Nerium: Anti-aging Miracle or Get Rich Quick Scheme?

Diogenes searches in vain for an honest man

 

Diogenes long ago walked the streets of ancient Athens, lantern in hand, seeking an honest man. His search was in vain. I suspect he would have also been disappointed in many of the aisle ways at the IECSC meeting in Las Vegas. 

As I casually strolled up to the Nerium booth at the Las Vegas IECSC show, I made sure my Truth Matters barefacedtruth.com button was strategically displayed on my jacket. “Can you tell me how this product works?, I inquired. The booth attendant’s reply stunned me:

“They didn’t teach me too much about the science.”

Seeing that I was taken somewhat aback, the pleasant lady quickly assured me the science was real and that the breakthrough came about as a result of cancer research at the M.D.Anderson Cancer Center.  Scientists were studying the cancer treating potential of an extract from the decorative yet highly toxic Nerium oleander shrub when they allegedly discovered it could do miracles for aging skin. “Hmmm, that’s interesting” I thought. There must be more to this story. There was.

I had planned my reconnaissance to this booth carefully (I wasn’t even sure they would have a booth at the show) after a close friend from Ojai, California told me her best friend was selling Nerium AD, and the public’s enthusiasm about this product was meteoric. “What a great home business”, she added.

Get in and Get Rich: The Next Mega MLM

No wonder. I soon learned that Nerium is being marketed exclusively through a multi-level marketing structure and that Jeff Olson, the CEO of the company marketing it was a huge luminary in the MLM firmament. In fact, he saw the anti-aging product as such an attractive and lucrative money maker that he left his gig as the head of Pre-Paid Legal Services to start the fledgling company only a year ago.

I must compliment Mr. Olson on managing, by whatever means, to flood the internet with comments about this product, but much more importantly, the wonderful money making opportunity it purportedly represents to everyone. The hype and buzz is sheer digital cacophony.

Mr. Olson is a serial entrepreneur who has worked in the electronics, solar panel, satellite television, legal, and now skincare industries. His success with Nerium resulted in it being the February, 2012 cover story article in Success from Home magazine, a publication devoted to theMLM world. Now that is quite an accomplishment from a standing start only a few months earlier. Mr. Olson is a rainmaker, no question about that. Of course, there is also the possibility that enough money can buy the cover of any magazine, especially this one (you know, part of the cost of making it rain.)

But what about the email from my friend’s friend that said these oleander plants were rare and special and that they cost $150,000 each!  And they were only using part of the plant – the bulb. Somehow that did not jive with the lady at the Nerium booth who told me that they had started plantations of nerium oleander plants in Honduras to have enough to meet global demand which was growing in leaps and bounds…and what a way to make money she insisted (can’t forget to get that in as often as possible).

It’s All About the Money

This multi-level marketing plan has 10 levels and if you are industrious and recruit lots of people below you, they do the work and you collect the money…every month!! And if you only get three people to sign up to the monthly subscription plan, you get your own product for free, for as long as they continue to buy. What a deal!!

But does it really work? “Tell me more about the science”, I asked. “Sorry, I know the marketing plan pretty well” she replied, “but am not all that clear on the science.”

“Well, tell me this: Are there any published studies in some peer reviewed scientific journals that I can read to understand how this all works?” Her shoulder shrug told me the answer to that question was she didn’t know.

This would take some sleuthing on Google Scholar, or at least on Google. Let’s start with an exploration of Nerium Oleander – the plant from which the name of the company derives.

Danger! Danger! Do Not Eat the Flowers

From my days as an emergency room physician, I knew the Nerium oleander plant was poisonous, something that has cost many a hungry animal or curious child their life. This was despite the fact that folk-medicine uses of oleander go back centuries to treat an assortment of disorders such as hemorrhoids, ulcers, leprosy, and as an abortifacient. Coroner records of cause of death are pretty sparse that far back.

