StriVectin makes anti-aging skincare. Their products are more reasonably priced than other skincare brands we’ve recently reviewed like Nulastin, which charges nearly the price-per-pound of gold for its skincare products.
In this article we’ll review the ingredients in StriVectin’s most popular products based on published medical research to determine if it’s likely to be effective for reducing wrinkles and providing an overall anti-aging effect.
StriVectin Neck Cream Review
StriVectin’s neck cream is their most popular product, and is called TL Advanced Tightening Neck Cream Plus.
Before analyzing the ingredients, we want to point out that we find it unscientific when brands sell separate neck and face cream products. Any ingredients that will reduce clinical signs of aging on skin will do so on any part of the body; there are no ingredients which work to reduce aging in the neck but not in the face, and vice versa.
StriVectin claims this product can tighten, lift and firm the neck while reducing appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. It’s important to assess these claims based on medical evidence, because if the product isn’t proven to work then it’s a waste of money.
The first active ingredient in TL Advanced Tightening Neck Cream Plus is shea butter. This natural compound has been shown in medical research to have a potential skin barrier repair effect, and to have an anti-inflammatory effect, but it’s not been proven to reduce wrinkles or provide an anti-aging effect.
It also contains Brassica Campestris (Rapeseed) Seed Oil, and we can’t locate any medical studies suggesting this ingredient is effective for skin aging.
A test tube study found that the ingredient Sorghum Bicolor Stalk Juice may have anti-wrinkle effect, but test tube studies are a much weaker bar of evidence than human studies, so we can’t conclusively say this ingredient is effective, although it may be.
The neck cream has several peptides: Tetrapeptide-21 and Dipeptide-1 Cetyl Ester. Peptides have been shown in medical studies to improve skin function, but research on this class of compounds is early-stage, and researchers are yet unsure of which peptides are the most effective. We would consider these potentially effective ingredients but there’s not much evidence backing these specific peptides.
Hyaluronic acid is another active ingredient in this product, and it’s one of the cosmetic ingredients with the most research backing. It’s been conclusively proven in clinical data to have skin rejuvenating effects when applied topically, including “remarkable anti-wrinkle” effect.
While StriVectin neck cream clearly contains at least a few effective ingredients, it also contains several ingredients we find concerning and would recommend avoiding.
Chlorphenesin is a synthetic preservative that induces cellular atrophy and death of human cells in test tube studies. It’s a relatively harsh preservative, and there are weaker and safer options, so we generally recommend avoiding this ingredient.
Another preservative in this product is called phenoxyethanol, and it’s included in many cosmetics products we review like Olaplex. As discussed in the linked review, this compound has questionable safety data and while we don’t believe it’s as much of a health risk as chlorphenesin, we recommend avoiding it out of an abundance of caution.
The most concerning additive ingredient in this product is fragrance, which has been described in a recent medical review as a “pervasive health risk.” It’s a broad descriptor ingredient which could be composed of any number of chemicals, many of which are toxic. Because fragrance doesn’t describe which specific chemicals are used, and because many have proven toxicity concerns, we always recommend avoiding cosmetics products containing fragrance. This isn’t a perfume and we don’t understand why a neck cream would need synthetic fragrance in the first place.
Overall we find this to be a relatively poor formulation. It has one ingredient we identified as definitely effective, several we identified as potentially effective, and several active ingredients that we find to have lacking efficacy data.
It also contains several additive compounds which we believe have questionable safety data, so we would recommend avoiding this product.
StriVectin Eye Cream Review
One of StriVectin’s most popular products, and another product we often get consumer questions about, is their eye cream. The product is called Contour Restore Firming Moisture Balm for Eyes.
This formulation is similar to the neck cream formulation. It contains peptides, but this product contains three peptides rather than two, which is a good thing since topical peptides may improve skin quality.
The eye cream also contains sodium hyaluronate which we already proved to be an effective skincare ingredient in the previous section.
One active ingredient unique to this formulation is Pyrus Malus (Apple) Fruit Extract. This ingredient has been proven to improve skin hydration and skin elasticity in a clinical trial, but it didn’t have any proven effects on wrinkles.
Contour Restore contains Betula Alba Bark Extract, which has been shown to reinforce the skin barrier. However, again, we can’t find any research proving it reduces wrinkles which are the biggest marker of skin aging.
Another active botanical ingredient in the eye cream is Morus Nigra Leaf Extract. This compound is documented to be effective for skin hyperpigmentation, but we can’t find any medical research suggesting it’s generally effective for those with healthy skin.
Sesame Seed Oil is also included in this cream, and it’s been shown to have some anti-aging effects based on a previously-linked review of plant oils for skin function.
StriVectin’s eye cream does contain phenoxyethanol, but it’s free of fragrance and chlorphenesin, so we find this formulation to be safer than the neck cream.
This product does contain some botanical compounds that may improve skin quality generally, but only one compound that we could identify which is proven to have an anti-wrinkle effect.
Without multiple ingredients with an anti-wrinkle effect, we find it hard to recommend a skincare product, because many simple botanical products like coconut oil alone can have skin hydration and skin-elasticity-promoting effect, so why spend $69 for 0.5 ounces (oz) if some slight hydration and elasticity improvements is all you’re likely to experience?
For this reason we don’t recommend this product and would recommend topical unprocessed coconut oil application instead.
Misleading Clinical and Health Claims
Like many cosmetics brands we’ve recently reviewed, StriVectin makes many health claims that we find to be extremely misleading.
First, they argue that different products are needed for skin on different body types: “Don’t Expect a Face Cream to Do a Neck Cream’s Job.”
While it’s true that skin on the neck is somewhat different than skin on the face (it’s lower in collagen), this doesn’t mean that there is any medical research suggesting that different ingredient combinations are optimal for different parts of the body.
The same clinically-proven ingredients like hyaluronic acid, collagen and retinol are effective whether applied on the face or the feet. Skin is composed of the same core structural elements everywhere on the body, so it’s illogical for a brand to suggest we need different skincare products for different parts of the body.
Brands like suggesting that we need a face cream and a foot cream and a body cream and a neck cream and an ear cream because it’s good branding and sells more products, not because of scientific research.
StriVectin also claims to have clinically proven results for many of their products, but they don’t even publish the studies backing their clinical claims. This is unethical and should be illegal in our opinion. Quite literally any brand can say their products are clinically proven to work, and without publishing a shred of proof this is just manipulating consumers.
We urge consumers to avoid brands that claim their products are clinically proven without any proof; this is a harmful practice that needs to stop.
The only published medical study on StriVectin compared the efficacy of its SD anti-wrinkle cream (and other popular skincare creams) to Botox injections. The researchers found that the StriVectin cream had no improvement in wrinkles relative to a placebo group, and that the only side effects experienced by patients of any of the creams were all by those using StriVectin.
Instead of using overpriced creams with no proven efficacy and many questionable ingredients, we believe a simple, research-backed approach to skincare is logical.
Hyaluronic acid is the best-studied topical ingredient for skincare, so look for a cream with hyaluronic acid as one of the core active ingredients that doesn't contain fragrance or any harmful preservatives.
Oral collagen supplementation is conclusively proven in medical studies to reduce wrinkles when taken daily over the course of months, and has no side effects as it’s simply a protein.
We recommend a daily dose of 10 grams (g), which is actually half the dose of most popular collagen products. This appears to be the maximally-effective dose of oral collagen based on medical data.
Look for a collagen brand that contains unflavored powder with no added sugars. The collagen should ideally be sourced from pastured animals. The only ingredient should be grass-fed collagen.