|Image from balticcollagen.com|
I don't normally write a skincare review until I have used a product for a minimum of 30 days (ideally 60-90 days), but I have to rave about this product, which my friend Ten Bells turned me onto because this stuff does what it says, and in a very short time.
This newly-release product line is called Baltic Collagen and it is nothing short of hope in a bottle. From their web site:
Collagen is the most abundant protein in the human body, forming strong sheets and cables that support the structure of skin, internal organs, cartilage and bones, as well as all the connective tissue in between ... Collagen’s role in the aging process is ... what gives the youthful look of firmness, evened tone, elasticity, and a smooth, unwrinkled surface. Protein structures are what make skin look aged and wrinkled or radiant and youthful.Collagen on its own is too large a molecule to be absorbed through the skin, and it becomes inert when heated, which is why collagen products don't work. To the rescue come the scientists at Baltic Collagen who have created a transdermal serum with the highest concentration of bio-available collagen on the market. All of their products are fully tested by dermatologists and are hypoallergenic. Baltic Collagen is the only available collagen preparation that is 98% pure, bio active, 100% natural, extremely well absorbed, and contains no preservatives.
Since collagen production all but stops at age 25, the primary way to keep skin plump and youthful (besides avoiding sun damage) is addressed by Baltic Collagen:
- Prevent further wrinkles from forming
- Supplement diminished collagen levels
- Stimulate collagen-producing cells into renewed activity
- Provide an immediate, intense lifting effect
Even better, this product is fully guaranteed. They are so confident you will like what you see that if you are unhappy for any reason, simply contact them and they will refund your purchase price. You don't even have to send anything back.
I purchased the Baltic Collagen™ Face and Neck Gel ($55), which is 30ml/1oz.
|Image from balticcollagen.com|
After I applied the gel that night, my face felt tight, as though the gel had created a barrier to seal in moisture. My under eye area felt a bit crinkly (but this feeling went away after a few days of use). After the gel dried, my skin felt so soft and smooth, but I felt like I needed a little added moisture around my eyes, so I applied a couple drops of Caudalie Eye Cream.
The next morning, my face felt incredibly smooth, like polished glass. I remained skeptical but hopeful, especially since I had been reading incredibly compelling testimonials. By the third day, I noticed increased firmness, and my facial skin felt plumped up. My coloring had improved, as well. In fact, I was pleased to notice that my skin had taken on a subtle radiance, which I had been artificially reproducing with Chantecaille Les Pétales Lumière de Rose Highlight (reviewed here). I still love the Chante highlighter, but I love even more that it doesn't feel necessary. A face that gleams without excess oil is something I have not enjoyed in many many years.
Before the first week (yes, week) was over, the skin on my neck was smoother and tighter, and my upper lip looked more full and juicy. Around the same time I began noticing changes to my eyes--the lids were much springier. Oh! And no more walking around the first hour of my day waiting for pillowcase creases to go away! My eyelids and throat had already benefited from daily use of Reviva Labs Firming Eye Serum with Alpha Lipoic Acid, Vitamin C Ester, and DMAE (a cheaper Perricone clone reviewed here), but Baltic Collagen amped it up several notches and much faster.
Perhaps the most surprising result of all was the improvements to the backs of my hands. Every night and morning when I finished applying the gel to my face and neck, I'd wipe off the excess from my fingers onto my hands--primarily to get rid of that sticky feeling serums tend to have--and I was shocked when literally the next day, the skin there looked smoother and more radiant.
I was so impressed I immediately purchased two backups of the Face and Neck Gel, as well as Baltic Collagen Eye and Lip Serum ($35).
|Image from balticcollagen.com|
There's a hot discussion going on at my forum (call it a group trial), where we are sharing our experiences and talking about suggested use, tips, and trick thanks in large part to Ten Bells' tireless research. Here's a summary.
- Apply to clean skin after rinsing with warm water. The warmth opens the pores and primes the skin for maximum absorption.
- Apply to wet skin, not dripping, but more than damp.
- Store the bottles below 85 degrees Fahrenheit away from light. The company web site recommends storing in the refrigerator, but many of us have found that the product becomes too treacly and won't come up through the pump when it's that cold. Just store in a cool location (not your steamy, hot medicine cabinet in the bathroom).
- If you get results in the eye and lip area using the Face and Neck Gel, there is no need to buy the separate Eye and Lip Serum.
- If you use a beta or alpha hydroxy acid on your skin, make sure your skin is well rinsed before you apply the collagen serum. The acids help the skin absorb serums, but they also break down the collagen before it can go to work. I usually apply Peter Thomas Roth AHA/BHA serum right after I get up, let it sink in for a half hour, and then clean my face using gentle cleanser and warm water before I apply Baltic Collagen.
- You can still use tretinoin products (e.g., Retin-A) to fight acne or fade melasma, but let Baltic Collagen products sink into your skin until it is fully dry--at least 10 minutes.
- It's fine to apply additional moisturizer or eye creams on top of the Baltic Collagen products, as long as the collagen is dry.
- Some people like to apply Baltic Collagen, wait 30 minutes, and then rinse it off. They find no added moisturizer is required. I like to leave it on my skin because it imparts a beautiful sheen along the high points of my face. If my skin feels a little tight from a skin formed by the treatment, I'll use a very lightweight moisturizer to smooth over it.
- A 30ml bottle of Face and Neck Gel should last for 30 days when used twice per day (if you are using a half gram (0.5 ml) per usage). This is a case where more is not better. Skin can only absorb so much before product buildup accumulates on the skin's surface. It isn't harmful, but the excess product will flake away upon drying, so you'd be wasting product.
Here's a short video from the people at Baltic Collagen:
Bottom line: Heaven sent. Simply stated, this product is amazing. It does what it says, and it has exceeded all my expectations, and quickly! In fact, one little bottle has replaced most of my skincare creams and lotions and serums. If you're under 30, this may or may not give results, as I suspect that the more your skin lacks collagen, the more noticeable the results will be.
The Baltic Collagen product line is available from two US-based web sites. Here's the difference between them:
- http://www.balticcollagen.com (Georgia/North Carolina) is a licensed, independent distributor. The primary difference between the two distributors is this vendor does not import product from Poland in the hot summer months, so they could run low on inventory between now and Fall. They also honor refunds and have exceptional customer service. The bottle I received was in thermal bubble wrap, and as the weather warms up, they ship product on dry ice to preserve integrity and freshness of the collagen.
http://www.balticcollagen.us (Chicago) is a US distributor. They do NOT accept returns. The bottle I received was sent USPS and was wrapped in a very thin sheet of regular bubble wrap. The consistency of the collagen was much thinner than the product I received from balticcollagen.com, so I suspect it went bad. EDITED: I cannot recommend the Chigago-based site.Order at your own risk.
Photos from Baltic Collagen. Unaffiliated. I purchased my own product.