12 weeks ago Healthista editor Anna Magee began a blog in which she put Epionce skincare products, new to the UK, on trial on her face. She was then photographed by a harsh tell-all wrinkle camera, before, during and after her three month trial. Here are the results
12 weeks ago I began a trial of a new brand of skincare called Epionce, created by a US dermatologist, Dr Carl. It was suggested to me by a UK dermatologist Dr Mervyn Patterson who challenged me to use the products and be photographed with a Visia camera, which measures the skin’s signs of ageing including brown spots, uneven texture, brightness, pore size and of course wrinkles.
Now, 12 weeks after starting the skincare my trial has come to an end. The reason it was 12 weeks was because it takes around six weeks for a skin growth cycle to come to an end and so it would take two cycles to see real improvements.
First, a little about the range. You can read about all the actual products I was using in my halfway point blog, but for now, I wanted to take a look at the philosophy. When Dr Patterson first approached me to do the trial I said no, being wary of doctors’ formulas containing harsh, artificial ingredients that really strip the surface of the skin in order to get it looking better. I believe this is a false economy for skin because stripping the surface will always make the skin more sensitive to light and UV damage which in my book, spells big fat W.R.I.N.K.L.E.
But according to Patterson, Epionce was different because firstly, it was made with gentle, mostly botanical ingredients and small amounts of ‘actives’ such as antioxidants to protect the skin and salicylic acid to gently refine it and secondly, it had serious, scientific research behind it.
The mission of the brand is to increase the health of the barrier of the skin; to strengthen it using botanical ingredients. I love that idea. But I also love the fact that their pedigree is rooted in hard science and they have proper clinical trials to show their products work (unfortunately, most botanicals based products I see can’t afford this).
Lastly, what I can’t ignore too is the fact that the products are so pleasant to use it’s clear a tonne of research has gone into them. You see, as much as I love the idea of them, I find really ‘natural’ products often just sit on the surface of my skin, leaving a greasy film. These products do no such thing and in fact, even though at one point I was using around four products on my face, it felt as though my skin was drinking them in, with no residue or waxiness.
I can see clearly that the 12 week trial has had a huge effect on the brightness and texture of my skin. The colour is more even and my sun damage has faded significantly, plus it feels softer and I need less make-up. More people are sounding genuinely flabbergasted when I tell them I am turning 46 this year.
Regarding the overall results, Dr Mica Engel at the Waterhouse Young Clinic says:
‘The most improved areas were, hydration of the skin, especially around the eyes, which improved fine lines and dark circles. The skin looks brighter and has a more even tone, reflecting light resulting in glowing skin. Superficial pigmentation is improved and bigger clusters of pigmentation were broken into smaller areas which also improves the uniformity of the skin.’
The skin looks brighter and has a more even tone, reflecting light resulting in glowing skin.
Now let’s look at the results as seen by the Visia wrinkle camera. This camera looks for different signs of ageing, including pigmentation and sun damage, wrinkles, blocked and enlarged pores, skin texture and brightness. Here are mine in the final week with some commentary from dermatologist Dr Mervyn Patterson at Woodford Medical who initially suggested the trial.
‘There is a very significant improvement of 11.2 per cent in the smoothness of the surface of the skin,’ says Dr Patterson. ‘Smoothness is critical to achieving a more youthful look as this, combined with evenness of complexion in terms of pigment and redness is used by our eye to access someone’s youthfulness.’
According to Dr Engel: ‘The amount of spots and superficial pigmentation reduced from 124 spots to 97, which reflects the brightness noticed by the naked eye and the pictures.’
A very significant global reduction in pigmentation is shown by the Visia analysis, says Dr Patterson. The reduction in unwanted pigment is most clearly seen in the forehead and the side of the face with large blocks of dark brown pigmentation showing significant fading’.
‘These effects are achieved by Epionce Melanolyte Tx Lotion and Melanolyte Pigment Perfecting Serum which contain multiple ingredients that effectively suppress unwanted melanocyte activity (melancytes are the cells in the skin that when activated cause brown spots) and hence pigmentation. An independent clinical trial showed that Epionce pigmentation treatment had comparable effectiveness to prescription products without the irritation. Epionce did not display the rebound of pigmentation that was seen with other products when the pigmentation products were discontinued’.
‘The skin shows a reduction in redness between the before and after images with a more even colour over the skin surface,’ says Dr Patterson. ‘Much of the blotchiness has disappeared with a more even skin tone throughout.
‘The Epionce Renewal creams contain a wide selection of proven botanical agents that work in combination to block all seven pathways of chronic inflammation, that can lead to redness and ageing. Further complexion improvements are achieved with Epionce Intense Defense Serum, a unique blend of the correct balance of Vitamin A, B, C, D and E. In an independent clinical study it was shown to produce statistically significant improvements within the first week.
‘It is the combination of reduction of both brown pigmentation and redness that helps contribute to the visible improvement in the signs of ageing,’ says Dr Patterson. ‘Here the critical thing is an ‘even’ complexion as this is what we perceive as a more youthful appearance’.
Here is a list of the Epionce products I was using and their prices.
MelanoLyte Tx £75
Renewal Facial Lotion £68.50
So, would I actually buy them?
Looking at those prices, I know the big question (and the elephant in the room) is this: would I pay for this skincare? As you probably know, the products I tried over the last 12 weeks a press gift – I was given them all in exchange for blogging about the results. But here’s the thing, the results under the Visia camera don’t lie so I couldn’t fluff up what happened. Nor did I want to – the whole point of the trial was to find out whether expensive skincare makes any difference to my skin.
So, with that – and my results in mind – will I be buying my next batch? I have thought about this long and hard and have decided that probably, yes. Think about it. All of the above products add up to £548 which sounds like a lot on paper. But for me it’s a good bit less than a mortgage payment and the products lasted (some are still going) because you need so little of each one. Moreover, divide the amount by 84 (the number of days in 12 weeks) and you’re looking at a cost of £6.52 a day. That’s less than what I spend on tea most days, spent on my face – which is the one accessory I can’t ever take off (well, unless I become very good friends with a plastic surgeon sometime soon).
Spending £548 on 12 weeks worth of skincare sounds ludicrous on paper, but over 12 weeks, that amounts to £6.52 a day. For the one accessory you can’t ever take off – your face – I think that’s money well spent
Looking in the mirror now, I haven’t seen a difference in my skin to this extent with any other skincare I have ever used, without causing any irritation. Epionce isn’t cheap, but for me at least, I now know that the money I am spending is actually having an effect on my skin.
Find out more about Epionce here.
Read previous Skincare on Trial blogs:
If you’d like to be part of a skincare on trial blog, email a straight on, make-up free headshot and a list of problems you believe your skin has to firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll see what we can do.