This foaming cleanser is exceedingly overpriced for the small amount of product provided, and its main cleansing agents are too drying and irritating for all skin types.
Dr. Brandt included several emollients and wax, presumably to offset the drying effects of the main cleansing agents. The question is: Why use such cleansing agents when gentler alternatives are widely available?
This cleanser cannot make your skin tone more even or “brighter.” It contains a mix of beneficial and problematic plant ingredients, but none of them are known to improve skin tone when included in a rinse-off product like this because any benefit is rinsed down the drain. The amount of lavender oil is cause for concern, because lavender oil causes irritation (see More Info for details).
Research indicates that the components of lavender, specifically linalool, can be cytotoxic, which means that topical application causes skin-cell death (Source: Cell Proliferation, June 2004, pages 221–229). Lavender leaves contain camphor, which is a skin irritant. Because the fragrance constituents in lavender oil oxidize when exposed to air, lavender oil is a pro-oxidant, and this enhanced oxidation increases its irritancy on skin (Source: Contact Dermatitis, September 2008, pages 143–150). Lavender oil is the most potent form, and even small amounts of it (0.25% or less) are problematic. It is a must to avoid in skin-care products, but is fine as an aromatherapy agent for inhalation or relaxation (Sources: Psychiatry Research, February 2007, pages 89–96; and www.naturaldatabase.com).
Rich, foaming cleanser that effectively cleanses skin without drying, evens out skin tone and brightens your complexion.
Water, Myristic Acid, Glycerin, Potassium Hydroxide, Stearic Acid, Dipropylene Glycol, Lauric Acid, PEG-8, Olive Oil PEG-7 Esters, Maltooligosyl Glucoside, PEG-40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Beeswax (Cera Alba), Glyceryl Stearate, PEG-100 Stearate, Cocamidopropyl Betaine Jojoba Wax PEG-120 Esters, Cetyl Alcohol, Hydrogenated Starch Hydrolysate, Synthetic Fluorphlogopite, Phenoxyethanol, Butylene Glycol, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Oil, Sodium Hyaluronate, Zizyphus Jujuba Fruit Extract, Glycyrrhiza Glabra (Licorice) Root Extract, Alteromonas Ferment Extract, Amino Esters-1, Tetrasodium EDTA, Titanium Dioxide, Calophyllum Tacamahaca Seed Oil, Iron Oxides, Tocopheryl Acetate, Tin Oxide, Beta-Carotene, Pearl Powder, Glycine Soja (Soybean) Oil, Daucus Carota Sativa (Carrot) Root Extract, Melia Azadirachta Leaf Extract, Melia Azadirachta Flower Extract, Coccinia Indica Leaf Extract, Solanum Melongena (Eggplant) Fruit Extract, Aloe Barbadensis Flower Extract, Lawsonia Inermis (Henna) Flower/Fruit/Leaf Extract, Ocimum Sanctum Leaf Extract, Lonicera Caprifolium (Honeysuckle) Flower Extract, Halidrys Siliquosa Extract, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Curcuma Longa (Turmeric) Root Extract
Dr. Brandt At-A-Glance
Strengths: Provides complete ingredient lists on the company website; a good daytime moisturizer with sunscreen.
Weaknesses: Expensive; overwhelming number of products that contain irritating ingredients with no established benefit for skin; no products to comprehensively address acne or oily skin; every Pores No More product is a disappointment; jar packaging; several products make claims on par with what cosmetic procedures (not skin care) can do.
The late Dr. Fredric Brandt (he passed away in April, 2015 at the age of 65) was a Miami- and New York City–based dermatologist whose claim to fame rested on two main points. The first (and it is a very important credibility factor for consumers) included the many celebrity clients worked with, while the second was his assertion that he performed more Botox and collagen injections than any other dermatologist in the world. According to Allergan, the company that makes Botox, they no longer rank the physicians who purchase Botox from them; however, they did confirm that Dr. Brandt was definitely one of their biggest buyers. Yet regardless of how much Botox or collagen Dr. Brandt or any other physician uses, what in the world does that have to do with cosmetic formulations? If anything, you have to wonder why Brandt was using so much Botox and collagen if his products truly fight wrinkles, sagging, and on and on.
Beyond Brandt's cosmetic enhancement procedures, he is the author of Age-less: The Definitive Guide to Botox, Collagen, Lasers, Peels, and Other Solutions for Flawless Skin. His book and skin-care line are competing against the vastly more popular books and product line from fellow dermatologist Dr. N.V. Perricone. Although Perricone's skin-care line has some drawbacks, including irritating ingredients and the lack of supporting research for his neuropeptide products, the majority of his products, though overpriced, have more pros than cons. Sadly, the same cannot be said for Dr. Brandt, whose namesake skin-care line is on the disappointing side, especially given the product's price points.
Brandt's products are sold with the tag line that they are "prescription strength, prescription-free," and "are formulated under dermatologic control for maximum safety and efficiency and offer the highest performance without a prescription." Aside from how unbelievable that assertion is, what is not mentioned is the fact that none of the ingredients in Brandt's products are comparable to prescription formulations. And what is "dermatologic control" anyway, given that there are no such standards anywhere in the world? Moreover, what do dermatologists know about the manufacturing of pharmaceuticals, much less cosmetics? The two arenas of expertise are completely unrelated.
Dr. Brandt positioned his products as clinically superior to what you would find in other cosmetics lines, an unproven assertion to say the least. Many of his products tout benefits that don't just stretch the truth, but snap it in two—and these fallacies were more disconcerting coming from an esteemed dermatologist. When products contain the problematic ingredients that are so pervasive in Brandt's line, such as irritating plant extracts, drying detergent cleansing agents, and far too many products with skin cell-damaging lavender oil, it becomes nothing more than a line that should be approached with extreme caution.
The line does have a few bright spots: many of Brandt's products do contain significant amounts of antioxidants, though that certainly doesn't make his line unique because many other product lines do that, too. (Here it's fair to say that while no specific amounts have been established for any antioxidant that will ensure their effectiveness, the general consensus among researchers is that more antioxidants are better than less, and less is still better than none at all.) Unless you were a devoted patient of Dr. Brandt and would be racked with guilt for not purchasing his products while visiting for an appointment, there is no reason to seek out this disappointing line.
For more information about Dr. Brandt's products, call (800) 234-1066 or visit www.drbrandtskincare.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.
Beautypedia cuts through the hype to bring you product insights and recommendations you won’t find anywhere else!