Stimulant III is a fantastic treatment for hyperpigmentation, enlarged pores, and loss of elasticity. Sunday Riley considers this product a must have product for anyone over the age of 30.
I use Stimulant III every single night (and have done so for a couple of years now), and when I wake up the following day my skin has an unmistakable clarity, evenness of tone, luminosity, and firmness to it. I have definitely seen a marked reduction and fading in the areas of sun damage (hyperpigmentation) that I have accumulated from my years of exposure to the damaging rays of the sun in Southern California. Don't get me wrong though, I have not sunbathed in many many years (though sun damage is cumulative over a lifetime), and I am judicious about applying sunscreen every time I walk outside of the house. I also have light olive skin (that tends to tan, rather than burn- thank you, dad!) that is in very good shape (few lines, thank you, mom!)- so the environmental damage to my skin is not what I would consider serious- particularly for someone living in Southern California. With that said, I did have one very stubborn hyperpigmented spot on the left side of my face (near my ear) that my doctor said was no doubt from repeated exposure to the harsh rays of the sun while driving my car. Nobody else really noticed this brown spot (even family members not prone to biting their tongues when expressing their opinions)- except of course when I would show it to them and complain about how much it bothered me. This brown spot seemingly took up permanent residence on my face, and simply resisted the charms of Stimulant III which had little or no effect on it. I eventually had my doctor burn it off largely for the sake of vanity, but also to avoid the possibility of it ever becoming cancerous. Therefore, in my experience areas that are more deeply damaged will be more effectively dealt with by your doctor than by Stimulant III. Some spots can change and become cancerous before you are really aware of it, and thus applying topical treatments could do more harm than good. I think that it is very important to see your primary care physician or dermatologist before deciding to treat certain damaged areas of the skin with a high dose of retinol. While my brown spot was not displaying any of the tell-tale signs that indicated a precancerous or cancerous skin condition- it could have easily gone that way had I not decided to do something about it. I now make sure to slather that spot with sunscreen, and apply Stimulant III to it at night, and it continues to looks fantastic.
Use and suggestions:
Since this product contains high levels of retinol it should ONLY BE USED AT NIGHT. This is true for a couple of reasons. First, retinol is the most effective at night when your body enters its natural rest and repair mode. Second, retinols create photosensitivity and can cause reactions when exposed to the rays of the sun. In other words, don't use this during the day- even with a sunscreen. Sunday Riley also stresses that this product should NOT be used by pregnant women because it contains such a high dose of pure and fresh retinol.
Sunday Riley's suggested use:
1. Direct Hyper Serum: They can be applied directly to the skin, as a hyper-concentrated serum. First step, post-cleansing. More than one stimulant can be applied.
2. Adaptive, Personalized Skincare: They can be mixed-in with any other product (creams, serums, SPF, etc) to create a customized, tailor-made version of the original product. For example: For a customer who refuses to change their existing cream, we can offer to ADAPT their cream, creating a personalized version - by mixing the appropriate Stimulant(s) in with the cream, blending the two in the palm of the hand, and patting on.
I only ever apply mine full strength all over my face (1. Direct Hyper Serum, rather than mixing it in with other products (2. Adaptive, Personalized Skincare). I want maximum strength for maximum results, period. I do, however, often layer my serums- so I do frequently use the other Stimulants at night as well.
Key Points to consider for this formula:
1) 1% retinol (which is the maximum strength available without a prescription). Retinol helps battle signs of aging by improving the appearance of UV damaged skin, hyperpigmentation, and loss of elasticity and tone. It also helps soften wrinkles and lines.
2) This potent formula also includes a multitude of ingredients that calm and soothe the skin. Therefore you will not experience any of the dramatic redness and/or peeling typically associated with so many retinol products. That said this product may be too active for people with very sensitive skin.
3) Corrective lightening of stubborn hyperpigmentation and brown spots (from the sun or those typically associated with aging) with 15 advanced actives. These potent active ingredients work to reduce unevenness and blotchiness without altering your natural skin color (this does not bleach the skin)
4) It refines the appearance of pores, and gives the skin an unmistakable luminosity or glow.
