StriVectin is an anti-aging skincare brand. The company has great visuals and packaging, and sells a wide range of products from eye creams to serums to lip balms.
But do StriVectin products contain ingredients shown in clinical studies to have an anti-aging effect? Does the brand use any questionable additive ingredients? How do real StriVectin customers rate and describe the effects of the products? And why was StriVectin sued over some of its marketing claims?
In this article we'll answer all of these questions and more, as we analyze the ingredients in two of StriVectin's most popular products (neck cream and eye cream) based on clinical studies to give our take on whether or not they're likely to have an anti-aging effect.
We'll also feature unsponsored customer reviews, explain why StriVectin was sued in 2021, and provide a cost comparison to show which retailer sells StriVectin for the best prices.
StriVectin Neck Cream Review
The ingredients in StriVectin TL Advanced Tightening Neck Cream PLUS, which is one of the brand's most popular products, are shown above.
This cream contains a large number of active ingredients with research backing.
Shea butter was shown to repair the skin barrier, and to have an anti-inflammatory effect in a 2018 medical review.
Sorghum bicolor stalk juice was found to have an anti-wrinkle effect in a clinical trial published in the Journal of Cosmetic Science.
Tetrapeptide-21 and Dipeptide-1 cetyl ester are peptides, and this class of compounds has been clinically shown to improve skin quality in some cases.
Adenosine may counter the effects of skin aging according to a medical review published in the Biofactors journal. The study authors concluded the following:
"Activation of adenosine receptors by interacting with various skin layers may induce a decrease in the amount of wrinkles, roughness, dryness, and laxity."
While StriVectin's neck cream has a number of potentially effective ingredients, it also contains two inactive ingredients we recommend avoiding.
Fragrance is an additive ingredient we always recommend consumers avoid, and it's been described in a medical review published in the Medical Hypotheses journal as a “pervasive health risk.”
Limonene is a fragrance ingredient that may be skin sensitizing, as we discussed in our Monat review article.
Overall, we consider StriVectin TL Advanced Tightening Neck Cream PLUS likely to have an anti-aging and skin-quality-boosting effect, given its many research-backed active ingredients.
This formulation has been significantly improved since our initial publication of this article, as the brand has removed three synthetic preservatives that we called out as being questionable from a health perspective: BHT, phenoxyethanol, chlorphenesin.
We don't currently recommend this product due to the inclusion of fragrance.
Independent Test of StriVectin
We can only identify one clinical trial published in a peer-reviewed journal which tested the efficacy of a StriVectin product.
The 2006 clinical trial was published in the Dermatologic Surgery journal, and compared the effects of botox and various commercial skincare products (including one from StriVectin) on wrinkles.
The StriVectin product tested in this study was StriVectin-SD, which is an anti-wrinkle moisturizing cream sold by the brand.
The study authors found that botox was significantly more effective than StriVectin's cream for reducing the visible apperance of wrinkles, and StriVectin-SD caused a small reduction in facial lines (FWS scores decreasing from 2.8 to 2.7 with treatment) that did not appear to be statistically significant.
It's also notable that the only adverse events (side effects) experienced by any trial participants were all experienced by those using StriVectin's cream.
Three out of the 16 trial participants using StriVectin experienced side effects, which were described as flushing, erythmatous papules and one patient experienced itchy papules that caused them to discontinue treatment.
We consider this to be a relatively high number of patients experiencing side effects given the small total number of participants.
It's worth noting that StriVectin may have re-formulated this product since this trial.
StriVectin Eye Cream Review
The ingredients in StriVectin's eye cream called Contour Restore Firming Moisture Balm for Eyes are shown above.
Like the previous formulation, this one contains a large number of research-backed active ingredients.
Palmitoyl hexapeptide-19, palmitoyl tripeptide-1, palmitoyl tetrapeptide-7 are included in this eye cream, and we documented in the previous ingredient analysis section that topical use of certain peptides can support optimal skin quality.
Pyrus malus (apple) fruit extract was shown to improve skin hydration and skin elasticity in a 2019 clinical trial.
Sodium hyaluronate has documented anti-aging effects, as we documented in our recent Hanacure face mask review article.
Betula alba bark extract was found in a medical review published in the Skin Pharmacology and Physiology journal to reinforce the skin barrier.
Morus nigra leaf extract is documented to be effective for treating skin hyperpigmentation.
There are two inactive ingredients in this formulation that we consider to be unhealthy.
Phenoxyethanol is a synthetic preservative shown to be toxic to human cells in a 2020 clinical trial.
Chlorhexidine gluconate is another preservative in this formulation that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) published a warning letter about, indicating a risk of rare but serious allergic reactions when this ingredient is used topically.
