pHisoderm

pHisoderm At-A-Glance

Strengths: Inexpensive; most cleansers are excellent; some good scrubs.

Weaknesses: Bar soap; several products contain problematic ingredients, including lavender oil and alcohol; overall boring toner, moisturizers, and sunscreens; jar packaging.

This drugstore line has been around for a few decades, and has had its share of owners over the years, none of which has ever crafted a comprehensive skin-care line with minimal to no weak spots. Originally launched at a time when water-soluble cleansers were scarce and alkaline bar soaps were the norm (alkaline products being a problem for skin due to irritation and creation of an unfriendly environment on the surface and in the pore), the whole notion of the pHisoderm name having to do with cleaning skin and maintaining a normal pH was revolutionary at the time. Now that notion seems antiquated because water-soluble cleansers have long been the rule rather than the exception, and almost all of them are pH-balanced so they are compatible with skin’s own pH, which tends to range between 4.5 and 6.0, depending on age and individual skin characteristics. It also turns out that a cleanser's pH can go up to 7 without affecting skin negatively.

pHisoderm's press materials consistently mention that this is a dermatologist-recommended brand. Although most of the line's cleansers are worthy of professional recommendation, most of pHisoderm's other products are not. And if the claim about dermatologist-recommended is true, it is only possible because it is one dermatologist and he or she is paid by pHisoderm to support that claim.

You won't find any products to help treat blemishes, the sole sunscreen option is disappointing, and the latest product seemingly ignores current research about what it takes to create and maintain healthy skin. So we're back where this line began, which is the cleansers. They're the chief reason to consider pHisoderm, and the prices are bound to make budget-minded shoppers smile.

For more information about pHisoderm, call (877) 636-2677 or visit www.phisoderm.ca.

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