Skinn by Dimitri James

Crease Release Triple Action Day CreamAM

1.30 fl. oz. for $ 27.50
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Brand Overview

This moisturizer is said to contain sunscreen, but it doesn’t, at least not in a manner you can rely on for daytime protection. The product doesn’t have an SPF rating and it doesn’t list active ingredients (patently against FDA regulations). It contains a tiny amount of the broad-spectrum sunscreen agents titanium dioxide and zinc oxide, but without the prerequisites mentioned above, it leaves you completely in the dark about how much sun protection you’re getting. It is frightening to think that women are being led to believe this will protect their skin from sun damage, when there is no evidence that it will.

Not surprisingly, this moisturizer contains gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), which shows up in many products claiming to relax muscles and work like Botox injections. In no way, shape, or form does GABA or any ingredient in skin-care products work like Botox (or dermal fillers, or lasers, or on and on). There are no skin-care ingredients, including GABA, that have been proven in any published study to relax muscles in the least or to reduce the appearance of wrinkles or expression lines when applied topically.

Cosmetics companies are hoping that consumers will associate the topical application of products containing GABA with its internal function of controlling the manner in which nerve impulses fire. However, even if GABA could work in this manner it would be cause for alarm. If GABA worked as stated and you applied it to your entire face, what’s to stop it from affecting the muscles around your mouth, jaw, or neck? If it really relaxed muscles on application, consumers would see more skin sagging, the same way skin sags when Botox is injected in the wrong areas. And what about the fingers you’re applying it with, would they relax and not be able to grasp a glass?

The whole nonsense of using GABA in cosmetic products is refuted by the fact that GABA does not work alone to exert its effect internally on nerves. It requires many other substances (substances that are not present in the skin-care products containing GABA or in the skin itself) for it to prevent nerves from being triggered and causing muscles to relax (Sources: www.emedicine.com; www.naturaldatabase.com).

Although this creamy moisturizer contains some beneficial ingredients for all skin types, it contains too many fragrant plants, including the main ingredient, lavender. The lavender plant contains components that cause skin cell death and increase oxidative damage when applied to skin (Sources: Contact Dermatitis, September 2008, pages 143–150 and January 2008, pages 9–14; and Cell Proliferation, June 2004, pages 221–229).

Added to all this nonsense is that this product’s jar packaging won’t keep the beneficial air-sensitive ingredients it contains stable after you open it. Plus it’s completely unsanitary to be sticking your fingers repeatedly into your moisturizer, transferring bacteria into the product, which leads to further breakdown of the ingredients.

Jar Packaging: Yes
Tested on animals: No

This rapidly absorbing advanced formulation will reduce the appearance of lines caused by dermal creasing, redefine facial contours, firm and lift the skin for an overall revitalized, younger look. Contains sunscreen.

Lavandula Angustifolia, Linoleic Acid, Soybean Sterol, Phospholipids, Cyclopentasiloxane, Cetearyl Methicone, Dimethicone, Isopentyldiol, Santalum Album (Sandalwood) Extract, Phellodendron Amurense Bark Extract, Hordeum Distichon (Barley) Extract, Polyglyceryl-2 Stearate, Glucosamine HCI, Algae Extract, Yeast Extract, Tribehenin, Ceramide 2, Brassica Campestris (Rapeseed) Seed Oil, Palmitoyl Oligopeptide, Palmitoyl Tetrapeptide-3, Phaseolus Lunatus (Green Bean) Seed Extract, Gamma-Aminobutyric Acid (Gaba), Squalane, Manganese Gluconate, Phytosteryl Isostearate, Aloe Vera Extract, Stearyl Phosphate, Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate, Perfluorodecalin, Sodium PCA, Xanthan Gum, Panthenyl Triacetate, Tourmaline, Tocopheryl Linoleate, Titanium Dioxide, Zinc Oxide, Phenoxyethanol, Chlorphenesin

Skinn by Dimitri James At-A-Glance

Strengths: The toner; a few good moisturizers, including some designed for the eye area (even though skin around the eyes doesn't require a separate product) and for oily skin; the lip scrub; the Nutri-Lift products (even though they don't lift skin in the least); mostly good, and some intriguing, makeup palettes; some great mascaras; the automatic eyeliner pencil.

Weaknesses: No sunscreens (How can you take any cosmetic line's anti-aging claims seriously when they completely overlook the importance of sun protection?); jar packaging for antioxidant-rich products; no products to manage acne or skin.

Dimitri James is a makeup artist, hair stylist, and fashion consultant who spent two decades working for some of the biggest cosmetics companies in the world. After stints with brands such as Estee Lauder and Revlon, he decided, as so many others have before him, to launch his own products. Apparently, he was disenchanted with the business model most large cosmetics companies follow. According to James, the formula was always the same: "make a cheap product, put it in a fancy jar with a nice box and charge as much as possible." His cynical summation is definitely appreciated by those of us on the Cosmetics Cop team. Ironically, however, for the most part, Skinn's business model mimics the business model of many large and small cosmetics companies; that is, his products come in fancy jars, make inane unsupported claims, and are absurdly overpriced. Adding to that insanity, many of his products are poorly formulated.

Aside from the glaring same old, same old mix of disenchantment, those hoping for some good news about Skinn products will be pleased to know that this line does have some products worth considering. That doesn't mean the claims are accurate or that they outperform excellent products from many other lines. Overlooking the omission of reliable sunscreen from this line, the handful of good formulas are capable of getting as close as possible to keeping skin looking youthful and healthy. They won't replace cosmetic corrective procedures, but no skin-care routine will do that. Please refer to the list of strengths for products worth your attention; any products not on that list you can skip, unless you want to set yourself up for disappointment, and you will be disappointed if you expect the farfetched claims to come true.

Skinn's promises for their makeupthat they will make you a picture of airbrushed perfectionare beyond reality. Today's best makeup products can go a long way toward making a beautiful finish to your appearance and they're easier to apply than ever before. Just keep in mind that technique still plays a major role, so don't expect any makeup product to be the final answer. Skinn's color line has just as many misses as hits, so shop carefully. In this case, the foundations and concealer are not worth considering over countless others, but there are some great powder blushes and eyeshadows, a fantastic eye pencil, and mascaras that perform beautifully; but again, these are easily replaced with less expensive options. Those intrigued by makeup palettes may find some good options here, too.

All told, the Skinn line has a handful of impressive products, but it's not remotely "the revolution in cosmetics" Dimitri James makes it out to be. For more information about Skinn by Dimitri James, call (866) 346-4874 or visit www.skinn.com.

Note: This line is sold primarily on home shopping channels.

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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