• Shelli

MZ Skin Rest & Revive Restorative Placenta & Stem Cell Night Serum

Updated: Dec 10, 2020

MZ Skin Rest & Revive Restorative Placenta & Stem Cell Night Serum (10ml, $158) is a lightweight, anti-aging night serum. Rest & Revive’s innovative blend of placenta and stem cells combined with peptides detoxify, strengthen and repair the skin during its nightly rejuvenation. The serum stimulates collagen and elastin, replenishes moisture to plump and smooth fine lines and wrinkles, resulting in revived, hydrated skin and an even skin tone. Rest & Revive can be used by all skin types but those with mature skin may use a night mask (like this one, also from MZ Skin) after applying this serum for added moisture. MZ Skin recommends that those with problematic or easily congested skin use only the Rest & Revive as the final step in their nighttime skin care routine.

Rest & Revive’s combination of pytho (plant) and ovine placenta contains growth factors responsible for improving skin density and the production of collagen, elastin and hyaluronic acid. The placenta is a large sac-like organ that develops in most mammals during pregnancy to facilitate the exchange of nutrients and waste between the mother and fetus. It is then expelled by the mother after birth. The sheep placenta used in Rest & Revive is saved after the birth of healthy farm born animals and is promptly frozen. On its website, MZ Skin assures customers that no hormones are used in the production of or treatment of the sheep and the farms where the placenta is harvested are fully audited and comply with animal welfare and management standards.

The skincare industry has long used unusual animal by-products in their formulations, for example, snail mucin, snake venom, pig collagen, bird feces and bird’s nest have all been used in skincare products and/or procedures. Placenta skincare (both plant and animal) is very popular in Japan , South Korea, New Zealand, and China because of placenta’s purported healing and anti-aging properties. Placenta skincare has a six decade history here in the U.S., when in 1958, American cosmetics company Lambert-Hudnut unveiled a cosmetic product containing placentine, a concentrated placenta extract that combines the proteins, hormones and vitamins that help promote skin cell growth before birth.

Proponents of placenta skincare argue that because placenta is so rich in proteins, harnessing these nutrients would provide skincare benefits such boosting collagen syntheses and increasing hydration, which help fight the signs of aging and rejuvenate the skin. There are a few scientific studies that have found support for the wrinkle-reducing, skin boosting benefits of placenta. For example, a 2015 study published in the Korean Journal for Food Science and Animal Resources found that, when taken orally, porcine (pig) placenta extract reduced trans-epidermal water loss, UV wrinkle formation, and significantly prevented collagen loss in hairless mice. And more recently, a 2019 article published in Experimental Dermatology found that placental extracts may decrease melanin synthesis, meaning that another potential benefit of placenta skincare is in treating hyperpigmentation or skin discoloration.

Dr. Maryam Zamani, the founder of MZ Skin, conducted her own clinical research and found that ovine- and plant-based placenta help with skin turnover, improvement of cell structure, skin density and collagen production. Dr. Zamani adds“when you place something as nutrient rich as ovine placenta on your skin at night, it gives you the building blocks to create new collagen and elastin”. But there are other dermatologists who are not convinced of the benefits of placenta-based skincare, for example, Dr. David Bank said in an interview with Allure magazine that “there is a small amount of research that claims placental products moisturize and tighten skin, but there is also evidence that claims the estrogen present in placenta may cause problems”. And according to this article on the Dermstore Blog, in clinical testing, plant placenta increased skin oxygenation 70% more than human placenta. This means that plant placenta stimulates circulation which helps skin cells regenerate more quickly, making skin firmer and repairing fine lines and wrinkles. In other words, animal placenta may not provide better skincare benefits than plant-based skincare and, in fact, plant-based skincare may actually be better for the skin.

But rest assured, Rest & Revive does not rely solely on the highly contested benefits of ovine placenta to deliver skincare benefits – the serum also contains many traditional skincare ingredients. For example, the night serum contains a combination of high volume and low volume Hyaluronic Acid (HA). High molecular weight HA provides instant moisture to the skin and encourages the skin to retain moisture. Low molecular weight HA provides long-term hydration by penetrating the deeper layers and stimulating collagen synthesis to increase skin firmness and refine texture. This combination encourages the skin to produce more Hyaluronic Acid. Rest & Revive also contains tripeptides, which are specifically formulated blocks of amino acids that are used to target specific skincare concerns such as aging or hydration.

About the Brand

MZ Skin is a luxury skincare line started by Dr. Maryam Zamani, an oculoplastic surgeon and one of London’s leading facial aesthetic doctors. As a doctor-led skincare brand, MZ Skin uses Dr. Zamani’s medical experience and science to formulate great products that help users achieve great skin. MZ Skin formulations are free from parabens, silicones, mineral oil, GM ingredients, petrolatum, sodium lauryl sulphate (SLS) and phthalates. MZ Skin does not test on animals or commission any third parties to do so on their behalf. MZ Skin do not use ingredients or suppliers who test on animals. Any animal-derived ingredients used in MZ Skin formulas, such as ovine placenta, are natural by-products and no sheep are harmed in the process.


  • Clinically proven to decrease wrinkle depth up to 14.4% after 1 month

  • 100% of patients reported improved skin smoothness

  • Clinical studies also show that skin is 20% more hydrated after 30 days

  • Plantago extract stimulates collagen and elastin and reduces the appearance of hyper-pigmentation

How to Use

Apply 3 to 4 pumps nightly onto cleansed skin – face, neck and décolleté. Supercharge the ritual by using a derma-roller once a week to penetrate the serum deeper into skin.


