MyChelle Dermaceuticals

MyChelle At-A-Glance

Strengths: MyChelle provides complete ingredient lists on their Web site; one good sunscreen for sensitive skin; sheer coverage stick foundation for dry skin.

Weaknesses: A natural product line that overemphasizes what their products don't contain yet offers no conclusive proof that their list of allegedly bad ingredients is harmful; almost every product contains one or more irritating ingredients (most notably lavender oil); ineffective routines for improving acne and skin discolorations; only one sunscreen and no facial sunscreen is recommended for any of the daytime routines; no pH-correct AHA or BHA products; jar packaging; most of the makeup is difficult to blend due to its high wax and oil content; no makeup options for oily or blemish-prone skin.

Colorado-based MyChelle is sold in many health food, specialty supplement and vitamin shops, and spas. It was started by Myra Michelle Eby, an entrepreneur whose background includes years working in the natural products industry. Eby's background was mostly in sales and she translated that talent into creating MyChelle.

Like many lines that heavily emphasize natural ingredients, MyChelle spurns synthetic ingredients as always being bad or toxic. The company's catalog provides an ingredient dictionary that glorifies every natural ingredient they use as having multiple benefits for skin, but it leaves out any of the negative research proving that many plant (i.e., natural) extracts can have a negative effect on skin. Once again consumers are being fed a pipe dream that a natural product is the answer to their skin-care concerns. Depending on the MyChelle product you choose, you could be putting your skin at considerable risk for irritation, free-radical damage, and potentially phototoxic reactions when skin is exposed to sunlight. As is often the case with new skin-care companies promising the world, MyChelle has over a dozen moisturizers and serums proclaiming their lifting antiwrinkle properties, but it sells only one sunscreen, which they identify as being for the body not the face. None of that adds up to great skin care.

Ironically, while MyChelle products have lots of missteps, many of the products also contain several proven beneficial ingredients for skin alongside the irritating ones. Antioxidants, retinol, peptides, and skin-identical ingredients are often included, but when these great ingredients are mixed with ingredients that cause irritation, destroy skin cells, and cause collagen breakdown, they are fighting an uphill battle to provide your skin with any benefit.

Please don't misunderstand: we're all for natural as long as it doesn't make matters worse for skin, but that's simply not the case with the majority of products in this line. As for the "Dermaceuticals" portion of the name, well, that's just one more meaningless marketing term to look past, as there is nothing dermatologic or pharmaceutical about any of these products.

For more information about MyChelle Dermaceuticals, call (800) 447-2076 or visit www.mychelle.com.

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