Dr. Jart Peptidin Radiance Serum with Energy Peptides
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Dr. Jart

Peptidin Radiance Serum with Energy Peptides

1.35 fl. oz. for $ 48.00
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Dr. Jart’s Peptidin Radiance Serum with Energy Peptides has the potential to help skin, but a couple of ingredients in the mix can undo some of those positive effects.

Like its sister product, Peptidin Firming Serum with Energy Peptides, this comes in a translucent bottle with a dropper dispenser, only this one is pink instead of blue. Because of its translucence, it’s best to store this out of daylight so its light-sensitive ingredients won’t break down.

Dr. Jart calls this serum “water-light” and they’re right – it’s very fluid, absorbing in an instant. Skin looks immediately smoother, and this works well both over and under other products as well.

This has a lot in common with the other Peptidin serum, as both contain a high amount of brightening niacinamide, soothing ingredients including oat bran extract, as well as antioxidant plant extracts. Like that product, this also contains numerous amino acids and 8 peptides to strengthen skin and send signals to it to act younger.

But as with that serum, this also contains fragrant bergamot and lavender oils (and you can smell them in the formula), both of which put skin at risk for irritation (see More Info below for the details).

Making matters worse, this one also includes skin-drying alcohol, which increases that risk of irritation even more (More Info has the scoop on that as well). Because of the alcohol content, if you’re set on trying one of the Peptidin serums, the Firming version is the better (but still not optimal) choice.

While there’s plenty to like about this serum, it just doesn’t stack up to the ones you’ll find on our list of best serums.

Pros:
  • Water-light texture absorbs quickly.
  • Contains brightening niacinamide, as well as moisturizing and antioxidant ingredients.
  • Eight peptides plus amino acids to restore and rejuvenate skin.
Cons:
  • Needs to be stored out of daylight to protect its beneficial ingredients.
  • Includes a high amount of skin-drying alcohol.
  • Contains fragrant bergamot and lavender oils, which put skin at risk for irritation.

Why Fragrance Is a Problem for Skin: Daily use of products that contain a high amount of fragrance, whether the fragrant ingredients are synthetic or natural, causes a chronic sensitizing reaction on skin.

This reaction in turn leads to all kinds of problems, including disrupting skin’s barrier, worsening dryness, increasing or triggering redness, depleting vital substances in skin’s surface, and generally preventing skin from looking healthy, smooth, and hydrated. Fragrance free is always the best way to go for all skin types.

A surprising fact: Even though you can’t always see or feel the negative effects of fragrant ingredients on skin, the damage will still be taking place, even if it’s not evident on the surface. Research has demonstrated that you don’t need to see or feel the effects of irritation for your skin to be suffering. Much like the effects from cumulative sun damage, the negative impact and the visible damage from fragrance may not become apparent for a long time.

References for this information:
Biochimica and Biophysica Acta, May 2012, pages 1410–1419
Aging, March 2012, pages 166–175
Chemical Immunology and Allergy, March 2012, pages 77–80
Experimental Dermatology, October 2009, pages 821–832
Skin Pharmacology and Physiology, 2008, pages 191–202
International Journal of Toxicology, Volume 27, 2008, Supplement, pages 1–43
Food and Chemical Toxicology, February 2008, pages 446–475
American Journal of Clinical Dermatology, 2003, pages 789–798

 

Alcohol-Based Skincare Products: Research makes it clear that alcohol, as a main ingredient in any skincare product, especially one you use frequently and repeatedly, is a problem.

When we express concern about the presence of alcohol in skincare or makeup products, we’re referring to denatured ethanol, which most often is listed as SD alcohol, alcohol denat., denatured alcohol, or (less often) isopropyl alcohol.

When you see these types of alcohol listed among the first six ingredients on an ingredient label, without question the product will irritate and cause other problems for skin. There’s no way around it—these volatile alcohols are simply bad for all skin types.

The reason they’re included in products is because they provide a quick-drying finish, immediately degrease skin, and feel weightless, so it’s easy to see their appeal, especially for those with oily skin. If only those short-term benefits didn’t lead to negative long-term outcomes!

Using products that contain these alcohols will cause dryness, erosion of skin’s protective barrier, and a strain on how skin replenishes, renews, and rejuvenates itself. Alcohol just weakens everything about skin.

The irony of using alcohol-based products to control oily skin is that the damage from the alcohol can actually lead to an increase in breakouts and enlarged pores. As we said, the alcohol does have an immediate de-greasing effect on skin, but it causes irritation, which eventually will counteract the de-greasing effect and make your oily skin look even more shiny.

There are people who challenge us on the information we’ve presented about alcohol’s effects. They often base their argument on a study in the British Journal of Dermatology (July 2007, pages 74–81) that concluded “alcohol-based hand rubs cause less irritation than hand washing….” But, the only thing this study showed was that alcohol was not as irritating as an even more irritating hand wash, which contained sodium lauryl sulfate. So, the study is actually just telling you that one irritant, sodium lauryl sulfate, is worse than another irritant, alcohol.

Not all alcohols are bad. For example, there are fatty alcohols, which are absolutely non-irritating and can be beneficial for skin. Examples that you’ll see on ingredient labels include cetyl alcoholstearyl alcohol, and cetearyl alcohol, all of which are good ingredients for skin. It’s important to differentiate between these skin-friendly alcohols and the problematic alcohols.

