Fab Skincare Finds – This Month’s Scoop

Most of these products are new, some of them are just new to me. I do love high-tech high-performance skincare products, and while I haven’t tested all of them extensively, here are the ones that have me excited this month:

Justine Epigran Serum

This one isn’t new or even new to me – it is in fact a massive blast from the past. My mom used to use this periodically, and we called it Marmite serum because of the yeasty smell. Epigran is intended for dull dry skin, and combats these issues with a blend of amino acids, proteins, vitamins and minerals. The main ingredient is good old Wheatgerm oil, and it comes in a nifty spray bottle. Once applied, the serum absorbs within a minute – making it suitable for all skin types in need of a kick even though it’s primarily indicated for dry ones.

Justine Epigran Revitalising Solution
Justine Epigran Revitalising Solution

Optiphi Dermintense Activegel

Dermintense Activegel is an under-moisturiser treatment designed to enhance collagen, elastin and GAG production, increase dermal thickness (ideally you want a thick dermis and a thin epidermis) and improve the skin’s ability to repair itself (but to me, skin repair = improved collagen). To do this it contains fancy pants peptides of which I’ve forgotten the names – these kick collagen production into gear. With prolonged use this will mean increased hydration, reduction in wrinkle size and better skin texture altogether.

Basically, it does the things that Retinol do, but it’s also suitable for skins that can’t tolerate the heat. I do suspect it’s one of those products that forms part a range where everything has a specific function, but so far I haven’t some across anything  that says you can’t use it with your current regime. Oh – and it’s local. I have a soft spot for a good local product!

Optiphi Dermintense Activegel
Optiphi Dermintense Activegel

Optiphi is exclusive to skincare clinics, to locate stockists phone 012 667 6244/3 or mail info@optiphi.com. RRP R1250

Filorga Pigment Perfect Dark Spot Corrector Serum

Pigmentation is a thing of nightmares for me – I fear it, I try my very best to prevent it, and then I’m constantly trying to keep the scattering I have at it’s very lightest. I don’t have it badly at all, but it’s one of those things that only gets worse as you age so the sooner you start keeping a handle on it, the better.

Filorga’s Dark Spt Corrector is perfect if you have small areas of pigmentation – be it localised post-breakout discoloration, a random sunspot or two, or ‘freckles’ that appeared overnight on one area of your skin only. It has Hop extract to reduce the number of Melanocytes (the cells that cause the visible discoloration), stable Vit C (always a winner for skin brightening) and a plant extract I’ve never heard of that’s anti inflammatory and an anti oxidant.

Filorga Pigment Perfect Dark Spot Corrector Serum
Filorga Pigment Perfect Dark Spot Corrector Serum

R685 for 30ml, available from Edgars and Red Square stores.

SkinCeuticals Ultra Defense SPF50

While we’re on the subject of pigmentation, there’s no use using anything to treat it if you’re not using a decent sunscreen daily. Note that I said daily, not just on days when you intend on going into the sun. UVA  refracts and reflects from just about every object, making it a bit of a losing battle so you better slap it on. With sunscreen, price unfortunately tends to indicate the quality of the UV filters used and thus their efficacy – just today I heard from a division manager that their smallest profit margin is on sunscreens.

I’ve only used a sample of this and I happened to squeeze the last bit out of the tube this morning, but I think I’ll take the plunge and get a full sized one for myself to carry on using. It absorbs in an instant (it really feels barely-there, which is rare for SPF50) and doesn’t interfere with anything else I apply, which on some days is quite a lot of layers: serum + moisturiser + SPF + illuminator/primer + BB/foundation… No pilling or shifting.

R590 for 30ml, available from medical practitioners only. Find stockists here.

Perricone MD Formula 15

Perricone MD has always been an iconic brand, something that I’ve always aspired to. I remembered the first time I heard about it when I was still a beauty therapy student, and a client told me about it and she just.wouldn’t.stop. She kept telling me how straight-forward and effective it is, and how she refuses to put anything else on her skin. If I remember correctly she was importing it herself back then as it wasn’t yet available in SA.

Formula 15 is an adaptation of Dr Perricone’s first treatment product, Face Firming Activator, which was one of the very first products to call itself a cosmeceutical and make use of nutrient antioxidants (PS – this was in 1997, 15 years ago from 2012. We’ve come such a long way in such a short time!). Quite simply, Formula 15 works on the length, width and depth of wrinkles by using Alpha Lipoic Acid (brilliant antioxidant) and DMAE (lifts, pulls skin taught in areas of wrinkles). Almost more important that the ingredients is that they make use of a patented delivery system to ensure the product gets to where it needs to be.

Perricone MD Formula 15
Perricone MD Formula 15

At just under R3000 for 59ml, I’ll be testing this out when I can dedicate some time to it specifically since I’ll be pretty critical of it at that price point. My horizontal forehead lines are doing their best Klingon-impression in anticipation.

Exhibit A: a Klingon
Exhibit A: Klingon forehead

Available from Edgars.

Vichy Idéalia Smoothing and Illuminating Cream

It’s a last-but-definitely-not-least scenario. Kind of merging with aforementioned pigmentation theme, I’ve always sworn that I’d much rather accept getting wrinkles than pigmentation. I find pigmentation more ageing, and I value a clear, luninous complexion with a couple of expression lines more than the other way round. Turns out the rest of the world is with me, and studies have found that pigmentation ages us as much as lines and wrinkles (just how smug am I now?). When it comes to anti-ageing creams, wrinkle-busting promises no longer cut it – the criteria was improved skin texture, more even complexion and only then reduced lines and wrinkles.

Anyhoo, Vichy Idealia is enriched with 3% Kombucha, a powerful antioxidant extracted from tea. Kombucha itself contains LHA, Polyphenols, Vitamins and a Probiotic – that packs quite a punch.

Vichy Idealia Smoothing and Illuminating Cream with Kombucha
Vichy Idealia Smoothing and Illuminating Cream with Kombucha

RRP R305 for 50ml, in DisChem from the end of next week and other pharmacies a little later on. Available in two variants – normal/combination and dry skin.

C xx



  1. Jun 14, 2013 / 9:02 AM

    Waiting for the Vichy one. 🙂 and the BB Cream.

  2. Felicia
    Mar 23, 2015 / 8:30 PM

    Entering For a chance to win products.

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