Key Ingredients

  • Phyto and ovine placenta – contains growth factors responsible for improving skin density and the production of collagen, elastin and hyaluronic acid. Enhances the plumpness of the skin, reduces wrinkle depth and increases moisture.

  • Plantago Extract - Increases cellular matrix, collagen and elastin production to redensify and firm the skin. Helps to brighten the skin and reduce the appearance of hyper-pigmentation.

  • White asparagus extract - Detoxes and rejuvenates.

  • Tripeptide - A powerful protein consisting of amino-acids. Stimulates the production of collagen and elastin to brighten and even out skin tone.

Full ingredients list is subject to change

  • Aqua (Water), Glycerin, Isoamyl Laurate, Hydrolyzed Yeast Extract, Tribehenin PEG-20 Esters, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Caryodendron Orinocense Seed Oil, Rubus Idaeus (Raspberry) Seed Oil, Squalane, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter, Butylene Glycol, Propanediol, Phenoxyethanol, Olive Glycerides, Ascorbyl Tetraisopalmitate, Cetearyl Alcohol, Hydrolyzed Hyaluronic Acid, Sodium Hyaluronate, Benzyl Alcohol, Plantago Lanceolata Leaf Extract, Parfum (Fragrance), Polyacrylamide, Ceramide Np, C13-14 Isoparaffin, Carbomer, Disodium EDTA, Ethylhexylglycerin, Tocopherol, Triethanolamine, Asparagus Officinalis Stem Extract, Xanthan Gum, Cetyl Hydroxyethylcellulose, Dehydroacetic Acid, Hexyl Cinnamal, Laureth-7, Potassium Sorbate, Sodium Benzoate, Polyglucuronic Acid, Undaria Pinnatifida Extract, Linalool, Calcium Gluconate, Gluconolactone, Butylphenyl Methylpropional, Lecithin, Benzyl Salicylate, Placental Protein, Alpha-Isomethyl Ionone, Citronellol, Geraniol, Myristoyl Tripeptide-31, Limonene, Citric Acid

My Take

I received my super deluxe size of MZ Skin Rest & Revive Restorative Placenta & Stem Cell Night Serum in my June MINTD box, a luxury skincare subscription box that ships from the United Kingdom (read my review of MINTD Box here). Rest & Revive is a white, lightweight, cream that glides easily over the skin and is quickly absorbed. It has a light fragrance with floral notes, which I found pleasant but one beauty reviewer compared its smell to a damp towel. I used Rest & Revive every night for about 8 weeks and applied it after cleansing, toning and applying an essence. I have acne-prone skin, so I followed MZ Skin’s advice and skipped my night moisturizer after Rest & Revive.

I loved this night serum! First, it is very hydrating, in fact, I think it is more hydrating than many of the heavy nighttime moisturizers I have used in the past. Rest & Revive uses a combination of humectants such as sodium hyaluronate and hydrolyzed hyaluronic acid and moisturizers such as shea butter and squalene to help draw moisture into the skin and prevent moisture from leaving the skin. Second, my skin felt and looked smoother and softer after only a few days of using Rest & Revive. Relatedly, I liked that despite its long and complicated ingredient list, Rest & Revive didn’t cause my acne prone skin to break out. Note, I wouldn’t say that the serum prevents breakouts, but it didn’t cause any and that is always a relief! And third, Rest & Revive did wonders for my hyperpigmentation caused by my inconsistent use of sunscreen since I started wearing face masks a few months ago (the masks cover half my face, so I’m good right?) and I sometimes pick at my skin when I get bored, which also increases scarring and consequently skin discoloration.

I only have a few critiques of this otherwise great night serum. The first is that although I actually liked the serum’s fragrance, which is surprising given I did not like the smell of MZ Skin’s Brighten & Perfect 10% Vitamin C Corrective Serum, there are probably some who will not like it at all. And generally speaking, I don’t understand why skincare companies continue to put fragrance in serums, moisturizers and face oils (basically why put fragrance in skincare products that you do not wash off, scented cleansers are fine in my book) but given that one of the key ingredients in Rest & Revive is ovine placenta, I will excuse the use of fragrance in this case. The other critique is the cost, Rest & Revive costs $158 for a 10ml bottle and $320 for a full-size bottle of 30ml, so if you check the math, the deluxe sample size bottle is very overpriced. And finally, although I love all the science and research that has gone into this great serum, I am not convinced that this serum wouldn’t have been just as effective without the ovine placenta. And, without the ovine placenta, many of the ethical concerns that some customers may have are obviated.

I recommend MZ Skin Rest & Revive Restorative Placenta & Stem Cell Night Serum to those who wants a fast-working, lightweight serum that they can use with a heavier nighttime moisturizer without making your skin feel congested and weighed down. The idea of lathering a cream made in part of sheep’s afterbirth on your face is not appealing to most people but I really liked this night serum and ick factor aside, if you are interested in skincare products that use innovative ingredients h and provide real results, then you should consider giving MZ Skin Rest & Revive a try!

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Hi! I'm Shelli, a travel enthusiast, avid reader and prolific reviewer of everything from books to skincare.  Read more...


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