Pro+ Therapy MD Emergence Serum
1 fl. oz. for $130
Last Updated:04.29.2013
Jar Packaging:No
Tested on animals:Yes
Review Overview

Kinerase is all about an ingredient they use in most every single one of their products called Kinetin, the technical name for this ingredient is N6-furfuryladenine. There is no question Kinetin can grow skin cells and collagen in a petri dish but what is often left out of the marketing enthusiasm for this ingredient is that when you use too much Kinetin cells don't do so well and die off (Paula discovered this during an interview with Dr. Suresh Rattan, the man who discovered what Kinetin can do years ago).

There is some independent research showing that Kinetin can have benefit for skin on real people (as opposed to isolated cells in a petri dish) but the studies don't compare it to other beneficial ingredients such as retinol, antioxidants, or other skin-repairing ingredients. So, while Kinetin is an interesting ingredient it is not the best or the only answer to your skin care woes and the research actually says just about the same thing (well not the research from the company selling the ingredient but then you wouldn't expect that not to be the case).

In 2005, Dr. Rattan developed a new ingredient called Zeatin that his research showed can also grow skin cells and collagen and reduce cell aging, at least as shown on cells in a petri dish. It also doesn't seem to cause cell death as Kinetin can, though the research isn't exactly clear about that. That's exciting but it doesn't necessarily translate to the ultimate in skin care, either.

But now on to the Kinerase Pro+ Therapy MD Advanced group of products. This sub-brand is supposed to be sold only by doctors and a couple of "authorized" websites. It sounds exclusive but absolutely doesn't mean there is anything clinical or medical about these products. The ingredients in Kinerase Pro+ Therapy MD are all cosmetic and hold no special regulatory status whatsoever. These are just skin-care products, nothing more. The exclusivity-focused point of sale will make physicians happy if they decide to carry the line because doctors love selling products consumers think are medical and better than what's sold in stores even though everyone in the industry knows they aren't.

What makes these products different from Kinerase's "mainstream" line is Pro+ contains both Kinetin and Zeatin, where the originally only uses Kinetin. Kinerase seems to believe this combination is better than Kinetin alone so you have to wonder why you would want to bother with anything else they sell other than these? By creating these products, they're sending the message that their Kinetin-only products must not be as good.

If you are eager to see what Kinetin and Zeatin combined can do for skin than these are pretty much the only game in town so the decision, as always, is yours and this is one product you can consider.

In terms of the other ingredients in this expensive, fragrance-free serum it isn't as elegant as other serums that top our list. Although it does contain a small amount of skin- repairing ingredients and antioxidants, it isn't as robust as it could be, especially considering the price. It is appropriate for most skin types but not if you have very dry skin.

It does contain apple fruit cell culture extract which is another name of apple stem cell extract. There is no research showing it does anything other than work as an antioxidant and even that is limited to one study. Plus, apple stem cell extract isn't unique to this product and the notion that it will stimulate your skin cells to grow is, shall we say, fruitless.

Overall this serum is an option but it is mostly about the Kinetin and Zeatin and little else, something you can get in other Pro+ products, you don't need to add this to the mix and ring up a bigger bill.

  • Packaging keeps key ingredients protected from air and light exposure.
  • Contains some very good skin-repairing ingredients.
  • Fragrance-free.
  • The research on Kinetin and Zeatin together isn't definitive.
  • Expensive, considering most of the anti-aging ingredients are present in tiny amounts.
  • Apple fruit cell culture cannot stimulate stem cells in skin.

Pro+Therapy MD Emergence Serum is clinically proven to minimize the visible signs of aging. Unlike other anti aging skin care products, this anti wrinkle treatment contains Phyto Cell Tec, a rare Swiss apple extract that works to support cellular turnover. Paired with the patented Prosome delivery system and other active ingredients, this apple extract provides continual anti aging benefits over a 12-hour period while boosting the skin’s natural antioxidant defense.


