There are many, many, many day and night moisturisers out there but not a lot that contain any or many skincare must have ingredients, are actually effective and worth their price. As a result, I am always on the lookout for good moisturisers and so should you!
In my latest trip to TK Maxx (a store that re-sells products at lower prices) I’ve come across the Vivo Vitamin C + Amino Acid Night Repair cream. I’ve never heard of the brand before but the product ingredients looked interesting and so it was worth a try. I’ve been using it for a week now (however, note that I normally use products for a month or more before I write about them) and my verdict is already in.
So, without further ado, let’s find out if the Vivo Vitamin C + Amino Acid Night Repair is the gem you are looking for. Is it worth your time and money?
The Vivo Vitamin C + Amino Acid Night Repair cream comes in excellent packaging. The outer cardboard box looks expensive, simple and elegant, closes magnetically and even has a holder inside that protects and holds the product jar in place.
The actual product itself comes in a very simple but elegant looking jar that also feels very heavy. The silver and white colour scheme also add an extra elegance.
While the product looks expensive and great to have on a beauty dresser, it looses a lot from the jar type packaging. Jars are not only the least sanitary option but also the worst for formulation effectiveness, as they allow air (and light) into the product which can decompose some ingredients. Jars have been for a long time and now still, the beauty industry’s main choice for female skincare products, partly because of the psychological bias that we’ve built which makes us think that good creams come in nice looking jars. Scientifically, this is not the case at all. But at least, it comes sealed.
A full size 54g Vivo Vitamin C + Amino Acid Night Repair cream retails for £25. Not a bad price at all.
There are many much more expensive moisturisers that don’t contain half the good ingredients that this one does.
This product is an off-white cream that spreads easily, is absorbed quickly and doesn’t leave any residues behind.
The reason why I only tested this product for a week instead of the usual month+ is because I couldn’t stand its scent. I hated it so much I couldn’t think of anything else when I had it on my face. The strange thing is, it’s not a hugely bad scent, but it smells like wall paint with some metallic hints and I didn’t like it on my face, all night.
This product does not contain any added fragrances and its scent comes naturally from the ingredients contained. Although fragrance free products are superior to ones that contain them, I must admit that I thought that this cream is lacking a fragrance which would at least make it pleasant to use. This could also be done without ruining the product at all, by just adding a natural extract with a scent or a scent masking product rather than a cocktail of fragrances.
In order to use this product I ended up mixing it with serums to mask the scent a little and although it’s great because it makes you use a serum with it, it wasn’t ideal that I had to force myself to use it.
This product lasts for 24M, is suitable for all skin types and it’s not tested on animals.
Here’s what the brand says about this product:
“Infused with vitamin C, botanicals and amino acids, the Vivo Laboratories Vitamin C + Amino Night Repair helps restore a more radiant and flawless appearance to your skin as you sleep.”
Practicality of use – user experience
This cream is very easy to use and the fancy packaging definitely makes you want to use it. That is at least until you open up the jar and get a whiff of it. Although it doesn’t smell cream, the cream spreads easily and is absorbed by the skin quickly without leaving any residues behind. It feels moisturising and nice on the skin.
It’s very hard to claim any results from using a skincare product for just a week but I did think that my skin was nicely moisturised and soft.
This cream contains 47 ingredients of which 40 will offer you some skincare benefit (some more than others), 2 potential negatives and 7 irritants.
There are many great ingredients such as the vitamins C, E and A, the amino acids, ceramide and peptides but sadly, all of these are listed after the ingredient Phenoxyethanol, which is a fragrance and preservative and therefore, won’t be present in very large amounts. In fact the EU regulation on cosmetics allows this ingredient in up to 1% meaning that most of the ingredients goodies are contained in percentages less than that. With that being said though, you don’t always need large amounts of ingredients for them to be active, for example 1% retinol is enough to make your skin peel if you are not used to it, but it is definitely a concern.
Additionally, there are no night specific ingredients in this product so as long as you include SPF in your routine, you could use this cream as a day moisturiser also.
To keep this article short, I am only listing the skin nourishing or skin positive/negative ingredients and ignoring the ones that only play formulation purposes. For the full list of these product’s ingredients scroll down to the “full list of ingredients” section.
- Water (Aqua) based formulation.
