DDF - Doctor's Dermatologic Formula

Revolve 400X

for $ 98.00
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Brand Overview

Revolve 400X is a kit that includes a hand-held, battery-powered device to which you can attach your choice of two different brush heads: a nylon-bristle brush to cleanse skin in the same manner as the popular Clarisonic device, or a firm, synthetic sponge (named the Soft Foam Exfoliator) meant to be used with the tube of Polishing Crystals that also are included in the kit.

You probably won’t be shocked to learn that the claim for this combination of machine and scrub is that it’s supposed to be equivalent to a professional microdermabrasion treatment, able to “polish away surface imperfections.” Yet not even professional microdermabrasion (a procedure that was never as effective as claimed) can do that.

It’s nice to think we can just “polish” away what we don’t like about our skin, but the vast majority of skin issues cannot be eliminated this way. By the way, the term “polish” is just another way to describe a scrub—it just sounds more elegant.

When it comes to acne, you can’t scrub it away, and, in fact, scrubbing can make matters worse, and all the scrubbing and “polishing” in the world isn’t going to get rid of wrinkles or eliminate discolorations. Exfoliating skin absolutely has benefit, but a scrub isn’t the best way to achieve those results.

What you end up getting with the Revolve 400X is just another way to clean your skin. The cleansing brush attachment is a decent way to enhance your cleansing routine if you wear a lot of makeup or just prefer an extra clean feeling. The good news is that even with the powered device on high speed, the rotating brush feels soft and glides easily over your skin as you cleanse. You can use any water-soluble cleanser with this attachment, although, of course, DDF recommends using theirs.

The Polishing Crystals are a problem, especially when used with the Soft Foam Exfoliator attachment. This pairing results in a harsh treatment that is too abrasive for all skin types, even if you’re being gentle. We can easily imagine women getting carried away with this polishing step, leading to dry, red, and irritated skin from an impaired barrier. Used by itself, the Polishing Crystals are still abrasive and the baking soda–based formula is needlessly alkaline, so it can cause further dryness and irritation.

In the end, this is a very expensive way to potentially hurt your skin rather than make imperfections a thing of the past. The cleansing brush attachment is an OK option, but the scrub and Soft Foam Exfoliator attachment make this kit impossible to recommend.

Jar Packaging: No
Tested on animals: Yes

A breakthrough device that delivers microdermabrasion results that are as effective as a professional treatment. Unlike most at-home devices that simply vibrate or oscillate, DDF Revolve 400X transmits more energy to the skin with up to 400 rotations per minute. The gentle, yet highly effective self-warming DDF Polishing Crystals and the soft Foam Exfoliator polish away surface imperfections to reveal radiant, healthy-looking skin. The kit also includes a brush head to use with the device for daily deep cleansing and to help maintain results between treatments.

PEG-8, Sodium Bicarbonate, Silica Silylate, Polysorbate 20, Niacinamide, Tocopheryl Acetate, Ascorbic Acid

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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