Collagen Lift has a brief yet descriptive name, but it makes up for it with its extensive claims. To be brief, this cannot lift skin like any procedure performed in a doctor's office. Supposedly inspired by in-office tightening treatments like Fraxel, this moisturizer, after all is said and done, is just another moisturizer.
Collagen Lift contains a series of good anti-aging ingredients, just like many other similar products from other lines, but it cannot and does not achieve the results possible from in-office procedures that use lasers or radio frequency (as in Thermage) to tighten sagging skin. See More Info for details on skin care to lift sagging skin.
Although we rarely report on our personal experience with the skin-care products we review, we did note that this moisturizer caused a stinging sensation that becomes more noticeable the longer it's left on the skin, which may be due to the fragrance ingredients and the fragrant plant extracts. Fragrance isn't skin care, which we discuss in More Info.
Otherwise, this moisturizer for normal to dry skin contains an interesting mix of anti-aging ingredients, including peptides, retinol, a couple of intriguing plant-based ingredients, and skin-repairing substances such as phospholipids. Those are great, but you can find such ingredients in less expensive products that don't make such farfetched claims and that omit the fragrant irritants.
Last, this contains a plant extract (Spilanthes acmella flower) that research has shown enhances the penetration of other ingredients into the skin. It's possible that the stinging reaction we felt was due to this factor, which potentially would make the fragrant ingredients more of a problem (Sources: Journal of Ethnopharmacology, April 2013, ePublication, and January 2010, pages 77–84). Penetration enhancers are not unique to this product, and it is curious that Derm Exclusive included it only in this product, and not in any of its other offerings.
Note: Collagen Lift is part of every kit Derm Exclusive sells and may also be ordered on its own. The club/auto-shipment price for this product if ordered on its own is $51.
Lifting Sagging Skin: Many skin-care products claim they can firm and lift skin, but none of them work, at least not to the extent claimed. A face-lift-in-a-bottle isn't possible, but with the right mix of products, you will see firmer skin that has a more lifted appearance—and that's exciting! To gain these youthful benefits, you must protect your skin from any and all sun damage every day, use an AHA (glycolic acid or lactic acid) or BHA (salicylic acid) exfoliant, and use products that have a wide range of antioxidants and skin-repairing ingredients. Remember, no single product can do it all; it's the combination of products that has extensive research showing it can significantly improve many of the signs of aging, such as firming skin, reducing wrinkles and brown spots, and eliminating dullness. You'll find them on our list of Best Anti-Aging/Anti-Wrinkle Products.
Products with a High Amount of Fragrance: Daily use of products that contain a high amount of fragrance, whether the fragrant ingredients are synthetic or natural, causes chronic irritation that can damage healthy collagen production, lead to or worsen dryness, and impair your skin's ability to heal. Fragrance-free is the best way to go for all skin types. If fragrance in your skin-care products is important to you, it should be a very low amount to minimize the risk to your skin (Sources: Inflammation Research, December 2008, pages 558–563; Skin Pharmacology and Physiology, June 2008, pages 124–135, and November-December 2000, pages 358–371; Journal of Investigative Dermatology, April 2008, pages 15–19; Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology, March 2008, pages 78–82; Mechanisms of Ageing and Development, January 2007, pages 92–105; and British Journal of Dermatology, December 2005, pages S13–S22).
Boost collagen production for firm, lifted skin and reduce the appearance of wrinkles with astonishingly powerful results.
Water, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Propylheptyl Caprylate, Glycerin, PEG-100 Stearate, Glyceryl Stearate, Dimethicone, Cetearyl Alcohol, Cetyl Alcohol, Panthenol, Butylene Glycol, Hexapeptide-9, Avena Sativa (Oat) Kernel Extract, Hydrolyzed Opuntia Ficus Indica Flower Extract, Spilanthes Acmella Flower Extract, Tocopheryl Acetate, Xylitylglucoside, Anhdroxylitol, Xylitol, Teprenone, Hydrogenated Vegetable Oil, Crithmum Maritimum Extract, Saccharomyces Ferment Lysate Filtrate, Retinyl Palmitate, Zea Mays (Corn) Starch, Hydrolyzed Corn Starch, Hydrolyzed Corn Starch Octenylsuccinate, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter), Diacetyl Boldine, Lactic Acid, Palmitoyl Tripeptide-5, Retinol, Hydrolyzed Sericin, Phospholipids, Allyl Methacrylates Crosspolymer, Lecithin, Ethoxydiglycol, Polysorbate 20, Cetearyl Glucoside, Cocamidopropyl Dimethylamine, Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Aminomethyl Propanol, Geraniol, Limonene, Linalool, Phenoxyethanol, Caprylyl Glycol, Chlorphenesin, Fragrance.