- C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate– A skin conditioner which primarily serves formulation roles such as being an anti-microbial preserving agent that can dissolve sunscreens.
- Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride – A skin conditioner and replenisher. Can enhance the delivery of vitamins, pigments and other ingredients. Can act as a cleanser too and provide a lightweight non-greasy barrier of lubrication.
- Glycerin – Found naturally in the skin so can be seen as a skin replenishing ingredient. A skin conditioner that helps improve and smooth the appearance of skin. A good moisturiser that is almost always present in moisturising products.
- Isopropyl Palmitate (Palm Oil) – Skin conditioner.
- Glyceryl Stearate – A lubricant giving smooth and soft skin appearance.
Easily penetrates skin, slows water from escaping by forming barrier, anti-oxidant.
- Nylon-12 – Reduces shine and mattifies.
- Cetearyl Glucoside – A surfactant and emulsifier that can help the skin retain moisture.
- Tribehenin– Skin conditioner and softener.
- Isohexadecane– A skin conditioner that is too big to penetrate the skin.
- Ceramide 2 – One of the naturally occurring lipids in our skin and therefore a skin replenisher compound. Ceramides can moisturise the skin, improve elasticity and even reduce lines and skin irritation. They can also condition hair! Check out: What are ceramides and do they work
- Butylene Glycol– A humectant that can preserve water and a skin conditioner.
- Palmitoyl Oligopeptide – Skin conditioner, stimulates collagen production, anti-ageing, activity similar to retinol without the side effects. Hero compound.
- Tocopherol– Refers to a class of compounds with similar activities to vitamin E. A skin conditioner, anti-oxidant and fragrance agent. Check out: Vitamins C & E – Do they work in skin care?
- Ethylhexylglycerin – A weak preservative and skin conditioner that is often used in ointments for eczema.
- Dimethicone – Creates a barrier and can therefore protect the skin. Also acts as a skin conditioner. It leaves a silky feeling and can even fill in lines temporarily.
- Glycyrrhiza Glabra (Licorice) Root Extract – Skin conditioner, anti-oxidant, humectant, helps control oil production and can calm and soothe acne-prone skin. Some claim it can also whiten and moisturise.
- Caffeine– Potent anti-oxidant, improves puffy eyes, sooths and penetrates the skin providing a constricting effect which reduces redness. Slows down the process of photo-ageing.
- Camellia Oleifera (Green Tea) Leaf Extract – A skin conditioner and powerful antioxidant with anti-inflammatory and astringent properties. May protect against free radicals, prevent sun damage and preserve the natural moisture barrier of the skin.
- Sodium PCA – Skin conditioner and naturally occurring humectant.
- Sodium Lactate – Skin conditioner and humectant.
- Phospholipids – A class of compounds which are naturally found in the skin and therefore can act as skin conditioners and replenishers.
- Tocopheryl Acetate– A more stable form of vitamin E. A hero anti-oxidant molecule. A skin conditioner that also enhances the ability of sunscreens. Can help with inflammation. Check out: Vitamins C & E – Do they work in skin care?
- Polysorbate-20 – Primarily has formulation roles but can also act as a lubricant giving a soothing effect on the skin.
- Retinyl Palmitate– Similar to retinol (aka Vitamin A) but this form is less irritating. Repairs skin’s elasticity and is linked to collagen production. Anti-ageing. Helps protect from sun damage and can help the skin shed the dead cells and produce new ones. Skin conditioner and anti-oxidant. For more details see “Vitamin A in skin care – is it worth it?”
- Arginine– A natural aminoacid that can act as a skin conditioner and anti-oxidant.
- Palmitoyl Tripeptide-1 – Stimulates collagen production, conditions and helps restore skin. Can reduce wrinkle length and depth as well as skin roughness.
- Ascorbyl Palmitate– Form of Vitamin C. Anti-oxidant, helps bind other vitamins. This form of vitamin C penetrates the skin faster. Collagen builder and free-radical scavenger. Anti-ageing. Works synergistically with vitamin E. For more details see post “Vitamins C & E – do they work in skin care?”
- Palmitoyl Tetrapeptide-7 – Supresses inflammation which in turn allows the skin to heal faster. Increases skin’s production of hyaluronic acid and can stimulate the synthesis of collagen, all leading to anti-ageing properties and functions. It can reduce the appearance of uneven skin tones, reduce skin roughness, fine lines, thin skin and wrinkles. A high-end compound and a definite hero.
