The name for this product is bound to appeal to woman battling large pores and wrinkles. Unfortunately, neither the mattifying or anti-wrinkle ability of this lightweight moisturizer are that impressive. Dr. Brandt included emollient thickening agents as the backbone of this formula, and those aren’t the type of ingredients someone with large pore or oily skin needs.
This contains a silicone polymer with a powdery finish, but in an odd twist, Dr. Brandt added a blend of emollients that ultimately prevent this mattifier from working as well as it could. The anti-aging claim comes from an ingredient derived from a certain species of apple. The apple fruit extract is said to extend the lifespan of stem cells in skin but there is no substantiated research supporting topical application of this ingredient. Retinol is on hand too, but in an amount that’s too low for skin to gain benefit.
While those facts make this an average product, what tipped the Anti-Aging Mattifying Lotion into the POOR rating is the lavender oil it contains. For some reason, Brandt is fond of using this ingredient to fragrance his products. However, we know from research that it damages skin cells and increases oxidative damage, even in small amounts (Sources: Contact Dermatitis, September 2008, pages 143–150; and Cell Proliferation, June 2004, pages 221–229). The type of irritation lavender oil causes isn’t what skin of any age needs!
If you’re struggling with large pores and wrinkles, consider adding a BHA (salicylic acid) product to your routine along with a wrinkle filler with a soft matte finish. Check out the well formulated BHA options in the Best BHA Exfoliants section of Beautypedia. For recommended wrinkle fillers (which can temporarily camouflage large pores) check out the Best Specialty Products section.
Anti-Aging mattifying lotion formulated with apple stem cells to help delay the natural signs of aging by maintaining the longevity and activity of stem cells in the skin. Retinol stimulates new cell turnover and improves the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. This oil-free hydrating lotion also controls excess oil and mattifies shine.
Water, C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate, Dimethicone/Vinyl Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Capric/Caprylic Triglyceride, Hydrogenated Polyisobutene, Glycerin, Stearyl Alcohol, Ceteareth-20, Dimethicone, Cyclopentasiloxane, Dimethiconol, Malus Domestica Fruit Cell Culture Extract, Phenoxyethanol, Tocopheryl Acetate, Xylitylglucoside, Stearic Acid, Anhydroxylitol, Silica, Epilobium Fleisheri Extract, Allantoin, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Oil, Xylitol, Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Xanthan Gum, Ethylhexylglycerin, Phytosphingosine, Sodium Hydroxide, Retinol, Lecithin, Melaleuca Alternifolia (Tea Tree) Leaf Oil, Sodium Ascorbate, Potassium Sorbate
Dr. Brandt At-A-Glance
Strengths: Provides complete ingredient lists on the company website; a good daytime moisturizer with sunscreen.
Weaknesses: Expensive; overwhelming number of products that contain irritating ingredients with no established benefit for skin; no products to comprehensively address acne or oily skin; every Pores No More product is a disappointment; jar packaging; several products make claims on par with what cosmetic procedures (not skin care) can do.
The late Dr. Fredric Brandt (he passed away in April, 2015 at the age of 65) was a Miami- and New York City–based dermatologist whose claim to fame rested on two main points. The first (and it is a very important credibility factor for consumers) included the many celebrity clients worked with, while the second was his assertion that he performed more Botox and collagen injections than any other dermatologist in the world. According to Allergan, the company that makes Botox, they no longer rank the physicians who purchase Botox from them; however, they did confirm that Dr. Brandt was definitely one of their biggest buyers. Yet regardless of how much Botox or collagen Dr. Brandt or any other physician uses, what in the world does that have to do with cosmetic formulations? If anything, you have to wonder why Brandt was using so much Botox and collagen if his products truly fight wrinkles, sagging, and on and on.
Beyond Brandt's cosmetic enhancement procedures, he is the author of Age-less: The Definitive Guide to Botox, Collagen, Lasers, Peels, and Other Solutions for Flawless Skin. His book and skin-care line are competing against the vastly more popular books and product line from fellow dermatologist Dr. N.V. Perricone. Although Perricone's skin-care line has some drawbacks, including irritating ingredients and the lack of supporting research for his neuropeptide products, the majority of his products, though overpriced, have more pros than cons. Sadly, the same cannot be said for Dr. Brandt, whose namesake skin-care line is on the disappointing side, especially given the product's price points.
Brandt's products are sold with the tag line that they are "prescription strength, prescription-free," and "are formulated under dermatologic control for maximum safety and efficiency and offer the highest performance without a prescription." Aside from how unbelievable that assertion is, what is not mentioned is the fact that none of the ingredients in Brandt's products are comparable to prescription formulations. And what is "dermatologic control" anyway, given that there are no such standards anywhere in the world? Moreover, what do dermatologists know about the manufacturing of pharmaceuticals, much less cosmetics? The two arenas of expertise are completely unrelated.
Dr. Brandt positioned his products as clinically superior to what you would find in other cosmetics lines, an unproven assertion to say the least. Many of his products tout benefits that don't just stretch the truth, but snap it in two—and these fallacies were more disconcerting coming from an esteemed dermatologist. When products contain the problematic ingredients that are so pervasive in Brandt's line, such as irritating plant extracts, drying detergent cleansing agents, and far too many products with skin cell-damaging lavender oil, it becomes nothing more than a line that should be approached with extreme caution.
The line does have a few bright spots: many of Brandt's products do contain significant amounts of antioxidants, though that certainly doesn't make his line unique because many other product lines do that, too. (Here it's fair to say that while no specific amounts have been established for any antioxidant that will ensure their effectiveness, the general consensus among researchers is that more antioxidants are better than less, and less is still better than none at all.) Unless you were a devoted patient of Dr. Brandt and would be racked with guilt for not purchasing his products while visiting for an appointment, there is no reason to seek out this disappointing line.
For more information about Dr. Brandt's products, call (800) 234-1066 or visit www.drbrandtskincare.com.
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