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SkinMedica TNS Advanced + Serum : Dermatologist Review & How To Use

Written by: Dr. Leslie Baumann



Time to read 11 min

As a dermatologist, I am always on the lookout for innovative ingredients that can truly improve improve photoaging, wrinkles and skin texture. A new antiaging skincare product that caught my attention recently is SkinMedica’s TNS Advanced + Serum.  In this blog post, I’ll explain what TNS is, how it works, and why it represents an exciting development in anti-aging skincare. I will also  review how this is different from other TNS containing products. 

Wondering if this antiaging serum is the best for your Baumann Skin Type? Take the skin type quiz to find out! 

What is SkinMedica TNS Advanced + Serum?

This new generation serum by SkinMedica  includes 450 total growth factors - more than any previous TNS formulation. The additional stem cell-derived growth factors in TNS Advanced+ boost collagen production and cellular activity even beyond original TNS.

In my experience, the lightweight, non-comedogenic TNS Advanced+ Serum performs extremely well for improving wrinkles, skin tone, and texture across all wrinkle-prone skin types. I advise my patients to layer it under retinol in their nighttime skincare routine for optimal anti-aging effects. Those with substantial photodamage on the neck, chest, and hands also see noticeable rejuvenation from consistent use. Overall, TNS Advanced+ represents the most comprehensive topical growth factor serum available to target aging concerns.

SkinMedica TNS Advanced + Serum Dermatologist Review

In my dermatology practice in Miami Florida, I use this serum to treat my patients often. I use it to treat wrinkle-prone skin types that have sensitive skin and cannot tolerate retinoids and Vitamin C.   I skin cycle it in antiaging  skin care routines to alternate with with other antiaging serums. Most of the patients I prescribe this to are 40+ years of age.

There are two main peptides in this serum:

  1. Dimer Tripeptide -43 which is claimed to reduce skin sensitivity 
  2. Trifluoroacetyl Tripeptide-2- which is claimed to improve sagging skin 

To learn more about these peptides, look up the peptide name on this peptide in skincare list.

How To Use

One of the nice things about this antiaging growth factor serum is it does not irritate the skin so it can be used 2-3 times a day without any problems.  It should be used at least 3 times a week to get results.  Alternate it with retinoids and ascorbic acid in your antiaging skincare routine.

Skincare Routine

You want to make sure that you always layer skin care ingredients properly and use them in the correct step order of your routine.  This will help the growth factors and other ingredients in this serum penetrate intact into the skin and have better results.

Morning or Night?

It does not matter which time of day you use SkinMedica TNS Advanced+ Serum. In general, you want to use protective serums in the day and repair serums at night.  As this is a repair serum, you can use it at n ight and use an antioxidant serum in the daytime. However, this has antioxidants in it so it can be used either time of day or both morning and night.

Before or After Moisturizer

Always use any antiaging serums before using a moisturizer.  SkinMedica TNS Advanced + Serum should be used first with a  face cream applied afterwards to help slug it into your skin.

Before or After Retinol

Retinol gets into the skin easily while growth factors often have trouble absorbing due to their large size.  For this reason, at night you should apply SkinMedicaTNS  Advanced + Serum before applying a retinol.

Before or After SkinMedica C + E Complex

It is not a good idea to use SkinMedica C + E Complex and SkinMedica TNS Advanced + Serum together because they both have trouble penetrating into the skin.  It is a better idea to skin cycle these or use one in the am and another in the pm.  If you choose to do the later, use the C + E in the morning and the TNS A+ at night.

Skin Benefits

TNS Advanced + does many good things for your skin. 

Here is a list of the skin benefits of SkinMedica TNS Advanced + Serum:

Ingredients in SkinMedica TNS Advanced + Serum

Clinical Research Studies

Preclinical studies on the TNS-MR technology used in SkinMedica TNS Advanced + Serum showed A+ can reduce a biomarker of skin cell senescence, increase expression of genes involved in skin renewal processes like proteostasis, stem cell function, and cell communication, and upregulate genes for extracellular matrix proteins and epidermal barrier components.(6) 

 Targeting cellular senescence is the latest in skincare technology to make skin look and act younger.

This video explains what cellular senescence is.  SkinMedica TNS Advanced + Serum seems to decrease the number of senescent cells, as evidenced by a decrease in senescent cell biomarkers. (6) 

In 2023, a  24-week clinical trial tested SkinMedica TNS Advanced+ Serum ( A+) on humans with aging skin.  (6)  The A+ antiaging serum containing human fibroblast conditioned media, peptides, botanicals, and marine extracts was compared to vehicle placebo.   This double-blind, placebo-controlled trial enrolled 68 men and women aged 37-70 with moderate to severe facial photodamage. Subjects applied A+ serum to one side of the face and a placebo serum to the other side twice daily for 6 months. Starting at 2 weeks, A+ provided significant improvements in wrinkling, skin texture changes, sagging, tone, and photodamage versus baseline. It also showed significantly greater improvements than placebo in wrinkles at 4, 8, and 12 weeks; in photodamage, fine lines, hyperpigmentation, sagging and tone evenness at 8 and 12 weeks. 

