Bio Peptide Complex Serum

Price:
$98 - 0.5 fl. oz.
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Category:
Skin Care > Serums > Serums
Last Updated:
3/13/2013
Jar Packaging:
No
Tested On Animals:
No

This is Epicuren’s works-like-Botox product. Although they don’t make that specific claim, what else is a consumer supposed to deduce from their statements that this serum “works to relax fine lines and pronounced wrinkles”? Of course there are no cosmetic products that can relax any lines on the face, so the claim is patently misleading.

Alas, this is yet another Epicuren product whose ingredient list doesn’t follow FDA regulations. They use terms such as “bio peptides” and “polypeptides,” which are meaningless because they don’t tell you what peptides you actually would be putting on your skin. They don’t tell the consumer anything useful, but suffice to say there are no peptides anywhere in the world that can relax wrinkles in a manner similar to Botox or other cosmetic corrective procedures. This contains some good water-binding agents and most peptides theoretically have cell-communicating ability, but you don’t have to spend anywhere near what this costs to see how they might work for you. This serum contains albumen, an ingredient derived from egg whites that makes skin feel temporarily tighter. Don’t mistake that sensation for a firming action. It doesn’t firm skin and absolutely cannot “reignite” facial contours (think sagging skin). Overall, there are far better moisturizers and anti-wrinkle products for your skin.

A high potency serum that works to relax fine lines and pronounced wrinkles, resulting in remarkable visual improvements. This peptide-rich complex reignites your skin, empowering it to look more plump, firm and contoured, while minimizing the appearance of large pores and surface imperfections.

Bio Peptides, Tripeptide, Polypeptides, Water, Yeast Extract, Hydrolyzed Soy Protein, Arginine, Albumen, Xanthan Gum, Glycerine (from Beets), Dimethicone and Optiphen (Caprylyl Glycol)

You may have come across this brand while visiting a spa, but like many spa-designed products the claims are far more impressive than the formulas, and it's here that Epicuren Discovery takes the cake! They make some of the most farfetched claims and poorly formulated products the cosmetics industry has to offer.

Promising "a highly effective path to aesthetic improvement" along with an ageless complexion, it's no wonder Epicuren has stimulated so many questions from our readers. It's hard to resist the allure of a line like this, especially when you're being told about the products from well-meaning aestheticians who've just spent the last hour doting on your face.

At the heart of Epicuren is the company's exclusive (always exclusive, isn't it?) enzyme protein complex. They refer to this complex as the Metadermabolic Enzyme and describe it as "a protein that is combined with a waterborne solution of B vitamins to create a protein with intelligence." They claim it encourages your skin to rejuvenate itself, and they actually equate it to how exercise encourages your metabolism. Talk about nonsense! As you might have guessed, there is no research to back any of this up!

Whatever the company wants to call their complex, enzymes, whether from a protein or other substance, aren't extraordinarily beneficial ingredients for skin. They're notoriously unstable and certainly not likely to withstand the environmental exposure inherent to jar packaging, which Epicuren occasionally uses. As for the B vitamins, they show up in most Epicuren products, but they are used throughout the rest of the cosmetics industry as well. More to the point, no single group of vitamins or enzymes is capable of providing skin with everything it needs to repair itself, reduce inflammation, and become better able to withstand the factors that cause aging or the effects of aging.

Most notable is what Epicuren products lack. They come up short on antioxidants, cell-communicating ingredients, and skin-identical ingredients. Skin, just like your diet, needs far more than a few beneficial ingredients. As the largest organ of the body, your skin requires a complex array of substances to keep it healthy and acting younger.

Even more shocking is Epicuren's blatant disregard for both FDA-mandated ingredient disclosure as well as global regulations. Product after product lists either made-up terms (e.g., "food grain distillate" or trade names such as Optiphen, which is a preservative, alongside ingredients that are listed inaccurately [we supply the correct names in parenthesis]). Not only is such labeling illegal, but also it keeps consumers in the dark about exactly what they'e putting on their skin. Epicuren had this same issue when we first reviewed their products in 2000, and it is shocking to me that they're still getting away with this deception on so many of their products.

Epicuren's assertion of being all natural is about as bogus as calling polyester natural. Their products contain synthetic preservatives, synthetic sunscreen agents, synthetic fragrance, and silicones to name a few. Plus, many of the natural ingredients they do include are irritants, and, therefore, are bad for skin.

After all of the bad (perhaps surprising) news above, you may be wondering if there are any bright spots in this line. In fact, there are, though they are few and far between, and those bright spots are dimmed somewhat by the needlessly high prices. The best news is that Epicuren gets all of their sunscreens right in terms of reliable UVA-protecting ingredients. Many of them also have elegant, lightweight textures and non-greasy finishes that consumers will enjoy, and anything that encourages more frequent sunscreen usage is positive. Epicuren also has a few sleeper products, such as a fragrance-free, fast-acting eye-makeup remover and an intriguing skin-lightening product with an impressive amount of the hydroquinone alternative arbutin. None of this good news is enough to warrant an Epicuren shopping spree, but if you're curious about these products or frequent a spa that retails this brand, at least you'll know which ones are worth your time and money after reading my reviews.

For more information about Epicuren Discovery, call (800) 235-1217 or visit www.epicuren.com.

Note: Our research assistant reported that Epicuren's customer service response for an initial email was very good; however, if follow-up questions occur (as is often the case), don't expect to hear from the company again. This odd behavior happened unfailingly, even when our team used a variety of different email addresses.

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About the Experts

Paula Begoun is the best-selling author of 20 books on skin care and makeup. She is known worldwide as the Cosmetics Cop and creator of Paula's Choice. Paula's expertise has led to hundreds of appearances on national and international television including:

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The Paula's Choice 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 herself.

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