Extracts derived from the leaves and seeds of the Nerium oleander plant contain substances called glycosides. Glycosides can have severe toxic effects on the body, including the heart and other vital organs. Ingesting any type of Nerium oleander extract or the raw plant itself can cause oleander poisoning resulting in nausea, vomiting, diminished appetite, bloody diarrhea, drowsiness, dizziness and dilated pupils. Handling Nerium oleander may also cause skin irritation, such as redness or itching. Large amounts can be deadly and may cause loss of consciousness, seizures, heart rate irregularities and severely low blood pressure. You may also stop breathing or develop heart block, a potentially fatal complication in which the electrical signal responsible for telling your heart muscle when to contract is blocked. None of these are good things.

Cardiac glycosides are a diverse family of naturally derived compounds that bind to and inhibit Na+/K+-ATPase, enzymes that affect the “pumps” that control the flux of sodium and potassium across cellular membranes. Members of this family have been in clinical use for many years for the treatment of heart failure and rhythm disturbances. Recent findings suggest cardiac glycosides may also participate in the regulation of several important cellular processes, highlighting their potential new therapeutic roles in various diseases including cancer.

Evidently, what interested the researchers is that oleander extracts cause apoptosis in various cancer cell lines and increases the sensitivity of PC-3 human prostate cells to radiotherapy. In laymen’s terms, this means that it kills cells.  Now, that’s good if you are talking cancer cells. Not so good if you are talking about skin cells, includiung the ones making collagen.  Is there any evidence that this “killing effect” is limited to cancer cells?  No. According to the toxicology literature, it seems to kill all types of cells if present in high enough concentrations.

A hot water extract of this plant known as Anvirzel™, is being used to treat cancer, HIV/AIDS, and congestive heart failure. There was obviously enough interest for Phoenix Biotechnology, Inc. to raise 3.6 million dollars for the new Oleander Cancer Drug. Even so, that is a far cry from an anti-aging cosmeceutical that is not intended to be toxic to skin cells. But again, is it wise to put a cell killing drug on ageing skin?

So there must be more. Actually a lot more; M D Anderson has looked at scores, if not hundreds of plant compounds through the years and continues to do so today in its search for the silver bullet to combat cancer.

But not every plant can be the focus of a brand new MLM – that takes a special opportunity and specific confluence of events. Not so long ago it was the acai berry. Today, it’s Nerium oleander’s turn

Next up: we will talk about the Nerium MLM. We will name names. We will talk about why MLM’s are successful.  We will provide you with all the facts so that you can decide the answer to our question:  Anti-aging Miracle or Get Rich Quick Scheme?

 

180 Comments

  1. texasgirl says:

    FYI “Success from Home” isn’t a real magazine. A company pays them to produce an issue on their company. So it is not exactly journalism nor is it unbiased information.

  2. Drgeorge says:

    Thanks, Texasgirl, that was my suspicion when BFT posted above that Mr. Olson was a rainmaker who made the cover of that magazine by perhaps paying for the rain. Convincing evidence of skilled marketing techniques, but hardly that the product has any real merit.

  3. Craig says:

    As a scientist myself, let me point one of the many holes in your post here because as you say, the truth matters. You appear to be trying to infer that something is dangerous about NeriumAD based on extrapolation of the toxicity of the plant. I would suggest you go read the final NeriumAD clinical report by Dr. Fan at http://neriumskin.com/research/clinical.htm
    and that is simply one final document of a stack of studies done over several years looking at the safety and efficacy of using the NAE-8 in a skin creme. I don’t care a wit whether what you think of how or whether it works, I work with estheticians that are having great success with their clients using it everyday. However, before you make total fools of your selves and completely discredit yourselves do a little more research. All you have done with this post is make it very transparent that the actual barefaced truth is this site is intended to promote your own commercial adventures.

    • drjohn says:

      That should be ventures, not adventures (different meaning). . But let’s be gracious and assume a scientist who is not in business might not know that. Craig, can you tell us what field of science you work in, and your qualifications to make these arguments? Also – why are you interested in Nerium in the first place? Are you associated with the company, a contracting company, a distributor, or in any way connected to the Nerium empire? You know all our biases (we state them often) but we don’t know yours. With that information we might be able to debate in a way that would be informative for us and our readers. Look forward to your reply.

