AlphaDerma CE is the original and, according to the company, most popular product from New Jersey–based Janson-Beckett Cosmeceuticals. We had seen the occasional ad for AlphaDerma CE, but assumed it was just another works-like-Botox product that would soon be replaced by something else and fall by the wayside, going the way of other overhyped products. That turned out to be an incorrect assumption, but popularity and longevity aren’t necessarily related to performance (think about cigarettes, which have been around for a long time, too) because AlphaDerma CE can’t live up to any of its claims.
This fluid yet emollient moisturizer is built primarily around the peptide argireline (also known as acetyl hexapeptide-3). We have written about this ingredient numerous times in the past because it shows up in almost every product claiming to work like Botox but without the needles, pain, or the necessary doctor’s appointment. To summarize, the claim for argireline is that it relaxes facial expression lines by interfering with neurotransmitter signals that tell your muscles to move. If this communication is interrupted, the muscles affecting facial movement won’t react as they normally do, and so facial expression lines won’t be formed. Despite Janson-Beckett’s claims for argireline, there is no substantiated proof that it works, even at the 10% level that this product supposedly contains. Remember, not even Botox works like Botox when it is applied to skin rather than injected. If argireline really did relax facial muscles, it would work all over your face (assuming you were using the product as directed) and on your fingers because that’s how you apply it. If all the muscles in your face and fingers were relaxed from topical application of argireline, you wouldn’t be able to smile or move your face in general. In addition, you would have trouble picking things up with your fingers.
Other disingenuous claims for this product are that alpha lipoic acid is the most “potent antioxidant on the market today,” which is absolutely not the case, and there isn’t a shred of research proving otherwise. It is also supposed to contain forms of collagen and elastin that are somehow superior to those that all of the other cosmetics companies are using, implying that they really do affect the collagen and elastin in our skin. The company also claims the elastin in this product repairs stretch marks better than anything else available, which again is absolutely not the case, and there is no research proving otherwise.
Regarding AlphaDerma CE’s claim about the form of collagen and elastin used, regardless of how small the molecules may be engineered, topical application of collagen and elastin does not add to the collagen and elastin in your skin. Companies have been marketing this nonsense to women for years, but we seem to never get over the belief that finally someone has found a way to make these really affect our skin.
As for the stretch marks claim, it is nonsense because stretch marks are caused by broken bands of elastin in the skin’s lower layer. Rubbing elastin on the skin, regardless of its source or declared “potency,” won’t help. It’s like thinking you can rub a hamburger on your stomach and not feel hungry anymore! Nothing in this product will lighten, let alone remove, a single stretch mark.
There are some worthwhile ingredients in this moisturizer, such as olive and soybean oils, alpha lipoic acid, and a form of stabilized vitamin C, and it’s even packaged to keep these ingredients stable, which is great. However, for the money,we’d look to the more well-rounded formulations from Clinique’s Repairwear line, Estee Lauder’s Advanced Night Repair Concentrate, or Skinceuticals before this option. Janson-Beckett may think this is the best, but they have little to no proof to support their pseudo-scientific talk.
One more comment: The amount of DMAE in this product is minimal compared with the amount in several other Janson-Beckett products. For better or worse, it likely won’t have a substantial impact on skin.
The clinical ingredients in AlphaDerma CE are what make it so effective. ACETYL HEXAPEPTIDE-AH3 (ARGIRELINE) relaxes facial muscle contractions to smooth out fine lines and depth of wrinkles. ALPHA LIPOIC ACID, VITAMIN C ESTER and DMAE is already recognized as a clinical treatment to combat skin aging. Alpha Lipoic Acid, the most potent antioxidant on the market today, helps repair aged skin while preventing future damage. VITAMIN C ESTER (ascorbyl palmitate) boosts protective antioxidant action and helps repair past damage by aiding new collagen production. DMAE often called “facelift in a jar,” helps Firm and Tighten the skin. ELASTIN is the main ingredient in the skin that allows it to stretch without leaving marks. AlphaDerma CE contains 100% rare, costly, freeze-dried powdered ELASTIN concentrate which has almost 100% amino acid content. This makes our ELASTIN 10x more potent than any other standard ELASTIN products used in the U.S. or abroad. The addition of our collagen to the formulation plumps up the skin and helps fill in unwanted Fine lines and Wrinkles. Soy is a natural nutrient when taken internally; with the addition of our patented topical Soy Extract to our formulation the skin is given the nutrients it needs for healthier, younger-looking skin. AlphaDerma CE contains the highest potency of Elastin and Collagen available to reduce and prevent the appearance of stretch marks and scars. In fact, AlphaDerma CE contains the rare, costly Freeze-Dried Powdered Elastin Concentrate which has almost 100% Amino acid content, making it 10 TIMES MORE POTENT than standard Elastin products used in the U.S. and abroad. Using AlphaDerma on the areas where stretch marks already exist will lighten and remove them quicker than any other product on the market today.
