Review: DS Laboratories Viterol.A
Now that I finally seem to have my skin’s angry breakouts under control – yaaaaay, thanks Accutane! [Insert cheesy grin & thumbs up here] – I’ve been on the lookout for some products to help deal with the aftermath. Even the tiniest spots cause hyperpigmentation that lasts for months, and well…. how about I just show you a ‘before’ picture?
That was taken about three weeks after I finished up with accutane. Even though I haven’t had any breakouts since then, obviously I had enough discoloration and atrophic scarring to keep any skincare addict busy for weeks researching effective fixes. At about the same time, I had the opportunity to try out some products from DS Laboratories, so I decided to test-drive their Viterol.A Anti-Aging Cream (the face and eye versions). It’s intended to remove fine lines, dark spots and wrinkles, and as a 30-year-old with all of those things creeping up, I can totally get behind that.
Before I started trying the products, I did a lot of reading through their website and I have to say it was completely delightful. I happen to prefer a scientific approach to skincare (after all, what better way to ensure that the goo you’re putting on your face actually works?) and their company and product descriptions don’t disappoint. I also thought the “How it Works” spiel for Viterol.A could be a great learning lesson in chemical fear and why it makes no sense – this is what the page has to say:
Viterol.A is the aqueous dispersion of Pure Retinol, Acetate Tocopherol, Ascorbyl Palmitate, and D-Panthenol encapsulated in phospholipidic micro-spheres which are obtained in special conditions generating organic nanoparticles approximately 10μ in diameter. These micro-spheres increase the transport and absorption inside the skin down into the deepest subcutaneous tissue.
So if you’re the type who won’t put anything on your face that you can’t immediately identify, you might initially think this isn’t the skincare line for you. But if you break down the primary ingredients it’s a different story:
- Retinol = Vitamin A derivative
- Acetate Tocopherol = a form of Vitamin E
- Ascorbyl Palmitate = a form of Vitamin C
- D-Panthenol = Vitamin B5
You could say it kind of gets into the realm of unnecessary scientific jargon, but here’s the thing – if you have access to medical journals, you’re way more likely to be able to find the research on this stuff if you have the scientific terms to search with. The DS Labs Viterol.A sub-site has a ton of info that ranges from very scientific to explain-like-I’m-five, so I’ll just leave you a link for that here in case you want to peruse it yourself.
But onto the actual review, hmm? I received the face cream (16% concentration) and the version to use under the eyes/around the mouth (29% concentration). For the face cream, the directions recommend spreading a fine layer all over the face, and you do the same with the eye cream but under the eyes and around the mouth. It works by exfoliating and promoting cell turnover, so it’s probably best to just use it under the eyes, and not on the lid area. Also, pro tip: the liquid is very thin and comes out of the tube easily, so hold it cap side up, squeeze a bit out and pick it up on your finger. Holding it cap side down is a recipe for getting a big handful of it. The thin texture makes it easy to spread, and it soaks in quickly without leaving any weird residue on my skin.
The product description notes that you might experience some irritation at first, which is fairly common with exfoliating products. I had a few very small whiteheads pop up around my jaw area, which has happened before when I’ve used things like lactic or glycolic acid. That only lasted a couple days and then disappeared. My skin is pretty finicky about anything that could be irritating or drying, so I was surprised to see that I didn’t have any dryness or flaking.
Routine-wise, my dermatologist recommended using a product order of serum->treatment->moisturizer->occlusive, so I’ve been putting this in the ‘treatment’ slot and waiting 10-15 minutes for it to soak in before I add moisturizer.
I decided to give it at least 30 days to see what would happen, and I’ve gotta say I’m pretty happy with it. I took this picture after 5 week of use:
Clearly it hasn’t completely gotten rid of the discoloration, but it’s faded quite a bit (much faster than it generally does if I just leave it alone) and my skin tone in general is much more even. It’s not quite as obvious in the pictures as in real life, but my skin texture is much smoother (pores not as noticeable, etc) and it seems more plump/less dehydrated. I was also concerned about a few fine lines on my forehead, and it helped with that too.
Now, is it as effective as a prescription retinoid? Based on my past experience with those, no. But, it also has way fewer side effects and you don’t have to go to your doctor and pay a copay to get it. After just over a month of use my skin looks much better, and I expect the tubes (30mL for face, 15mL for eyes) will probably last around 10-12 weeks at least. It’s not a miracle product – though nothing is and I have problems with things that claim to be, but that’s a rant for another day – but it delivered the promised results. I’ll probably switch to a prescription product for a while to speed up the fading process, but I’ll be keeping this in mind for maintenance once I’m done with that.
In Short: I’m very happy with this product, and after seeing the results I’ve got my eye on some of their other things too.
DS Laboratories Viterol.A Face ($35) and Viterol.A Eyes ($33.50) are available at dermstore.com