Skin Effects by Dr. Jeffrey Dover

Skin Effects by Dr. Jeffrey Dover At-A-Glance

Strengths: Inexpensive; nice selection of sunscreens with avobenzone, and the Sun Effects subcategory in general; impressive skin-lightening product with retinol; one good cleanser; the Lip Effects kit.

Weaknesses: Some of the sunscreens lack sufficient UVA-protecting ingredients; irritants crop up throughout the line; no AHA or BHA products; no topical disinfectants for acne; jar packaging.

We have now seen so many dermatologists launching their own lines of skin-care products that you'd think university dermatology programs must be offering classes on cosmetic chemistry—but alas, that is not the case. The reality is that most dermatologists who are supposedly formulating skin-care products are ill prepared for this task, and among their ranks and off the record, they are always quite skeptical of the claims they make. Disdain for buying into the actual effectiveness of all these antiwrinkle and anti-aging lotions and potions is often abundantly clear when you interview dermatologists or attend dermatologic seminars or conferences. Or at least that seems to be the case with Dr. Jeffrey Dover, Associate Clinical Professor of Dermatology at the Yale University School of Medicine, who has teamed up with CVS drugstores to exclusively distribute his line of skin-care products, known as Skin Effects (Source: Drugstore News, July 2005,

Dr. Dover's background is, without question, stellar. He graduated magna cum laude with an MD degree from the University of Ottawa. He received his dermatology training at the University of Toronto, followed by research fellowships at St. John’s Hospital for Diseases of the Skin at the University of London in London, England, and a two-year photomedicine fellowship at Beth Israel Hospital and Massachusetts General Hospital of Harvard Medical School. He is also Adjunct Professor of Medicine (Dermatology) at Dartmouth Medical School. Even more notable, he has authored or co-authored dozens and dozens of publications, including articles, reviews, and book chapters on such topics as photomedicine, lasers in medicine, cosmetic laser surgery, and medical education. A journal search produced more than 136 studies and papers with Dr. Dover's name affixed, along with a dozen book titles, but not one of these articles or books was on the topic of skin-care ingredients or cosmetic formulations.

So, can you expect stellar results from Skin Effects? From the company's point of view and according to their slogan "Anti-Aging. Without the Appointment," you can. But there is no appointment we can think of that these products would replace. While we wouldn't count on any of these products to provide anti-aging benefits, you have to give Dr. Dover credit for not pricing his products out of the ballpark. Almost every other dermatologist with a product line has pricing that is more ego-driven than related to what you are actually buying.

As attractive as the pricing and packaging are for this line, however, there is still no excuse for a number of concerns and shortcomings. This doctor should know better. First of all, products in jar packaging won't keep air-sensitive ingredients stable. Other concerns include the lack of sufficient UVA protection in some sunscreens (most of them contain avobenzone, which is good, but the misstep for others is still glaring), products with menthol, and claims that speak of results similar to in-office procedures (most of which Dr. Dover has written about extensively; certainly he must know these products can't begin to compete with those options).

Lastly, almost all of the products contain fragrance or fragrant plant extracts and coloring agents. Regardless of (or perhaps especially because of) Dr. Dover's pedigree, there are far more concerns in this line than there should be, but, as usual, some of the products are thoughtful formulations.

For more information about Skin Effects by Dr. Jeffrey Dover, call (866) 428-7327 or visit

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