C-ESTA Serum x Jan Marini
I'm obsessed with my skin. Ever since I went to college I have had non-stop breakouts that lead to unsightly blemishes and scars that take pain-staking attention to repair. Living in Florida did not make matters better for my skin. The constant sweating under my makeup and the hard chlorinated water made for a perfect storm of skin problems. I've used many different products on my face and trust me, I'm tenacious. I don't go to sleep without completing my skin care routine, there can be Armageddon underway right outside my bedroom door and nothing stops me from slathering my face with cream X, Y, and Z (named so because they are constantly changing). I have combination acne prone skin and needed a solution for prevention rather than treatment.
One thing that was tried and true for me was my recent use of a Vitamin C products as a part of my skincare routine. So far, I have used three different serums and one cream from a cult favorite brand sold at Sephora. Vitamin C is very unstable and it's quite difficult to find a serum that delivers it at the strength and concentration necessary for effective skin penetration. It will also oxidize fairly quickly which is counterproductive as it's purpose is to neutralize the damaging oxidation of free radicals at the cellular level. This is why it is important to purchase Vitamin C with the proper additives for stability and an expiration date. I normally would never tell people that the more expensive the brand the better quality, but Vitamin C serums are the only exception to this rule. You really do get what you pay for when it comes to buying a product that can maintain it's integrity and effectiveness.
For about a week now I have been using the C-ESTA Serum by Jan Marini Skin Research and I'm in love with it. I derma-roll about three times a week to help with the acne scarring and increase the absorption of my skin care products. I use my C-ESTA serum AM/PM but will apply an extra dose post-dermarolling. My skin feels smoother, brighter and plumper since I began my routine. The serum features Vitamin C, the star of the show, and DMAE, more lovingly known as dimethylaminoethanol, which is more of a controversial ingredient. DMAE in my research, sourced through NCBI, is said to help thicken the dermis or live layer of the skin and increase the thickness of collagen fibers present in skin.
Down the rabbit hole I went into the my molecular biology roots to find that the research of so-and-so directly opposed the claims of another study showing the DMAE's anti-wrinkle effects are the cause of cytotoxicity. I'm going to be perfectly honest, the sad truth is you'll never know how to interpret this data because the bias in research is multifactorial, starting from who is funding the research, all the way down to the cherry picking of data that conveniently fits the hypothesis. The world of scientific research is as convoluted as any other business, that is precisely why I left it. The dense and often inaccessible language used makes it hard for people that aren't in the field to interpret, which is why it so often happens that the more accessible media outlets will misinterpret and cherry pick the most incendiary conclusions. Research should be one thing: reproducible. You can't prove anything unless you can reproduce the same outcomes in the laboratory setting. I'll get off my soap box for now about the research and get on my review.
I honestly don't know and understand what exactly DMAE does to better your skin. However, I do know that antioxidants are the free radical neutralizers that prevent the damage your cells and thus aid in the anti-aging process. In that respect, I will continue to use my C-ESTA serum for the benefits aforementioned. I have experienced pleasant results and am happy with the outcome of the serum thus far. The C-ESTA serum is not a magic bullet or panacea that can make you look younger over night, but it is definitely valuable as a prevention routine for anyone looking for a less aggressive approach to anti-aging.