Dr. Brandt
Contour Effect (Discontinued)
1.7 fl. oz. for $185
Category:Skin Care > Moisturizers (Daytime and Nighttime) > Moisturizer without Sunscreen
Last Updated:03.12.2013
Jar Packaging:Yes
Tested on animals:Yes
Contour Effect not only has a ridiculous price tag, but also shortchanges skin by including only meager amounts of exciting ingredients and then further reducing their efficacy with jar packaging. Contour Effect is supposed to restore volume and plumpness to aging skin while boosting cells’ energy (which declines with age and years of sun exposure). Although this moisturizer has an elegant, silky texture based largely on silicone technology, its unique ingredient, Bacopa monniera (also known as brahmi), has zero research pertaining to its benefit for skin. There’s quite a bit of research examining oral consumption of this herb, but even that doesn’t have anything to do with its ability to restore the diminishing substances (such as fat pads and collagen) whose loss causes skin to slacken and droop. Further, the inclusion of lavender oil causes skin cell death; how is that supposed to rev up cellular energy? Your money is much better spent on dermal fillers that really do restore volume and plumpness to aging skin (an alternative Brandt would likely not admit, even though he offers such procedures in his practice).
Dr. Brandt’s most luxurious cream will boost skin’s energy allowing cells to regenerate, counteracting the effects of aggravated skin and loss of volume. this rich moisturizing cream will re-contour the skin to make it appear plumper while drenching it with moisture. As we age, the shape of the cells are disrupted, impairing cell division and slowing down cell function. Contour Effect cream contains three of the most potent weapons in the anti-aging arsenal: mamaku essence, calmosensine and bacocalmine battle the aging process at the cellular level, increasing cell lifespan as well as tissue vitality and function.
Water, Methylsilanol Hydroxyproline Aspartate, Cyclopentasiloxane, Methylsilanol Mannuronate, Myristyl Myristate, Triisostearin, Caprylyl Trimethicone, Octyldodecyl Stearate, Dicaprylyl Carbonate, Cetyl Palmitate, Glyceryl Stearate, Bacopa Monniera Extract, Behenyl Alcohol, C12-15 Alkyl Lactate, Cetyl Alcohol, Triheptanoin, Urea, Butylene Glycol, Hydrogenated Polyisobutene, Phenoxyethanol, Peg-100 Stearate, Sorbitan Stearate, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Polyglyceryl-10 Stearate, Sodium Styrene/Acrylate Copolymer, Peg-40 Stearate, Glycine Soja (Soybean) Germ Extract, Phospholipids, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Glycerin, Lecithin, Allantoin, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Oil, Methylparaben, Disodium Edta, Castoryl Maleate, Bht, Retinyl Palmitate, Glycine Soja (Soybean) Sterols, Butylparaben, Ethylparaben, Propylparaben, Isobutylparaben, Silanediol Salicylate, Triethanolamine, Peg-8, Xanthan Gum, Cyathea Medullaris Leaf Extract, Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Seed Extract, Laureth-3, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Acetyl Dipeptide-1 Cetyl Ester
Brand Overview

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.

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.

About the Experts

The Beautypedia Research Team is dedicated to helping you find the absolute best products for your skin, using research-based criteria to review beauty products from an honest, balanced perspective. Each member of the team was personally trained by Paula Begoun herself.

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