      • Craig says:

        I find you last comment curious when one of you is CEO of Cellese, skilled marketing techniques are critical for a company to be successful …I have a doctorate in chemistry and published in fields from biochemistry to neuroscience. I both tried the product for myself and spent roughly two weeks reading the journal articles and review the studies, and looking over the history of the CEO and other officers of the company, looking into the history of the biotech company itself and who they were and who they had been. …I am quite aware of the highly deserved bad reputation most of the MLM industry deserves both from bad corporate behavior and to products with completely laughable science claims. I wouldn’t be at all associated with such a company if I was not able to satisfy myself that this one was getting it right. In the course of the initial research I came across your website, and I like many of the posts you have made (for example the one on “plant stem cells”), it’s been a good source as I encounter other products in the industry. So I was bit disappointed by this post, hence my reaction. And so yes I’m an independent distributor now, but I’m perfectly fine if someone likes another product better… (commercial & irrelevant details edited)

        • drjohn says:

          Craig, it would have been good if you had chosen to reveal this information (you being a Nerium distributor) in your first note. Given your “skilled marketing” comment, all the more so. People don’t want to be ambushed. We wish you well in your business pursuits.

        • JP says:

          Craig, did you ever ask yourself why Nerium Intl chose to sell their revolutionary product through an MLM model? Well, here’s a clue. It’s the only way they can raise money. Nerium Biotech is bleeding cash! Check out the SEC filing:

          http://www.faqs.org/sec-filings/120330/NERIUM-BIOTECHNOLOGY-INC_10-K/

          FYI, Nerium AD is marketed through Nerium Intl which is 30% owned by Nerium Skincare, Inc. which is a wholly owned subsidiary of Nerium Biotech. Sounds complicated, but I finally figured out the equation: Nerium=Delerium

        • JP says:

          Also, from nerium Biotech’s 10-Q, “Based upon prior year operations, the Company has insufficient cash flow to fund its operation and to execute its business plan for the next twelve months. However, revenue for the three months ended March 31, 2012 has nearly exceeded that of the entire year 2011. This growth is expected to continue, and when combined with anticipated sales of common stock, should provide the funds necessary to allow the Company to execute its business plan for the next twelve months. However, if the Company is unable to sustain this revenue growth and/or sell shares at a sufficient price, it will be unable to continue as a going concern.”

          Personally, I would be surprised if the company doesn’t attempt to offer Brand Partners & Directors stock warrants!!

  4. Drgeorge says:

    Craig, your referenced study about the systemic safety of topically applied oleandrin in the Nerium product was mentioned in one of our installments on Nerium. We noted that oleandrin’s molecular weight and lipophilic nature both favored skin penetration. The lack of systemic effect and measurable concentration of concern means that either the substance is absorbed systemically in very small quantities i.e. remains primarily within the cells underlying where it is applied, or there is very little in the product. to begin with. Either of these explanations is consistent with the study you reference.

    We remain thoroughly unconvinced that placing oleandrin on one’s skin is a good idea if it’s purported mechanism of action in killing cancer cells is to create major oxidative stress. Why would it not also do the same thing to skin cells? Oxidative stress is well proved to be pro-aging.

    So what could account for the beneficial changes being claimed? Perhaps other ingredients in Nerium can account for the visual improvements. We’ll look at that in our next installment.

  5. Charissa says:

    Scientific facts are in Wikipedia, NERIUM IS SAFE:
    With regard to dermal application, three industry-sponsored human studies in which 1 to 2 mL of Nerium oleander extract containing the cardiac glycosides were applied topically on a twice daily basis to 85 subjects with different skin conditions, including sunburn, acne, cold sores and age spots, for up to 30 days.[22][23][24] Improvement in some of the conditions was noted, and safety was confirmed by the lack of adverse dermal reactions and by the lack of detectable glycosides in blood samples taken periodically during this 30-day period.

