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Robb Recommends: The Skincare Device That Dispenses Lab-Fresh Vitamin C on Demand

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It’s hard to know exactly how long a skincare product has been sitting on the shelves before you take it home. And once you get it home, it can also be difficult to remember exactly how long a serum or moisturizer has spent in your medicine cabinet before you use it to the last drop. Because of this, there’s a good chance the active ingredients aren’t nearly as potent by the end of theirx lifespan as they were at the beginning.

One of the coolest innovations in skincare was designed to ensure these products’ freshness and maximum efficacy: Opulus Beauty Labs produces solid bars of various products that you break off like squares, or Opoules, of a chocolate bar. Then, you melt them into a spreadable consistency using its warming Activator. All of the important active ingredients are tucked inside this Opoule to stay fresh, while the outer shell protects them with a skin-friendly base.

The best part, then, is that any worry about oxidation and shelf life go out the window, because the Activator produces a fresh serum. Consider it the skincare equivalent of grinding coffee beans right before you brew a fresh pot. I especially love the process: Break off an Opoule, place it in the Activator, close the top, and press the button to begin whirring the motor and heating the product. The result is a whip-like serum that you can scoop out and apply freshly to your mug. You get exactly the amount of product you need, and you get to feel like Bill Nye the Science Guy in the process.

These Opoule treatment ranges include Decongest & Clarify (to combat oil and brighten skin), Hydrate & Soothe (to revive dull, dehydrated skin), Brighten & Smooth (to improve surface texture and restore suppleness). Cach of those pairings can be purchased as standalone daily treatments if you need targeted Vitamin C for brightness, or azelaic acid for sensitivity, or exfoliating acids for a smoother complexion. There’s even a roster of retinol treatments that stay fresh far longer than any OTC cream can promise.

Oh, and fun fact: Opulus is from Dr. Robb Akridge, the inventor of the beloved, but now defunct, Clarisonic facial brushes.

Review: Opulus's Activator Keeps Your Skincare Fresh
Review: Opulus's Activator Keeps Your Skincare Fresh

Opulus The Activator

Buy Now on Opulus $169


If I do have a critique of the process, I’d say that it’s important to order an extra month’s worth of product, just in case you need to replenish it in a hurry. This device is still fairly niche, and you’re not going to find replacement Opoules at Walgreens. Also, if you’re in a rush, this regimen can get a bit annoying—you do have to wait for each Opoule to warm up, so suddenly it can take a few extra minutes just to get some serum on your skin. (That’s the tradeoff for ensuring freshness, I suppose). That said, I don’t recommend wearing more than one of these melted-down Opoules at a time, because they are fairly high-impact, and you can feel it on the skin.

Still, none of the concept’s flaws changed my mind about the Activator’s many great features. I think this device is giving us something that’s seriously missing in the skincare space, and addresses that key issue of guaranteed freshness—especially if you’re spending hundreds of dollars on serums and creams without any quality assurance. Opulus has set a new bar in this regard, and I look forward to seeing how it changes the industry, the same way Dr. Akridge’s past Clarisonic invention did the same.

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