Are you looking for an honest review of SkinMedica products to make sure you don’t waste your money? I made this article specifically to help you make an informed decision, and protect you from being misinformed by a biased review that was written with ulterior motives.
Scroll through to see quality before and after photos and our product recommendation!
Who is SkinMedica?
Before we take a look at SkinMedica reviews, let’s take a look at who SkinMedica is as a company. They describe themselves as innovative and focused on revolution and research. They promise their customers a new, rejuvenating look through both online sales and sales to physicians.
SkinMedica is actually run by a parent company known as Allergan, Inc. Allergan was a company known as Activis, Plc until it was renamed in February of 2015. Since then they have focused on selling both directly to consumers and to physicians.
What Does SkinMedica Make?
SkinMedica makes products for, well, your skin. This ranges from Scar Recovery Gel to Illuminized Peels to an Essential Serum and more. They focus on clearing and revitalizing the skin so we, as users, are healthier and more confident about the way that we look.
Want to skip the reading? To see our recommendation for the best SkinMedica product click HERE
Scars, Wrinkles, and Dark Spots
3 of the main imperfections that we will be looking at solving today include scars, wrinkles, and dark spots. To understand what makes these things go away, though, you should know what causes them in the first place. So, before we look at products, let’s look at a little science.
What Makes Skin Scar?
Scars have to do with damage to the dermis - a deep layer of skin that’s relatively thick. When this is damaged, the skin has to produce collagen fibers - a protein found in your skin - to heal the deep skin. This - to vastly oversimplify - causes a change in texture and pigmentation than the healthy, undamaged skin.
What Causes Wrinkles?
Wrinkles are a natural part of aging but what are they caused by? Well, there’s a lot that goes into it - for example, details about collagen. Let’s look at it simply, though.
As you age, your skin gets thinner and less elastic, making it hold it’s shape as it moves more than snapping back into place like it did when you were younger. This is why we get wrinkles around our eyes, between furrowed brows, and retain lines from when we laugh.
What Causes Dark Spots?
When it comes to aging, dark spots are pretty much par for the course. Dark spots are mainly caused by the sun, actually. The darkened pigmentation is caused by an increased production of melanin - what gives the skin color.
I said before that it was caused by the sun, it is more accurate to say that it comes from ultraviolet - or UV - light exposure. This commonly comes from sun exposure but you can also get the same result from overuse of tanning beds.
SkinMedica Scar Recovery Gel Reviews
Now, let’s get into the meat of the SkinMedica Scar Recovery Gel reviews. Is it good? Is it bad? What exactly is in it and does it make it work? Well, let’s go over all of it and see what about works and doesn’t and why it does that.
First, what’s in it? Well the main ingredient is something called Centella asiatica or Gotu Kola. The main ingredients of that ingredient are asiatic acid and madecassic acid. However, unless you know a lot about the scientific workings of beauty, this probably doesn’t mean much yet. Together, though, these ingredients work to block cell signaling that causes collagen type 3 production. While it does this, it encourages collagen type 1 production, which helps with scarring.
The SkinMedica Scar Gel is also good for keeping your skin hydrated - an important part of scar management. Some ingredients that are made to improve how hydrated your skin is include propylene glycol and dimethicone. These are made to create a barrier so that water stays in your skin, rather than rolling off of it.
In addition to those ingredients, there is also Bulbine frutescens or, put more simply, a specific plant extract. This also creates a layer on the skin, a layer of fatty glycoproteins. The layer is made to moisturize and trap water, yes, but it also works to create an antibacterial layer to protect the skin as well.
The Bulbine frutescens also help to calm inflammation which triggers collagen production which means more scarring. It is also backed by an ingredient called Olea Europaea olive leaf extract which works as an antimicrobial and antioxidant.
This is all great news for new scars; it blocks collagen 3 from making scars hard to deal with and helps to break down the weaker collagen 1. However, what if that collagen 3 has already arrived? Many of us have dealt with acne since we were teenagers after all, so there are some old scars thrown in too.
SkinMedica didn’t abandon this, though. They focused on one main thing that we should remember as we talk about this topic: scars don’t work on a linear timeline. They don’t just get worse and worse as the years go on, they can get a little worse, a little better, a little worse and so on and so forth.
This brings us to some more key ingredients. First is lactic acid, a chemical exfoliant that works to break down scars uneven texture. In addition, it helps to attack pigmentation - you know, when your scar and the area around it is a slightly different color than the rest of your skin? That’s where lactic acid helps. It also helps melanogenesis or the tendency for this pigmentation to darken.
The use of lactic acid is backed up by alpha hydroxyl acid. When lactic acid exfoliates, what it’s rubbing off needs to go somewhere - that’s where the alpha hydroxyl acid comes in. It can slough off dead skin cells, getting them out of the way rather than letting them layer on your face and prevent the SkinMedica Scar Recovery Gel from working deeper on the scar.
