Ormedic Balancing Anti-Oxidant Serum
1 fl. oz. for $43
Last Updated:08.14.2014
Jar Packaging:No
Tested on animals:No
Review Overview

Ormedic Balancing Anti-Oxidant Serum doesn't quite reach the upper echelon of serums because the mix of ingredients is just OK. The formula includes a blend of emollients, such as olive oil, along with water-binding ingredients (glycerin, lactic acid) and antioxidants such as green tea, beet root, and yeast extracts. It does contain fragrance, albeit a small amount, from the ingredient Artemisia vulgaris extract.

While this serum for normal to dry skin will provide moisture, it lacks the types of ingredients that can truly make a difference in reducing the signs of aging—think discolorations, fine lines, and uneven skin tone. Our rating is due to the fact that it falls far short of the impressive ingredients you should expect in a serum. Think of serums as "antioxidant boosters" to your routine—they should include a broader array of these ingredients than your average skin-care product; if they don't, why spend the money?

IMAGE Skincare calls out a "complex-copper peptide" ingredient, but it's not on the ingredient list. What they do list is an ingredient called "chlorophyllin copper complex," which isn't a copper peptide (an example of a copper peptide is copper gluconate). Chlorophyllin copper complex is a mix of chlorophyll derivatives that are often used as colorants, and that have some antioxidant and antimicrobial properties, but it doesn't function like copper peptide (Source: Food Research International, 2012). Either way, only a tiny amount is present.

We should note that this is packaged in a clear glass dropper, which means the antioxidants that are present aren't protected from light exposure unless you store it in a dark place. So, if you do try Ormedic Balancing Anti-Oxidant Serum, be sure to keep it in a cabinet or drawer where it isn't exposed to natural or artificial light.

  • Contains antioxidants such as green tea, aloe, and beet root extracts.
  • Water-binding agents and emollients improve normal to dry skin.
  • Packaged in a clear glass dropper, which isn't ideal for the stability of its beneficial ingredients.
  • Contains a small amount of fragrance from the ingredient Artemisia vulgaris extract, which can cause irritation.
  • Lacks the comprehensive mix of antioxidants and cell-communicating ingredients of today's best serums.

A silky, ultra hydrating botanical serum infused with organic Japanese green tea, Aloe Vera and a copper-complex peptide. Perfectly absorbed, it continuously balances your skin from within and lastingly restores its ideal moisture level. Leaves your skin intensely hydrated with a healthy glow.


Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract (Organic), Glycerin, Olea Europaea (Olive) Oil (Organic), Sodium Hyaluronate, Lactic Acid (Organic), Japanese Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract (Organic), German Chamomile Recutita Flower Extract (Organic), Beta Vulgaris (Beet) Root Extract & Haberlea Rhodopensis Leaf Extract & Faex (Yeast Extract), Anthyllis Vulneraria Flower Extract, Crithmum Maritimum Extract Algae Extract (And) Artemisia Vulgaris Extract, Polysorbate-20 PEG-8/SMDI Copolymer, Althea Officinalis Root Extract, Chlorophyllin Copper Complex, Glycine.

Brand Overview

Strengths: All of the sunscreens provide broad-spectrum protection; many of the formulas include a good array of antioxidants and cell-communicating agents; some products are packaged to protect their air- and light-sensitive ingredients; most products reasonably priced.

Weaknesses: Many of the non-SPF moisturizers are packaged in jars; nearly every product contains at least one fragrance ingredient that can be a source of irritation; overly fragranced products where the scent lingers on the skin and emanates from the container like potpourri; problematic anti-acne line; inconsistent or incomplete ingredient lists; few options for sensitive skin; outlandish marketing claims.

IMAGE Skincare, a brand operated out of West Palm Beach, Florida, focuses on the concept of “pharmaceutical grade” skin-care products (more on that in a moment). Developed by its president and CEO, Janna Robert, IMAGE Skincare is distributed in spas and dermatology offices. However, it can also be found on retail websites like Amazon (despite the company’s claim that these aren’t approved retailers).

The IMAGE Skincare approach promotes the concept that those of a certain age should use a certain line of products—a visit to their website’s product recommendation page has their five collections categorized by age range, which is a silly concept.

