Monday, May 9, 2011

Reviva Labs Firming Eye Serum with Alpha Lipoic Acid, Vitamin C Ester, and DMAE

Image stock photo
Around 10 years ago, I was at my doctor's office for a wellness exam when I noticed a copy of The Perricone Prescription on her desk, a book I'd seen prominently displayed at Borders and elsewhere. I asked what she thought. She said it was scientifically sound, that his noninflammatory diet was extremely effective as an anti-aging methodology, and that his skincare products did a reasonably good job of delivering on their claims. But they were quite expensive. She then told me I could get a near-exact duplicate of his top-selling cream at Whole Foods for more than 75% off Perricone prices.

Armed with the name of the cream (Reviva Labs Alpha Lipoic Acid Vitamin C Ester and DMAE Cream), I headed straight to Whole Foods and purchased a jar for $25 (which is about what it costs today). I ended up throwing it away because ten years ago my skin was still quite firm and oily. I did not care for the cream's heaviness, and that I derived no benefit simply meant I didn't need it yet.

Now picture, if you will, a 10-year montage of sun stupidity. Allow little still shots of ignorance to run through your mind like a bad movie: me bagging mountain peaks above the treeline on clear summer days; me lolling about in a canoe in the middle of a lake, face turned to the sky; me reading on the beach, hoisting the jib on the sailboat, tending to my gardens—most of it without adequate sunscreen or even a hat! I had stopped purposely trying to tan in 1992, but I did not buy into the idea of wearing sunscreen every day just to go to work. 

A year ago this past December (2009) I bought a x10 magnifying glass to facilitate eyebrow plucking. Most women over 30 probably know to steer clear of such folly, but not me. So let us just agree that what has been seen cannot be unseen. I had thought my skin still looked firm and plump and youthful until the day I looked into that evil abyss. Frankenpores, upper lip hair that would make Billy Dee Williams proud, a map of tiny veins. But what most stood out (and shocked me to the core) was loosening, crepey skin on my throat and in the creases of my eyes. In fact, I could pinch eyelid skin, release it, and it would stay stretched out for a few moments.

Could anything be done to improve my skin's texture and elasticity? I didn't think I could reverse the sun damage, but could I put a Band-Aid on it, at least for a little while? I did some research, and Perricone popped up again. Thus, I dutifully re-read The Perricone Prescription, and then I remembered Reviva Labs. A decade after first hearing about Reviva, I was able to read customer reviews, which were not as readily available in 1999. They were very positive and encouraging—especially when I filtered results on my age group and older. I decided to try it again.

Back at Whole Foods, I purchased the Alpha Lipoic Acid Vitamin C Ester and DMAE Cream, which I used on my throat only. The first thing I noticed was it didn't feel as greasy, probably because my skin was, by now, producing much less oil.

Image stock photo
I had zero expectation, so no one was more surprised than I when, in under a month I began to notice firmer, tighter skin. Actually, that isn't actually how it happened. What I noticed was that I no longer noticed my skin. My eyes were not zeroing in on my throat each morning, and the skin there had just become skin again, not special skin that required special attention. Encouraged, I started to apply a little extra to my throat every evening, and I used my fingertips to wipe the excess across each eyelid socket.

Fast forward another month, and suddenly the eyelid area was as springy as it had been ten years before. I wasn't expecting results, so I wasn't watching for them, and one morning I simply noticed that eyeshadow applied more smoothly to the socket area. Now whenever I use an eyeshadow blending brush in the windshield-wiper motion, my skin doesn't get dragged along with the bristles.

For oilier skins, the Reviva cream might be a bit rich for daytime use, so I decided to try the Firming Eye Serum with Alpha Lipoic Acid, Vitamin C Ester, and DMAE, and it was instant love. The serum sinks quickly into my skin and is lightweight enough that I can apply eyeshadow within minutes. Note that I use the serum all over my face. Just a tiny amount is needed because it's quite thin and lotiony.

After another 4 weeks of use, my skin had achieved all the benefits it was going to achieve, and I am happy to say that 18 months later, I can no longer pull the eyelid skin loose from the socket. It sits firmly where it belongs, and unless I use a really chalky/powdery eyeshadow, or unless I let myself get very dehydrated, my lids look great. I no longer worry about throwing my eyelids over my shoulders in a flesh-toned pashmina, and I can postpone turkey wattle another year.

The only negative is the eye serum's hard plastic cap that covers the pump tends to crack, so I just end up tossing it. If I travel for an overnight or a week, I just leave the serum at home. Skipping up to a week has not reversed all the good, but stopping entirely would very likely turn the clock forward again.

Bottom line: It really and truly does what it says. That I can maintain younger looking skin for <$10 spread over 3 months makes me very happy!

You can find Reviva products all over, but the best deal I've found to date is at, a reputable site with excellent customer service and cheap $5 shipping. (Unaffiliated/I receive no kickback if you use above link.)

UPDATE: Sadly I can no longer use either of these products, as they contain gluten. I have also learned since posting that antioxidants should be stored in opaque packaging (such as the unattractive-but-highly-utilitarian Perricone brand). Antioxidants lost potency when exposed to air and light, so open-mouth jars and clear bottles are the last things we should buy in skincare of any kind.

Serum Ingredients: Demineralized spring water, olive oil, cyclomethicone, whole wheat protein, DMAE bitartrate, mulberry extract, lime extract, alpha lipoic acid, ascorbyl palmitate, hyaluronic acid, allantoin, xanthan gum, cetearyl alcohol, ceteareth 20, potassium sorbate, sodium benzoate and citric acid.

The good news is I found a gluten-free replacement: Derma E, Firming Serum with DMAE, Alpha Lipoic and C-Ester. If you search around, you can almost always find it significantly cheaper than retail. I bought mine at


  1. I have used some Reviva products (a soy serum) and it was nice. I'm SO looking into these!!!

  2. I remember reading on how much you love this. I have to keep it in mind.

  3. Jeanie, the price is too good to pass up, but you're probably too young to benefit. :)

    Ammie, I'll continue using this with the Baltic Collagen, which should arrive this week. Of course I am hoping that the BC is one stop shopping, as I like my skincare as simple as possible.

  4. This is a good serum. I used it for a long time until my skin starting needing more moisture.

  5. Sounds lovely! The only thing I've tried from this brand is the Light Skin Peel. :)

  6. My wife use to use this serum. Now she used natural eye vitamins. She said the serum took to long and taking a vitamin is much easier and quicker.

    1. Do you mean oral vitamins or something topical, like squeezing the goo out of a Vitamin E capsule? I still get great results from this serum. I use it on my eyelids and throat, but I do believe in skincare from the inside out is the best first step.

  7. I'm 41, my skin is oily and breakout prone, with dark spots from old acne scars and sun damage. I wanted a product with DMAE that didn't have a bunch of other stuff in it that would make my face break out. Definitely try the Made from Earth Vitamin Firming Serum No breakouts, and my skin just looks brighter, refreshed. The dark spots are fading with this more than with anything else I've ever used; it seems to be increasing exfoliation so that some spots are disappearing and others are revealed - like we're going through layers of skin.


I love reading your comments. If you have a specific question or request, please feel free to e-mail me directly. Comments that contain advertising links or shameless plugs will not be published.