In many ways, the formula for Mederma PM is the most sophisticated and impressive the brand has ever offered. Before we discuss why, you need to know that this product is sold in a 1.7-ounce jar as well as a 1-ounce tube. Because the jar packaging exposes delicate ingredients to degrading light and air it is NOT recommended. However, the tube packaging IS recommended and is the one to pick if you happen upon both in store or online.
The active ingredient in Mederma PM is dimethicone, a silicone that is FDA-approved in the United States as a skin protectant due to its healing abilities. Silicone in skin care alone isn't enough to improve scars, so it's good that the dimethicone is joined by Mederma's famed onion extract along with some intriguing skin-healing ingredients such as copper tripeptide-1 and several amino acids with emerging research on their ability to assist wound healing (though we're skeptical Mederma is using these ingredients in meaningful amounts).
As the onion extract this product contains is a staple of the Mederma line, it deserves further explanation. The research on this ingredient's ability to improve scars is mixed; on one hand, a comparative study examining the effects of Mederma's onion extract with plain Vaseline revealed no difference in scar appearance at the outcome, and other studies have disproven Mederma's claims about onion extract as well (Sources: Dermatologic Surgery, February 2006, pages 193–197; and Archives of Dermatology, December 1998, pages 1512–1514). On the other hand, there are studies that show Mederma's onion extract may reduce inflammation and impact collagen remodeling which could reduce the appearance of a scar (Sources: The Journal of Clinical and Aesthetic Dermatology, June 2012, pages 18-23; and Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, July 2002, pages 177-183). This is an ingredient you'll have to try to see how it works for you, but without question there are lots of other skin-healing ingredients (like pure quercetin) that can improve the appearance of scars.
Mederma PM has a light cream texture that is suitable for all skin types. Specialty products like this work best on newer scars (those less than two years old) rather than older scars that have, for all intents and purposes, "set". It missed our top rating because of the amount of alcohol (the kind listed as just "alcohol") it contains. Although the amount is unlikely to cause irritation, it's disappointing to see it show up before the most beneficial ingredients, at least those beyond the active ingredient dimethicone.
Mederma® PM Intensive Overnight Scar Cream is clinically shown to improve the color, size, texture and overall appearance of scars, helping them appear softer, smoother, smaller, and less visible.
Active Ingredients: Dimethicone (2%); Inactive Ingredients: Water, Cetearyl Alcohol, Glycerin, C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate, Dicaprylyl Carbonate, Pentylene Glycol, Cyclomethicone, Arachidyl Alcohol, Alcohol, Behenyl Alcohol, Arachidyl Glucoside, Allium Cepae Bulb Extract (Onion), Copper Tripeptide-1, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf, Cetearyl Glucoside, Tocopherol Acetate, Hydroxyethyl Acrylate/Sodium Acryloyldimethyl Taurate Copolymer, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Hydrolyzed Soy Protein, Glycine, Panthenol, Hydrolyzed Collagen, PEG-400, Arginine HCL, Leucine, Lysine Hydrochloride, Alanine, Sodium Lactate, Aspartic Acid, Glucose, Glutamic Acid, Isopropyl Alcohol, Mannitol, Sorbitol, Tromethamine, Valine, Histidine Hydrochloride, Isoleucine, Phenylalanine, Tyrosine, Potassium Sorbate, Sodium Benzoate, Citric Acid, Sodium Hydroxide, Fragrance
Strengths: None, unless you want to hang your hopes on anecdotal evidence.
Weaknesses: There is no research proving that the "active" ingredient in Mederma works as claimed.
Selling products that promise to get rid of scars has become big business. Given how many people suffer from scars (be they from acne, wounds, or even stretch marks), and given how hard it is to get rid of them, it isn't surprising that Mederma is still going strong, touting its ability to reduce the appearance of scars of all types, including hypertrophic and keloidal (both examples of raised scars that are a source of concern for many people).
For more information about Mederma, call (888) 925-8989 or visit www.mederma.com.
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