In a remarkable turn of events, arguably one of the strangest in the history of cosmetics, women across the country are putting a stretch-mark cream called StriVectin-SD® on their face to diminish the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles and crows feet. And, if consumer sales are any indication of a product's effectiveness, StriVectin-SD is nothing short of a miracle. Women (as well as a growing number of 'Boomer' men) are buying so much StriVectin-SD that finding a tube at your local cosmetic counter has become just about impossible. Has everyone gone mad? Well, not really.
Scientific Breakthrough or Dumb Luck?
Although StriVectin-SD's functional components were already backed by clinical trials documenting their ability to visibly reduce the appearance of existing stretch marks (prominent because of their depth, length, discoloration and texture), the success of StriVectin-SD as an anti-wrinkle cream was 'dumb luck,' says Gina Gay, spokesperson for Klein-Becker®, StriVectin-SD's exclusive distributor.
When we first handed out samples of the StriVectin formula to employees and customers as part of our market research, the sample tubes were simply marked 'topical cream' with the lot number underneath, Ms. Gay explains. "As the samples were passed to friends and family, the message became a little muddled and some people used this 'topical cream' as a facial moisturizer. As we began to receive feedback from users, like "I look 10 years younger and can't even notice my crows feet", we knew we had something more than America's most effective stretch-mark cream." The point was driven home as store owners began reporting that almost as many people were purchasing StriVectin as an anti-wrinkle cream as were buying it to reduce stretch marks.
Dr. Daniel B. Mowrey, PhD, Klein-Becker’s Director of Scientific Affairs, says, "Clearly, people were seeing results, but we didn't have a scientific explanation as to why this wrinkle-reduction was occurring. However, based on the incredibly positive reports, I started using it myself, applying StriVectin to my face after shaving." Dr. Mowrey adds, "On a personal note, my wife tells me I haven't looked this good in years."
Dumb Luck Strikes Again!
Then, on Tuesday, July 2, 2002, at a meeting of the 20th World Congress of Dermatology in Paris, France, a series of studies detailing the superior wrinkle-reducing properties of a patented oligo-peptide (called Pal-KTTKS) versus retinol, vitamin C, and placebo, on 'photo-aged' skin was presented. "As luck would have it", Dr. Mowrey states, "The anti-wrinkle oligo-peptide tested in the breakthrough clinical trials turned out to be a key ingredient in the StriVectin cream."
In the trials, subjects applied the patented peptide solution to the crows feet area on one side of the face, and a cream containing either retinol, vitamin C, or a placebo to the other side.
Subjects in the Pal-KTTKS/retinol study applied the cream once a day for 2 months and then twice a day for the next 2 months. Using special image analysis, the study's authors reported significant improvement in both the overall appearance of skin tone and wrinkles for those women using the peptide solution.
Better yet, at the 2-month halfway point, the peptide solution worked nearly 1.5 times faster than retinol (in measured parameters), and without the inflammation retinol often causes in sensitive skin. As was expected, the results of the remaining studies confirmed that the Pal-KTTKS solution's effectiveness at reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles far exceeded both vitamin C and placebo.
A smoother, younger complexion, with less irritation and faster results, all without expensive (and painful) peels, implants or injections.
Better than Retinol and Vitamin C, But Is StriVectin-SD Better than Botox®?
Dr. Nathalie Chevreau, PhD, RD, Director of Women's Health at Salt Lake City based Basic Research®, exclusive distributor for Klein-Becker, explains, "Leading dermatologists agree that Botox is the preferred treatment for moderate to severe frown lines between the brow. But ever since it was discovered that StriVectin could reduce the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, and crows' feet the kind of fine lines, wrinkles and crows feet that can add 10-15 years to your appearance and which costly medical treatments often leave behind skin-care professionals have been recommending, and using, StriVectin.
In fact, researchers believe non-invasive alternatives are better, because, Dr. Chevreau continues, "Topical creams and gels offer gradual, continual results, while the effects of injections, facial peels, and dermabrasions are rougher on the skin and wear off." In other words, StriVectin-SD helps give you a youthful, healthy, glowing complexion faster than retinol, far superior to vitamin C, and without irritation, needles, or surgery. Even better, many dermatologists and plastic surgeons recommend StriVectin in conjunction with cosmetic procedures, including Botox.
So, if you see someone applying an anti-stretch mark cream to their face, don't think they've gone off the deep end, they may be smarter than you think.