After switching from placebo to A+ at 12 weeks, subjects showed continued significant improvements in wrinkles, photodamage and sagging at 18 and 24 weeks. Patient-reported outcomes revealed subjects felt up to 6 years younger after using A+ for only 12 weeks. Skin biopsies detected molecular changes confirming reduced cell senescence, increased collagen, elastin and other extracellular matrix components, and improved epidermal barrier function.

 This rigorous clinical trial provided evidence-based data that SkinMedica TNS Advanced + Serum significantly improves multiple facial skin aging parameters by targeting fundamental mechanisms of intrinsic and extrinsic skin aging.

What is the Difference in TNS Advanced + Serum and the original SkinMedica TNS Products?

The A+ Serum has more antiaging ingredients than the original TNS products.

In chamber one, both products contain the patented TNS growth factors that SkinMedica is known for.  TNS Recovery Complex in the Essential Serum contains TNS while the TNS Advanced+ Serum has TNS-MR. 

The TNS-MR contains 450 growth factors, compared to the 380 that the TNS Essential Serum contains. This level-up translates into even faster results. While users of the essentials serum saw results in as little as 4 weeks users of TNS Advanced+ Serum reported visible results in just half that time! 

 Fans of the essential serum know that it has a a district bad smell and reddish hue from the proteins used in the formula. I have to say that the ‘new & improved’ formula is much better because it is colorless and odorless. Rather than simply covering up the protein odor with a fragrance, SkinMedica eliminated the scent altogether by reformulating the proteins directly, making it suitable for even the most sensitive noses! 

Another improvement in the TNS formula is the increased use of peptides. Where the TNS Essential Serum includes just one tripeptide complex, the new TNS Advanced+ uses two. This gives the TNS Advanced+ Serum an even better ability to nourish skin and fade fine lines.

Chamber two of the TNS Advanced+ Serum contains a brand-new product, the Renessensce (RSC) Advanced. RSC addresses all key aging skin concerns and has been specifically formulated to support the results of the growth factor blend. RSC is a highly active blend that contains botanicals, marine extracts, and peptides. 

Overall- SkinMedica TNS Advanced + is a better anti-wrinkle serum than it's predecessors.

TNS Advanced + vs TNS Recovery Complex?

Comaprison of SkinMedica TNS Advanced Plus Serum and TNS Recovery Complex

Let’s start with the difference between the  original SkinMedica TNS Recovery Complex and the new Advanced + Serum (also called A+). Of course, this comes down to the ingredients and the purposes they serve. The bottles and their signature dual-chambers may look similar, however the TNS Advanced+ Serum is truly a next generation product because it contains TNS-MR which has more types of growth factors.

There are ingredients found in the Advanced+ Serum that are not in TNS Recovery Complex:

  • TNS-MR-Includes human fibroblast conditioned media (growth factors) and peptides (Progeline and Prolixir S20) for skin repair and aging prevention.
  • Progeline (Trifluoroacetyl Tripeptide-2): A peptide for skin repair.
  • Prolixir S20 (Dimer Tripeptide-43): A peptide for aging prevention.
  • Chlorella: A green microalgae for collagen synthesis.
  • Saccharide Isomerate: A plant-derived carbohydrate complex for hydration.
  • Hydrolyzed Linseed Extract: For rejuvenation and hydration

  Irritating and allergenic ingredients found in TNS Recovery Complex like phenoxyethanol, Hydroxycitronellal, and linalool have been removed.  The new A+ serum does not have the same bad smell of the original TNS because the smelly proteins have been removed, obviating the need to additional fragrances. SkinMedica TNS Advanced + Serum is fragrance free and better for sensitive allergic skin types.

Help Me Choose the Best Antiaging Serum

Need help choosing a serum and wondering if SkinMedica TNS Advanced + Serum is the best choice for your skin type? Take our skincare routine quiz and we will tell you which products are best for you. Here we compare SkinMedica A+ Serum to other top-selling antiaging serums.

SkinMedica TNS Advance + Serum vs Skinceuticals C E Ferulic

Both of these are top selling antiaging serums. Which one is best to use in your antiaging skincare routine?

