This silicone-enhanced serum contains some intriguing ingredients to benefit skin anywhere on the face, including a form of retinol. However, it contains two drug ingredients being used off-label, and both deserve further discussion.
Teprenone is the brand name for a drug known as geranylgeranylacetone, which is used to treat gastric ulcers and is being researched as an option for slowing age-related hearing loss (Sources: Brain Research, May 2008, pages 9–17; and Digestion, October 2007, pages 215–224). What do hearing loss and ulcers have to do with aging skin? One of the key ways geranylgeranylacetone works is by influencing heat-shock proteins, which help other proteins interact as they should at the cellular level, which in turn affects many systems in the body. Heat-shock proteins are most active during times of stress, such as exposure to cigarette smoke and exposure to sunlight. When heat-shock proteins are reduced (which ultimately is what you want because that means reducing inflammation), cells appear to live longer. That’s the association.
We suppose Dimitri James theorized that geranylgeranylacetone (as teprenone) may also have a helpful effect when applied topically. After all, skin has heat-shock proteins, and it certainly is exposed to enough stressful situations that an ingredient that could help these proteins function more efficiently would be a benefit. However, there’s no research proving that topically applied geranylgeranylacetone has any effect on heat-shock proteins in skin. What works when you take an oral medication doesn’t always work when you apply it topically. Moreover, as previously mentioned, Skinn is using a drug ingredient in a cosmetic product, which means the consumer is the guinea pig.
The other drug ingredient is phenylephrine, a decongestant that’s sold over-the-counter. It decongests sinuses by shrinking dilated blood vessels in nasal passages. Phenylephrine is approved by the FDA for topical application (it’s used in some hemorrhoid creams) and also is included in eye drops to reduce redness and swelling. We couldn’t find any information indicating its approval for use on skin around the eyes or its effectiveness. Theoretically, if dark circles are caused by dilated blood vessels, then this could have benefit, which also would be true for some hemorrhoid creams. However, dark circles are almost always a result of increased melanin production around the eye, either from genetics or from sun damage or from the fact that the eye area recedes as we get older, causing more apparent shadows to fall under the eye. Allergies also can be a cause.
Nonetheless, due to the unknowns about topical application of the two drug ingredients in this product—for example, given that skin needs blood circulation to be healthy and to make collagen, restricting the blood supply may be a bad thing—it is difficult to recommend, but it doesn’t deserve a Poor rating. One more comment: None of the ingredients in this product can prevent wrinkles from repeated facial expressions.
A super strength, water free triple action eye contour serum designed to combat and smooth lines caused by the constant creasing of facial expressions. This global eye area treatment also firms and lifts the appearance of sagging eye tissue as it decreases the appearance of puffiness and dark under eye circles.
Cyclomethicone Crosspolymer, Cyclopentasiloxane, Polymethylsilsesquioxane, Glycine Soja (Soybean) Oil, Buxus Chinensis (Jojoba) Oil, Palmitoyl Oligopeptide, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Teprenone (Renovage®), Spilanthes Acmella Flower Extract, Ergothioneine Ascorbic Acid, Bisabolol, Octyldodecyl PCA, Ceramide 3, Retinoxytrimethylsilane, Panthenyl Triacetate, Phenylephrine
Skinn by Dimitri James At-A-Glance
Strengths: The toner; a few good moisturizers, including some designed for the eye area (even though skin around the eyes doesn't require a separate product) and for oily skin; the lip scrub; the Nutri-Lift products (even though they don't lift skin in the least); mostly good, and some intriguing, makeup palettes; some great mascaras; the automatic eyeliner pencil.
Weaknesses: No sunscreens (How can you take any cosmetic line's anti-aging claims seriously when they completely overlook the importance of sun protection?); jar packaging for antioxidant-rich products; no products to manage acne or skin.
Dimitri James is a makeup artist, hair stylist, and fashion consultant who spent two decades working for some of the biggest cosmetics companies in the world. After stints with brands such as Estee Lauder and Revlon, he decided, as so many others have before him, to launch his own products. Apparently, he was disenchanted with the business model most large cosmetics companies follow. According to James, the formula was always the same: "make a cheap product, put it in a fancy jar with a nice box and charge as much as possible." His cynical summation is definitely appreciated by those of us on the Cosmetics Cop team. Ironically, however, for the most part, Skinn's business model mimics the business model of many large and small cosmetics companies; that is, his products come in fancy jars, make inane unsupported claims, and are absurdly overpriced. Adding to that insanity, many of his products are poorly formulated.
Aside from the glaring same old, same old mix of disenchantment, those hoping for some good news about Skinn products will be pleased to know that this line does have some products worth considering. That doesn't mean the claims are accurate or that they outperform excellent products from many other lines. Overlooking the omission of reliable sunscreen from this line, the handful of good formulas are capable of getting as close as possible to keeping skin looking youthful and healthy. They won't replace cosmetic corrective procedures, but no skin-care routine will do that. Please refer to the list of strengths for products worth your attention; any products not on that list you can skip, unless you want to set yourself up for disappointment, and you will be disappointed if you expect the farfetched claims to come true.
Skinn's promises for their makeup—that they will make you a picture of airbrushed perfection—are beyond reality. Today's best makeup products can go a long way toward making a beautiful finish to your appearance and they're easier to apply than ever before. Just keep in mind that technique still plays a major role, so don't expect any makeup product to be the final answer. Skinn's color line has just as many misses as hits, so shop carefully. In this case, the foundations and concealer are not worth considering over countless others, but there are some great powder blushes and eyeshadows, a fantastic eye pencil, and mascaras that perform beautifully; but again, these are easily replaced with less expensive options. Those intrigued by makeup palettes may find some good options here, too.
All told, the Skinn line has a handful of impressive products, but it's not remotely "the revolution in cosmetics" Dimitri James makes it out to be. For more information about Skinn by Dimitri James, call (866) 346-4874 or visit www.skinn.com.
Note: This line is sold primarily on home shopping channels.
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