I’m almost never on board with getting full sized skincare items in box subscriptions since they can be very hit or miss. If they’re a miss, I almost feel obligated to go through them all.
Sometimes, I’ll get something I absolutely love, but there’s an ingredient in there that keeps me from reinvesting in it. This is one of those cases.
Boxycharm included this Time Repair Serum (USD $48.00, full size), now known as the Time Repair Anti-Wrinkle Serum in one of our boxes. When I first looked into the product, I really loved what I was hearing. This is a company that basis its products in the properties of Aloe Vera leaf. I love using aloe vera in my nighttime skincare routine, since it acts as a hydrator and a natural antiseptic for the skin (aka, it’s a gentle way of preventing breakouts). Plus, it has a lot more beneficial properties that make it an excellent skincare ingredient.
Additionally, this serum kind of acts as your all in one. It has both AHA and BHA (salicylic acid) exfoliants, which are great for getting off all remnants of dead skin cells and residue that contribute to cellular breakdown and breakouts. It also has lemon extract, another great astringent, as well as lactic acid and rice bran extract, all great exfoliators.
And you know what? This worked beautifully as a serum. My skin did look fresher as I used it. I liked it enough that I also used up my sister’s bottle, which she was looking to pass on. So that was roughly six months that I had using this product.
When I finally scraped out the last of the serum, I started looking into buying it. That’s how much I liked it.
Here I was totally ready to purchase this when I took a deeper look at the ingredients. Everything was great until I found the number one offender in skincare.
Yes, it’s near the bottom of the ingredient list, but why on earth would I spend almost $50 on great skincare ingredients when they also come with one of the most sneakily damaging ingredients?
This was about to be a real winner, especially for people who want to invest in good skin exfoliants, but can’t afford to buy a mix of Sunday Riley and Drunk Elephant products. You get all that you really need from one product.
But with fragrance included, I just can’t get on board.
Verdict: If Aloette were to get rid of the fragrance in their formula, this could be a huge winner for affordable skincare. It may not seem so with the $48 price point, but this serum is packed with a lot of ingredients that would cover you on almost all basis when it comes to exfoliants. (I would just suggest adding benzoyl peroxide if you’re very acne prone.) But until they get rid of that pesky ingredient, I sadly won’t be purchasing this.
If ever there was a product that seemed to be the most gimmicky in my history of beauty subscriptions, it’s this: the Freeze 24-7 Anti-Aging Eye Serum (USD $58.00, size pictured; $115, for 0.5 oz). Yup, you didn’t read those prices wrong. This teeny tiny, sample size bottle is over $50. A month ago, I found a store that sold this sample size, but I can’t find it anymore. You can buy the full size off of their website or at Macy’s, Nordstrom, Bloomingdales, or Dillard’s.
For such an expensive product, I had to do my research and see what on earth makes this product so special. If you take a look at the ingredients list, everything seems pretty standard for an anti-aging product. This actually has a ton of great antioxidants that can help repair the skin (though it does contain a small amount of two irritants, so sensitive skin people be cautious). That’s really nice, but why the $115 price tag? I did a little more research on Freeze 24-7’s website and found the info page on their anti-aging technology.
The claim to fame for this serum is that it acts as a “botox alternative” for the fine wrinkles around the eyes. You can also use this on other areas of the face and neck where you want to “treat” fine lines. Why is this a botox alternative? Well, like many expensive medical intervention (aka plastic surgery) alternatives, this contains the ingredient GABA. GABA is suppose to act as a “muscle relaxant” that causes the facial muscles to act in such a way that the appearance of wrinkles are reduced.
If this sounds gimmicky, you aren’t alone. There are some articles on how this claim is totally gimmicky and would actually be somewhat dangerous if it were completely true. I mean, you apply this stuff with your finger, so what’s stopping it from relaxing the muscles in your hands?
GABA can’t really work properly on its own, but of course Freeze 24/7 says that there are other ingredients in their secret patent formula that allow GABA to do its job. Alright, Freeze 24/7. I see you.
Gimmicks aside, I wanted to put this bad boy to the test. The claims with this serum is that the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, puffiness, and dark circles would be reduced. Let’s see if that actually happens.
At first, I used it incorrectly and was ready to be mad at this serum. I started using this as a substitute to my eye cream and my under eye area was beginning to dry out. Whoops. I reread the directions and started applying it properly: on the skin after toning, but before any moisturizers. That’s when I also found out you could use it anywhere else on the face.
Let’s be real here: I’m 27. I don’t really have fine lines or wrinkles (yet), so I don’t know how this is going to perform on the skin of someone 20 years older than me. However, I have noticed the beginning of some expression lines on my forehead. They aren’t terrible, but they are definitely there. So I figured, why not? Let’s see what happens.
Keeping it 100, this didn’t do much under my eyes. But then again, I don’t have any wrinkles there (yet). It also did nothing for puffiness or dark areas, but then again almost no cosmetic product can really help with that. (The solution is keeping yourself hydrated and getting a good night’s sleep. No short cuts, people.) I still kept applying it there because the serum does have a lot of peptides and antioxidants, which are great for preventing skin damage.
But my forehead expression lines were a different stories. I know GABA is a gimmick, but I have to say that about 3 minutes after applying the serum on my forehead, I felt a tightening in the skin. Not a “relaxing” of the muscles, but a definite tightening sensation. Lo and behold, when I looked in the mirror and took my face through different expressions, the expression lines were noticeably reduced. I’m talking about an 80% reduction in their appearance. That’s huge.
I decided to see how long the effects of the serum would last, so I didn’t reapply the next day. The following morning, they were still reduced! By day three, the reduced visibility was still there, but the lines were a little more visible. And on day four, we were back to the regular lines. Over time, these lines were not made any worse, but they also didn’t get better once the effects wore off.
So somewhat like botox, this is NOT a permanent line fixing solution. This acts like a temporary fine line reducer. On my skin, I can get one morning application to last me about 3 to 4 days. That’s impressive. Under my eyes, not so much. But hey! I found a way to use this and I bet this would work on people with some fine lines around the eyes.
So while the claims may be gimmicky, something’s working here. Is it really worth $115? At 28, not really. I’m making this little bottle last as long as possible, but will I repurchase it at this stage in my life? No. If this product is still around when I’m older and dealing with more signs of aging, I just might want to test the effects on deeper lines.
But in all honesty, you can find the same antioxidants and peptides in other less expensive skincare brands that will give you the same preventative treatment. Also, you can’t rule out the benefits of wearing sunscreen every day and having a good quality skincare routine.
Rating: 3/5. I was truly surprised by how effective this was on my expression lines. Is it a replacement for botox and fillers? While I can’t speak for older skin, it did just enough for me. However, this is still $115. The serum also had no effect on puffiness or dark circles (but again, no skincare product really does), so I had to take away a few points for that and the price point. I’ll enjoy the rest of my sample, but I don’t think I’ll be repurchasing this any time soon. But if you’ve been looking to take the plunge on this product, I think you will get something out of it.