Here’s why that approach makes for poor skin care: Simply put, age is not a skin type—the types of ingredients skin needs to stay healthy and act younger are the same whether you’re 10, 20, 30, 40, or 50 years old, or beyond. Just as a healthy diet doesn’t change as you age, the same is true for skin care. What skin needs to be healthy does not change with age.

To underscore this fact, IMAGE Skincare’s recommendations are virtually identical, no matter which age range you select. Interestingly, their age ranges are grouped into three categories: 1–18 (OK, … a 1-year-old? How bizarre is that! A baby is supposed to have a skin-care routine?); 19–35; and then...”36+.”

Someone over the age of 40 (all the way to those over 65) can have oily skin and breakouts, and teens can have dry, sun-damaged skin. Research shows that the same ingredients are needed to improve and heal the problem, regardless of age. Relating age to skin care is just silly!

IMAGE Skincare defines their “aging later” approach to mean that if you want to delay the signs of aging, you need to give skin more of what it needs to stay healthier, longer. That includes their recommendation of regular use of AHA/BHA exfoliants, formulas loaded with antioxidants and cell-communicating ingredients, as well as wearing a broad-spectrum sunscreen every day.

We absolutely agree with those points—anti-aging is about taking care of your skin, keeping it protected from environmental harms (i.e., unprotected sun exposure and pollution), and ensuring that all of your products are loaded with beneficial ingredients, no matter your age. Their list of recommendations should also include using products that are free of irritants; that is, ingredients that have documented research indicating their potential to harm skin by causing inflammation and free-radical damage.

Unfortunately, that latter point is where many of IMAGE Skincare’s products veer off the mark. For all their claims of including only what’s best for the skin, we were disappointed to find that almost all of their products contain at least one irritating fragrance extract or essential oil (some IMAGE Skincare products are overloaded with them), and the fragrance is often overwhelming, lingering on the skin and wafting from the container immediately on opening.

On a side note, the intense fragrance of many of their products makes us skeptical of their ingredient lists—they don’t list what could be causing the perfume-like, sickly sweet odor. Fragrance, whether natural or synthetic, is a problem for the skin because of the irritations it can cause.

What about their claim of offering “pharmaceutical grade” ingredients and formulas? When a brand uses the term “pharmaceutical” in describing their products, they’re trying to invoke the idea that their formulas are somehow different or “stronger” than those you can find anywhere else. This is nothing more than marketing wordplay—there are no (repeat, no) pharmaceutical-grade skin-care products because the term is not regulated by the FDA, so there is no standard or meaning to the claim. Just as the words “cosmeceutical” and “hypoallergenic” are meaningless, “pharmaceutical grade” is as well.

What matters is that the ingredients they include have published, peer-reviewed research and that your products conform to the safety guidelines and standards set forth in the FDA’s labeling regulatory requirements (or international regulatory bodies, if you’re outside the United States).

Strangely enough, it was challenging to find accurate ingredient lists for IMAGE Skincare. In some instances, the list on the packaging was incomplete and/or very different from the ingredient list found online (even from “approved” resellers allegedly using information supplied by IMAGE). We are reluctant to trust any company that can’t get this simple regulation right; think about buying food at the grocery store that didn’t have a label listing everything that was in it.

For example, IMAGE Skincare’s Prevention + Daily Matte Moisturizer Oil Free SPF 30+ claims to contain microsponge technology (absorbent polymers that help to control excess oil), and yet the product packaging doesn’t list any such ingredients. And, in the case of one of their anti-acne treatments, the combined use of the two active ingredients falls outside of FDA guidelines for anti-acne products (Source: FDA 21 CFR 333.310, 2014).

In the end, some of the products IMAGE Skincare offers are (possibly) worth looking into, but overall we were disappointed in the brand because so many of their formulas, including those of some otherwise impressive products, contained an excess of fragrance, made outlandish marketing claims, and had an abundance of ingredient misinformation wrapped in “pharmaceutical-grade” pseudoscience. We prefer science based in reality—everything else is just hype, and hype is not the way to take the best possible care of your skin… at any age!

For more information about IMAGE Skincare, call 1-800-796-SKIN (7546) or visit www.imageskincare.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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