Dr. Brandt is a New York–based dermatologist known for his skilled work with all types of dermal fillers and Botox, as well as for non-invasive procedures. His namesake skin-care line offers lots of products that blatantly make a joke of medical ethics. These products don't just blur the line between misleading information versus fact, they knock it completely out of focus, leaving a consumer confused and dazed in the process.
This serum is a case in point: With references to something called "Juvenessence Complex" and claims like "erases the signs of aging," Brandt is likely hoping you'll believe that the results you get from his product will be just as good as the results you get from dermal fillers like Juvederm. But, make no mistake, this serum does not do what dermal fillers do and it cannot live up to a fraction of the claims.
Dr. Brandt also tries to impress you by mentioning that this product took five years to research and that it has six patents—don't be. First, there is no published research anywhere to be found on this product, and, second, having patents is meaningless as far as proving efficacy.
Stating that a product has several patents might make it sound special, but a patent isn't proof of effectiveness, it's granted merely for controlled use of an original idea. The worst skin-care formula in the world could have multiple patents, but none of them would change the fact that a bad formula is a bad formula.
This product does look different because it's wrapped in translucent pearl packaging that bursts upon being dispensed and turns into a serum when applied to the skin. Definitely clever packaging, but that has nothing to do with skin care. The most important thing you need to know is that this product contains more preservative and alcohol than it does beneficial ingredients. It also contains brightening pigments that have a cosmetic effect on the skin, but you can get that radiance-enhancing benefit from many other serums that don't cost as much and that have much better formulas.
Do Not Age Transforming Pearl Serum won't replace the dermal injections Dr. Brandt provides. Overall, this is a lackluster formula with a few interesting cell-communicating ingredients; it just can't compete with what today's best anti-aging serums offer, and many of them for a lot less money, too!
- Brightens skin and makes it look smoother.
- Contains some intriguing cell-communicating ingredients.
- Overpriced given its mixed-bag formula.
- Contains fragrant oils that are a source of irritation.
- The amount of alcohol is potentially irritating.
- Contains more preservative than beneficial ingredients.
Alcohol in Skin Care: Alcohol in skin-care products causes dryness and free-radical damage, and impairs the skin's ability to heal. The irritation it causes damages healthy collagen production and can stimulate oil production at the base of the pore, making oily skin worse (Sources: Biochimica et Biophysica Acta, May 2012, pages 1410–1419; Alcoholism, Clinical and Experimental Research, January 2011, pages 83–90; "Skin Care—From the Inside Out and Outside In," Tufts Daily, April 1, 2002; eMedicine Journal, May 8, 2002, volume 3, number 5, www.emedicine.com; Cutis, February 2001, pages 25–27; Contact Dermatitis, January 1996, pages 12–16; and http://pubs.niaaa.nih.gov/publications/arh27-4/277-284.htm).
Irritation From Fragrance and Fragrant Oils: 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 (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).
Formulated to jump-start skin’s metabolism and restore strength and vitality, while promoting and maintaining younger-looking skin, longer. The serum features Dr. Brandt’s exclusive Juvenessence+ Complex encapsulated in state of the art DuoPearl technology, the result of five years of research and six patents. The pearls burst with each application, delivering the right dose of ingredients. Erases the signs of aging.
Water (Aqua), Caprylic /Capric Triglyceride, Propanediol, Glycerin, Pentylene Glycol, Alcohol Denat., Prunus Armeniaca (Apricot) Kernel Oil, Phenoxyethanol, Hydroxyethylpiperazine Ethane Sulfonic Acid, Sodium Hydroxide, Xanthan Gum, Sodium Hyaluronate, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Carrageenan, Algin, Decarboxy Carnosine Hcl, Synthetic Fluorphlogopite, Butylene Glycol, Spilanthes Acmella Flower Extract, Titanium Dioxide (Ci 77891), Alaria Esculenta Extract, Geranylgeranyl Isopropanol, Silica, Mica, Sodium Acetate, BHT, Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, Cellulose, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Peel Oil, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Fruit Extract, Cananga Odorata Flower Oil, Vanillin, Lavandula Hybrida Oil, Litsea Cubeba Fruit Oil, Vanilla Planifolia Fruit Extract, Jasminum Sambac (Jasmine) Flower Extract, Tin Oxide.
Dr. Fredric Brandt is a Miami- and New York City–based dermatologist whose claim to fame rests on two main points. The first (and it is a very important credibility factor for consumers) includes the many celebrity clients he claims to work with, while the second is his assertion that he performs more Botox and collagen injections than any other dermatologist in the world. (The picture on the back of his book shows him clad in white, wearing surgical gloves, and holding a syringe.) According to Allergan, the company that makes Botox, they no longer rank the physicians who purchase Botox from them; however, they did confirm that Dr. Brandt was definitely one of their biggest buyers. Yet regardless of how much Botox or collagen Dr. Brandt or any other physician uses, what in the world does that have to do with cosmetic formulations? If anything, you have to wonder why Brandt is using so much Botox and collagen if his products truly fight wrinkles, as he claims they do.
Beyond Brandt's cosmetic enhancement procedures, he is the author of Age-less: The Definitive Guide to Botox, Collagen, Lasers, Peels, and Other Solutions for Flawless Skin. His book and skin-care line are competing against the vastly more popular books and product line from fellow dermatologist Dr. N.V. Perricone. Although Perricone's skin-care line has some drawbacks, including irritating ingredients and the lack of supporting research for his neuropeptide products, the majority of his products, though overpriced, have more pros than cons. Sadly, the same cannot be said for Dr. Brandt, whose namesake skin-care line is one of the more disappointing ever assembled by a dermatologist.
Brandt's products are sold with the tag line that they are "prescription strength, prescription-free," and "are formulated under dermatologic control for maximum safety and efficiency and offer the highest performance without a prescription." Aside from how unbelievable that assertion is, what is not mentioned is the fact that none of the ingredients in Brandt's products are comparable, in any way, shape, or form, to prescription formulations. And what is "dermatologic control" anyway, given that there are no such standards anywhere in the world? Moreover, what do dermatologists know about the manufacturing of pharmaceuticals, much less cosmetics? The two arenas of expertise are completely unrelated.
Dr. Brandt positions his products as clinically superior to what you would find in other cosmetics lines, when nothing could be further from the truth. Many of his products tout benefits that don't just stretch the truth, but snap it in two—and these fallacies are all the more disconcerting coming from an esteemed dermatologist. When products contain the problematic ingredients that are so pervasive in Brandt's line, such as irritating plant extracts, drying detergent cleansing agents, and far too many products with skin cell–damaging lavender oil, it becomes nothing more than a too-expensive-for-no-good-reason line that should be approached with extreme caution.
The line does have a few bright spots: many of Brandt's products do contain significant amounts of antioxidants, though that certainly doesn't make his line unique because many other product lines do that too. (Here it's fair to say that while no specific amounts have been established for any antioxidant that will ensure their effectiveness, the general consensus among researchers is that more antioxidants are better than less, and less is still better than none at all.) Unless you're a devoted patient of Dr. Brandt and would be racked with guilt for not purchasing his products while visiting for an appointment, there is no reason to seek out this disappointing line.
For more information about Dr. Brandt's products, call (800) 234-1066 or visit www.drbrandtskincare.com.