References for this information:
Chemical Immunology and Allergy, March 2012, pages 77–80
Aging, March 2012, pages 166–175
Journal of Occupational Medicine and Toxicology, November 2008, pages 1–16
Dermato-Endocrinology, January 2011, pages 41–49
Experimental Dermatology, June 2008, pages 542–551
Clinical Dermatology, September-October 2004, pages 360–366
Alcohol Journal, April 2002, pages 179–190

Jar Packaging: No
Tested on animals: Yes

The light, watery serum is power-packed with 8-Peptide Complex and Peach Flower Extract for an immediate pop of radiance. It’s a skin treat for a dull, low-energy, tired complexion. Eight powerful peptides replenish and recharge tired skin instantly and over time – just a few drops provide a healthy re-energized glow.

Water, Pentylene Glycol, Glycerin, Methyl Gluceth-20, Alcohol, Glyceryl Polymethacrylate, Niacinamide, Polyglycerin-3, Methylpropanediol, Prunus Persica (Peach) Flower Extract, Prunus Persica (Peach) Leaf Extract, Algae Extract, Eclipta Prostrata Leaf Extract, Octyldodeceth-16, Polyglyceryl-10 Laurate, Beta-Glucan, Camellia Japonica Flower Extract, Avena Sativa (Oat) Kernel Extract, Cynara Scolymus (Artichoke) Leaf Extract, Pteris Multifida Extract, Rhododendron Ferrugineum Extract, Leucojum Aestivum Bulb Extract, Ethylhexylglycerin, Adenosine, Fructooligosaccharides, Hydrogenated Lecithin, Citrus Aurantium Bergamia (Bergamot) Fruit Oil, Polyquaternium-51, Sodium Hyaluronate, Xanthan Gum, Acrylates /C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Tromethamine, Butylene Glycol, Propanediol, 1,2-Hexanediol, Hydrolyzed Hyaluronic Acid, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Oil, Cholesterol, Cyanocobalamin, Caprylyl Glycol, Glycine, Acetyl Glutamine, Dipalmitoyl Hydroxyproline, Sodium Cocoyl Alaninate, Serine, Glutamic Acid, Aspartic Acid, Leucine, Alanine, Lysine, Arginine, Tyrosine, Phenylalanine, Proline, Threonine, Valine, Isoleucine, Histidine, Cysteine, Methionine, Acetyl Hexapeptide-8, Copper Tripeptide-1, Hexapeptide-9, Nonapeptide-1, Palmitoyl Pentapeptide-4, Palmitoyl Tetrapeptide-7, Palmitoyl Tripeptide-1, Tripeptide-1.

Dr. Jart+ At-a-Glance

Strengths: The BB creams (Beauty Balms) provide broad-spectrum sun protection and are fragrance-free.

Weaknesses: Expensive; BB creams are little more than tinted moisturizers with sunscreen; the masks are gimmicky and minimally helpful for skin.

Dr. Jart+ is a line of skin-care products based in Korea. Its most popular products are the Beauty Balms, known in the United States as BB creams. Before we discuss this brand's contribution to the BB cream craze, we want to state that at this time we are reviewing only the Dr. Jart+ products that are available at U.S. Sephora stores. If you visit the Korean Dr. Jart+ Web site, you'll see several other skin-care products are offered. We might review those in the future, but it's clear that the questions we've received about this brand have to do with the BB creams.

No information is available about an actual Dr. Jart, and our Korean friends tell us there is no actual Dr. Jart, so it is a made up name to help give the line some credibility. According to the company's English Web site, the brand is supposed to be the brainchild of multiple dermatologists as well as 21 "medical specialists." That's a lot of cooks for one product line, but as we've reported before, and as many of you know from experience, there are plenty of doctors' products that are terribly formulated and that come in bad packaging. All that really counts is whether or not you should give this line a closer look, despite the marketing claims

It didn't take much review to discover that there is nothing particularly medical or dermatologist-oriented about these products. The people behind Dr. Jart+ don't have access to any special ingredients other cosmetic companies can't use, and their products contain no unique ingredients that have any research showing that they improve skin. U.S. Sephora stores sell two BB cream options from Dr. Jart+; one of them is great and the other is lacking in too many areas to make it worth purchasing. But the question remains, should you purchase a BB cream at all? They are not must-have products, and most are far from being the "new idea in skin care" they're made out to be. Essentially, whether they're called BB creams, Blemish Balms, or Beauty Balms, all of these products are little more than tinted moisturizers with sunscreen. Some include a helpful amount of beneficial ingredients like antioxidants or skin-lightening agents (vitamin C, arbutin) to improve brown spots. Such discolorations are considered a blemish in Asian cultures, but that's the only distinguishing feature. Compared with standard tinted moisturizers, BB creams typically provide slightly to moderately more coverage. In that sense, they fall between tinted moisturizers and foundations, but many BB creams go on sheer also; so, ultimately, it comes down to the individual products. If you're happily using a tinted moisturizer with sunscreen, there's no reason to forgo it in favor of a BB cream, but there's no harm in testing them out to see if you prefer their effect. Most won't notice much difference between them and a tinted moisturizer.

For more information about Dr. Jart+, visit http://www.drjart.co.kr/global/eng/.

Note: The company does not publish a phone number on its Web site, which doesn't bode well for building consumer trust or obtaining any help from customer service, so buyer beware.

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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