    • Michelle says:

      Wilkipedia? Really? Because we all know that Wikipedia is 100% accurate and a place where one should always refer when seeking medical and scientific facts. Show me something like a publication from the New England Journal of Medicine or JAMA, etc because surely if someone has found the facial fountain of youth it’s worthy of being published in a reputable medical publication.

      • Tonia says:

        I completely agree with you! If this product is the “fountain of youth” it claims to be then facial pros and doctors would be selling it all day long. I find it hard to believe that this product is sold by a MLM and not through the doctors offices where most people buy their high end facial products.

        • Fern Henley says:

          For a great product the MLM model works. I’ve seen heads of medical departments (docs) refuse to carry a great product that I used on burns and other wounds just because they couldn’t get a kick-back from the company. So I’ll rely on a product that works for my old face better than medical treatment. Hope they don’t change the formula. Disclosure: I don’t sell the product.

          • drjohn says:

            Fern, in terms of docs: anti-kickback statutes have been in place for many years now. In the legitimate medical world such practices are illegal. But the term is a good one, and well describes why you generally cannot trust testimonials from skin care consumers who are also sellers of the product. Perhaps we could get the anti-kickback laws extended to include MLM “brand partners”. Which reminds me, I find it most amusing that the Chinese government is beginning to crack down on NuSkin (and soon, by extension, other pyramid schemes disguised as MLM’s). I guess it’s true what they say – that consumer protection is a leftist scheme to control our lives – since our communist friends seem to be better at it than we are. Caveat emptor!

          • Karen says:

            I’m in my 50′s and i was thrilled to be told about this. I ignore the controversary surrounding it. I don’t want to be part of the pyramind, i just want the Nerium product, which as far as I’m concerned, is the best I’ve ever had.

          • drjohn says:

            If this is the best product you have ever had, then we are naturally curious to know what other products you have tried.

  6. Drgeorge says:

    BFT has not taken issue with the assertion that skin application does not result in systemic levels of oleadrin that are of concern. We have also noted that based on molecular weight and lipophilicity, it is likely penetrating the skin effectively. The conclusion is therefore the applied topical concentration is cumulatively less than the amount necessary for systemic concern, it is bound to the tissue locally (an unlikely explanation) or there is very little oleandrin in the product to begin with, and that is all that can be said.

    The fact that it has had “beneficial” effect on certain cell population found within the skin i.e. melanoma cancer cells which it kills, is consistent with the published mechanism of action of perturbing cellular metabolism enough to result in injurious or lethal amounts of oxidative stress. What BFT would like to see posted by someone (calling all Nerium defenders) is a valid scientifically plausible reason why a substance that injures cells sufficiently to kill them can also be of benefit by somehow making them “healthier”. We have already postulated we might be seeing subclinical injury from Nerium that masquerades as improvement through inflammation,one component of which is edema or tissue swelling ergo wrinkles diminish. Several other ingredients can also contribute and account for the changes seen.

    BFT will monitor additional postings looking for the one that forces an enlightened yet sincere mea culpa. We love learning new science. We stand by our opinion in the interim. We are also thinking this horse, if not yet dead, is close enough to stop beating it.

    • Joe Abel says:

      Just read all the info you guys and gals posted about Nerium AD and I’m in complete agreement. Can you forward me any articles you are aware of or have written ???

      Very Appreciative, Joe Abel

    • Dmueller says:

      It’s just a speculation based on anecdotal evidence, but this is my theory:

      Your assumption that the supposed improvements of Nerium are due to skin inflammation, and not attributable to any intrinsic health benefits is correct. I say this because I heard of this product through my wife, who in turn heard about it through her colleagues at a hair salon. The majority of these women have had multiple and ongoing Botox treatments. With this whirlwind of hype around the product along with it’s all-natural branding, and the plus that it doesn’t require seeing a doctor, I imagine that Nerium is simply a more attractive choice to receive a similar result.

      Also I have read the NeriumAD clinical report by Dr. Fan. My initial reactions were: the study group was small (35 trials, I believe), good controls were not set (i.e. too many variations in subjects, strict instructions pertaining to dosage of Nerium and/or simultaneous usage of other products were not given [at least in the report]), and the fact that it was not tested against the active ingredient alone.

