This is a decent, though not spectacular, moisturizer for normal to dry skin. What is beyond spectacular are the claims. Chin-Up is a moisturizer marketed as being designed for women who have what Skinn refers to as a “Type A” neck, which they define as thin, brittle skin causing what is often referred to as chicken neck or turkey neck. They claim this moisturizer can “redensify” thin skin while reducing wrinkles and age spots. Any basic moisturizer can plump dry skin with moisture, which we suppose you could argue makes it denser. However, that’s a cosmetic effect, not an alternative to cosmetic corrective procedures that can improve the appearance of aging skin on the neck. And what about sunscreen? It seems Dimitri James doesn’t think sunscreen has a place in a woman’s skin-care routine, even though protecting skin from sun damage is a major way you can preserve skin health and youthful appearance and allow skin to start rebuilding itself.
This isn’t a “super strength” serum targeted for the unique needs of the neck; it’s just a fragrant, emollient moisturizer with a somewhat tacky finish. It can make dry skin on the neck (or elsewhere) look and feel better, but the turkey neck appearance will still be there because that is the result of collagen damage from sun exposure, the slackening of muscles that support skin’s structure, and the fact that skin keeps growing even as we age. Absolutely nothing in a cream or lotion can change any of this. Neck lifts in a jar don’t exist. You can keep slathering this stuff on and wasting your money, but the only thing that will be younger is the fact that your hope springs eternal.
A key point of difference with this product is the inclusion of the ingredient teprenone. Companies selling this ingredient to cosmetics brands claim it is an active ingredient whose multiple functions include limiting skin-cell senescence (i.e., pre-programmed cell death when skin cell reproduction starts slowing down and eventually stops being regenerated as we age). As it turns out, this ingredient is a drug that Skinn appears to be using off-label (meaning that it is really a pharmaceutical), which my research indicates is against FDA regulations.
Teprenone is the brand name of a drug known as geranylgeranylacetone, which is used to treat gastric ulcers and is being researched as an option for slowing age-related hearing loss (Sources: Brain Research, May 2008, pages 9–17; and Digestion, October 2007, pages 215–224). What do hearing loss and ulcers have to do with aging skin? One of the key ways geranylgeranylacetone works is by influencing heat-shock proteins, which help other proteins interact as they should at the cellular level, which in turn affects many systems in the body. Heat-shock proteins are most active during times of stress, such as exposure to cigarette smoke and exposure to sunlight. When heat-shock proteins are reduced (which ultimately is what you want because that means reducing inflammation), cells appear to live longer. That’s the association.
We suppose Dimitri James theorized that geranylgeranylacetone (as teprenone) may also have a helpful effect when applied topically. After all, skin has heat-shock proteins, and it certainly is exposed to enough stressful situations so that an ingredient that could help these proteins function more efficiently would be a benefit. However, there’s no research proving that topically applied geranylgeranylacetone has any effect on heat-shock proteins in skin. What works when you take an oral medication doesn’t always work when you apply it topically. Moreover, as previously mentioned, Skinn is using a drug ingredient in a cosmetic product, which means the consumer is the guinea pig. For that reason alone, this isn’t a product worth considering, though the overall formula doesn’t deserve a Poor rating.
As women age the first area to show the advanced signs of damage and time is the neck area. Skinn research shows that the neck area ages in one of two ways: Type A women experience thinning, collapsing brittle skin on the neck that becomes dry and sinks with diminished elasticity ("chicken neck"), or Type B women experience a heavier full neck ("double chin"). Both types of aging necks experience age spots and lines. Skinn responds with two custom formulas in serum strength creams for Type A or Type B aging.
Type A: Chin-Up Redensifying is an extra rich, super-strength cream serum that was specifically developed with Essenskin™, Renovage™ and Vitamin D to help the thinning, dry and fragile skin on the neck to look redensified, more resilient, deeply hydrated and less lined. Chin-Up will also help reduce the appearance of age spots.
Vanilla Planifolia Fruit Extract, Carthamus Tinctorius (Safflower) Seed Oil, Pentaerythrityl Distearate, Isopentyldiol, Pentylene Glycol And Polysorbate-20 And 3-Aminopropane Sulfonic Acid And Calcium Hydroxymethionine And Hydroxyethylcellulose (Essenskin™), Phospholipids And Caffeine, Cetearyl Glucoside And Cetearyl Alcohol, Glycerin, Myristyl Myristate, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter), Stearic Acid, Stearyl Alcohol, Yeast Extract, Phenoxyethanol, Caprylyl Glycol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Hexylene Glycol, Hectorite, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride And Teprenone (Renovage™), Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Oil, Beta-Carotene, Cholecalciferol (Vitamin D)
Dimitri James is a makeup artist, hair stylist, and fashion consultant who spent two decades working for some of the biggest cosmetics companies in the world. After stints with brands such as Estee Lauder and Revlon, he decided, as so many others have before him, to launch his own products. Apparently, he was disenchanted with the business model most large cosmetics companies follow. According to James, the formula was always the same: "make a cheap product, put it in a fancy jar with a nice box and charge as much as possible." His cynical summation is definitely appreciated by those of us on the Cosmetics Cop team. Ironically, however, for the most part, Skinn's business model mimics the business model of many large and small cosmetics companies; that is, his products come in fancy jars, make inane unsupported claims, and are absurdly overpriced. Adding to that insanity, many of his products are poorly formulated.
Aside from the glaring same old, same old mix of disenchantment, those hoping for some good news about Skinn products will be pleased to know that this line does have some products worth considering. That doesn't mean the claims are accurate or that they outperform excellent products from many other lines. Overlooking the omission of reliable sunscreen from this line, the handful of good formulas are capable of getting as close as possible to keeping skin looking youthful and healthy. They won't replace cosmetic corrective procedures, but no skin-care routine will do that. Please refer to the list of strengths for products worth your attention; any products not on that list you can skip, unless you want to set yourself up for disappointment, and you will be disappointed if you expect the farfetched claims to come true.
Skinn's promises for their makeup—that they will make you a picture of airbrushed perfection—are beyond reality. Today's best makeup products can go a long way toward making a beautiful finish to your appearance and they're easier to apply than ever before. Just keep in mind that technique still plays a major role, so don't expect any makeup product to be the final answer. Skinn's color line has just as many misses as hits, so shop carefully. In this case, the foundations and concealer are not worth considering over countless others, but there are some great powder blushes and eyeshadows, a fantastic eye pencil, and mascaras that perform beautifully; but again, these are easily replaced with less expensive options. Those intrigued by makeup palettes may find some good options here, too.
All told, the Skinn line has a handful of impressive products, but it's not remotely "the revolution in cosmetics" Dimitri James makes it out to be. For more information about Skinn by Dimitri James, call (866) 346-4874 or visit www.skinn.com.
Note: This line is sold primarily on home shopping channels.