Hyaluronic acid is having a moment in the U.S. cosmetics industry, and Dr. Carver's Miracle Repair Serum puts the ingredient to good use by pairing it with multiple antioxidants, skin repairing, and anti-irritant ingredients. Those with oily to combination skin will likely appreciate its lightweight texture, while those with dry skin will need to use it under a moisturizer. Fragrance free, it is also suitable for the acne prone, too.
Housed in a tinted glass bottle with a pump top, Dollar Shave Club advertises this product as ideal for soothing irritated skin—i.e. after shaving—and it does include the right ingredients to support this claim. Hyaluronic acid, as is in what seems to be a generous dose, provides antioxidant defense against free-radical damage, improves skin's moisture content and reduces inflammation (Journal of Clinical and Aesthetic Dermatology, 2012 & Journal of Drugs in Dermatology, 2012).
In addition to the hyaluronic acid, Dr. Carver's Miracle Repair Serum also contains the anti-irritants barley and oat. Dollar Shave Club positions this as post-shave treatment, its mix of antioxidants—such as white and green tea, pomegranate and blueberry extracts—take this serum beyond such a niche and handily beat many competing men's after-shave products, most of which are poorly formulated.
Despite the marketing claims around the plant solomon's seal (Polygonaturm officinale rhizome/root extract) and cypress nut extract (Cupressus sempervirens seed extract), neither have any research that we could find supporting their benefit for skin when applied topically.
Arnica montana flower extract is present in a low amount, but this isn't enough to exert anti-inflammatory benefit (any such results have been shown at 10%+ concentrations), nor is it sufficient to be problematic, as high amounts of arnica can be potentially irritating to skin (Journal of Musculoskeletal Pain, 2014). Its presence may make this a potentially iffy choice for those with extra sensitive skin.
We had the Dr. Carver's Miracle Repair Serum assay tested (see what we do to get you the insider scoop?) and the results were that this formula actually uses sodium hyaluronate, which is the more bioavailable form of hyaluronic acid that is ideal in cosmetic formula. What's really impressive? The concentration came back at 2.7%. That's actually relatively high for such a product and makes this an even better beauty steal.
Did we mention the price? For its generous dose of hyaluronic acid, antioxidants and anti-irritants, this has the rather exceptionally inexpensive price of $12. For those seeking a solid antioxidant/skin-reparative serum, whether you're a man or woman, Dr. Carver's Miracle Repair Serum is a strong contender and one to consider.
Note: This contains the topical exfoliating ingredients glycolic, lactic and salicylic acid, but the pH is a bit too high (pH 4.5-5.0) for these to function as exfoliants. Nevertheless, glycolic and lactic acid act as moisturizing agents at higher pH levels, and salicylic acid retains its anti-inflammatory benefits as well.
Additional Note: Although this product is marketed for use after shaving, it can be used by anyone of any gender, regardless of if you shave your face or not.
Dollar Shave Club At-A-Glance
Strengths: Generously sized products; inexpensive; mostly fragrance-free formulas; excellent serum and nighttime moisturizer; products are packaged to protect their ingredients from air and light exposure.
Weaknesses: Fragranced shave gel; you can’t build a complete skincare routine (yet) from the brand’s few products.
Venice, California-based Dollar Shave Club opened their internet doors in 2011, with their goal to provide lower-priced alternatives to the razors sold by large brands (think Gillette or Shick). If you’re one to visit YouTube, you’ve very likely seen their inaugural video ad that went viral in which CEO Mike Dubin introduced the brands mission statement, “Our Blades Are F***ing Great.”
Fast forward a few years, and the independent Dollar Shave Club brand has expanded into the men’s skincare market with a few products that many have asked us about. (According to their website, they plan to release more in 2015.) Although there are only three skincare products at the time this review was written—a shave gel, a serum and moisturizer—what’s there is mostly very good and in a refreshing change of pace, above average for men’s grooming products!
The brand’s approach to sales is an interesting one. Dollar Shave Club is a monthly, mail-order service and once you sign up, you choose your first kit that includes your razor of preference and any of the brands’ grooming products. Then, you can edit your monthly kit anytime, removing or adding products as you prefer. Dollar Shave Club will email you a week prior to its shipment, allowing you to change (or cancel) your order. Only club members can purchase individual products at this time.
While there is no commitment to a monthly order (good), the caveat is that this experience doesn’t provide the “shop anytime” convenience of running down to your local Target or department store (not as good for some).
Interesting products aside, Dollar Shave Club has a sense of humor (evident in their YouTube videos), and is clearly committed to extending this throughout the customer experience. Each order includes a monthly newsletter of brand updates, jokes, member stories and more—all written with a wry and entertaining voice.
You may be curious about the “Dr. Carver’s” moniker emblazoned on each of the brand’s products. Just to be clear, there is no Dr. Carver behind the brand—this is a fictitious character created by Dollar Shave Club (there’s that sense of humor again).
SO, is Dollar Shave Club worth checking out? If the mail-order only approach isn’t a bother to you, the products are good and the prices are surprisingly affordable for what you get. We look forward to seeing what Dollar Shave Club does next!
For more information on the Dollar Shave Club, visit http://www.dollarshaveclub.com.
The Beautypedia and Paula’s Choice Research teams have one mission: To help you find the best products for your skin, whether they’re from Paula’s Choice or another brand. By combining efforts, we’re able to share scientific research and remain committed to the highest standards based on our decades of experience objectively reviewing thousands upon thousands of skincare and makeup formularies in all price ranges.
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