This vastly overpriced serum is a mixed bag of helpful and problematic ingredients for skin. Far from an anti-aging powerhouse, this contains a tiny assortment of potentially helpful ingredients, and the amino acids in this serum won’t fuse with the amino acids found in your skin’s collagen. Dr. Brandt should know better, but perhaps he’s too impressed with sales to bother telling women the truth about his antiwrinkle products. (We doubt that the number of cosmetic corrective procedures he performs have decreased at all since his products hit the scene.) The second ingredient in this serum, methylsilanol hydroxyproline aspartate, is said to be an amino acid complex that stimulates collagen and elastin production in skin, but there’s no substantiated evidence to support this claim. (Why doesn’t Dr. Brandt publish a study showing how marvelous it is?) This product ends up being a poor choice for all skin types because it contains lavender oil. Only a tiny amount of this volatile oil is needed to promote cell death and increase oxidative damage to skin, neither of which is in line with boosting collagen or looking younger (Sources: Contact Dermatitis, January 2008, pages 9–14 and September 2008, pages 143–150; and Cell Proliferation, June 2004, pages 221–229). Knowing this, we suggest a new name for this product: perhaps, Collagen Buster?
A customized blend of key amino acids helps minimize the breakdown of collagen, stimulate collagen production, and maximize collagen formation for younger-looking skin. Almost 80 percent of collagen composition includes only the amino acids found in this lightweight youth-restoring complex. Apply underneath moisturizer to maximize elasticity and minimize the appearance of wrinkles.
Water, Methylsilanol Hydroxyproline Aspartate, Glycerin, Xanthan Gum, Triheptanoin, Acetyl Hexapeptide-20, Triisostearin, Cyathea Cumingii Leaf Extract, Phenoxyethanol, Butylene Glycol, Decarboxy Carnosine Hcl, Caprylyl Trimethicone, Glyceryl Acrylate/Acrylic Acid Copolymer, Propylene Glycol, Lecithin, Glycine Soja (Soybean) Germ Extract, Pvm/Ma Copolymer, Sodium Acrylates Copolymer, Methylparaben, Alcohol, Sorbitol, Hydrogenated Lecithin, Glycine, Proline, Hydroxyproline, Alanine, Glutamic Acid, Arginine, Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate, Hydrogenated Polyisobutene, Ethylparaben, Butylparaben, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Oil, Phospholipids, Propylparaben, Isobutylparaben, Polyglyceryl-10 Stearate, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil
Dr. Fredric Brandt is a Miami- and New York City–based dermatologist whose claim to fame rests on two main points. The first (and it is a very important credibility factor for consumers) includes the many celebrity clients he claims to work with, while the second is his assertion that he performs more Botox and collagen injections than any other dermatologist in the world. (The picture on the back of his book shows him clad in white, wearing surgical gloves, and holding a syringe.) 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 is using so much Botox and collagen if his products truly fight wrinkles, as he claims they do.
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 one of the more disappointing ever assembled by a dermatologist.
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, in any way, shape, or form, 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 positions his products as clinically superior to what you would find in other cosmetics lines, when nothing could be further from the truth. Many of his products tout benefits that don't just stretch the truth, but snap it in two—and these fallacies are all the 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 too-expensive-for-no-good-reason 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're 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.