A few days ago, I received from my dermatologist a free bottle of SkinMedica TNS Essential Serum (retail price $260, on Amazon for $148). This serum contains human fibroblasts, so I’m basically rubbing foreskins into my face morning and night.
I’ve been using the serum for a few days, and am intrigued to see how it works. I turn 35 in July and while I don’t think my skin needs heavy duty help yet, I have experimented with anti-ageing products since I was a teenager (which couldn’t have done me any harm). A few things about this one stand out:
1) It stinks. If you had brothers, do you remember the stench of their sweaty tube socks and overall unclean scent? That’s what this product smells like.
2) It comes in an offensively large box. If you’re spending that much on packaging, it had better be the kind of thing I can re-use.
3) It comes in a gigantic bottle, so you can’t travel with it unless you pack it in checked baggage. Very inconvenient.
4) There are two different liquid components of the serum that come out of two separate pumps at once – or, rather, they’re supposed to. The directions advise that you then blend them together on the back of your hand. But the red liquid (which contains the most powerful elements) has a lot of trouble coming out, and sometimes doesn’t. I’d read a lot of complaints about this online, and a friend experienced the same hassle. To fix this, I store the bottle upside down, and tap the bottom at least 60 times (not exaggerating) before I press the pump. It then dispenses as it should. I also blend it on my throat, not on the back of my hand – why lose precious product?
5) The directions suggest using one pump for face, throat, neck and décolleté, but (even acknowledging that my head is gigantic) I need two pumps.
I’ll report on the outcome of using this product. It’s replaced the ZO Skin Health Ossential Growth Serum I’d been using for a few months (after going off ZO Skin Health Radical Night Repair Plus for a while). After having a personal skin assessment by the legendary Dr. Zein Obagi, I feel a bit disloyal for abandoning his serums for this one, even temporarily. That said, they are hideously expensive, so my guilt is limited.