* Prices may differ from that shown
Towards the end of last year, I was lucky enough to win a small (50ml) tube of StriVectin-TL Tightening Body Cream, and I was very interested to try this product, and to see whether its performance matched its claims. It's not a product I knew much about, and isn't something I would have initially thought of buying for myself. The RRP for a 200ml tube is about £49, which seems expensive for a body moisturiser, but if the cream did what it advertised, then perhaps I would have second thoughts about the price.
As well as being a rich, anti-ageing body moisturiser for women, this cream has also been designed to firm the skin. On receipt of my prize, I decided to take a look at Strivectin's website, to see what this new treat was going to offer me. Strivectin also make a number of other products, such as Neck Cream, Face Serum, Retexturising Scrub, Hand Treatment, Stretch Mark & Wrinkle Cream for Sensitive Skin, Replenishing Cleanser, and others. On the product page for the Tightening Body Cream, I found the information that this cream contains 'NIA-114 + protein tighteners' which are designed to 'enhance skin density, and restore skin barrier to help retain vital moisture'. NIA-114 technology was discovered during research into the prevention of skin cancer. It is a form of niacin, and it apparently helps repair damage to the skin and to rebuild skin layers. The ingredients of this cream also include Soybean oil, Shea Butter, Grape Seed oil and Jojoba Seed Oil, so at the very least I was expecting it to act as an effective moisturiser. The cream is especially designed to target areas of loose, sagging, crepey and thin skin, and is suitable for all skin types.
You should massage this product into the skin, especially focusing on the areas of concern, twice a day - morning and night. The immediate effect should be one of tightening the surface of the skin and smoothing the texture. After four weeks of regular and continued use, you should start to see an improvement in the elasticity of your skin, and you should also see an effect on your body contours. This last claim was one I found hard to believe. After eight weeks, there should be a marked improvement in the skin's density, with visible firming of the skin.
The product page offers a link to some before and after photos, and I was very interested to take a look at these. There are just two photos, which show the arms of a woman of mature years. The crepiness and sagging of her skin is marked, and in the first photograph she appears to have a bruise/red mark on her forearm, similar to those I suffer from. The claim is that the two photos are unretouched, and although the second picture does not show a miraculous transformation, there has been some firming. The skin on the forearm, just below the elbow, is less crepey, and the upper arms show an improvement too. Strivectin claim that their results have been measured and graded by medical researchers.
Having read the description, and seen the photographs, I was keen to try this out for myself. I used it specifically to target the skin on my arms. The skin on my forearms is very thin, and the dermatologist I saw recently about a skin cancer told me that this is probably due to the fact that I have to take steroids because of a long-standing lung disease. I get regular chest infections because of the lung disease Bronchiectasis, and when I start to get really breathless (not helped by the fact that I also have asthma), I am prescribed a week's course of steroid tablets. The skin on my lower arms bruises very easily, and can form nasty blood-red bruises if my arms are scratched or even rubbed firmly. The skin on my upper arms is not as firm as I would like - there is some sagging, and also some crepiness. This is particularly bad under my upper arm, near the armpit.
So, I began my trial, eager to see whether its performance did indeed live up to its claims. The tube of cream is presented in a white carton, which contains quite a lot of printed information, as well as a yellow band featuring the product name - Tightening Body Cream. This information describes what you can expect to see during the eight weeks of use. There are a few cautions outlined on the back of the tube: the cream is for external use only, keep out of the reach of children, avoid contact with the eyes, and discontinue use if signs of irritation or rash appear. The packaging looks a bit clinical, as opposed to something you might expect to buy from a premium skincare range. The cream is thick, although it is absorbed quite easily. It has a mild, pleasant fragrance which reminded me of citrus fruit. It certainly doesn't smell at all medicinal. The contents of the tube will be good for 24 months after opening, and the tube is recyclable.
After a few day's use, I could not see that anything had changed. However, with continued use, I began to see an improvement in the state of my skin. My forearms did not bruise so easily, and although the excess skin on my upper arms had not miraculously disappeared, there was a remarkable improvement in the crepiness under my arm - this really looked very much smoother. I continued using the cream for some weeks, and was delighted by the improvement. I then realized that I had used more than half of my small, 50ml tube, and because I was so pleased with the results I decided to save the rest to use as a pre-holiday treatment later this year. I plan on using it on my arms again, and I wish I had enough to also target my thighs. I have a few unsightly areas there, caused by slightly sagging skin. So I am hoping to buy a full-size, 200ml tube, which costs about £49, as this will mean that I can treat both areas of concern during my pre-holiday beautifying regime. Because I never wear bikinis any more, other areas affected by lack of firmness will be thoroughly concealed by my swimming costume. So, arms and upper legs will receive this special treatment.
On the final day of my experiment, I applied a different moisturiser to my arms without having showered first. I then noticed a slight irritation to the skin on my oh-so-sensitive forearms, possibly caused by the two different creams reacting together, so if you have sensitive skin, you may wish to bear this in mind. The irritation - a few tiny red bumps - cleared very quickly.
You can buy a 200ml tube of Strivectin Tightening Body Cream from a few websites, although I haven't been able to find it widely available from high street stores. It costs £49 from lookfantastic.com, with free worldwide delivery. The same price and free UK delivery is found at mankind.co.uk (an official retailer for Strivectin products), where there is a free gift available with this product - a 7ml Brightening Serum. SalonSkincare.co.uk (another official retailer) sells it for £41.75 with free economy delivery. These prices are available as of 22nd February.
My 50ml tube has been just enough to target my main area of concern for eight weeks' application. I'm delighted to have had the chance to try this product. If funds allow, I will purchase a larger tube so that I can prepare my arms and thighs to look their best when I go on holiday. I'm giving StriVectin-TL Tightening Body Cream four stars, and deducting one partly because of the cost, and partly because of the mild skin irritation to my very sensitive forearms - even though I don't think this would have happened if I hadn't applied the second cream over the first. I love the idea of a cream that can help build up skin layers, and that it has been developed in the research of the prevention of skin cancer - something I have suffered from twice. My arms definitely benefited from this treatment, and it's a product I hope to use again.
(This review is also on Ciao, under the same user name.)
Ingredients: 5% (NIA-114 + Protein Tighteners)TM / Botanical Tensors, Micro-Circulation Boosters, ProteinTighteners and NIA-114 / Tighten Up (head to toe!)A clinically-proven age-fighting body cream that visibly tightens and firms thin, lax and cr¦pey skin to restore the look of youthful contour, tone and texture / For women 30+ who are concerned with the loss of firmness, elasticity and hydration in the body / Instant tightening: You'll feel skin surface tighten immediately / Contours reappear: Over time, body contours appear more refined as skin elasticity improves / More Firming / More Definition / With continued use, our proprietary NIA-114TM molecule powers up skin to enhance density by visibly restoring the skin barrier to help it retain vital moisture for a firmer, more youthful appearance / Results:IMMEDIATE: Tightens skin surface; smoothes texture; hydrates and softens / WEEK 4: Improves skin elasticity; refines body contours / WEEK 8: Enhances skin density; visibly firms skin / How to use:Massage on skin concentrating on areas of concern / To see optimumß tightening results use AM and PM / Key