- Aspartic Acid – An amino acid that can act as a hair and skin conditioner. Can also be used as an anti-static agent and fragrance.
- PCA – A skin moisturiser.
- Glycine – A natural amino acid that can act as a hair and skin conditioner and replenisher.
- Alanine – An amino acid, skin conditioner, anti-oxidant and fragrance. Can combine with epidermal cells to fill up creases and provide a smoother skin appearance.
- Serine – An amino acid, skin conditioner and anti-oxidant. Plays an important role in helping the body form phospholipids and other important processes such as DNA production. Can aid collagen and elastin production.
- Valine – An amino acid that can act as a hair and skin conditioner.
- Threonine – An amino acid that can act as a hair and skin conditioner.
- Proline – An amino acid that is involved in the body’s production of collagen and cartilage. A skin conditioner, moisturiser and fragrance. Helps promote healthy cells, connective tissues, firmer skin, reduces sagging, wrinkles and ageing skin effects.
- Phenylalanine – An amino acid that can act as a hair and skin conditioner.
- Isoleucine – An amino acid that can act as a hair and skin conditioner.
- Histidine – An amino acid that can act as a hair and skin conditioner.
- Polysorbate-60 – A suspected carcinogen in high doses.
- Palmitoyl Tetrapeptide-7– Might cause skin discoloration to some.
Ingredients that can cause irritation to some:
This is actually really case specific, as different people have different sensitivities and allergies. Just because a compound has been reported by some to cause sensitivity, it doesn’t mean you will have an issue. “Sensitizer” compounds being present is not a negative in my opinion, as this is the case with pretty much everything out there and funnily enough I’ve seen products that are targeted specifically for sensitive skin, containing some compounds that have been reported by some, or are known to be, sensitizers.
If you have sensitive skin or you are prone to skin sensitisation and unwanted reactions, try a little bit of this at the back of your hand first and consult a medical doctor if you are concerned.
The following compounds present in this cream have been either proven or claimed by some to be sensitizers, irritants, allergens etc: Isopropyl Palmitate (Palm Oil), Phenoxyethanol, Butylene Glycol, Caffeine, Tocopheryl Acetate (Vitamin E), Polysorbate-20, Retinyl Palmitate (Vitamin A).
Full list of ingredients:
Aqua, C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Glycerin, Isopropyl Palmitate (Palm Oil), Hydroxyethyl Acrylate/Sod Acryloyl Dimethyl Taurate Copolymer, Glyceryl Stearate, ‘, Cetearyl Alcohol, Nylon-12, Cetearyl Glucoside, Phenoxyethanol, Tribehenin, Isohexadecane, Ceramide 2, PEG-10 Rapeseed Sterol, Butylene Glycol, Caprylyl Glycol, Polysorbate-60, Palmitoyl Oligopeptide, Tocopherol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Dimethicone, Glycyrrhiza Glabra (Licorice) Root Extract, Caffeine, Camellia Oleifera (Green Tea) Leaf Extract, Sodium PCA, Sodium Lactate, Phospholipids, Carbomer, Tocopheryl Acetate (Vitamin E), Polysorbate-20, Retinyl Palmitate (Vitamin A), Arginine, Palmitoyl Tripeptide-1, Ascorbyl Palmitate (Vitamin C), Palmitoyl Tetrapeptide-7, Aspartic Acid, PCA, Glycine, Alanine, Serine, Valine, Threonine, Proline, Phenylalanine, Isoleucine, Histidine.
Although this cream has several interesting ingredients, the fact that they are listed after a preservative is slightly disappointing. This doesn’t immediately mean that this cream is not effective but combined with the strange scent it leaves a bit of a let down feeling. The real test would be to use it for a month or more and see it’s effectiveness.
This cream is more skin nourishing and worth the cash than many out there but since I couldn’t tolerate the scent of it and therefore, I haven’t fully tested it, I can’t possibly recommend it.
I am not affiliated with any company or brand. These are my views and experiences.
Beauty is a very personal thing, we all have different skin, requirements and biological build which can influence things. What worked for me might not work for you and vice versa. Have you ever tried these products? Did they work for you? Let me know your experiences below!
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