Can a serum be so intelligent to figure out on its own which areas of skin are damaged and repair them? That’s what Clinique Smart Custom Repair Serum claims to do. According to the brand, different kinds of damage, such as dark spots and loss of elasticity, send different signals that prompt the serum into action, releasing ingredients that can fix the problem.
As intriguing as that sounds, if that were really possible, then any serum would do that. After all, Clinique Custom Repair Serum doesn’t contain any special ingredients that you can’t find anywhere else. But it does contain a lot of goodies that benefit skin. Let’s see how:
What Clinique Says
Our smart serum understands the particular needs of your skin, providing custom repair for the damage you see and the damage you don’t. For all ages, all ethnicities.
Targets multiple concerns, including:
Diminishing lines and wrinkles
Firming and lifting skin
Reducing dark spots and evening skin tone
Improving radiance and texture
Clinique Smart Custom Repair Serum contains a fairly high concentration of silicones, such as Dimethicone, Cyclopentasiloxane, Polysilicone-11, and PEG-10 Dimethicone. Some, like Cyclopentasiloxane evaporate shortly after application, while others, like Dimethicone, stay on the skin forming a breathable barrier that prevents water loss but still allows active ingredients to get through. Silicones allow a product to glide on smoothly and fill in fine lines and wrinkles, making them look temporarily smaller.
Ascorbyl glucoside is a more stable form of vitamin C. This means it doesn’t break down so quickly when exposed to light and air, and so retains its effectiveness for longer. When it permeates through the skin, Ascorbyl Glucoside breaks down into L-Ascorbic Acid, thus providing its same benefits: antioxidant activity, stimulation of collagen production, and inhibition of the synthesis of melanin, which helps in fighting and fading dark sposts.
Mulberry Extract may have skin-lightening properties too. Studies have found that it contains several compounds, including Oxyresveratrol and Mulberroside F ,which inhibit the formation of melanin. “The anti-melanogenesis effect was highest with oxyresveratrol“, while Mulberroside F is quite weak and not as effective as Kojic Acid. However, all these studies have been performed either on animals or in vitro, so it’s unclear how well mulberry extract works when topically applied on human skin.
Acetyl Hexapeptide-8 & Palmitoyl Oligopeptide
How can Clinique justify the claim that the serum can sense damaged areas and target them? By adding two peptides, Acetyl Hexapeptide-8 & Palmitoyl Oligopeptide to the formula. Peptides have cell-communicating abilities, meaning they can tell cells what to do. They can, for instance, tell damaged cells to produce healthier cells. But they cannot travel to these damaged areas. When you slather on the serum, they end up all over your face. Also, because peptides are usually too big to penetrate skin, it is unclear how effective they really are.
Acetyl Hexapeptide-8, also called Acetyl Hexapeptide-3 and Argireline, is touted to be an effective alternative to botox because it can relax facial muscles. But whether it works when applied topically is unclear. According to a small 2002 study (the only one I could find), an “oil/water (O/W) emulsion containing 10% of the hexapeptide on healthy women volunteers reduced wrinkle depth up to 30% upon 30 days treatment”. But because it doesn’t diffuse through the skin well, it doesn’t work for everyone. It seems that those with thinner skin get better results, while those with thicker skin may see no improvement at all.
Palmitoyl Oligopeptide, also known as Palmitoyl Hexapeptide-12, is a “blend of palmitic acid (a fatty acid) with several amino acids, including alanine, arginine, aspartic acid, glycine, histidine, lysine, proline, serine and/or valine”. A 2007 study (again, the only one I could find) has shown that it can stimulate collagen production.
Clinique Smart Custom Repair Serum is also loaded with antioxidants, such as algae extract, cucumber extract, and Skullcap (Scutellaria Baicalensis) extract, to name a few. With regular use, they help prevent the premature signs of aging.
Further considerations on the formula
Suitable for all skin types, Clinique Smart Custom Repair Serum has a lightweight texture that sinks quickly into the skin. Infused with antioxidants, peptides, and skin-lightening agents, it helps prevent wrinkles and fine lines and fade dark spots.
Full Ingredient List
Water, Isododecane, Dimethicone, Cyclopentasiloxane, Polysilicone-11, Butylene Glycol, Ascorbyl Glucoside, PEG-10 Dimethicone, PEG-6, Citrus Grandis (Grapefruit) Peel Extract, Morus Nigra (Mulberry) Root Extract, Hordeum Vulgare (Barely) Extract, Scutellaria Baicalensis Root Extract, Cucumis Sativa (Cucumber) Fruit Extract, Algae Extract, Plankton Extract, Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Fruit Extract, Sigesbeckia Orientalis (St. Paul’s Wort) Extract, Triticum Vulgare (Wheat Germ) Extract, Glycerin, Oryza Sativa (Rice) Bran Extract, Yeast Extract, Acetyl Hexapeptide-8, Palmitoyl Oligopeptide, Ergothioneine, Whey Protein, Polysorbate 20, Micrococcus Lysate, Cholesterol, DI-C-12-18 Alkyl Dimonium Chloride, Salicylic Acid, Isohexadecane, Propylene Glycol Dicaprate, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seedcake, Caffeine, Glycine Soja (Soybean) Protein, Tocopheryl Acetate, Acetyl Glucosamine, Caprylyl Glycol, Glyceryl Polymethacrylate, Dimethoxytolyl Propylresorcinol, Synthetic Fluorogopite, Glycyrrhetinic Acid, Tromethanmine, Polysorbate 80, Sodium Hyaluronate, Sodium RNA, Squalane, Aminopropyl Ascorbyl Phosphate, Ammonium Acryloyldimethyltaurate/VP Copolymer, PEG-8, Lecithin, Hexylene Glycol, Acrylamide/Sodium Acryloyldimethyltaurate/VP Copolymer, Sodium Hydroxide, Tin Oxide, Disodium EDTA, Arabidopsis Thaliana Extract, Phenoxyethanol, Yellow 5, Red 4, Titanium Dioxide
The Bottom Line
Although the selective, custom repair claims are more marketing than reality, the serum is well-formulated. It has antioxidant and skin-lightening properties that can help fight premature aging and fade dark spots.
Have you tried Clinique Smart Custom Repair Serum?
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