5) Increases elasticity creating a more youthful complexion.
Further breakdown of the Key Ingredients:
-Pure, Fresh Retinol (1%) - improves the appearance of UV-damaged skin.
-Octadecenedioic Acid - Dramatically improves skin tone, texture and natural radiance, combats melasma, naturally brightenin
-Buddleja Stem Cells - Protects against and reverses photo-damage to skin, including hyperpigmentation
-NonaPeptide-1 (Melanosatine 5) Reduces hyperpigmentation by preventing activation of tyrosinase and blocking melanin synthesis
-Phenylethyl Resorcinol - Skin lightener and antioxidant, potent levels of tyrosinase inhibition
-Dermawhite NF (Mannitol, Sodium Gluconate, Citric Acid, Sodium Citrate, Uhaloa, Dextrin, Ferulic Acid) - Skin lightening, reduces melanin pigmentation by inhibition of tyrosinase, promotes desquamation of pigmented skin
-Songyii Mushroom - Natural skin lightener, skin smoothing polysaccharides, antioxidant, moisturizing, UV filter/absorber
-Depigmentation Factor Bioflavonoids - Citrus bioflavonoids encapsulated in nanospherical liposomes
-Kojic Dipalmitate - Alternative form of Kojic Acid used for skin lightening, stable to pH, light, heat and oxidation
-Bearberry (Uva Ursi) - Natural arbutin content for skin lightening properties, anti-bacterial, antioxidant
-Glycyrrhetinic Acid - from Licorice, skin brightening
-Niacinamide - Skin radiance and clarity
-Lotus Zymbiozome Fermentum - Assists in controlling skin color and tone by slowing formation of tyrosinase
-Lipobrite (Hydroxycinnamic Acid) - Skin lightener, found in plants and contains additional antioxidant properties, non-irritating, anti-mutagenic
-Undecylenoyl Phenylalanine - Improves lightening effect when used synergistically with classical lightening ingredients
Ingredients: Aqua (Water), Niacinamide, Glycerin, Undecylenoyl Phenylalanine, Ethoxydiglycol, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Retinol, Buddleja Davidii Meristem Cell Culture, Nonapeptide-1, Sodium Hyaluronate (L), Gluconolactone, Tricholoma Matsutake (Songyi) Extract, Rumex Occidentalis Extract, Aloe Barbadensis Flower Extract, Yeast Extract, Orchis Mascula Flower Extract, Opuntia Vulgaris (Prickly Pear) Leaf Extract, Agave Tequilana (Blue Agave) Leaf Extract, Opuntia Vulgaris (Cactus) Extract, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice Powder, Lonicera Caprifolium (Honeysuckle) Flower Extract, Lonicera Japonica (Honeysuckle) Flower Extract, Squalane, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter, Limnanthes Alba (Meadowfoam) Seed Oil, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Cetearyl Olivate, Sodium Hydroxide, Phytic Acid, Phenylethyl Resorcinol, Sorbitan Olivate, Hydroxycinnamic Acid, Tocopherol (D-alpha), Glycine Soja (Soybean) Oil, Dextran, Xanthan Gum, Alcohol, Phenethyl Alcohol, Sorbic Acid, Caprylyl Glycol, Potassium Sorbate, Carbomer, Cyclodextrin, Sodium Benzoate, Phenoxyethanol
Overall assessment: FANTASTIC PRODUCT! I have repurchased it before, and will continue to! A definite Holy Grail product for me. It does wonders to even out skin tone and fade hyperpigmentation. However, particularly dark spots need to be seen by a physician. The one dark spot that I had (driver's side sun damage) did not fade from Stimulant III- instead my doctor had to burn it off. The three Stimulant Stem Cell Serums are housed in air-tight containers that are required to maintain the potency and stability of the ingredients. As a result these are among the very few Sunday Riley skincare products that they do not sample out. Therefore if interested in any of them you are committed to purchasing the full size container which is quite expensive, but worth it!
$295.00 1 oz. Barneys New York