If I had to put a number on it, I’d say I’ve tested upwards of 50 moisturizers in the last few years. What can I say? I’m a sucker for best sellers, anything with hyaluronic acid, and the latest technology-packed products. So I like to think that I’ve seen and tried my fair share of options, some of which have become permanent fixtures in my routine, while the majority are usually cycled out after a few months. But last month I got my hands on the new StriVectin Wrinkle Recode™ Moisture Rich Barrier Cream, and little did I know that my skin would be blessed with one of the very best face creams it has ever tried.

This fresh-smelling tub of cream is thick but absorbs really fast, always leaving my face with a subtle dewy glow. I swear it only took a few days of using it morning and night to notice an improvement in my overall complexion. I had less redness and plumper, more radiant skin, which makes sense given that it’s formulated with two powerful barrier-boosting technologies—1:1:1 biomimetic lipid ratio and StriVectin’s patented form of niacin, NIA-114™—that help address signs of a compromised skin barrier, like fine lines, wrinkles, visible redness, and loss of radiance and hydration.

Since my skin has never responded to a face cream so quickly, I found myself eager to learn more. So I tapped skincare expert and dermatologist Chris Tomassian, MD, to help decode the secret formula and break down the science of it all in a more digestible way. Keep scrolling to read my interview with him and then do yourself a favor and order a tub of your own for $119—a pretty hefty price tag that’s worth every penny.

Thank you so much for chatting with me. Before we get started, please introduce yourself to Who What Wear.

Thank you for having me! My name is Dr. Chris Tomassian. I am a dermatology resident in Kansas City, Missouri, with a focus and passion for cosmetic medicine. In 2020, I was voted Best Dermatologist in Kansas City, Missouri. I have also gained a following in the past year for my skincare tips and myth busting on social media such as TikTok and Instagram.

Okay, I’m not crazy, right? The Wrinkle Recode Rich Cream is really good. My skin looks and feels so hydrated and fresh.

Yes! I had a similar feeling in just a short couple of weeks of using this product. It’s amazing what happens when you are able to restore and strengthen your natural skin barrier. Your skin feels more hydrated, healthy, and radiant almost immediately after use.

For those who might not know, can you describe what the skin barrier is and why it’s considered the gatekeeper to good health? What sort of problems will people notice if they have a compromised barrier?

Your skin is exposed to the environment at all times, including changes in temperature and humidity, chemical exposure, infection, and more. This is where our skin barrier comes to play. The skin barrier is composed of skin cells as well as a lipid-rich matrix containing ceramides, free fatty acids, and cholesterol. This is typically referred to as the brick and mortar analogy—your skin cells being the bricks and the lipid matrix the mortar. Having a damaged skin barrier can result in many clinical findings, including dry skin, redness, poor complexion, fine lines, wrinkles, and eczema. Most commonly, people notice their skin is rougher, dryer, and redder.

I know that the cream combines a few different barrier-boosting technologies to strengthen and nourish skin. Can you explain what those are in civilian terms?

StriVectin’s Wrinkle Recode Rich Cream incorporates several key technologies to strengthen and maximize the skin barrier. StriVectin uses its patented niacin (NIA-114™) in all of its products. Niacin used topically has been shown to increase the thickness of your skin, limit water loss, stimulate skin turnover, and reduce redness. This results in younger, smoother, and hydrated skin. Furthermore, the new cream contains a balanced biometric lipid ratio of ceramides, free fatty acids, and cholesterol to rebuild and strengthen the mortar (lipid matrix) between skin cells. Together these ingredients provide building blocks to grow and strengthen your natural skin barrier.

What about key ingredients? What are the standouts? I need to know what makes this cream so luxurious and effective.

As above, the two main ingredients that really make this product stand out are the patented niacin (NIA-114™) and the 1:1:1 biometric lipid ratio. However, the Wrinkle Recode Rich Cream also contains essential oils such as Kalahari melon seed oil as well as Poria mushroom extract, Chinese lu gen, and Calendula flower extract, which provide anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties to nourish and soothe your skin.

With an ingredient list like the above, what are some of the benefits people can expect to see by using this cream each morning and night?

StriVectin’s Wrinkle Recode Rich Cream will help reduce redness, fade fine lines and wrinkles, even skin tone, and provide lasting hydration. Like any product, consistency is key to see lasting results, so I would recommend using this cream daily twice a day. I recommend applying in the mornings before your sunscreen and in the evenings over your retinol. After using this product, I have seen “youthful” results on my own skin! I’m excited to continue this journey with StriVectin and keep you posted on the results.

Be honest: As a skin professional, do you think it’s worth the $119 price? (Spoiler: I do.)

This is an interesting question. In general, I would say price does not always correlate with the quality of a product. However, there are some products such as vitamin C or specialized moisturizers that contain patented technologies that support the underlying costs. StiVectin incorporates their patented niacin, which provides a plethora of benefits to the skin, as well as a biometric lipid ratio, which gives reasoning to their price point.

What do you wish more people would do to look after their skin?

If you ask any dermatologist their answer would likely be the same: become religious about sunscreen. Most unwanted skin changes such as poor texture, deep wrinkling, hyperpigmentation, redness, and, worst of all skin cancer occur from years of UV damage. Limiting and protecting yourself from UV damage will slow the natural aging process of your skin tremendously.

Is there one thing you find people who have great skin tend to have in common?

Great skin is not impossible to achieve, but it rarely comes down to one thing. I would say that most people with great skin incorporate three main steps: 1) cleansing their skin daily, 2) moisturizing twice a day, and 3) applying sunscreen every day, rain or shine.

Add a Q (& your A) that you wish we’d asked you.

What products would complement a routine that includes the Wrinkle Recode Rich Cream?

In addition to a great moisturizer, adding in a retinol at night and sunscreen throughout the day will limit and fade the appearance of wrinkles and dark spots. 

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