DDF - Doctor's Dermatologic Formula

Amplifying Elixir

1.70 fl. oz. for $ 70.00
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Brand Overview

Amplifying Elixir is said to boost the results of your skin-care routine by 47%, but that figure is a moving target. What does it really mean, in terms of your skin-care routine? Would someone using bad products with irritating ingredients get a greater increase and someone using brilliantly-formulated products see less improvement? Quite possibly, which is why the percentage mentioned is meaningless, especially because we don’t know exactly how DDF came to this result.

When it comes down to it, this is yet another serum to consider. It contains some good ingredients, but none that make it capable of performing better than any other well formulated serum. And for what this costs, you should think twice before adding it to your routine, especially if the routine you’re using already includes a great serum and/or moisturizer.

The fragrance-free formula contains cell-communicating ingredient niacinamide as a main ingredient, just as many of the serums from Olay do (Olay and DDF are both owned by Procter & Gamble, and their formulas are more similar than most consumers realize). It also contains some novel and potentially helpful antioxidants and immune-modulating plant extracts, all of which may help keep skin healthier and improve its barrier function. Although that’s wonderful, this serum is hardly the only product to contain these types of ingredients—and you certainly don’t have to spend in this range to get their results.

Amplifying Serum is best for normal to oily skin, but can be used by all skin types. Its water and glycol base lend somewhat of a tacky finish, so this doesn’t feel as silky as silicone-based serums but it still works well under moisturizer.

Jar Packaging: No
Tested on animals: Yes

An antiaging treatment formulated to improve hydration and boost the effectiveness of other skincare products. Strengthens skin's moisture barrier by up to 50-percent, transforming skin's appearance for lasting change. It also enhances the effectiveness of routines from the three top professional skincare brands.

Water, Butylene, Glycol, Niacinamide, Glycerin, Dimethicone, Panthenol, Polymethylsisequioxane, Ficus Indica Flower/Leaf/Stem/Juice, Trifolium Pratense (Clover) Flower/Leaf/Stem Juice, Glycine, Glutamic Acid, Nelumbo Nucifera Flower/Leaf/Stem Juice, Serine, Alanine, Arginine, Lysine, Threonine, Proline, Sorbitol, Phenoxyethanol, Tocopheryl Acetate, Dimethiconol, Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Polysorbate 10, Sodium Metabisulfite, Allantoin, Methylparaben, Betaine, Glyceryl Acrylate/Acrylic Acid Copolymer, Propylene Glycol, Sodium Hyaluronate, PVM/MA Copolymer, Disodium EDTA, Propylparaben, Sodium Hydroxide, Ethylparaben, Sodium PCA, Xanthan Gum.

DDF At-A-Glance

Strengths: Several good water-soluble cleansers; excellent Photo-Age sunscreens and every DDF sunscreen includes sufficient UVA-protecting ingredients; some truly state-of-the-art moisturizers and serums; a few good AHA and skin-brightening options; a good benzoyl peroxide topical disinfectant.

Weaknesses: Expensive; products designed for sensitive skin tend to contain one or more known problematic ingredients; several irritating products based on alcohol, menthol, or problematic plant extracts; more than a handful of average moisturizers, many in jar packaging.

This skin-care company's Web site has it right with the statement that "before the beauty world discovered dermatologic skincare brands, there was DDF." Launched in 1991, well before it became common practice for "known" dermatologists to create their own skin-care lines, pioneering dermatologist Dr. Howard Sobel began and is still behind this brand. This is a long-standing line that has the backing of a dermatologist (and later that of nutritional consultant Elaine Linker), so you would expect DDF to be just what the doctor ordered. In some respects, it is. However, more often than not, products from dermatologists are just as prone to outlandish claims, exorbitant prices, and use of unproven ingredients as products from any other cosmetics line. A founder's medical background isn't a guarantee that every product he or she creates will do exactly what it claims or even be sensibly formulated. In that sense, DDF falters more than it succeeds. Sobel's credibility for creating treatment-based skin-care products is diminished when inappropriate ingredients (alcohol, menthol, and others) are included in products positioned as prestige products with a medicinal slant. Still, there are some very impressive options available (particularly in the moisturizer and serum categories) that, price notwithstanding, are worthy of consideration.

It will be curious to see what the future holds for this line, as its ownership has recently changed hands. Consumer product giant Procter & Gamble bought DDF in 2007 to expand the line's global reach, but has since sold it to UK-based Designer Parfums. Designer Parfums says it intends to bring Dr. Sobel on board to play a larger role in the company's marketing and development of both current and future products. Sobel himself says he looks forward to "Playing an active role in rebuilding this brand." (Source: www.wwd.com) We'll have to see exactly what that means as DDF moves ahead!

For more information about DDF, call1-800-818-9770or visit www.ddfskincare.com/.

About the Experts

The Beautypedia team consists of skin care and makeup experts personally trained by the original Cosmetics Cop and best-selling beauty author, Paula Begoun. We’re fascinated by skin care and makeup products and thrilled when they meet or exceed our expectations, but we’re also disappointed when they fail to perform as claimed, are wildly overpriced, or contain ingredients scientific research has proven can hurt skin.

Our mission has always been to help you find the best products for your skin, no matter your budget or preferences. Beautypedia’s thorough and insightful reviews cut through the hype and provide reliable recommendations for all ages, skin types, and skin tones.

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