Skincare is paramount not only for slowing down ageing but also in general, for keeping your skin healthy, which we often forget is our body’s biggest organ.
However, no matter how good your skincare is, ageing is inevitable. Cosmetics that promise you otherwise are simply giving you a dose of marketing. You can slow down ageing but you cannot avoid it. So, is there anything we can do after those lines appear or even to those natural lines and creases, we’ve had all along?
I’ve been recently testing the Nip + Fab Smooth Viper Venom Frown Fix out of curiosity. For me this product is one of those types that you walk past, look at it and say, “yea right”.
But despite my first impressions, I am a scientist and therefore, I had to test this. So, does it actually work? Can you smooth out lines and wrinkles with this cheap pen? Does it work under makeup and is it worth your time and money?
Let’s have a detailed look.
This product comes with outer packaging with the typical Nip + Fab design. It looks really nice and I love the green and black colouring. It suits the product and the application well and it almost makes you subconsciously connect it to snake venom.
The actual product comes in a black matte plastic pen which has a velvety finish and although it doesn’t feel and look particularly expensive, it also doesn’t look cheap.
The pen has white bristles which are soft and pointy. The product comes out from the middle of the bristles by twisting the top of the pen.
This full size, 4mL pen retails for £12.95.
It’s definitely on the cheaper side, especially considering it falls under the expensive anti-ageing category.
This product does not offer SPF protection.
This product does not offer oil control.
Texture and colour?
The actual product is a white cream that spreads easily and is absorbed quickly. It doesn’t leave any residues behind. It feels cold but smooth and hydrating on the skin.
This product hides wrinkles and lines well. I really wasn’t expecting it to, but it did!
I’ve tried it around different areas on the face and even on my hands and it worked well all around.
However, the effect seemed to disappear after I applied makeup. Either the makeup makes the skin heavy, adds texture or this product is absorbed by the makeup, either way this product seems to be working best on its own.
This product has a very faint wax smell that you will most likely not smell at all unless you put the pen close to your nose.
This product is compatible for all skin types. It is obviously more useful for older skin or skin that naturally has creases.
Do not use this or any cosmetics on broken skin.
This product lasts for 6M.
Here’s what the brand says about this product:
“The innovative Viper Venom Frown Fix contains a concentrated blend of high-tech ingredients combined for targeted action on the appearance of expression lines and wrinkles. Infused with wonder ingredient SYN®-AKE, which works instantly to freeze lines for a smooth and wrinkle-free finish. The brush pen is easy to use, simply brush the product over particularly deep or noticeable lines for an instant blurring effect.
GRANT-X: reduces fine lines + wrinkles, boosts collagen production + softens fine lines
syn®-ake: helps relax expression lines
hyaluronic acid: its super-hydrating properties help to reduce fine lines + wrinkles + soften + smooth skin for a radiant + younger-looking complexion”
Practicality of use – user experience
The pen is very easy to use and it suits the type of product and application. All you need to do is twist the top of the pen until enough product comes out and then use the brush to spread it on the areas you’d like.
It’s very easy and quick and I guess the only drawback is the fact that you are re-using the same brush without washing in-between. Perhaps a tube type packaging would be more sanitary but also less fun!
This product contains 26 ingredients of which 18 will offer you some kind of skincare benefit (some more than others), 3 are potential negatives and 7 are potential irritants.
The ingredients are overall good and the potential negatives and irritants are fairly standard that can be found in a lot of other products. What lets this product down a little is the fact that the SYN®-AKE compound, of which this product’s advertisement is strongly based around, is actually the last peptide on the ingredient list. This means that this hero compound is actually the one that this product contains the least of which is disappointing.
With that being said, sometimes you only need a small amount for a compound to be active and effective so it doesn’t immediately mean that this product is not effective. However, it does leave me, at least, with a slightly disappointed feeling.
But what is this peptide anyway? Dipeptide Diaminobutyroyl Benzylamide Diacetate is a neuro-peptide. It is a safer alternative to botox and it works by inhibiting muscle contractions and hence reducing wrinkles, by blocking the body’s ability to uptake Sodium Na+. The effect is not permament.
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 ingredients scroll down to the “full list of ingredients” section.
- Aqua (Water/Eau) based formulation.
- Cyclopentasiloxane – A solvent that enhances fluidity and gives a silky feeling. It can also temporarily fill in wrinkles and creases. Can lock in water by forming a protective barrier on the skin.