      This is just my initial impression of the product. I intend on reading more into Nerium Oleander and the active ingredients in NeriumAD before I decide what I should tell my wife. Unfortunately, she already tried a sample from one of her colleagues; and without looking it up! Just FYI, I am not a scientist yet, but I am a Junior undergrad majoring in Physics.

  7. Marge says:

    While checking the Nerium product to determine if I would try it, I was glad to discover your site–BUT then I read the paragraph on using a friend’s friend info that oleander plants are “rare” and cost $150,000 each. Sorry but you should have checked your friend’s friend’s info before putting it out there as the truth.

    I live in California and the plant is VERY COMMON here–it is even planted in the median strips of highways.

    Now I have to wonder how good the rest of your research is.

    • drjohn says:

      Marge – go back and read it again. Maybe you missed our tongue-in-cheek tone. We weren’t saying it was rare, we were pointing out that others (friend of a friend of a Neriumite we met at a trade show) were trying to paint it as something special, and rare. We are in California, where it is not uncommon to have cases of oleander ingestion show up occasionally (I used to be an ER doc). We do want you to be skeptical however. BTW – the claimed $150,000 included the cost of extraction. Must require some exotic materials and rare experts.

  8. Drgeorge says:

    Marge, Drjohn is spot on. I knew that the friend of my friend (who both live in Ojai, CA) was totally smitten by the Nerium bug when she mentioned the preposterous sum for each plant. When I questioned her price in an email, she replied that it was the “bulb” of the plant that is used and they are “rare”. The cult-like nature of her rabid enthusiasm convinced me this was worth looking into, which I started doing by visiting the Nerium booth at the Las Vegas esthetician show in June. When no one there could even begin to describe the science, yet kept reminding me how much money I could make with 10 levels of compensation in the MLM, I decided this might be a reasonable topic for BFT to explore. Wow!! From the number of postings we have received, something hit a nerve…

  9. Robbie says:

    I appreciate that this search result actually yielded some REAL information! Thank you BFT. One in ten of the top results for ‘nerium+scam’ on google has facts. The other 9 are like a lot of people say at the trade show; (“You can make MONEY! And you just gotta network, try my DVD on LEADS!)

    Mostly sad to see a couple college graduate-colleagues “becoming partners” with these guys. Last I checked, selling meat door-to-door, avon, etc, was never considered “owning a business”, and I don’t know why the two links the company provides as in-house “proof” of their science is winning ANYONE over. It is disheartening. Is it the economy? The last of these sad door to door sales companies gave up many years ago. I can’t believe people are buying back into this kinda garbage.

    Please continue to expose facts on this subject BFT, if any of their reps can actually provide real ones that weren’t in the brochure.

    • Leila says:

      I think if you were to check those door to door that you say gave up long ago, you may find they have boomed in this economy ! Because people want to do something , even if it’s one of these companies you are looking down your nose at! My prayer for you is your put in a position you have to humble yourself! God forbid you may have to work from home! Bet you don’t have kids , where you’ll work were ever so you’ll be able to feed them! Take care

      • drjohn says:

        Leila, God didn’t forbid it; in fact I humbly worked at home for many years. I was a work at home Dad. I started successful businesses at home. So please do not think I am looking down my nose at you, or anyone. In fact it is because I have a heart for those trying to raise kids, put food on the table, and survive a difficult economy that I have spent time investigating the MLM business model, and sadly find it to be most disheartening. Leila, please go look around http://mlm-thetruth.com. Check out the statistics on who actually makes money (a tiny fraction) in these pyramids. Check out the “1,357 ways to make more money than an MLM” list. Check it all out. Dr John Taylor is an MLM expert. I’m just learning. Best wishes to you in whatever you do.

  10. Drgeorge says:

    It’s good to see our message getting through the noise. That means a lot of linkages have been established that Google is “seeing” in their algorithm, Imagine, a little more than decade ago, no one would be able to bring attention to questionable companies such as Nerium. When and if they ever do answer the scientific questions we pose, we will let our readership know, especially if they prove us wrong. We are not holding our breath.

