Epionce is a company based in Boise, Idaho that is busy determining new ways to make your skin the healthiest and most radiant it can be. Based on the science of Dr. Carl R. Thornfeldt (who was the only derm to make the Sinatra Health Report Top 50 Docs in the US), this line uses cutting edge research to both help reverse skin barrier disruption and to repair damaging chronic inflammation.
Always up to try new products, especially in areas where other products fall flat, I agreed to try their sunscreen and MelanoLyte TX, a product that reduces melasma. For this review, I brought in Christina Rutheiser, Holistic Nutrition Consultant at the Integrative Health Center (Baltimore), to get her pro opinion of some of the botanical ingredients used in the formulas.
But first, let's talk Sunscreen. We both used Epionce's Ultra Shield Lotion SPF 50. This is a nice sunscreen that goes on a little whiter and a little shinier than I personally prefer, but it settles down and creates a nice base under makeup. While I try not to put sunscreen to an actual test, I used this on a day at the beach and it performed beautifully. (If only I had been as thorough with the spray on sunscreen!) While no sunscreen protects you from 100% of the UVA and UVB rays, the antioxidants in this formula help protect the skin from the damaging rays that do get through.
I asked Christina what beneficial ingredients the sunscreen included. Here is what she told me about the other key botanical ingredients:
I really liked the overall scent of this sunscreen and loved that is didn't clog my pores, or feel overly heavy, the way that most sunscreens do. This product contains several botanical ingredients that can be helpful in getting and maintaining a youthful glow.
Meadowfoam and flax are essential fatty acids great for moisturizing, anti-aging, and stabilizing other oils such as the next ingredient, Safflower oil. Safflower Oil contains 60% to 70% linoleic acid and applying it, even topically, can help the entire body reverse an essential fatty acid deficiency! This is huge because so much of our population is deficient in essential fatty acids and they are crucial for heart and circulatory health, brain function, hormone regulation, immune system support and healthy cell growth. Date Extract protects against oxidation and protects other antioxidants — this is always good news to those of us trying to look our youngest!
Christina and I both suffer from persistent melasma. We have both tried prescription regimens to get rid of or just lessen its appearance. I have undergone several rounds of peels, micro-dermabrasion and multiple over the counter remedies and haven't had a huge amount of success. The peels were by far the most successful for me, but I was excited to give this a try.
We both used the MelanoLyte TX, which is a supposed to help lighten annoying melasma without any regression. What is that? Regression is what happens when you use certain chemicals to lighten melasma over extended periods of time. Your skin actually ends up getting darker! Who knew? Before I go any farther, I have to mention that this formula does have a light scent that ranges from pleasant to not-so pleasant, depending on your opinion. It is more of a chemical/earthy smell (I know, they aren't the same thing) than a floral or sweet smell. It didn't bother me much, but it did bother Christina a bit until she grew accustomed to it.
Before I share our experiences, here is what Christina had to say about some of the key ingredients.
White Water Lily is generally used to calm inflammation in the skin or in the body internally, and is also an astringent. Licorice root is one of those ingredients that has many applications, both internal and external. When used internally, it aids in indigestion, GERD, asthma and coughing. When used topically is usually helpful with eczema in that it soothes redness, itchiness and swelling, which Dr. Carl (and many others) believe to be one of the largest causes of skin that looks older than it's years.
Salix Alba (Willow Bark) is a chemical cousin to salicylic acid and is primarily used to help calm skin inflammation. Since aging may be accelerated by skin irritation and inflammation, Willow Bark is very helpful in stopping inflammation damage.
So in the end, did it lighten our melasma? Christina, who used the product for about 45 days, did not see any obvious lightening of spots. I used the product for slightly longer and did see minimal changes in my skin tone. I did not see any redness in my skin while I was using this treatment, which is common when using skin lightening products. The changes I experienced are so minimal that they aren't truly noticeable in photographs (I tried).
Keep in mind that the spots Christina and I are fighting were acquired when we were around age 10. Needless to say, they have been around for awhile and I wouldn't expect a product to get rid of them overnight. That said, our end result was not that noticeably different from where we started.
I should note that this product was created to use as an aftercare product to go a long with their more potent skin peel, the MelanoLyte Pro treatment. I can't attest to this products effectiveness when used as part of their prescribed regimen, as I didn't use the whole system.
However, if your melasma is just starting to show, it may not be as resistant as my 37-year-old skin and you may have different results.
Have you tried this? I'm happy to report that I didn't experience any redness or inflammation when I used this product. I just wish my skin lightening was much more dramatic. If you've tried this, please tell me how it worked for you!
This was sent for review purposes.
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I'm Gouldylox, an OG beauty blogger who's been keeping it real since 2009. No nonsense, just the latest on smart products that make your life better. I'm not big on instagram, but I can tell the difference between something real and snake oil. Think of me as the sister you wish you had. Got questions? Ask me anything!