Water/Eau, Biosaccharide Gum-1, Methyl Gluceth-20, Propanediol, Butylene Glycol, PEG-12 Glyceryl Dimyristate, Sorbitan Laurate, Phenoxyethanol, Xanthan Gum, Cellulose Gum, Oryza Sativa (Rice) Extract, Ethoxydiglycol, Malus Domestica Fruit Cell Culture Extract, Lecithin, Polyglyceryl-4 Laurate, Kinetin, Zeatin, Ethylhexylglycerin, Citric Acid, Sodium Hyaluronate, Dilauryl Citrate, Baicalin, 1,2-Hexanediol, Caprylyl Glycol, Glycerin, Inulin Lauryl Carbamate, Ergothioneine, Tetrapeptide-26.

Brand Overview

Kinerase At-A-Glance

Strengths: Some antioxidant-rich products in stable packaging; almost all sunscreens offer sufficient UVA protection; mostly fragrance-free products.

Weaknesses: Cleanser; toning mist; some moisturizers and a serum with irritating ingredients; the Clear Skin product; unknowns about topical application of kinetin and zeatin.

Valeant Pharmaceuticals owns and distributes this medically positioned line that's built around the ingredient kinetin, a plant-growth hormone whose technical name is N6-furfuryladenine. What makes kinetin interesting are the in vitro and animal studies demonstrating its effect as a growth factor. Most of these studies were conducted by Dr. Suresh I. S. Rattan, Ph.D., D.Sc., Associate Professor of Biogerontology at the University of Aarhus, Denmark, who happens to hold the patent for use of N6-furfuryladenine on aging skin.

Dr. Rattan told me in an interview, "Normal cells, as they divide and age, go through a progressive accumulation of changes that are irreversible until they reach a stage where they finally die. The in vitro form of creating cellular aging is called the Hayflick Phenomenon, named after the researcher who discovered this method of studying cellular aging in a laboratory setting." He went on to state that "a young cell is plump, round, smooth. As the cells age, they become irregular, flattened, and large, full of debris.… When you grow normal cells in the lab they have a limited number of times they multiply and divide—termed a cell's replicative life span. But when I added N6-furfuryladenine to these cultures the cells did not age as fast, the process slowed down dramatically…" On the flip side, Dr. Rattan mentioned, "We are curious about negative effects.... In cell cultures when a concentration of, say, 250 micromolars of N6-furfuryladenine was used, we got good results, but when we used 500 micromolars of N6-furfuryladenine the cells started dying." The quotes above are from my original phone interview with Dr. Rattan prior to my first reviews of products containing kinetin. He has since told me we can no longer have discussions about this ingredient, not a shock given that "loose lips often sink ships."

You may be wondering if, years later, there is any new research that finally shows kinetin to be a worthwhile ingredient to add to your "anti-aging" skin-care regimen. One published study examined the effect of applying a low dose of kinetin to the skin of hairless dogs. The applications lasted 100 days, and gradual skin texture, wrinkle, and depigmentation (skin lightening) improvement was observed in all subjects. However, the study was not done double-blind, it wasn't compared to a placebo, and dogs don't wrinkle or age the way we do. So it's really a stretch to suggest that the results on dog skin somehow translate to results on human skin (Source: Rejuvenation Research, Spring 2004, pages 32–39). Further and more recent research on kinetin hasn't proven it to be an antiwrinkle luminary or even a dim light (Source: Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, May 2006, pages 332–342).

Using kinetin on skin remains as much of an unknown as it was when we first wrote about it. There are also conflicting results from studies trying to answer such questions as: How much kinetin is needed to have an effect? Can you use too much? How do you control the amount of skin cell differentiation? Can it exert antioxidant activity? The bottom line is that even if kinetin could be used by skin cells, there probably isn't enough kinetin in any product to have a negative or positive impact. However, that is only a guess; no one knows for sure, and so using products with kinetin remains potentially effective but still questionable. Besides, you have to ask yourself: If kinetin is such a miraculous ingredient, why aren't other companies using it in their products? Thus far, the licensing rights to kinetin haven't been setting the industry afire, and it's doubtful much more than a spark will be generated because everyone is always looking for the next buzz ingredient.

(Sources for the above: Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications, June 1994, pages 665–672, November 1999, pages 499–502, and October 2000, pages 1265–1270; Bioorganic and Medicinal Chemistry, May 2002, pages 1581–1586; and Dermatologic Clinics, October 2000, pages 609–615.)

For more information about Kinerase, call 1-800-321-4576 or visit www.kinerase.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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