[Product was gifted from StriVectin. Opinions are all my own. No affiliate links.]
I love when I get to do a StriVectin post, because it means science!
(On the flip side, it also means research, so they take me a while).
The new Instant Revitalizing Mask ($62 for 3 fl. oz) is part of their "brighten and perfect" blue line; this is a 15-minute mask that "restores clarity and immediately illuminates the skin." It contains alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) from citrus fruits and other sources, tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate (a fat-soluble form of vitamin C), vitamin E, and other ingredients intended to stimulate skin renewal, like yeast extract and amino acids. It also contains StriVectin's patented NIA-114 molecule (a modified form of vitamin B3 that is fat-soluble rather than water-soluble, and therefore possibly more likely to penetrate skin barriers.)
One of the original papers in Experimental Dermatology (full journal reference at the end of the post) by the scientists who created NIA-114, suggests that the use of myristyl nicotinate in conjunction with retinoids mitigates the negative effects that some people experience with retinoid use, while still providing the benefits. So I can see why it would be included in a mask that is intended to brighten and even skin tone through the use of AHAs, which can also be irritating to skin for some people.
It contains bentonite, which is a white clay, which makes it nice as a purifying + brightening all-in-one mask. I apply a thin layer, and it does dry down by the end; I rinse everything off with warm water. It does tingle, and I wouldn't leave it on too long. I do wonder about these masks that are loaded with a bunch of different agents, because how fast do they work? I don't know. But it is a nice mask - they suggested taking a "before" and "after" selfie, so I did. You kind of have to look hard for the results, but I think it improves over time, as well. Below are photos from the the first time I tried it (and I have had some skin issues for the past few months, dealing with the new weather and everything). The "after" photo, while my skin flaws are still obvious, does look a bit more all-over radiant and less sallow, and everything looks a bit tighter. I did find, though, that if I leave it on a little too long (hey, I'm easily distracted and forgetful), I tend to break out on my forehead directly afterward, so...possibly it's a bit too rich for my picky forehead. Who knows? I would suggest being a bit more vigilant.
StriVectin has 20% off and free shipping right now on their site, through October 20, 2015.
Jacobson, M. K., Kim, H., Coyle, W. R., Kim, M., Coyle, D. L., Rizer, R. L. and Jacobson, E. L. (2007), Effect of myristyl nicotinate on retinoic acid therapy for facial photodamage. Experimental Dermatology, 16: 927–935. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0625.2007.00616.x