BN Clean Cut is a new column devoted to exploring brands with a cleaner, greener edge. The terms “clean” and “green” are highly subjective and (just like the term “natural”) not regulated at all. Every brand, retailer, or publication is likely to have their own definition. Instead of creating a single benchmark, we’re sharing each brand’s “claim to clean” to evaluate against your own standards.
THEIR CLAIM TO CLEAN
If you’re looking for a nature-meets-science approach to your skincare, Restorsea needs to be on your must-try list—it’s the only medical-grade skincare line that’s formulated with naturally-derived and non-toxic ingredients. Scan the labels and there’s not a single paraben, phthalate, sulfate, silicone, PEG, or mineral oil to be found. The brand counts clean beauty queen Gwyneth Paltrow as a fan – she’s raved about the freshness and dewiness factor – so you know this is legit stuff.
Each product is formulated with a live enzyme discovered in the salmon hatcheries of Norway—one that dissolves only dead skin cells, unlike other exfoliants that can irritate living tissue. Dubbed Aquabeautine XL®, this patented, active enzyme reduces the appearance of discolorations and fine lines similar to retinol or glycolic acid, but without the adverse reactions—like sensitivity to light, redness, and flaking skin. In fact, Restorsea outshined glycolic acid in one clinical study, showing marked improvement in the appearance of excess pigmentation (brown spots) while a second study on post-peel skin showed a drastic reduction in redness compared with no treatment. My ears definitely perk up when I hear about something passing muster in a scientific journal, so I was excited to give Restorsea a try.
Hypoallergenic, non-comedogenic, dermatologist tested. Restorsea’s proprietary and patented active ingredient, Aquabeautine XL® is cruelty-free and sustainable. Baby salmon release the enzyme during the hatching process, and then the enzyme is filtered from the water—no fish are harmed in the process.
WHAT WE LOVE
As a breastfeeding mom of advanced maternal age (as the doctors so kindly like to say), I’m really psyched to have found a non-toxic anti-aging skincare option—retinoids have been off the table and so are a number of other ingredients thanks to an abundance of caution. I’ve also had bouts of sensitivity to products over the years as well as a slew of allergies—so I appreciate that Restorsea is ideal for even sensitive skin types. I’ve been using this line alone for six weeks (minus a hyaluronic acid and Q10 I can’t give up) and am impressed with the soft, healthy feel and overall radiance of my skin. As far as wrinkle fighting—I have a serious set of 11s and forehead lines and am a side/stomach sleeper with my face constantly smooshed in my pillows—so am likely in need of more drastic measures one day. I will say that I think my crow’s feet have diminished a bit, and that the general health and hydration of my skin on Restorsea is helping plump up fine lines and making them less noticeable (deep 11s excluded, wah).
We’ve already mentioned Aquabeautine XL® and its age-diminishing effects, but it’s just one of a triple dose of ingredient Restorsea calls the Vibransea Complex—including Aquabeautine XL®, brightening Vitamin C, and skin-softening brown algae.
WHAT WE TRIED
Restorsea Reviving Cleanser, $65: Sulfate free but super foamy and enjoyable to use. I did notice a slight tight skin feeling if I didn’t follow with moisturizers immediately, but this is pretty typical for me.
Restorsea PRO Intensive Treatment 10x, $195: A thin, milky treatment applied after cleansing. Formulated as an alternative to retinol and glycolic acid, I had absolutely no issues in terms of stinging, burning, redness or flaking—just soft, healthy, blemish-free skin. Note: This is a PRO product and needs to be purchased from your dermatologist.
Restorsea Rejuvenating Day Cream, $150: This day cream was surprisingly thick and also surprisingly strongly scented—Restorsea told me they use white tea essential oil to mask the base, but strip out the allergens so it’s suitable for any skin. While the scent came across heavier than I prefer at first, I did warm up to it over time and appreciate that it’s of natural origin. I thought the day cream actually wore a bit more like a luxe night cream.
Restorsea Revitalizing Eye Cream, $85: A frosted glass pot of one of the most decadent eye creams I’ve used. A little bit goes a long way, so this jar should last you a while. Of all the products, it was the eye area I noticed the biggest improvement in fine lines.
Restorsea 24kt Liquid Gold Face Oil, $150: By far my favorite Restorsea offering, this oil is like an instant facial. I couldn’t wait to try it and tested it solo without even a cleanse first, and was so impressed with its immediate softening effect thanks to squalane, the Vibransea Complex, and Crocus Flower extract. It’s not an inexpensive oil, but if you’re going to drop $150 an ounce, it helps to see the gorgeous flecks of gold infused in there.
My overall recommendation: This line is definitely an investment, but if non-toxic and effective is important to you, it’s worth it. Restorsea offers discounts when you buy the products in sets, but if you can only invest in one thing I’d skip the cleanser and maximize the impact with something that doesn’t rinse off—go for the PRO Intensive Treatment or the 24kt Liquid Gold Face Oil.
Ready to try it for yourself? Shop www.restorsea.com for the regular line and inquire with your dermatologist for Restorsea PRO options.