Demineralized Spring Water, Acetyl Hexapeptide 3 (Argireline), Octyl Methoxycinnamate, Glycerine, Olive Oil, Oxybenzone, Soybean Oil, Stearic Acid, Hydrolyzed Soy Protein, Soluble Collagen, Hydrolyzed Elastin, Alpha Lipoic Acid, Ascorbyl Palmitate (Vitamin C Ester), DMAE Bitartrate, Aloe Vera Extract, Glyceryl Stearate, Allantoin, Citric Acid, Microcrystalline Cellulose, Cetyl Alcohol, Simethicone, Methylparaben, Propylparaben, Cetearyl Alcohol, Ceteareth--20, TEA Carbomer 940.
As you may have guessed from this brand's name, their claim to fame is the intriguing yet murky category of products called cosmeceuticals. Neither the FDA nor any other cosmetic regulatory board in the world recognize "cosmeceuticals" as having any special status. It is purely a marketing term used by many skin-care companies, especially companies whose products are sold or endorsed by dermatologists (as Janson-Beckett is), to give the impression that their products have more effective or more biologically active ingredients than ordinary cosmetics. Nothing could be further from the truth.
Despite the medical slant, anyone can, and many do, slap this cosmeceutical label on their products to promote them as being more "medical." Even the FDA says cosmeceuticals don't exist, and considers these products merely cosmetics with clever marketing language attached (Source: www.fda.gov/Cosmetics/ProductandIngredientSafety/ProductInformation/ucm127064.htm).
Although you can ignore Janson-Beckett's cosmeceutical angle, you may still be wondering if they offer the cutting-edge anti-aging products they boast about. The answer is that this line offers more cutting-edge hokey claims than they do cutting-edge products. These products are sold with some of the most outlandish claims you're likely to encounter and, true to form, almost none of the claims are supported by published, peer-reviewed research.
Janson-Beckett's main claim to fame (all self-promoted) is that they were an "early entrant" into the topical-alternative-to-Botox market. They emphasize peptide acetyl hexapeptide-3, otherwise known as argireline, which is the most commonly used peptide in many of the sham skin-care products claiming to work like Botox. The issue is that if acetyl hexapeptide-3 really worked to relax facial muscles, it would work all over the face (assuming you're using the products as directed). If all the muscles in your face were relaxed, you'd have sagging, not youthful, skin, not to mention that it also would affect your hand (you apply it with your fingers), which would prevent you from picking up a cup or holding the steering wheel of your car.
Despite all the fears about Botox espoused by companies featuring this peptide in their "works-like-Botox" products, there is considerably more efficacy, usage, and safety documentation available for Botox.
Moreover, there is a clinical study showing that acetyl hexapeptid-3 does not work in any manner like Botox in reducing wrinkles (Sources: www.cremedevie.com/clinical_details.htm; and International Journal of Cosmetic Science, October 2002). It is also interesting to note that even Botox when applied topically on skin has no impact on the skin or muscles in any way, shape, or form! (Source: Cosmetic Dermatology, July 2005, pages 521–524). In fact, there is no research showing that it works at all when applied topically.
Even more shocking is that Janson-Beckett doesn't offer a single reliable option for sun protection. We can't imagine that the people behind this brand are oblivious to the pernicious aging influence that years of unprotected sun exposure has on our skin, but they seemingly couldn't be bothered to offer SPF-rated products with active ingredients capable of protecting skin from the ultraviolet damage that leads to wrinkles, discolorations, and sagging, among other undesirable results. They'll go on for pages about the "clinically proven" anti-aging ingredients in their products, but really, how seriously can an informed consumer take this brand when they can't even get the issue of sun protection right? Add to that the disingenuous UV protection claims they make for some of their products, and the ethics of Janson-Beckett become even more suspect. All told, considering this line's problems and high price point, we cannot come up with a legitimate reason to recommend any of their products over countless others.
For more information about Janson-Beckett Cosmeceuticals, call (888) 476-3600 or visit www.janson-beckett.com.