Despite having an elegant cream texture that feels great on dry skin, this moisturizer (which isn’t ideal for daytime use because it doesn’t provide sun protection) contains a few seriously problematic ingredients that make it impossible to recommend.
Lancer includes several antioxidants, cell-communicating peptides, and intriguing water-binding agents that all skin types need to repair environmental damage and obtain a smooth, radiant appearance. However, this also contains skin-damaging hydrogen peroxide and perfluorodecalin (part of Lancer’s Proprietary Liposome Complex, discussed in the More Info section) along with fragrant plant extracts known to cause irritation. The fragrant plants are present in low amounts (this moisturizer doesn’t have a strong scent), but the other problematic ingredients work against a product that’s said to be anti-aging.
With a few formulary tweaks, this could be an outstanding, albeit overpriced, moisturizer for dry skin. As is, this is not money well spent; our list of Best Moisturizers will provide less expensive options with superior formulas.
- Contains an excellent blend of antioxidants and other anti-aging ingredients, including several peptides.
- Lush, emollient texture moisturizes dry skin without feeling greasy.
- Contains skin-damaging hydrogen peroxide and perfluorodecalin, an ingredient that makes hydrogen peroxide more potent.
- Fragrant plant extracts serve as a secondary source of irritation (fragrance isn’t skin care).
Many of Lancer’s products contain what’s labeled Lancer Proprietary Liposome Complex. (A liposome is a delivery system that involves packaging ingredients inside a fatty acid that your skin can absorb.) The recipe may be proprietary, but what’s in this blend is clearly stated on the label, and it’s a mix of good and bad for your skin, and at these prices, or any price for that matter, bad should not be tolerated.
The Complex combines antioxidants, which your skin does need, with ingredients known to produce damaging free radicals, such as hydrogen peroxide, which your skin absolutely does not need.
The research about hydrogen peroxide for skin is clear, and it isn’t good news. Hydrogen peroxide kills skin cells and generates skin-damaging free radicals. There is no research showing hydrogen peroxide has anything to do with repairing skin or fighting wrinkles. Although it can function as a disinfectant, that has nothing to do with younger-looking skin. Besides, the cumulative problems that can stem from exposing skin to a substance that is known to generate free-radical damage, impair the skin’s healing process, cause cellular destruction, and reduce optimal cell functioning are serious enough that it is better to avoid its use (Sources: Journal of Drugs in Dermatology, July 2011, pages 753–761, and December 2010, pages 1523–1526; Archives of Biochemistry and Biophysics, March 2009, pages 127–135; Carcinogenesis, February 2008, pages 404–410; and Cellular and Molecular Biology, April 2007, pages 1–2). Because Lancer combines hydrogen peroxide with the oxygen-boosting ingredient perfluorodecalin, it means the hydrogen peroxide’s detrimental effects are even more severe.
Although this product doesn’t have much fragrance, it does contain fragrant plant extracts that can cause irritation. Daily use of products that contain a high amount of fragrance, whether the fragrant ingredients are synthetic or natural, causes chronic irritation that can damage healthy collagen production, lead to or worsen dryness, and impair your skin’s ability to heal. Fragrance-free is the best way to go for all skin types. If fragrance in your skin-care products is important to you, it should be a very low amount to minimize the risk to your skin; this product does that, but the question is should you (Sources: Inflammation Research, December 2008, pages 558–563; Skin Pharmacology and Physiology, June 2008, pages 124–135, and November-December 2000, pages 358–371; Journal of Investigative Dermatology, April 2008, pages 15–19; Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology, March 2008, pages 78–82; Mechanisms of Ageing and Development, January 2007, pages 92–105; and British Journal of Dermatology, December 2005, pages S13–S22.)
AM/PM Nourishing treatment is a potent, anti-aging treatment super-charged with a mutli-peptide complex and essential age-defying ingredients. AM/PM Nourishing treatment restores skin firmness and visibly diminishes the appearance of lines and wrinkles.
