12.02.2014
4
2822
Overnight Peel With Alpha Hydroxy Acids
Rating
2 fl. oz. for $16.95
Category:Skin Care > AHA Exfoliants > AHA
Last Updated:12.02.2014
Jar Packaging:No
Tested on animals:No
Review Overview

This is one of the star products in the derma e line, at least if you’re looking for a well-formulated AHA lotion. With 5% glycolic acid plus lower amounts of the lesser-known AHA ingredients lactic and malic acids, all formulated at an effective pH of 3. This is a recommended exfoliant for normal to dry, sun-damaged skin. It contains a tiny amount of antioxidants and a dry skin-friendly mix of emollients, while the fragrance (from lemon and passion fruit extracts) is subtle.

Claims

Reveal dramatically fresher, newer skin overnight with this skin-brightening blend of glycolic sugar cane and fruit acids. Our skin-renewing formula contains 5% Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHA) for safe, effective removal of dead surface skin cells. With every use, skin tone becomes more radiant, pigmentation is evened and age spots are visibly diminished.

Ingredients

Water (Aqua), Glycolic Acid, Lactic Acid, Malic Acid, Glycerin, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Cetearyl Alcohol, Ceteareth 20, Stearic Acid, Glyceryl Stearate and PEG-100 Stearate, Cetyl Alcohol, Xanthan Gum, Citrus Medica Limonum (Lemon) Fruit Extract, Passiflora Incarnata (Passion) Fruit Extract, Ascorbyl Palmitate (C-Ester), Organic Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil* (.1%), Organic Camellia Sinensis (Green Tea) Leaf Extract* (.1%), Dimethicone, Phenoxyethanol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Potassium Sorbate.

Brand Overview

Derma E At-a-Glance

Strengths: Inexpensive considering the formulas; company provides complete ingredient lists on their Web site; an effective AHA product; tea tree oil–based disinfectants for acne; some good cleansers and a good toner; well-formulated mask.

Weaknesses: Jar packaging is rampant for many of the antioxidant-rich products; several boring moisturizers; abrasive scrubs; one skin-lightening product with questionable efficacy; products that contain the controversial ingredient DMAE; several products contain natural ingredients that have not been proven effective for their intended purpose; the anti-aging products with peptides make over-the-top claims not supported by what they contain.

"Formulated for results" and "We're serious about skin care" are phrases you'll see throughout the Derma E line—that and a heavy accent on all things natural. In business since 1984, this California-based, family-owned skin-care company's products are often seen in health food stores. We suspect the numerous questions we've been asked about the Derma E line are tied not only to their use of natural ingredients, but also to their emphasis on antioxidants, which they include in almost every product. In many cases, there are antioxidants aplenty; however, more often than not, the choice of jar packaging spoils the benefit the antioxidants Derma E chose could provide (air-tight packaging is critical because antioxidants deteriorate in the presence of air).

More so than any other line weve reviewed so far, where packaging is critical to ingredient efficacy and stability, Derma E has seemingly turned a blind eye to this glaring error. Because of that, there are very few products to extol or recommend, even though the line is priced fairly and some of the products have good formulations. But, just as you shouldn't eat food that no longer has any nutritional properties, the same goes for skin care, why bother if your skin isn't getting what it needs to be healthy?

The company's founders talk openly about their commitment to formulating quality products, often using proprietary ingredients (meaning ingredients unique to Derma E). Yet a quick look at the ingredients on the label shows that isn't true. Even if it were true, the notion that you would be getting something better for skin is sheer nonsense. There are lots of brilliant ingredients for skin available in the cosmetics world, and there is no single company that has a secret lurking in its laboratory that is a must for skin. It can be a very compelling story unless you know better, and if you don't already know better, you will after reading the reviews. Product after product either disappoints or comes in below average based on packaging issues or on problematic natural ingredients, the claims for which are based on folklore and anecdotal experience, not on solid science.

It all gets rather muddled where Derma E is concerned because several of their anti-aging products do contain some interesting peptides and impressive amounts of antioxidants. In many respects, the antioxidants chosen have reliable track records when it comes to their skin-care benefits. But again, jar packaging sabotages these performance-based ingredients to the point that it's difficult to take anything else the company does seriously. After all, if they can't get this fundamental right, what's the point of continually talking up their commitment to results-oriented products?