- 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.
- Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride – A skin conditioner and replenisher. Can enhance the delivery of vitamins, pigments and other ingredients.
- Glyceryl Stearate – A lubricant giving smooth and soft skin appearance.
Easily penetrates skin, slows water from escaping by forming barrier, anti-oxidant.
- PEG-100 Stearate – A moisturiser.
- Polysilicone-11 – A film former which in turn has water binding abilities and leaves a smooth feeling on the skin.
- Aminobutyric Acid – An aminoacid with water binding properties that can also soothe the skin. It can relax muscles when applied topically, giving a botox-like effect. A study on rats also found that this compound has wound healing properties.
- Barium Sulfate – A mineral with brightening and opacifying properties that can increase the penetration of other ingredients.
- Cetyl Alcohol – Conditions and softens skin and hair. A fatty alcohol so not considered damaging to the skin.
- Creatine – A natural aminoacid not just for bodybuilding! A skin conditioner and restorer. Some believe that it can increase skin cell turnover, elasticity and reduce hyper-pigmentation. There are also some studies that claim it to increase skin firmness, repair the skin and protect DNA from UV damage.
- Centella Asiatica Extract – A skin conditioner, anti-oxidant, rich in amino acids and skin soother. Can improve the skin’s moisture content.
- Panax Ginseng Root Extract – A mixture of anti-oxidants and vitamins which can improve the appearance of wrinkles. Can increase skin hydration, reduce texture and uneven skin tone.
- Portulaca Oleracea Extract – A skin conditioner mixture that contains anti-oxidants and can be soothing and hydrating to the skin.
- Sodium Hyaluronate – A hero compound, known as the “fountain of youth” Plays a major role in anti-ageing processes and is found in embryos in high concentrations. Can hold onto water 1000 times of its weight meaning that it is an amazing moisturiser by locking moisture in. Helps wounds and burns heal and it’s linked to increased collagen generation Also used as a temporary cosmetic filler. Check out: Hyaluronic acid – the fountain of youth?
- Xanthan gum – Skin conditioner. Holds water and improves the shelf life of the product.
- Ethylhexylglycerin – A weak preservative and skin conditioner that is often used in ointments for eczema.
- Dipeptide Diaminobutyroyl Benzylamide Diacetate – A very interesting peptide that excites even a chemist like me. This peptide replicates the effects of a peptide found in an Asian snake and is a safer alternative to botox. It blocks the body’s uptake of sodium which causes facial muscles to relax and therefore, reduces the formation of wrinkles. Anti-ageing.
- Barium Sulfate – Can react with sodium salts to produce potential irritants. Can increase the penetration of other ingredients.
- Dehydroacetic Acid – A fungicide and bactericide killing off and preventing the growth of microorganisms. Controversial reports, some classify this as toxic and others as safe.
- Parfum (Fragrance) – This ingredient represents an undisclosed mixture of compounds that give the product scent. There’re more than 3000 molecules that fall under this category and I personally do not like that there are some ingredients that are undisclosed and hidden under this general name. Fragrance also does not offer any skin care benefit, in fact there is some evidence that it can damage the skin
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 the Urban Decay B6 Vitamin spray have been either proven or claimed by some to be sensitizers, irritants, allergens etc: PEG-100 Stearate, Barium Sulfate, Benzyl Alcohol, Phenoxyethanol, Parfum (Fragrance), Limonene, Linalool.
Full list of ingredients:
Aqua (Water/Eau), Cyclopentasiloxane, Glycerin, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Glyceryl Stearate, PEG-100 Stearate, Polysilicone-11, Aminobutyric Acid, Barium Sulfate, Benzyl Alcohol, Phenoxyethanol, Cetyl Alcohol, Creatine, Centella Asiatica, Panax Ginseng Root Extract, Portulaca Oleracea Extract, Disodium EDTA, Sodium Hyaluronate, Xanthan Gum, Dehydroacetic Acid, Ethylhexylglycerin, Parfum (Fragrance), Limonene, Sodium Benzoate, Linalool, Dipeptide Diaminobutyroyl Benzylamide Diacetate.
To my surprise, this product did work in hiding lines, but only when the skin was naked. It didn’t work under makeup at all, which might have been the makeup’s fault, but either way it means that this product has limited applications.
If you don’t wear makeup often and want to soft focus your lines a little then give this product a try. Alternatively, if you wear makeup on a daily basis this product is not for you.
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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