  11. Tim says:

    My initial thoughts were very sceptical; as, if there was a product that was so incredible, why have a slow marketing process via the MLM channels, rather than put a massive media campaign and flood stores throughout the world with the miracle cream. Thus, my goal was to see if this was or was not a hoax. I took a positive attitude by giving this product a 30 day trial and applying it exactly as prescribed from Nerium’s website.

    30 days go by and nothing. No change in skin tone, no change in wrinkles. Nothing. I took the pictures and magnified them x4 to see if there were results that I could not see with the naked eye. Again, nothing. Then I told my experiment results to the person that got me the product; and her sales pitched changed. Now she says many people take 60 to 90 days to get results. That was not what was said originally, nor could I find reference to this 60-90 day time period noted anywhere on Nerium’s website. I and one other person were doing the exact experiment over the same period. Same negative results.

    The results that I am hearing from people I know are in their head. I have seen pictures of them previously, and pictures which are current and I see no results. Obviously, it is very easy to photo shop results, thus, I did not rely on any pictures submitted by any Nerium representative.

    I am debating to see if I should continue this experiment for the 90 days; but, with two people doing side by side studies with no results, I don’t see the effort being worthwhile; especially after hearing over and over and over that results are seen in 7 days….15 days….20 days… unbelievable results in 30 days. From my standpoint this is a total scam. It would be too simple to have a third party company conduct studies of sample groups with Nerium and a placebo; yet, this was not done. Everything about this screams a scam and a way for people to make a buck at the sacrifice of their friends and family. Sad…….

  12. Drgeorge says:

    I suspect that when all is said and done, many a relationship will need repair. Sad, indeed.

  13. Karen says:

    I have been trying the product as well, hoping for great results, and I am less than impressed so far.

    Here’s my biggest mystery/challenge with it thus far. I’m a bit of an ingredient detective, as I have been committed to using products that are natural and contain (preferably) NO toxic ingredients, since beauty and personal care products are notoriously loaded with them.

    I checked this product, ingredient by ingredient, with help from the Cosmetic Safety Database, and found all the ingredients checked out pretty good, EXCEPT toward the bottom of the ingredient is listed PARFUM. No where does it list the source of this PARFUM. If it was an all natural essential oil, I am fairly sure it would state as much. I asked the lady who got me interested in trying it if she could investigate the source of this ingredient for me so that I would know exactly what the source of this PARFUM is. She did not know, did not seem to care, was willing to wage a guess, and offered to ask someone else she thought may know. She sent an email to this person which she cc’d to me, and this person never responded.

    For those of us who know product ingredients, PARFUM, or perfume of any kind, is usually chemical based and generally is toxic. Although all of the other ingredients check out pretty well, it would be a shame that they would use a nasty chemical PARFUM ingredient, thereby rendering this “all-natural” product toxic, especially being the smell is one of the worst things about this product.

    Any way this could be researched further, I wonder? I haven’t put THAT much time or effort into it, but really WOULD like to know…

    Seems interesting that such info would be so dificult to find. Hmmmm.

    • Drgeorge says:

      Parfum (fragrance) is a common ingredient in many products and the major source of allergic reactions to cosmetics in general. From what you wrote, is BFT to understand you found Nerium’s proprietary ingredient (the combination of aloe vera and neriium oleander extracts) in the Cosemetic Safety Database? How was it listed and can you please forward what URL provided that information. No mention made of potential toxicity? Please clarify.

      • drjohn says:

        Karen, You should have smelled it before the PARFUM was added! Just kidding. the FDA regulations specify that manufacturers don’t have to list on the label any ingredients just there for purposes of smell good (or at least smell better). Doesn’t help you much in your quest for detailed knowledge, but there you have it. A regulatory loophole.

  14. Kelbie says:

    I believe I asked you to explain why neurologists used anti epileptic medications before their mechanism if action was known. Funny my 2 posts vanshied…hmmmmm. Are you 2 actually physicians anyway?

