Ink spots a question…I’d like to know your opinion about Green Cream, which is a topical retinol treatment. Up to now I have used Avene Diacneal, but Green Cream claims it is better packaged so that the retinol doesn’t lose its potency. The claims seem to be not-too-outlandish (at least in comparison), which is somewhat novel, but what do you think about them? Do you think switching to Green Cream makes sense?
The Right Brain responds:
As you noted, Green Cream is topical retinol product. (We’ve blogged before about retinol as a wrinkle fighter.) You can read FutureDerm’s review of Green Cream for more details on the product line, but there are two key differences about this brand: it uses a higher concentation of retinol than other brands and it’s packaging is designed to stabilize the retinol by preventing contact with oxygen.
Is retinol stability really a problem?
Retinol is unstable because it is sensitive to oxygen, light and heat, and that is a real problem. According to this study researchers found that retinol creams maintain less than 50% of their activity over time. They also found ways to to reduce that instability by putting the retinol in the inner oil phase and by adding antioxidants (like tert-butylhydroxytoluene, sodium ascorbate, and EDTA). These formulating tricks keep the activity at nearly 80% (after 50°C after 4 weeks.) So while the packaging can protect the retinol from the air, you also have to protect the retinol from the formula itself.
Is Green Cream a dream come true?
So it looks like Green Cream got the packaging part right, but what about the formula? Our friends over at the Cosmeticscop.com reviewed Green Cream and raised some concerns based on its alcohol content. Paula Begoun’s point of view is that the alcohol may make the product more irritating than it needs to be. Apparently that unleashed a bit of feud with the owner of Green Cream. You can read the whole sordid story on Paula’s blog. At the end of it all, we’re not sure WHAT to think!
The Beauty Brains bottom line
We can see both sides of the story – Green Cream has the right approach by using packaging to stabilize the formula. But , as Paula suggests, what good is that if the formula itself if more prone to irritating your skin? We can’t tell you how your skin will react to Green Cream but now at least you know both sides of the story.
What your favorite retinol product? Leave a comment and share your thoughts with the rest of the Beauty Brains community.