Strengths: Complete ingredient lists available on the company’s website; AHA exfoliants formulated in the correct pH range for efficacy; products packaged to keep the beneficial ingredients protected from degrading air and light; the sunscreen provides broad-spectrum protection; gentle cleanser.
Weaknesses: Expensive; confusing pricing structure; lip-plumping balm with sunscreen does not provide sufficient UVA protection and contains potent lip irritants; none of the products are equivalent to in-office cosmetic corrective or surgical procedures—the claims are over the top and misleading.
Derm Exclusive is a small collection of anti-aging products from Beverly Hills plastic surgeon Dr. Andrew Ordon. You may have seen him on the television show The Doctors, where he's credited as their plastic surgery expert and co-host.
Derm Exclusive products are sold online or by phone. On their website, the products are arranged in kits ("Collections") ranging in cost from $39.95 for the 4 product Introductory Collection to $164.55 for the 7-piece Ultimate Collection. Once you've purchase a set, you then have the option to reorder products individually—but first you must decide if you want to become a Derm Exclusive club member (which means you sign up for automatic shipments and enjoy a discount on reordering individual products) or if you prefer to pay the "regular" price and not sign up for the auto-replenishment club.
The kit and individual product pricing structure is among the most confusing we've ever come across for a mail-order line. Despite the headache of trying to figure it all out, we must acknowledge how helpful the customer service representatives at Derm Exclusive were. This is not a line with straightforward pricing, no matter which option you choose, and they were exceedingly patient.
The Ultimate Collection includes a well-formulated sunscreen, but only 1 ounce of it. Research shows conclusively that all sunscreens must be applied liberally to face, neck, and chest to achieve the SPF on the label. If you use this sunscreen as you should—liberally—then it will be used up in less than one month, despite their claim that all of the products in the collection will last for 90 days. To us, claiming 1 ounce of sunscreen will last 90 days is unconscionable. Generally, the size of each product from Derm Exclusive is on the small side, but, as mentioned, you can reorder some of the products individually if you call the company.
The line is represented with pictures of a stunning, though clearly "Photoshopped," picture of actress Minnie Driver's smooth and flawless skin. While we admire Ms. Driver's work (she is an amazingly talented woman), her endorsement of this product line is far less than what we expected of her.
Despite his profession, Dr. Ordon feels, as he should, that for some people, plastic surgery isn't the answer. As the rest of his story goes, he began looking for skin-care alternatives to surgery. In time, he discovered and decided to align himself with the Derm Exclusive brand and their "instant results" technology. This technology is built around four peptides meant to work their magic without needles, scalpels, lasers, or downtime. That sounds great, but here's the catch: There's no substantiated research, or any research of any kind that you can get from the company, proving that any peptide or peptide blend works in any manner akin to cosmetic corrective procedures that a doctor can perform. From almost any perspective, it's sheer nonsense, but obviously not to Dr. Ordon.
Dr. Ordon steps beyond medical reality with his claim that "Now you can see the same instant age-reversing results as the patients who come into my Beverly Hills office, without surgery or invasive techniques." That's the tempting hook that has so many curious about these products, but it's about as disingenuous as it gets in the world of doctor-fronted skin care.
Believe us when we say that plastic surgeons and dermatologists who perform cosmetic corrective procedures are not going out of business because of products from Derm Exclusive! Even Dr. Ordon hasn't closed his practice.
Just to clarify—skin care is important to keep your skin looking its healthy, youthful best, but any plastic surgeon or dermatologist who's being honest about the abundant research on skin-care and medical procedures would have to admit that the best approach to younger, smoother, firmer skin is a balance of skin care with cosmetic corrective procedures and, possibly, cosmetic surgery. Skin care alone does not cut it if you want to address signs of aging such as sagging, volume loss, and deep wrinkles.
In short, Derm Exclusive isn't the non-surgical instant miracle it's made out to be. Dr. Ordon's Derm Exclusive line ends up being more hype (and we mean a load of hype) than substance, and a far cry from what's possible with in-office cosmetic corrective or surgical procedures.
For more information about Derm Exclusive, call 866-482-6401 or visit www.beachbody.com.
Note: All prices listed are the regular, single-item price. We have indicated the product's club/auto-shipment price in the review itself.
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