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Skinceuticals Blemish + Age Defense Serum Review

Blemish And Age Defence serum

My 45-year old oily skin has started to dry up a bit with age, but I still get a few annoying spots along my jawline and my eyebrows.

Teenage acne is easier to treat because blockages are near the surface of the skin and respond well to drying ingredients like benzyl peroxide. Adult acne is more difficult to treat because the bumps are trapped deep down under the surface of the skin and don’t respond to benzyl peroxide which is far too drying. (Don’t even bother trying to squeeze adult acne!).

If you have the same concerns, here’s my review of Skinceuticals Blemish + Age Defense Serum.

Brand overview: Skinceuticals

Skinceuticals is of my favourite brands because they are just so innovative. I wonder how many times their C E Ferulic Serum has been copied by various competitors?

Way ahead of their time in terms of sunscreens and antioxidants. One of the few brands who have managed to create a high UVA sunscreen which actually feels cosmetically elegant instead of thick and sticky. I know because I have tried them all!

What is Skinceuticals Blemish + Age Defense Serum?

This serum kills two birds with one stone: it exfoliates dead skin which is blocking the pores and fades sunspots at the same time.

Who is it for?

Suitable for an oily, blemish prone and ageing skin suffering from the double whammy of adult acne and pigmentation.



How does it fit into my routine?

I used it every evening after double cleansing and before a very hydrating night cream.

How long before you see results?

I used it for six weeks on the right hand side of my face only so that I could compare results – and I was pleasantly surprised to see a difference after only three weeks.

blemish age defence

After a tiny bit of purging on my nose and forehead, my skin is now a lot less bumpy than it has been in ages. My skin is more even-toned because it helped fade the red marks left after adult acne. Even colleagues commented that my skin looked smoother and less oily. 

My skin is more even-toned because it helped fade the red marks left after adult acne. Even colleagues commented that my skin looked smoother and less oily. I personally did not find the high alcohol content drying, but I still wish that Skinceuticals would find a less drying alternative.

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As a beauty therapist, I love the selection of exfoliating acids in this serum – these are far more effective and gentle than physical grainy ones. Skinceuticals have made sure that it is formulated at the right pH (3-4) for exfoliation to take place.


The high amount of alcohol. Whilst it does help glycolic acid penetrate the skin more effectively, it is just too drying, especially for a sensitive skin.

Active ingredients:

3.5% Glycolic acid: hydrates and disolves dead skin at the same time. Penetrates more deeply than other Ahas, so very effective, but not suitable for those with sensitive skin.

2% Diodic acid: a fatty acid and anti-inflammatory which fades pigmentation. Also a very useful cell communicating ingredient. Although there is not much evidence relating to diodic acid, but I trust Skinceuticals. Hopefully they will do more research. I don’t know if it helps fade pigmentation because I have obsessively applied sunscreen since I was eighteen.

1.5% Salicylic acid: a Bha which cuts through oil and clears out the pores. Can be irritating and drying, especially when mixed with alcohol – take note Skinceuticals!

0.3% LHA (lipo-hydroxy acid derived from salicylic acid). I think we will be hearing a lot more about Lhas, which are far more gentle than Ahas.

Would I buy Skinceuticals Blemish + Age Defense Serum?

Yes, definitely because of the outstanding results. However, I challenge Skinceuticals to find a more gentle alternative to alcohol.


Charlotte Wilkes
Charlotte Wilkes

Anti-aging beauty blogger and full-time advocate for sunscreen

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