The Genesis of Bare Faced Truth |

The Genesis of Bare Faced Truth

Bare faced truth was started in response to a serious of posts at (TIA) dealing with controversies regarding key active ingredients in certain skin care products being reviewed.  The comments section of one blog entry was overwhelmed, as a high level scientific debate began to unfold. Many of the readers were fully engaged and wanted more, while a few were bored or unhappy or both, and one even opined that their blog had been taken over by condescending  misogynists (!).  Everyone seemed to agree that the best course was to start a new blog that focuses on the science part, and leaves the user experience reviews to Marta and friends over at TIA.

If you aren’t a regular at TIA you should stop by and check out their excellent offerings at Very high quality,  forward thinking, thoughtful, and informative. We applaud their efforts, and owe a debt of gratitude to Marta and friends for inspiring us to join in the battle to seek the truth and expose the factually challenged in the world of skin care, cosmeceuticals, and anti-aging products. While we are not officially linked in any way with TIA, we are fighting the same cause.

Dr. John & Dr. George




  1. Marta says:

    Hi this is Marta at Truth In Aging. I applaud your initiative and look forward to the debate you generate. I also thank you for the kind words about Truth In Aging. However, I should clarify that Truth In Aging is not connected with Bare Faced Truth.

  2. Theresa says:

    Dr. John and Dr. George,

    A section listing your published research and educational background would be a nice addition to the blog!


  3. GW says:

    I am happy Drs. John and George will weigh in on the controversial actives found in skincare. The public has long needed a source from the scientific end vs. the aesthetic end.

    However, I am unclear why Bare Faced Truth. com has jumped in just now since the first line in your “Genesis” has an error that context does not clear up.

    Could you please clarify:

    “Bare faced truth was started in response to a serious of posts at (TIA) dealing with controversies regarding key active ingredients in certain skin care products being reviewed.”

    Is a response to one “serious” mistake related to EGF; a “series” of mistakes related to EGF; or a “series” of mistakes related to several products (made by TIA)?


    • drjohn says:

      Hello, GW.

      Welcome. I suppose it is somewhat ironic that we mention TIA in our genesis document as being the blog that spawned BFT, and then within a week or so we find them at the center of a web of deceit and a coverup reminiscent of Watergate. Call it the education of Drs John & George (and our colleague Dr. Lakey as well). Let’s face it, we were as naive as the average consumer who visits these sites. Babes in the woods. This is about truth? OK, good, let us contribute , because we have been seeing all sorts of scientific nonsense out there, and want to inform the public. They tolerated me to a point, but soon asked me to go away (start your own blog) which we did. But then when we would put in a brief comment at TIA pointing out some error, they got snarky and began ad hominem attacks against me. They got especially defensive on the EGF/BioEffect issue, and then a few days ago put up another post where Marta says she has reviewed all the scientific evidence, and admits there are questions of efficacy and safety, including conceding to risks of carcinogensis, and then says no problem, I am going to continue to use it, recommend it, and sell it. Now, in the meantime, they initiated an investigation with me as the target. That’s right – investigation. They called our colleagues and co-workers at the university, asking questions about us and our company. When i pointed out the impropriety of this, Marta said it was because they were merely looking for information. Which rings hollow because I had made myself quite available, and as the target himself and the CEO of the company, I would seem the obvious source for information. I never got a call. From these gratuitous answers and other evidence gathered, we concluded that this was an attempt to dig up dirt to silence the critics, marginalize, more ad hominems. Dr.George took up the cause, and try to post a comment to that EGF blog entry at TIA (the pone posted here), but he was blocked. Censored. Banned. Then they neatly tucked away the blog entry; I guess they hope it blows over, their faithful readers never hear of it, and we die in obscurity. I know from another comment that one TIA reader tried to put in a comment referring the this, but was also censored.

      Our conclusion is that TIA is not a solution, but a key part of the problem. If you go searching for truthful information in skin care, because you care about your health, and then you think you find it, you stop looking. If that information is wrong, you have been lulled into a sense of relief. In medicine, we view that as the worst kind of bait and switch. We call that evil. Now, if Marta & co. were truly unaware and just ignorant about such things, that would be one thing. But I sense a certain arrogance. They can bald facedly look real scientists in the eye and say (in essence) “we know more than you”. Even more galling when she cites literature that she clearly doesn’t even understand.

      But TIA is not the disease, only one of it’s symptoms. It’s a shame, because they have a good style, good writing skills, they are fresh, and have lots to talk about (of course, they are media people by training). If only they had the ethical fortitude to put aside profits when evidence suggests a rethink. And if they were to stop censorship and allow true debate, whatever the outcome. But I don’t hold out much hope, given their performance to date. BTW we welcome debate here. No opinion will be banned just because we don’t agree.

      Thant the sequence; not sure if it answers your question. I guess it wasn’t a mistake (we tried to gently correct those), or even a series of mistakes, as much as it was a series of events. It started with an enthusiastic attempt to be truth-in-science partners. It evolved to where it is because we found out our partners were not who they said they were.

      Thanks so much for you comment. I think we should leave our genesis document uncorrected, but with this comment to help explain the changes that took place once we got the player figured out. The sequence tells a sad but very human story.

      Best regards,

      Dr John

      • NGP says:

        Thank you for this blog. Having frequented many consumer skincare blogs and forums, i see the need for this type of blog which is based on objective science and not just consumer driven reviews or marketing copy. Unfortunately, many people who read those forums believe everything they read without questioning the validity of the ingredients or claimed results. Many people just want to hear the pros and totally ignore the cons of products and ingredients. I want to hear ALL sides and especially the science behind the claims. As you experienced first hand, people who question the status quo often get labeled as being dishonest, frauds and/or get banished or censored for speaking out about popular products and ideas. It’s unfair to all the consumers who are seeking the truth, but I’ve seen this happen over and over again. So, again I thank you for taking the time to educate people in making better skincare choices.

