches mostly on my forehead. After incorporating the serum into my routine, I find my skin looks a lot less red and doesn't get as irritated during cleansing, the weird splotches are almost gone, and my acne scars seem to be fading faster.

Overall, I really enjoy using Radical's Advanced Peptide Antioxidant Serum, and would recommend it to anyone looking for a solid anti-aging product, especially those with sensitive skin who can't use more irritating active ingredients like retinol or AHAs. However, I personally find the price point a bit prohibitive; I understand that good quality, active skincare can't really be cheap as chips, but at this stage in my life, I can't afford to repurchase this product, though it's a truly luxurious serum if you can fit it into your budget.

City folk - are you concerned about aging factors like air pollution? Do you use products with antioxidant protection in your skincare routine?

Disclaimer: The product marked with an asterix (*) is a press sample I received from Radical Skincare for review consideration. All links are non-affiliate. All opinions are 100% honest and unbiased, no matter if the products featured were purchased with my own monies or provided as free press samples. Thank you for reading!

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