When Should You Apply SkinMedica Scar Recovery Gel?
It wouldn’t be a true SkinMedica Scar Recovery Gel review if I didn’t tell you how to use the product. The SkinMedica Scar Recovery Gel is made to be used twice a day - once in the morning and once at night. To use this product, you will want to first wash your face and tone it. Once you are done and your skin is clean, you can apply the SkinMedica Scar Recovery Gel to your entire face. If you want, you can also apply SkinMedica Scar Recovery Gel to your neck and face but this is optional.
For application, just put some of the SkinMedica Scar Recovery Gel on the back of your hand - much like you would foundation before applying it. Then simply rub is in to your skin. As with most products for facial skin care, be careful not to get it in your eyes unless you want to deal with a lot of irritation. SkinMedica is careful to remind you to be careful and to consult a physician before using not only their product but any topical prescription product. This might sound like a legal mumbo-jumbo but it isn’t bad advice to follow. You might want to make sure to check with your dermatologist to make sure that this is right for your skin before you give it a shot.
Good Things About SkinMedica Scar Recovery Gel
There is a lot of evidence that SkinMedica Scar Recovery Gel works wonders - especially on surgical scars. It works on all aspects of scarring from pigmentation to unevenness in the skin and more. It seems to be a product you can depend on for your acne scars.
Bad Things About SkinMedica Scar Recovery Gel
The good news is that there isn’t much bad to say about SkinMedica Scar Recovery Gel. The bad news is that nothing is perfect and SkinMedica Scar Recovery Gel is no different.
Remember what I said about old scars and the ingredients that SkinMedica uses to combat them? Well, these only work so well.
This isn’t necessarily SkinMedica or the Scar Recovery Gel’s failure. Rather, it is just a hard thing to fix. Older scars are harder to heal and, as such, the SkinMedica Scar Recovery Gel can only do so much. It will improve the appearance of the scars but they may not go away in the same sense that newer scars will.
SkinMedica TNS Essential Serum Reviews
Before we get into SkinMedica TNS Essential Serum reviews, let’s take a look at what it is used for. First, it is the most expensive option in SkinMedica’s line of products and they describe it themselves as unparalleled but we’ll be the judge of that in a moment.
The SkinMedica TNS Essential Serum is made to combat signs of aging and its main ingredient is what they call “human fibroblast conditioned media”. This doesn’t mean much when it is phrased like that but in simpler terms, it is full of growth factors. These aren’t necessarily some of the safest ingredients when it comes to a daily anti-aging product.
These also aren’t some of the most researched factors in an anti-aging product either and there’s a lot we don’t know when it comes to what it does to your skin. This is a lot to ask, especially when the price is high enough to afford other, more promising procedures such as light-emitting devices and other professional options.
There were, however, some customers who used and loved this product. However, I am swayed by the overwhelming amount of negative reviews which complained of acne breakouts, drying out user’s skin, and even that it smells terribly. All in all, my SkinMedica TNS Essential Serum review says that it doesn’t hold a candle to the SkinMedica Scar Recovery Gel’s standards.
What Does TNS Stand For?
TNS(R) is a big and seemingly mysteriously acronym at that can’t be ignored when we are giving a thorough SkinMedica TNS Essential Serum Review. Well, TNS(R) is an acronym that actually stands for TNS Recovery Complex (R) . This doesn’t really tell us much, though.
SkinMedica describes TNS(R) as a physiologically balanced mixture including growth factors, cytokines, antioxidants, and matrix proteins. In short, it stands for a formula that is meant to revitalize and promote health in your skin.
Common Questions About SkinMedica TNS Essential Serum
There are other concerns that are relevant to my SkinMedica TNS Essential Serum that maybe don’t fit into the other categories that we are looking at. So, in this section, I wanted to go over a couple of questions that are easier and quicker to answer than what we’ve looked at so far.
How Long Does It Take for Results to Show?
In most studies, it took about 90 days for results to show with SkinMedica Scar Recovery Gel. This is when optimal results are meant to occur - not just for results to start showing.
Should I Stop Using It After 90 Days?
You definitely can stop after 90 days of use but it isn’t suggested. If you want optimal results to stay optimal you have to keep using the SkinMedica Scar Recovery Gel.
What Skin Type Is This Product Best For?
As we will see with all the SkinMedica reviews that we will look at today, SkinMedica products are made to be used on all skin types from dry to oily and light tones to dark. In theory, everyone should be able to use this and other SkinMedica products without a diminishing final product for you.
SkinMedica Illuminize Peel Review
Unlike other products that we’ve looked at on this list, the SkinMedica Illuminize Peel is not something you buy directly and use daily. Instead, you would go to a doctor or nurse practitioner and they would perform it - as a topical procedure - on you.