It doesn't seem that sun protection is very high on Derma E's priority list either. You'll find moisturizers and eye creams galore, including many with antiwrinkle and skin-firming claims—but only one sunscreen. One. In the entire line. And, surprise, it doesn’t contain natural sunscreen agents, at least not entirely. It never ceases to amaze me when "natural" product companies choose synthetic sunscreen actives when there are natural alternatives such as zinc oxide or titanium dioxide. Synthetic sunscreens are perfectly fine, but if you're going to shout natural from the rooftops, why are you using synthetic sunscreen actives? Plus, any line that touts their anti-aging, antiwrinkle prowess should have more than one sunscreen. Walking away from the store after buying products only from this line is a guarantee you will be cheating your skin.

A common falsehood, perpetuated by Derma E and by many other cosmetics companies, is that their products are "natural" (whatever that truly means). Rest assured that that's about as probable as sandy, warm beaches in Antarctica (or a snowball in Hades). Derma E products contain many natural ingredients, but plenty of synthetic ingredients have been cast in major or supporting formulary roles. For example, Linda Miles, one of Derma E's founders, has stated that the company won't use the natural version of alpha lipoic acid because it is "a butcher house by-product," meaning it's derived from animals. She admits the company uses synthetic alpha lipoic acid, however, and she must be unaware that alpha lipoic acid need not be derived from meat; it also can be derived from spinach, carrots, broccoli, potatoes, yams, and yeast, all of which are very natural and, of course, not derived from animal flesh (Sources: www.naturaldatabase.com; and The Rose Sheet, May 26, 2008, page 4).

Miles also admitted that Derma E has struggled to find a good preservative system to replace the synthetic ones they currently use. That's not surprising, as it's an issue that any line that wants to go natural must deal with; the reality is that there are no natural preservatives that work as well in low amounts as the synthetic options.

We could go on about Derma E's claims in terms of what they do and don't use and will and won't do, but you've heard it all before from other natural lines. As is usually the case, there are some standout products to consider from Derma E. If the company overhauled its packaging to improve antioxidant stability, the handful of products would become a basket's worth, but there is no word on whether such a change is happening or even in the works.

For more information about Derma E, call (800) 521-3342 or visit www.dermae.com.

About the Experts

The new Beautypedia Team proudly and unequivocally maintains the commitment to help you find the best products possible for your skin. We do this by relentlessly pursuing and relying on published scientific research so you will have unbiased information on what works and what doesn't-and the sneaky ways you could be making your skin worse, not better!


The Beautypedia Team reviews all products using the same research, criteria, and objectivity, whether the product being reviewed is from Paula's Choice or another brand.

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05.18.2015
Derma E Overnight Peel

A great item, I use this on face and neck/décolletage and Paula's Choice 2% lotion on the nose. I just started using the Derma E around my eyes and surprisingly it hasn't irritated them (usually sensitive). Do you see any problems with that?

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Reviewed by
Lynnette C
05.21.2015
Beautypedia Team Response

Hi there!  We're glad you love it!  Keep on using it just as you are if it's working for you as there aren't any red flags indicating otherwise :)

—Admin
03.26.2015
Question?

Can this 'overnight' peel be used in the morning?

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Reviewed by
Mckenzie L.
03.02.2015
Suggestion?

I just started using this exfoliant and I can't tell if I should be using a moisturizer afterward or not. The texture is silky but rather thin and watery which leans me towards yes, use a moisturizer. Besides that, as a first time user of an AHA, I'm happy to say I haven't experienced any negatives from using this product. I might eventually try a higher percentage, possibly Paula's line :)

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Reviewed by
Sara C.
03.03.2015
Beautypedia Team Response

Hi there!  We always recommend following an exfoliant with a moisturizer.  For daytime use, make sure you get one with an SPF of 25+!

—Admin
09.07.2013
Only AHA I Use

This is one of only a few products with 5% AHA. I find that higher than 5% is too harsh. I've been using this for 5 years and like the results. I have oily/combination skin. The only problem is finding the product which is sold primarily in health stores.

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