Janson-Beckett Cosmeceuticals At-A-Glance
Strengths: Janson-Beckett provides complete ingredient lists on their Web site.
Weaknesses: Expensive; repetitive formulas with different claims; cleanser and toner contain potent irritants; irritating lip plumper and anti-cellulite product; the sole sunscreen option does not list active ingredients; many products contain the controversial ingredient DMAE; few options for normal to oily skin; no options for those struggling with wrinkles and acne; the company doesn't consistently follow FDA regulations for ingredient disclosure (listing trade names instead of the actual ingredients, an all-too-common occurrence).
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.