This is because rather than being a serum or gel, the SkinMedica Illuminize Peel is a chemical peel. A chemical peel is an acid that your physician will apply to your face. This creates what is known as a controlled wound. The purpose is to clear away some of the old skin and make way for newer, healthier skin. Most peels have the same effect as sunburns for a few days after they are done.
This is a particularly good procedure if you are worried about wrinkles. That is because it allows for your skin to grow back stronger and with more vitality. This particular treatment lasts about 3 months or more and only takes about 20 minutes at a time. The peel is usually done in a series of 3 different peels and there is no intense recovery time.
The SkinMedica Illuminize Peel is a gentler peel than some other chemical peels. This makes it better for those of us who haven’t had a chemical peel done before. It has less peeling afterwards and the sunburn-like pain is much less than a stronger chemical peel.
Many sources will tell you that chemical peels are made to be used mostly by those with fair skin for the best results. However, in the spirit of SkinMedica’s creed and their other products, this chemical peel is made for everyone despite of skin tone.
SkinMedica also answers a couple of important questions about the treatment that are common to all treatments. The most important that we haven’t gone over is how you can take care of your skin afterwards. The main thing is to wear sunscreen and limit sun exposure. Your skin is especially susceptible to sunburn and other damage from the sun.
Where Can You Buy SkinMedica Products?
It would be wrong to give you full SkinMedica reviews and then leave you to find the products on your own. These are different from other skin products you might have tried as you can’t get it at your local pharmacy or convenience store.
There are two ways you can purchase the products from these SkinMedica reviews. The first - and easiest - way is to go online. Not only does SkinMedica sell their own products, you can find them on commerce sites such as
Another way to get SkinMedica products is from your physician or dermatologist. Actually, harkening back to the SkinMedica Illuminize Peel review, you can only get the Illuminize Peel from a physician. As we mentioned, you can’t use this product in your home and the treatment has to be administered by a trained professional.
Our SkinMedica Recommendation:
How Can I Make Sure These Results Last?
Another valid concern is how to make sure that the results of SkinMedica products last. Well, first, you can make sure to keep using the product. Most of SkinMedica’s products are considered to show optimal results after 90 days of use. However, to keep the results you have to keep up the regimen.
You can also do other things to help with wrinkles, dark spots, and scarring, though. So, let’s take a look at some things you should consider doing alongside a SkinMedica regimen.
First, drink plenty of water. Staying hydrated is fantastic for your skin - especially when it comes to avoiding wrinkles. Dry skin is not only tighter, it is also less resilient. This means that it won’t stand up to the test of time as well.
You should also make sure to use sunscreen. Dark spots are most often caused by sun damage, so it’s important protect your face and neck from long term damage much like you make sure to do with your arms, legs, and back when you go to the beach.
Remember, though, it isn’t just the beach that calls for sunscreen. Even on a cloudy day, the sun can still damage your skin. So, make sure to use sunscreen whenever you plan on going on a day outing and remember to reapply every few hours.
For scarring, there’s only so much you can do. One thing you can do is avoid picking at any acne or cuts you have on your face. This sounds like a tip that you heard as a teenager but it’s true! Picking and popping at acne will make them more likely to scar.
Are SkinMedica Products Expensive?
This is one of the cons of SkinMedica. Yes, their products are on the more expensive side. For example, a .63 ounce bottle of SkinMedica’s TNS Recovery Complex goes for about $178.75 on Amazon.
Understandably, this is more than some of us have to spend on our skin care regimen. What it all really comes down to is this; are SkinMedica products worth spending so much money on them? Well, we are going to look at our final decision next.
Conclusion: Are SkinMedica Products the Right Choice?
Before we end the SkinMedica reviews, let’s finally tackle the question you came here to find out; are SkinMedica products worth it? Well, this isn’t a simple yes or no, unfortunately.
For the most part, these products have been proven to work exceptionally. The exception - as you probably gathered from the above reviews - is SkinMedica TNS Essential Serum. This is because it uses growth hormones topically and is overpriced for its results, which brings me to my next point.
These products are expensive. Of course, for the most part, they work exceptionally well but they do come with a hefty price tag racking up in the hundreds of dollars. This same amount would pay for professional treatments that - some might say - are better. However, the matter of price isn’t one that you can find in an article. Rather, you must decide for yourself how much you want to spend on a product that promises and delivers on what it’s supposed to do.
However, this all still leaves the question; would I recommend SkinMedica products and the answer is yes. Overall, SkinMedica is a company that delivers on their promise of innovation and seems to work closely with physicians and dermatologists to ensure that they give their users the best results possible. They may not always get it right but, for the most part, they do their jobs fantastically.