As many of you who follow me on the blog or on Instagram know, one of the more recent skin problems I have been facing is scarring pigmentation no thanks to the wedding stress I had earlier on in the year. My skin which used to be generally quite good was a bit of a spotty pigmented mess (thank god for makeup on the big day). I had a moment after returning from my honeymoon, where I looked in the mirror and absolutely hated what I saw. For the first time in my life, I felt a sudden slump in confidence. You know how you read those stories about people who loose their confidence due to acne, redness...etc? I feel a little stupid and perhaps a little shallow in saying this, but for a good few days I was miserable about the state of my skin. It was that point I decided that I had to do something different and I decided to book myself in for a skin consultation at one of Rationale Skincare's Skin Clinics.
It was at this consultation, I not only gained further insight into my skin but I also regained a little bit of confidence. In my consultation, I had a series of images taken of my skin. These images were later analysed and the analysis was relayed back to me by my wonderful Rationale Consultant. She basically told me, other than my scarring, my skin was in pretty good condition (yay...confidence boost) and she suggested a few different products for me to try. I loved the fact she wasn't trying to do a hard sell by selling me the entire range but instead gave me her honest advice. I walked away with one of the Rationale Skincare serums - Immunologist Niacinamide Serum after my consultant's suggestion. I am so glad that I did as my results have been nothing but amazing.
What Is It:
Rationale Skincare's Immunologist Niacinamide Serum is part of the brand's Essential Six- six products that help prevent and repair most of skin damage, restoring skin radiance and draws on world-leading research to deliver all of the actives needed to protect and repair sun damage and maintain healthy, glowing skin. Immunologist is the first step in this system and is a serum.
What Does It Do:
The Immunologist Serum, helps with skin clarity and calmness and contains Vitamin B3 to help boost the skin’s immune responses and targets pigmentation. It also contains other actives as well, but the main focus of this serum is to help repair and target pigmentation in the skin through Niacinamide. It also uses Adenosine Triphosphate and complex Amino Acids to provide a vital source of cellular energy, optimising intercellular communication and reinforcing skin barrier function.
So this is where things get a little complicated with Rationale. It is also possibly the company's biggest downside. There are no signs of ingredients anywhere on their website. I know that there was a full ingredients listing on the box but unfortunately I had thrown that out a long time ago. Whilst they detail their active ingredients on the website, there is no full ingredients listing. I did email their customer service and I quote:
I cannot disclose the full ingredient listings as we have a strict company policy regarding disclosure of Proprietary Information.
This is fine, I completely understand and I did email Rationale saying that I did understand that they wish to keep their formulations quite (is that even legal? It doesn't matter anyway). I did email back explaining why I wished to have an ingredients listing and that I did understand the sensitivity of the topic. However, would they be able to meet me in the middle and if I could simply find out the % of Niacinamide (I assume the star attraction in this serum). The response that I got was actually really disappointing.
Unfortunately, I’m unable to provide you with the percentage of Niacinamide in Immunologist Serum as its Proprietary Information.
At this point I had given up and it just makes really question some of the transparency in formulations and brands. Whilst I understand completely their copyright issues, surely a question on active ingredient concentration is something that a company of Rationale's standards would be more than happy to answer? They do pride themselves for being a cosmeceutical company after all? This lack of transparency does annoy me greatly but I will save this rant for another day. On to the actual review.
Despite the lack of information on the full scope of ingredients and percentages used in Rationale Skincare's Immunologist Niacinamide Serum, the product itself is fantastic. Amazing in fact. This serum in a nutshell has helped to heal over my scarring on the right side of cheek from stress breakouts. I would say in the time that I have used this serum back in March until recently (because I have used this all up), it has helped to clear most of the pigmentation in this area. I have been really impressed with the results of Rationale's Immunologist Niacinamide Serum and it is no doubt due to its incredible formulation.
What makes Immunologist so good? Well, it would definitely be due to some of the active ingredients (which Rationale does share on their website). But in order to understand Immunologist, its important to understand Langerhans Cells which play an important role as to why this serum is called 'Immunologist'. Langerhans cells are cells found in the skin and play an important role in the immune response against bacteria and microbials invading the skin. According to an article commissioned by Shiseido in 2014, it was discovered that one function of skin immunity is the self-protection function of Langerhans cells. When the skin detects germs, such as fungi, or foreign objects, such as chemical substances penetrating the skin, Langerhans cells will command the other immune cells to attack and resist those foreign objects. Langerhans cells will then act themselves (instead of commanding other cells) to protect the skin when they detect a stimuli response factor that causes skin troubles. An example of this is when inflammation is caused by external stimulus such as dryness, pollution or emotional stress, the Langerhans cells directly attack the stimuli response factor in self defence. Rationale's website states that the combination of Vitamin B3 and complex peptides help to boost the skin’s immune responses by enhancing Langerhans Cell function and its anti-inflammatory functions. This powerful combination also then helps to normalise melanin production and targets existing pigmentation.
