My obsession with skincare began in my mid-20s when I was having serious problems with acne. I tried countless lines for years and nothing worked. Eventually, I found a brand that DID work and I’ve enjoyed clear skin ever since. And now that I don’t have to fight acne, I feel like skincare is more fun! I LOVE trying new products and at age 38, I’m focused on hydration, preventing signs of aging and treating the fine lines and wrinkles I already have.
With those goals, I got a Diamond Glow facial two years ago at a local plastic surgeon’s office. It was one of the best facials I had ever had, and I appreciated that the product recommendations they suggested could be added to my current skincare routine. So, I walked away from my appointment like a sucker with hundreds of dollars of products to take home, as one does. 😉 But, thankfully, the products I got truly blew me away. I was shocked by how much of a difference I noticed with my skin after using them for a few months. One of those products is the SkinMedica TNS Advanced Serum, which is what I’m going to review for you today. (The other was the iS Clinical Peel Pads, which I wrote a separate review on.)
First, a little about the brand: SkinMedica is a medical grade skincare brand that makes all kinds of skincare products. It was co-founded by a renowned dermatologist, Dr. Richard Fitzpatrick, so everything was created with a doctor’s knowledge behind it, and it’s all incredibly high performing.
When I’m re-sharing this post, I’m in my third trimester with our second baby. I haven’t been using this serum while I’ve been pregnant, so I wanted to call that out in case you’re expecting too. I can’t wait to start using it again soon! I haven’t tried many other SkinMedica products, but my wishlist is quickly growing based on my love for the TNS Advanced Serum. (My assistant uses and loves the Even and Correct Serum and the skin rejuvenating moisturizer, so those have high praise too).
Today I’m sharing the details of the SkinMedica TNS Advanced Serum, what’s in it, how to use it, and my honest review + results. Keep reading!
Like I mentioned above, I first learned about the SkinMedica TNS Advanced Serum from the esthetician who did my facial. I told her that my main concern was aging skin and wrinkles, particularly with some deep smile lines, and this serum was her #1 recommendation. It’s not a retinol (I do use a retinol oil a few times a week when I’m NOT pregnant), but it does target signs of aging.
It’s designed to visibly improve the appearance of coarse wrinkles, fine lines, appearance of skin tone and texture, AND it’s clinically proven to address sagging skin. After using it for two months, I noticed that my skin has MUCH more elasticity and the deeper lines around my mouth lessened significantly.
These fine lines have really started to bother me in the past 2 years as they’ve become more pronounced. I get that aging happens, but these bother me especially for some reason. However, they improved significantly when I started using the TNS Serum and weren’t as deep and noticeable when my face is at rest and when smiling.
You can see a significant difference in the lines in these photos.
This photo is before I started using the serum. You can see also see the lines around my mouth.
Here is a photo after I first started using it two years ago – I’d been using it for 60 days when I snapped this photo. (I set a reminder on my phone so I’d remember!) Impressive, right? But, of course, like a dummy, after going through a couple bottles, I stopped using it because I didn’t want to spend the money (and then I couldn’t use it once I ordered more because I got pregnant). And my smile lines have returned with a vengeance.
It varies person to person based on things like age, skin type, and of course the intensity of a person’s skin concern. In SkinMedica’s clinical studies however, people noticed improvements in their skin within as little as two weeks of using the serum consistently. The most consistent you are, the more improvements you’ll see! Skin takes time to regenerate and form new collagen, so within a couple of months you’ll start to see the best results.
The recommended usage is twice per day: After washing your face in the morning and again in the evening after cleansing. However, since this serum is potent and contains a pretty high concentration of active ingredients, it’s best to start by using it once a day use to make sure you don’t have any irritation. I personally only used it once or twice per week since I prefer to alternate my serums each night (which is called skin cycling).
It should last 4-6 weeks if you use it twice daily (it’s recommend apply to the face morning and night), but since I was only using it 3 times a week, it lasted me about 6-7 months.
Let’s get into the key ingredients. There are two chambers in this serum that both dispense when you pump the serum into your hand. Together, they create a blend of marine extracts and peptides that support the collagen and elastin in your skin. It’s worth noting that the product is fragrance-free, so if you’re sensitive to scents like I am, this one shouldn’t be an issue.
