StriVectin HS Serum Deep Wrinkle Serum

StriVectin HS serum is a serious looking anti-wrinkle product marketed by the makers of StriVectin SD. Per the website, StriVectiin HS is a thermophyllic (heat-activated) serum that penetrates to the dermal-epidermal junction (DEJ) to reduce deep wrinkles. The DEJ is a wavy fine line of cells between the dermis and epidermis, and a critical area in the fight against wrinkles and aging.

According to the website, new research strongly suggests that as we age, the DEJ flattens, reducing overall surface area, weakening the bond between the dermis and epidermis, thus causing the formation of persistent, deep wrinkles. In other words, reducing the appearance of deep, sharp facial wrinkles is tied directly to fostering the structural integrity of the Dermal-Epidermal Junction.  StriVectin HS is designed to enter the core of DEJ and work directly at the base of deep wrinkles.

To use, apply StriVectin HS with your fingertips to the most pronounced wrinkles on your face. Wait one to three minutes or until the serum is dry and slightly tacky. Then, use a warm wet washcloth and hold it to your face for sixty seconds or until the towel cools. Then, finish your skincare routine as usual. Each application takes between 3 and 5 minutes.

Manufacturer’s recommendations are to use twice a daily until you achieve the desired result, and then use one to three times per week to maintain.

StriVectin HS costs $153 for a 0.9 oz bottle. Each bottle has approximately 28 facial applications. There is a 30 day money back guarantee from the manufacturer: if you are not satisfied with the product simply return the unused portion. StriVectin HS is sold through a number of online retailers, as well as through many local convenience stores, making it easy to find and competitively priced, depending on where you go. The selling websites also post a number of customer reviews specifically on this product. Any review is not always better than no review at all, considering at least 50% of those posted online about StriVectin HS are negative.

Product Claims:

  • Thermophyllic, penetrates the dermal/epidermal junction
  • Reduces the appearance of deep wrinkles, pronounced pores and facial imperfections.

Cross Examination:

Here is the ingredient list:

Water, Tripeptide, Glycerin, Butylene Glycol, Sodium Polystyrene Sulfonate, Yeast Extract, PEG-8, Albumen, Polypeptide, Hydrolyzed Soy Protein, Glycereth-26, Arginine, Xanthan Gum, PEG-12 Dimethicone, Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Tetrasodium EDTA, Phenoxyethanol, Methylparaben, Ethylparaben, Butylparaben, Propylparaben, Isobutylparaben.

As with its sister product StriVectin SD, I am not impressed by the ingredients, which are mostly moisturizers and emollients. None of these are really targeted anti wrinkle ingredients, making its claims of healing deep wrinkles unlikely, but let’s take a deeper look.

The second ingredient is tripeptide. On PUBMED, a study by the Skin Laser & Surgery Specialists of NY and NJ reported after 12 weeks of twice daily application of manganese tripeptide, women reported appearance in the signs of photoaging improved from moderate to mild. However, the only thing that was reported to improve was hyperpigmentation, even though they measure several signs of cutaneous photodamage (including wrinkles).

So, in regards to tripeptide, for 12 weeks, at twice daily applications, you can get mild improvement in hyperpigmentation, but no improvement in wrinkles. This will only cost you (let’s see…multiple 12 weeks times 7, times 2, divide by 28, multiple by 153, carry the 2…) $918. What a bargain!

Also in the ingredient list is albumen – which, according to Webster’s dictionary, means the white of an egg. Can someone explain this to me? Why is this in an anti-wrinkle cream product? And is there a less expensive way to apply egg white to my face?

I must be getting cynical – I apologize…

I still hadn't found the ingredient that allowed this serum to cross cell barriers down to the DEJ and then stop there, so I kept looking.

The ingredient sodium polystyrene sulfonate intrigued me, being the fifth ingredient, so I looked it up on and Wikipedia. Sodium polystyrene sulfonate (Kayexalate, Kionex) is a medication used to treat abnormally high potassium levels. Sodium polystyrene sulfonate affects the exchange of sodium and potassium in the body, and is given orally or rectally.


Side effects can include electrolyte disturbances such as low potassium levels, low calcium levels, and sodium retention. This was all reported from oral or rectum usage, but one can never be too careful. This serum claims “deep” skin penetration and employs an ingredient that could potentially affect cellular metabolism. My question to the manufacturer is can they prove that this serum stops at the DEJ? Or does it go further? Throughout the dermis run blood vessels and capillaries – what is stopping the serum from leaking into these? I would caution anyone with the following conditions to talk with their doctor before using this product:

  • heart disease or high blood pressure
  • congestive heart failure
  • edema (water weight gain)
  • kidney disease
  • constipation
  • if you are on a low-salt diet
  • Sodium polystyrene sulfonate is a FDA pregnancy category C drug, and may be harmful to an unborn baby.

All these cautions are specific to oral or rectal use: I could not find anything specific to topical application, except that this ingredient was used as film-forming or gel-forming and is an effective spermacide. Lol.

The Bottom Line:

I may be going overboard with the above thesis on sodium polystyrene sulfonate, but it is always better to be safe than sorry. In addition, there are a bunch of parabens in this product, which has been shown to cause dermatitis in some folks after overexposure to the ingredient. For $153, there are better products out there that have been clinically shown to be safe and effective.