Skinceuticals C E Ferulic is one of the best Vitamin C Serums. It has ascorbic acid in the correct form and low pH which allows it to penetrate into skin. However, this low pH can cause skin stinging in sensitive skin types such as rosacea-prone skin .  It does not have any growth factors or peptides in it. The ascorbic acid can help prevent skin pigmentation.

The SkinMedica TNS Advanced + Serum has the benefit of increasing skin collagen without irritating the skin.  However, it does not have the ascorbic acid in it that your skin requires to make collagen, so I recommend cycling in a Vitamin C serum in your routine at least 3 times a week. 

The Skinceuticals CE Ferulic is best for Baumann Skin Types that are Resistant and hyperpigmented. The SkinMedica TNS Advanced + Serum is better for sensitive skin types that do not have skin pigmentation issues.

Take the skincare quiz to see which is best for you.

Ingredients in Skinmedica TNS Serum vs Skinceuticals CE Ferulic
Ingredients in Skinmedica TNS Serum vs Skinceuticals CE Ferulic Benefits

Worth the Money?

Is SkinMedica TNS Advanced+ Serum worth the price?  It depends on your age, your skin's needs, and underlying barriers to skin health.

This expensive serum can be fabulous if it is right for your Baumann Skin Type.

This serum is best for antiaging skincare routines in your 50s and older. When you are 50+ you make fewer growth factors and have more senescent cells. You can combine this with SkinMedica Retinol and SkinMedica Sunscreen for maximal results. 

To find out if this antiaging serum is right for you, take the skin type quiz and find out:

  • Which  Baumann Skin Type you are
  • What skincare routine steps are best for you
  • If SkinMedica TNS Advanced+ is a good antiaging serum for you
  • What other products to use together
Level up your skin care knowledge with medical advice from dermatologists

How long does SkinMedica TNS Advanced + Serum last?

If you use 1/8 of a teaspoon of this once a day to the face only, the tube will last about 50 days. If you apply it two times a day, it will last about 25 days. If you apply it to your neck and décolleté area- you will again use 1/8 of a teaspoon to those areas alone. This means if you apply it to the face, neck and décolleté area once a day it will last 25 days. If you apply it two times a day to all of these areas- it will last about 12-13 days.

Does the SkinMedica TNS Advanced+ smell bad?

The improved smell of the SkinMedica TNS Advanced+ Serum compared to previous versions like the TNS Essential Serum is due to a reformulation of the proteins in the product. Earlier versions had a distinct smell because of the proteins used, which was masked with added fragrance. However, in the TNS Advanced+ Serum, SkinMedica has reformulated the proteins to eliminate the odor. As a result, there's no need for added fragrance, making the serum more suitable for those with sensitivities to fragrances. This change is part of a broader improvement in the product's formulation, including the addition of new ingredients like probiotics, grape flower, linseed, and apple fruit extracts

Is SkinMedica TNS Advanced + Serum Fragrance free?

Yes it is fragrance free and does not have any essential oils.

Is SkinMedica TNS Advanced + Serum formaldehyde free?

Yes, it does not have any formaldehyde or formaldehyde releasing agents.

Is SkinMedica TNS Advanced + Serum safe if you have acne?

There are no comedogenic ingredients in this serum.

Best References and Scientific Publications on SkinMedica TNS Advanced + Serum

  1. Baumann L. Antiaging Ingredients in Ch. 37 of Baumann's Cosmetic Dermatology Ed 3. (McGraw Hill 2022)
  2. Baumann, L. Ch.  Cosmeceuticals and Cosmetic Ingredients (McGraw Hill 2015)
  3. Gold, M. H., Wilson, A., Makino, E., & Mehta, R. (2023). Improvements in skin quality parameters in postmenopausal participants after use of topical growth factor serum. Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology, 22(1), 236-244.
  4. Mehta, R. C., Naughton, G. K., & Goldman, M. P. (2022). Cellular growth factors and exosomes. Cosmetic Dermatology: Products and Procedures, 401-407.
  5. Mehta, R. C., Kadoya, K., Maitra, P., Goberdhan, L. T., Makino, E. T., Naughton, G. K., & Goldman, M. P. (2023). Fibroblast‐derived growth factors and exosomes as cosmeceuticals. Dermatological Reviews.
  6. Naughton, G. K., Jiang, L. I., Makino, E. T., Chung, R., Nguyen, A., Cheng, T., ... & Mehta, R. C. (2023). Targeting Multiple Hallmarks of Skin Aging: Preclinical and Clinical Efficacy of a Novel Growth Factor-Based Skin Care Serum. Dermatology and Therapy, 13(1), 169-186.
  7. Quan T, Fisher GJ. Role of age-associated alterations of the dermal extracellular matrixmicroenvironment in human aging: a mini-review. Gerontology. 2015;61(5):427-434