Wednesday, 1 July 2015

Zelens Intense Defence

This weather offers the perfect time to talk about Zelens Intense Defence.

What is it?
'A potent antioxidant serum formulated with a unique blend of synergistic ingredients to defend from environmental assaults.'

Who is it for?

What’s in it?
Aqua (Water), Glycerin, C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate, Squalane, Cyclopentasiloxane, Sodium Hyaluronate, Superoxide Dismutase, Thioctic Acid, Ubiquinone, Ascorbyl Tetraisopalmitate, Bisabolol, Perilla Frutescens Leaf Extract, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Centella Asiatica Extract, Ginkgo Biloba Leaf Extract, Pinus Strobus Bark Extract, Echinacea Angustifolia Leaf Extract, Tocopheryl Acetate, Hydrolyzed Soy Protein, Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein, Dimethylmethoxy Chromanol, Hydrolyzed Sesame Protein PG-Propyl Methylsilanediol, Tripeptide-1, Lactic Acid, Polyacrylamide, Phenoxyethanol, Dimethicone, Acrylates Copolymer, C13-14 Isoparaffin, Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Laureth-7, Ethylhexylglycerin, Polysilicone-11, VP/Polycarbamyl Polyglycol Ester, Butylene Glycol, Caprylyl Glycol, Xanthan Gum, Parfum (Fragrance), Linalool

Possibly acne/allergy/troubling for some ingredients?

Natural? Organic? Man-made? Vegan?
Man made/vegan

Tested on animals/sold in China?

What's not in it?

How do you use it?
Apply underneath moisturiser daily. I use AM but it can be used both AM and PM.

What’s good about it?
Clinically proven* to reduce the amount free radical activity on the skin by 74% after an hour and 50% after 5 hours, Zelens put their money where their mouth is. This is like wearing a suit of armour underneath your moisturiser. Most antioxidant products only focus on one type of free radical damage, and use vitamin C to do so, when, in fact, there are 3. Oxygen, carbon and nitrogen. So using an antioxidant product that only attacks one group of free radicals is akin to leaving the house wearing a bra, blouse, sweater and fur coat and nothing at all on your bottom half. You're not fully covered. 
This serum also includes chromane, of which clinical studies show is more effective in the inhibition of oxidative stress than resveratrol, ferulic acid and vitamin E.
Being Zelens, they've thrown in an abundance of other actives - 18 to be exact, to enhance collagen production and act as massive anti-inflammatories.

What’s not so good about it?
Not much. It's not cheap, but then neither is the formula. Dr Lens is my first port of call for serums and anti-ageing. His day-to-day job is protecting the skin, he knows what he's doing.

Works well with?

Similar products?
Grown Alchemist Antioxidant +3 Detox Serum
SkinCeuticals C E Ferulic

Exchange rate – does it punish the UK?
No. Zelens is UK based.

Zelens Intense Defence is £125 and available at

*Papers published in the Journal of Drugs in Dermatology (Assessment of the kinetics of the antioxidative capacity of topical antioxidants).


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Would this be useful for someone in their early sixties?

    1. You may prefer the other Brightening one. :)

  3. Have you tried the NIOD range from Deciem at Victoria Health? I've had some pretty amazing results and wondered what your thoughts were.on them.

  4. Isn't C13-14 Isoparaffin a mineral oil? I thought you would have disapproved of using this ingredient in such an expensive product.

    1. I was wondering same thing after I placed my order through Cult Beauty..... Mineral Oil breaks my skin really badly. Although it is listed very end. Hopefully it'll work fine.... Please Caroline, what's your thought?

    2. Hi Chaps. It's a derivative, nothing like raw mineral oil. Don't worry.

    3. Thanks for clearing that up. I have always just steered clear of any product with the word 'paraffin' in it. Having said that, i still can't afford this product! :-(

    4. Thanks Caroline that really clarifies things for me as I've been avoiding this ingredient too. Glad to find out it's ok as it's in some of my favourite products.

  5. This is going on the top of my wish list for when I win the Lottery...I appreciate why it is so expensive, obviously high quality ingredients, research etc but no way can I justify paying that much at the moment, could be good for my Christmas list though :)

  6. Caroline, is this a serum where the user should expect to notice an effect over time (or, even better, immediately), or is it one of those things that will bear results in years to come? Just trying to manage my own expectations as I consider purchasing this. Thank you.

    1. You won't 'notice' much about this as it's all going on below the surface. It's protective and stimulating for collagen, not noticeably brightening or lifting for example. :)

  7. Hello Caroline, would love to hear your responses on some interesting comments so far pressure but your pearls of wisdom are invaluable when it comes to a possible pricey purchase....crucially do you feel this serum is more preventative than reparative?
    I think I'm also picking up more excitement in your review about the brightening serum, imagined?! Different targets but results sound more immediate in that product....thanks so much.

    1. I'm fickle. The Brightening is more exciting because it has immediate gratification. LOL
      This one is more preventative. I've answered the other queries - not sure which one you were waiting on the answer for. :)

  8. How on earth can this formula can be expensive to produce? Water, glycerin, silicones and unicorn tears?

    1. No but seriously, what is expensive in it?

    2. Directly from Dr Lens: 'It contains a high percentage of numerous active ingredients (18 ingredients in total) including some very expensive ingredients such as enzyme SOD, alpha lipoic acid, peptides, pycnogenol….
      Also, efficacy of this product has been extensively and seriously tested to that point that results of a clinical study evaluation antioxidant capacity of this product over 5 hours have been published in the peer-reviewed medical journal - Journal of Drugs in Dermatology.'

  9. Oh this sounds like a lovely product! Love all the good info the company provides regarding their research. However I'm so disappointed in the fragrance and linalool both making it a no way for me. I'm dreadfully sensitive to even a small amount of fragrance and linalool alone to me is terribly fragrant. I realize and respect that many ppl enjoy the sensory pleasure of how a product smells. I would like selfishly :) products such as these to have no added fragrance or fragrant oils. Thank you tho for bringing us again another great post with a wonderful sounding product I know many will love!

  10. Caroline,

    When Biologique Recherche states they contain high concentrations of actives, is this something unique to their brand? Or does other products such as Zelens contain equally the same amount or more, what is the standard percentage? Thank you for your time in advance!


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