Overall, we consider StriVectin's eye cream likely to have an anti-aging and skin-moisturizing effect, but we don't currently recommend it due to the use of two synthetic preservatives that may be questionable from a health perspective.
Real People Try StriVectin
A YouTube channel called "The Honest Channel" has a review of StriVectin's eye cream that includes before-and-after images:
A TikTok creator named JT has a review of StriVectin's eye cream:
@theejernine #stitch with @JT | Mounjaro Flight Attendant #greenscreen my honest review of #strivectin neck cream while on my #mounjarojourney #matureskin #skincaretips #neckcream @StriVectin ♬ Starry Nights - ultmt. & Hz.
Why Was StriVectin Sued?
In 2021, StriVectin was sued over allegations of false advertising related to some of their sunscreen products.
The company was allegedly marketing some of their sunscreens as "Reef Safe" while they contained active ingredients shown to cause harm to coral reefs, according to the plaintiffs in the lawsuit, as documented by Bloomberg Law.
Some "chemical" sunscreens contain active ingredients like octinoxate which are clinically shown to be harmful to human health and to natural ecosystems, as we documented in our EltaMD Sunscreen review article.
We recommend that consumers choose "physical" sunscreens that use active ingredients like zinc oxide which don't appear to be systemically absorbed.
At the time of updating this article, it's unclear what the status of this class-action lawsuit is.
Real Customers Review StriVectin
Amazon is a better resource for honest customer reviews than a brand's website in our opinion.
StriVectin's neck cream is the brand's most-reviewed product on Amazon at the time of updating this article, with over 7,000 total reviews and an average review rating of 4.1 out of 5 stars.
The top positive review from a verified purchaser is written by a user named "Tania Vazquez" who gives the product a 5/5 star rating, and claims it had an anti-wrinkle effect:
"This neck firming/tightening cream is very expensive but that’s because it works! I noticed a difference in the wrinkles in my neck after using for six weeks!"
The top negative review from a verified purchaser comes from a user named "banana deer" who gives the product a 1/5 star rating, and dislikes its consistency:
"When I went to open it today, a little less than 6 months after purchase, it was yellow and gooey. Like, jelly. I tried stirring it up, and it didn't change."
StriVectin TL Advanced Tightening Neck Cream PLUS currently has an average review rating of 4.2 out of 5 stars on Google.
StriVectin currently has an average review rating of 1 out of 5 stars on the Better Business Bureau (BBB) website, although it's a small sample size of total reviews.
Our Clean Skincare Picks
There are skincare products containing ingredients shown in clinical trials to be effective for reducing wrinkles and improving skin quality.
Annie Mak Vitamin C Serum is our top anti-aging serum.
It contains hyaluronic acid which was described as a "skin-rejuvenating biomedicine" in a medical review due to its ability to reduce wrinkles and signs of facial aging.
HYDRAGLOW by CLEARSTEM is our top moisturizer pick.
It features bakuchiol as an active ingredient which was described in a 2014 clinical trial as "clinically proven to have anti-aging effects."
Interested consumers can purchase Hydraglow at the secure checkout below:
Bulletproof Collagen Powder is our top skin supplement.
Collagen supplementation was shown in a medical review published in the Journal of Drugs in Dermatology to reduce visible signs of skin aging as well as improve skin elasticity and skin hydration.
All of the products recommended in this section are entirely free of ingredients that we consider to be unhealthy or unsafe.
Where to Buy StriVectin for the Best Price
StriVectin products are sold at a variety of online retailers.
Here's a price breakdown for a one-time purchase of the two products reviewed in this article, at the time of updating this article:
TL Advanced Tightening Neck Cream PLUS (1.7 ounces)
Ulta: $99 (free shipping, link)
Amazon: $74.25 (free shipping, link to official Amazon listing)
Brand website: $69.30 (free shipping, link)
Contour Restore Firming Moisture Balm for Eyes
Walmart: $79.62 (free shipping, third-party seller, link)
Ulta: $69 (free shipping, link)
Brand website: $48.30 (free shipping, link)
StriVectin's website has the best price on these two products by at least 5%.
Pros and Cons of StriVectin
Here are the pros and cons of StriVectin in our opinion:
- Neck cream should have anti-aging effect
- Neck cream should have skin-hydrating effect
- Company significantly improved neck cream formulation
- Eye cream should have anti-aging effect
- Eye cream should have skin-moisturizing effect
- Mostly positive reviews on Amazon and Google
- Free shipping from brand's website on all orders
- Brand sued over allegations of false advertising
- Moisturizing cream performed poorly in independent trial
- Neck cream contains fragrance
- Eye cream contains phenoxyethanol
- Eye cream contains chlorhexidine gluconate
- Negative reviews on BBB website