  4. cindy says:

    I just want to thank you docs for doing what few people seem willing to do these days, taking a firm stand on something that matters. Truth is important, and when it comes to our health all the more important. I hope you continue your quest. Cindy

  5. Drgeorge says:

    Cindy, thank you for your kind words. We agree, truth is important. That is why it is difficult to stay silent when untruths are promulgated for whatever reason, We’re committed to our quest…

  6. Kris Ann says:

    I appreciate this type of information, although I must admit, some of it goes over my head! I have questions on other ingredients re: safety and efficacy (such as tretinoin, spin trap, syn-coll, syn-tacks) and was wondering if these would be discussed in upcoming topics.

    Thank you Drs George and John

    • drjohn says:

      Hi Kris Ann. Thanks, we will try harder to make it understandable. We are so used to talking to other research scientists–please bear with us. Yes to examining all those ingredients, once we finish the stem cell series. DrJohn

  7. Michelle says:

    I am 23, with previously very young healthy skin as I was a runner (tons of glutathione!) but I took an antibiotic back in February 2011 and got sun damage from it. I didn’t understand skin, being a victim of the “doctor fix me” mentality and turned desperate. I had oxidative “wrinkles” in my skin that in hindsight can just be cosmetically smoothed over by spreading some jojoba oil and using a light facial sunscreen containing aloe and hyaluronic acid, etc. (which I now do). But at the time I was psychologically unbalanced, and desperately went to my general physician after a quick google search and begged her to prescribe me vitamin A gel, which she did hesitantly, Tretinoin at a 0.01% dose. I used it every day for about a month without moisturizing, under my eyes, for until one day I realized I had super fine lines and exposed veins. I looked sad and old. I terminated use in late April 2012. I am now realizing in hindsight that what that Tretinoin does is thin the epidermis and extremely dehydrated it, causing the fine lines.. It is now December 2012 and I am still dealing with the lines and having to constantly (and I mean constantly) put olive oil and wear sunglasses. I also over-exfoliated with vitamin C, desperately, not knowing. Exhausted all my savings on products and a pseudo-scientific cold laser. Hindsight is 20/20. I just need a boost to my under eye area. I can deal with the sun damage, but I cannot deal with the compounded damage I have done to myself. I have been reading on EGF, could it be a solution for someone with young skin who just wants to use it under her eyes to repair the epidermal layer? I have been also looking into peptides or soy isoflavones to plump up the subcutaneous fat that I believe the gel decreased. I’m a complicated case but I don’t know who to turn to. I only want to know if there is a way to rehabilitate the epidermis, using a product/serum such as something with EGF and complementary cytokines, or soy isoflavones?, even combined with light therapy, sound therapy, or crystals with regenerative properties, anything. But I cannot deal with this the rest of my life knowing that I hurt myself more, and could have simply adapted to my situation. I am into natural ways to keep cells from mutating and reproducing abnormally such as hemp seed oil and various foods so turning into cancerous cells is not as scary for me. I am very grateful for your website as I have an increased knowledge of science and respect for integrative treatment, and a complete loss of trust and faith in most companies and their products. It’s so relieving to see people with honest intentions trying to put some transparency out there for the public. Thank you for helping us navigate the complicated realm of infinite conflicts of interest in the cosmeceutical industry. I only want to rehabilitate my epidermis – sorry for the long message- my email is on here if anyone would be kind to help me out. It has been so difficult feeling ugly and it affects the way I carry myself and the energy I exude. Doing my best to stay positive and trusting. Any insight into the specifics of post-tretinoin rehabilitation would be amazing. Even if there is not much hope of plumping it back up AND restoring hydration. Thanks so much!

    • drjohn says:

      When you talk about “rehabilitating the epidermis” you remind me of the work of our close colleague Dr Lance Setterfield. He has a particular bent toward epidermal (non-medical or “cosmetic”)needling and its benefits. He harkens to the concepts of “corneotherapy” a word which could well be translated to epidermal rehabilitation. Read a bit about that here. Now, you should know that we are not particularly fond of individual growth factors, such as EGF alone. Mixtures of cytokines & growth factors, physiologically balanced (to look like nature’s own response), is more likely to benefit damaged skin. Now, microneedling alone stimulates keratinocytes in a healing response. Some of our recent work is focusing on ways to amplify and accelerate this response by also adding defined growth factor/cytokine cocktails to skin at the time of needling and as an ongoing regimen thereafter. We have some clinical research ongoing, but early anecdotal experience suggests a favorable synergistic response. Now, much of what you might want to accomplish post-tretinoin is maintaining your skins natural barrier, which will then help you to retain moisture. A regimen of calming, restorative, non-disruptive skin care will help with that. Stay away from crystal mumbo jumbo (bunkum). Good luck and keep us posted.

  8. Barbara says:

    Hi….I like to know that when I am reading articles about products that those such as yourselves have the credentials to warrant my believing a word you say. I am going to assume that you are doctors?? What are your credentials and background?

    • drjohn says:

      Both DrJohn and DrGeorge are physician-scientists. Following medical school, DrJohn trained in internal medicine and was a specialist in clinical nutrition, metabolism, and informatics. He retired from clinical practice in Washington to pursue a research career. DrGeorge trained as an anesthesiologist and practiced for several decades in So. Cal. before shifting to research. We have been working together in stem cell science applied to skin for 5 years now. Prior to that we worked together on diabetes related research. You can read more by looking to the top of this page and navigating to the Pair ‘O Docs page.

Leave a Comment