Packaging and The Cream: Afirm 3x comes in a 1.05oz metal tube with a plastic cap. It is similar to the kind of tube you would find medication in, and you have to pierce the top of the tube with the point on the end of the cap to break the seal. It is not a lot of cream in the tube but a little bit goes a long way.
The cream inside the tube is white and thick enough that it does not run out of the tube but it is not super thick or pasty. It dissolves quickly on the skin and you can rub it in leaving no residue after just a short period of time. This cream is not at all greasy.
Fragrance: One thing I really love about this cream is that it is completely fragrance free. When I was asking Lorrie to recommend a cream fragrance free was at the top of my list. Fragrance can not only be annoying but who wants to put something potentially irritating on your skin? This cream is about as close to odorless as you can get.
How to apply it: The instructions say to apply a small amount at bedtime. I would suggest washing your face before applying and if you use a moisturizer wait at least 20 minutes before applying or apply it in the morning. I do not really use a lot of products on my face but this can be a little drying so use it as part of your normal skin care routine. Make sure to also use sun screen during the day! I read somewhere that the cream is more effective when applied at night and not exposed to light, so that is what I did.
Who Makes it?: I thought it was a little confusing because the packaging states that this is manufactured for PharmaDerm which is a division of Nycomed US Inc. Melville NY It gives a website as www.pharmaderm.com. I went there and looked under products and could not find it. The box states that it is manufactured by AMCOL Health and Beauty Solutions Inc. So I looked them up and found that they also do not list the product. They do mention the microsponge delivery system mentioned on the box but not this product. Next I searched for TxSystems, and found a website that listed Afirm and one other product but no real information about the product. I was trying to see if it was manufactured in the USA but I have to say that I really still do not know.
Other products in the same line: Besides Afirm 3x there are two other weaker products in the line of retinol products(1x and 2x). I had read reviews of the others and decided to go for the more potent product and just use it more sparingly. I think this approach worked for me and probably saved a little money too. According to the sheet of paper inside the box, the 1x product is for sensitive skin or areas that are more sensitive like under eyes and the neck. The 2x is for normal skin, and 3x is for oily or less sensitive skin. I do not have oily skin and think its more sensitive, but for my uses I think the 3x performed well.
Application: I felt like the cream went on very easily and absorbed quickly and completely within seconds. I almost wondered if I had applied enough! The packaging stated to use a small amount though, so I used a small amount.
Wrinkles: I really do not have any wrinkles that I was worried about. I am 53 and have used very little in the way of make up, creams or skin care products. I have no wrinkles on my face. I think my age shows more on my hands and arms from my gardening, but am lucky I guess that I do not have any damage on my face. I am careful to use sunscreen when I am going to be in the sun but generally just wear a hat at other times working in the yard.
Dark Spots: I noticed that this cream can also help with dark spots and help to even out your skin tone. I do not have a huge problem with that either but figured it could not hurt to try it on a few dark spots. I am not sure I used it long enough on the dark spots to see much of a difference and frankly I do not really have a dark spot problem, but I can not say how well it worked because I did not use it that long on these types of spots.
My eczema: I was using the cream for eczema and the product is not really even designed for that. I tend to get a normal small pimple on my chin area and that heals quickly enough but then I end up with this area of eczema that can take weeks or months to go away. At the time when I started using the cream I had two spots on my chin that I had for a few weeks. I applied the cream to my whole face though just to see how I liked it. After the first few times I just used it on my chin area.
The results: In the first day or two I did not notice anything except the spots seemed slightly worse. I kept applying it nightly and after about 4 days I noticed the areas were less raised and seemed to be healing and I also noticed some mild peeling. At this point I decided to cut back to every other night. After about a week the spots were completely healed so this was a huge success.
After that I stopped using the cream until I got another pimple and at the first sign of it I applied the cream just to the pimple once nightly for a few nights. The pimple healed and the eczema never followed as it usually does. I have done this several more times with little blemishes and am completely convinced that the retinol product helps heal and prevent eczema on my face.
Peeling: No matter what you are using this for I would suggest going slowly. Start perhaps using it every other night for a few weeks and watch very carefully for peeling. I think if I was using this for wrinkles or dark spots over the course of time I would probably use it no more than twice a week. Your skin might be different but any more than that and I would be peeling. The peeling that I experienced was not painful and was only a very thin layer. My skin was never inflamed or irritated looking. I guess my point here is to have some respect for the power of this cream and use it sparingly and with caution.
I am giving Afirm 3x a perfect rating of 5 out of 5 stars because it is the only product that I have ever tried that healed and prevented new eczema patches from starting on my face. It is a little pricey but I use so little that it is not an issue for me. I paid $45 for the product on Amazon. I would have gladly paid double for how well it works.