This formula acts on multiple levels to help give you the anti-age results you’re aiming for. TNS-MR is a highly active blend of two peptides: Progeline (Trifluoroacetyl Tripeptide-2) and Prolixir S20 (Dimer Tripeptide-43)
Progeline helps your skin repair itself by stopping progerin (which interrupts important tissue repair processes, leading to visible signs of skin aging). And Prolixir S20 is a dimer tripeptide designed to help sustain successful aging (less sagging and wrinkles).
In simpler terms, it’s a combination of next-generation growth factor blend that supports healthy skin functions and an innovative peptide complex that nourishes your skin.
The second chamber contains Renessensce (RSC) Advanced, which is a mixture of a highly active blend of botanicals botanicals, marine extracts, such as chlorella, saccharide isomerate, hydrolyzed linseed extract, and grape stem cell extract (the grape extract contains antioxidants that help maintain adult skin cell production). These support results of the ingredients in chamber #1.
This blend of extracts and peptides includes other ingredients as well, which you can find here.
No, it does not. However, the results are somewhat similar. The TNS Advanced+ Serum contains a blend of peptides, growth factors, and other active ingredients that help reduce the appearance of find lines and wrinkles along with other signs of aging.
Before I got pregnant, I was using Retinol Oil by Colleen Rothschild a few nights a week, but I did not use the TNS Advanced+ Serum on the same nights.
Once your toner or essence has absorbed, dispense a single pump of the SkinMedica TNS Advanced+ Serum onto your fingertips or the back of your hand. Blend the product before applying to your face. Avoid applying too close to eyes, but apply all over the face and bring any leftover product to your neck and chest (key for making sure your decolletage stays youthful!).
When you’re doing your research, you may come across SkinMedica TNS Essential Serum and wonder what the difference is (I did!). To make things simple, the SkinMedica TNS Essential Serum is the original serum that SkinMedica made, and the TNS Advanced Serum is the updated version that gives results faster. The Essential Serum is hard to find these days, but in case you do–both are great skin care products, but for just a smidge extra, you get faster results of the TNS Advanced Serum. Maybe if you don’t have that many signs of aging or you’re a bit younger than I am, the cheaper option could be a good one to start with!
I was really hopeful that I would see great results since the cost of the serum is high. And I was shocked by just HOW good the results have been. I saw visible improvements in my smile lines and the line between my eyebrows after about three weeks of using it. My skin felt much more taut (without feeling dry or tight!), which is proof that was preventing/restoring sagging skin. It really was like my younger skin’s elasticity is coming back!
This side by side comparison shows the visible results pretty well. See how my skin has improved in 10 weeks of use? The next time I do a before and after, I’m going to try harder to have the same angle of my head since the way my head is tilted could possibly impact the appearance of results, but I could see myself in real life that it WAS working.
The blend of REALLY high quality, active ingredients mixed with a gentle formula that you can use daily makes this serum unique. It’s non irritating and incredibly effective, which is a hard duo to find.
I’m sensitive to most scents, so the fact that this serum is fragrance free is a major bonus for me.
While the serum is very expensive, both bottles I bought last year lasted me 2+ months. Keep in mind that I didn’t use it every night and I didn’t typically use it in the AM, so the timeframe will be shorter if this is your daily serum, both AM and PM. Note that you don’t need to use a lot of product to get results. With all skincare products, you want just enough to cover skin. You don’t need a thick layer. A single pump dispenses a VERY small amount about a black bean size. It’s just enough to cover my face when blended in. And then, whatever was left on my hands, I put on my neck and chest and rub into my hands (another spot that shows age quickly!)
Some anti-aging products feel very heavy or make my skin feel tight. That is NOT the case with this. It’s very lightweight and feels hydrating right away.
One great thing about this serum is that you can find it easily online. I’ve seen it on sale multiple times. I order wherever I can find the best deal. At times that’s at DermStore, and at other times, I’ve found it on LovelySkin or SkinStore on sale.
It costs $295 for 1 oz, which feels extreme to me. But, given the results I saw, I obviously like it enough to keep ordering it.
There was a lawsuit in 2014 involving SkinMedica TNS saying that it could potentially cause cancer given the growth factors it contains. The lawsuit was related to a different product. That was almost 10 years ago, and I’m not too concerned about it since I trust my medical spa, but it is a little disconcerting. The product I really want to try instead is this one from Chara Omni, which my friends have said gave them similar results and it’s a very safe product, but I can’t get my hands on it because it’s always sold out. And, it’s even more expensive.
This post is NOT sponsored and I paid for the product with my own money. 🙂 And as always, I share my very honest feedback!
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