Water, C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate, Sesame Oil, Caprylic/Capric Triglycerides, Sweet Almond Oil, Glyceryl Stearate, PEG -100 Stearate, Glycerin, Butylene Glycol, Carbomer, Polysorbate-20 Palmitoyl Pentapeptide-4, Cetearyl Olivate, Sorbitan Olivate, Acetyl Hexapeptide-3, Lancer Proprietary Liposome Complex: Perfluorodecalin, Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate, Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate, Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate, Ascorbic Acid, Hydrogen Peroxide, Soy Lecithin Phospholipids, Stearic Acid, Glyceryl Polymethacrylate, Glucosamine HCL, Urea, Phyllanthus Emblica Fruit Extract, Siegesbeckia Orientalis Extract, Alga Extract, Yeast Extract, Centella Asiatica (Hydrocotyl) Extract, Echinacea Angustifolia (Coneflower) Extract, Gotu Kola Extract, Punica Granatum (Pomegranate) Extract, Imperata Cylindrical Root Extract, Arctostaphylos Uva Ursi (Bearberry) Extract, Glycyrrhiza Glabra (Licorice) Extract, Punica Granatum (Pomegranate) Extract, Retinyl Palmitate (Vitamin A) Phytonadione (Vitamin K1) Carnosine, Dipotassium, Glycyrrhizate, Stearyl Glycyrrhizinate, Glycyrrhiza Glabra, PPG-12/SMDI Copolymer, Mango Butter, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter) Cocoa Butter, Kukui Nut Oil, Ursolic Acid, Oligopeptide-1, Oligopeptide-3, Oligopeptide-13, Imperata Cylindrical Root Extract Arctostaphylos Uva Ursi (Bearberry) Extract Santalum Album (Sandalwood) Extract, Phellodendrum Amurense Bark Extract, Hordeum Distychum Extract, Mugwort (Artesemia Vulgaris) Extract, Plantago Lanceolate Leaf Extract, Crithmum Maritimum Extract, Camellia Sinensis (Green) Tea Extract, Tocopherol, Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein, Hydrolyzed Wheat Starch, Xanthan Gum, Triethanolamine, Disodium EDTA, DMDM Hydantoin, Iodopropynyl Butylcarbamate, Phenoxyethanol
Dr. Harold Lancer is a Beverly Hills dermatologist with celebrity clientele, two credentials that pique the interest of many women interested in skin care. His specialty is cosmetic rejuvenation and, like many dermatologists before him, Lancer has his own line of products: Lancer Dermatology Skincare.
Lancer's skin-care line is built around four steps: polish, cleanse, nourish, and protect. According to Lancer, these steps work for every skin type or aging concern. The polish (i.e. scrub) step involves applying a fairly abrasive, alkaline scrub before cleansing. Lancer's idea is that the polish loosens soil and cellular debris, which the cleanser you apply next will easily wash away.
After you cleanse, you're supposed to nourish skin with an anti-aging moisturizer. During the day, you're advised to protect your skin with sunscreen and, occasionally, if needed, you can apply a treatment product (such as a vitamin C cream).
Although Lancer's method is being hailed as unique or somehow different, it's ultimately nothing new to the skin-care industry: Exfoliation is necessary for younger-looking skin (but scrubs aren’t the best way to get this benefit), sun protection is vital, and a moisturizer loaded with skin-repairing ingredients helps replace what young skin produces naturally before it becomes damaged.
The polish (scrub) before the cleansing step is a new twist, but it's actually a problem if you're wearing makeup. Scrubbing skin before you remove your makeup will grind the makeup deeper into your pores, making it harder for the cleanser to remove. If anything, you should cleanse first, polish second.
Although Lancer's method is being hailed as unique or somehow different, it's about as interesting as white bread. If anything, it's a mix of dated and modern concepts built on information that researchers have known about for years: Exfoliation is necessary for younger-looking skin (but scrubbing isn't the best way to get this benefit), sun protection is vital, and a moisturizer loaded with skin-repairing ingredients helps replace what young skin produces naturally before it becomes damaged.
Unfortunately, Lancer’s scrubs are all alkaline (high pH) and contain overly abrasive scrub ingredients and fragrance extracts that skin doesn’t need. The nighttime moisturizers are all packaged in jars (exposing their beneficial ingredients to air), and the one sunscreen in the line is alcohol based (which isn’t a good thing for skin, as we’ll discuss in the product review).
There are some highlights in the line, such as good options for a 10% vitamin C treatment and AHA exfoliant, but ultimately you don’t need to spend this much to have healthy, younger-looking skin. In fact, because many of Lancer's products contain one or more problematic ingredients, you may end up thinking, “why bother?”
For more information about Lancer Dermatology Skincare, call (310) 278-8444 or visit http://www.lancerskincare.com/.