In terms of active ingredients, Rationale lists many on their website, however the most notable would be of course, Niacinamide or Vitamin B3. For those that don't know, studies have shown that Niacinamide has shown favourable results in significantly reducing facial hyperpigmentation appearance, in particular, hyperpigmented spots. Niacinmide has also shown to help to significantly reduce the surface sebum in human skin and is also accompanied by significant reductions in the appearance of pore size and improving rough skin textures. Immunologist also contains Adenosine Triphosphate, a main energy source for many of our body's cellular and muscular functions. Due to this, Adenosine Triphosphate is a very important source of energy for the skin's Langerhans Cells. This therefore boosts their capability of boosting the skin's immune system, either by protecting the skin from infection from external environmental stressors themselves or commanding other immune cells to do so. Finally, Rationale Skincare's Immunologist Niacinamide Serum also contains Ascorbyl Glucoside, a water-soluble derivative of Vitamin C. This form of Vitamin C helps with skin lightening and also contains antioxidant properties which in turns helps to prevent oxidation of Langerhans cell membranes, thus helping to brighten skin tone.
If you follow me on Instagram you may have noticed that I literally incorporated Rationale Skincare's Immunologist Serum almost every single day in my morning skincare routine. I had been doing this consistently right up until this bottle ran out a few weeks ago (and I am now using Ocinium's Vitamin B3 Serum in it's place). I found that I started to really notice results in my skin from using Rationale Skincare's Immunologist Serum at two weeks of daily use as the areas which had a lighter shade of pigment had almost completely faded. Other things that I did notice in my skin was that my skin did seem to be much more balanced at the T-Zone and overall my skin texture in areas which had broken out started to calm down and 'smooth' out.
At about one month, of using this serum, I found that my scars had almost cleared up in the area as I do think the formulation of Immunologist helped to really lighten up the area around my right cheek. At this point, it was the first time in what seemed like forever that my skin was returning back to it normal healthy self. Around the 6 week mark of using this serum, most of my scarring had completely diminished (only new ones now from hormonal breakout...yay...*eyeroll*), my skin feels quite balanced during the day and also my skin just looks much more happier and healthier (this most likely due to other factors as well but do keep in my mind my skin has not been like this for quite some time). Upon finishing this bottle, I felt that my worries about pigmentation from scarring had diminished. My confidence on how my skin looks is back to what it was and I can confidently walk out of the house without having to wear makeup to 'cover' things up. I was a little sad to use this up to be honest as I found this serum to work just so well for me skin. It not only has helped with my skin's overall appearance and health but it has also restored a little confidence in myself.
In terms of texture, Rationale Skincare's Immunologist Niacinamide Serum is a typical serum texture that has a white milky appearance. The formula feels slightly sticky, but once pressed into the skin it does absorb quite quickly to leave a slightly matte finish. I find that this serum sits really well under other skincare and makeup - whether it be layered with another serum and moisturiser or face oils. In terms of scent, Immunologist has a slight citrus smell to it which is not over powering but it is present. The smell doesn't linger, it disappears on application. According to the Rationale Skincare website, this does contain phytoceutical extracts which act as an antioxidant, these include Juniper, Orange, Neroli, Grapefruit and Lemon which explains the citrus scent. Those who react to those oils/extracts will obviously be wary with with those oil but for those who are concerned with overpowering smells, Immunologist does have a light scent. In terms of packaging, Immunologist comes in a typical glass dropper bottle. Whilst I do prefer a airless pump, the glass dropper is perfectly fine and hygienic to use everyday.
Overall, I have been so blown away by just how potent Rationale Skincare's Immunologist Niacinamide Serum is. I personally found that this serum has really worked well for me and my skin absolutely loved this. My skin overall has improved in leaps and bounds with the addition of this serum into my skincare routine. I have found that my scarring has improved immensely, if not almost all gone and that my skin overall looks and feels so much better. My skin texture has improved, as my skin is much more 'smoother' in appearance and that I feel that I am not as oily throughout the day. The improvement of these factors can also be attributed to other products I have been using in conjunction with the Rationale Skincare's Immunologist Niacinamide Serum but as I mentioned a while ago my pigmentation from scarring has received a marked improvement and I feel this is mainly due to the introduction to this serum into my routine. It also has restored my confidence again, something very important to me.
There is no doubt that the Rationale Skincare's Immunologist Niacinamide Serum is on the expensive side (at AUD$163 for 30ml) and it might not be within everyone's budget. Due to it potency, I would recommend this for anyone who has the capacity to purchase this that has concerns with pigmentation and scarring. I personally feel that because of Rationale Skincare's Immunologist Niacinamide Serum, my skin not only showed improvement within a few weeks but the improvement continued over the course of the bottle. Overall, I am so incredibly over the moon with the results.
Repurchase YAY or NAY:
For now I don't think I will be repurchasing as I feel that my main concern of scarring has pretty much been resolved and that I no longer need the potency of this formulation. The price of this does play a factor in this decision as well as I don't think I need something this potent at this point in time. I would also be interested in testing out another Niacinamide serums also. My reason for not repurchasing has nothing to do with Immunologist's performance, as it does perform and performs extremely well. Perhaps too well as I don't think I need another bottle! This serum has helped clear up the main issue I had in the first place - scarring. However, if the same issue were to ever arise again, I think Rationale Skincare's Immunologist Niacinamide Serum my first point of call. It is just that good.
Rationale Skincare's Immunologist Niacinamide Serum comes in a 30ml dropper bottle and can be purchased from Rationale Skincare online or via their boutiques in Australia.
Have you used anything from the Rationale Skincare range? What did you use and what were your thoughts? I would love to hear as I also have their evening serum and antioxidant serum on rotation!