  15. Lily says:

    Okay, so other than the fact people think this is a scam, have not personally used it, or may have in fact seen great results, is it safe? That’s all I want to know is can it hurt me? The MLM stuff I don’t care about really, I just enjoy a good product. Can anyone prove or say whether it is or isn’t harmful???

    • Drgeorge says:

      The issue of safety in this context can refer to: 1) is it toxic and going to do harm by being systemically absorbed; or 2) is it going to do harm to the skin with short, medium, or long term use.

      BFT is generally convinced that topical application of Nerium AD does not result in systemic levels of oleandrin that are of concern. This is in contrast to ingestion of the plant which can indeed result in injury or death. The issue of safety in terms of deleterious effect on skin is a different matter, far from resolved.

      Safety is also a matter of definition. If topical application results in allergic reaction, severe burning, headaches, acne outbreaks, acute inflammation (all described in BFT contributing posts) one would not call it safe for those individuals. For those passionate about its benefits and not experiencing disturbing effects, one must look into the question deeper – figuratively and literally. Chronic smoldering inflammation, a possibility with repetative chronic application of sublethal doses of a known cytotoxic substance, is known to be pro-aging. It has even been given a name – inflammaging. The result would be changes to the structure of the skin that are not what the consumer was hoping to achieve from the product. While this may not be “unsafe”, it is certainly not what a user would expect or want from NeriumAD ( the AD stands for “age defying”).

  16. Rose says:

    This is all very interesting- I was approached to try Nerium by a friend- She showed me pictures of her neck before and after 5 days– She loaned me a bottle of the Nerium to take the 5 day trial– I took before and after pictures of my face and neck– I’m 73 she is in her 40′s. I did not see any change. And it is expensive.. Her main pitch was the money to be earned. I had several bad experiences with MLM companies , so I was not interested in the financial possibilities as I understand First in make it and so forth… Today She picked up her LEXUS- a perk for what-ever level she reached. I think the product is safe but it cannot take away loose skin– Just don’t believe the hype– If it is that good It would be Viral by now. If it did what it said I could sell it to embalmers– LOL. But when someone tells you how much money you can make from selling a product that takes away wrinkles– The money is the thing that ignites not the product so therefore I would not pay that price for a cream.. And if you want to try it its being sold on Amazon & E-bay for much less than 100.00– Buyer beware is the best advice I can give– Cause if it sounds to good to be true– Its probably not!

    • drjohn says:

      Rose – the advantage of being 73 is that you have 73 years worth of accumulated wisdom! I think your advice is very sage. I think we shall nickname you “Sagacious Rose”. Sagacious = having or showing keen mental discernment and good judgment; shrewd.

  17. Denise Ballreich says:

    Thought I would try this but it all sounds to good to be true! I have spent $100′s on creams and I personally find them all not true, the only thing that can turn back time is a face lift and really who wants to look like a freak with their skin pulled so tight it looks ready to split open! So I will just enjoy the aging process!

  18. hollie says:

    hey im not a brand partner and ive never used it. buut i was curious what oleander did do for the skin after reading your blog. you prob already saw this, but here is what i found:
    webmd.com:
    Heart problems.Asthma.Seizures.Cancer.Menstrual pain.
    As a poison.
    Skin problems, when applied to the skin.
    Warts, when applied to the skin.
    More evidence is needed to rate the effectiveness of oleander for these uses.There isn’t enough information to know whether or not it is safe to apply oleander to the skin. It’s best not to do this.

    Historically, Nerium oleander has been reported in ancient texts and folklore for more than 1500 years. Used traditionally by herbalists as a folk remedy for a wide variety of maladies and conditions, including dermatitis, abscesses, eczema, psoriasis, sores, warts, corns, ringworm, scabies, herpes, skin cancer

    • drjohn says:

      It causes warts too? I didn’t know that.
      Yeah, the medicine of 1500 years ago bears little resemblance to today. They had “barber surgeons” who basically cut things out or off. Drilled holes in your skull for headaches, that sort of thing. Short life expectancy, for sure . So, it is out of this enlightened tradition that the use of nerium oleander was borne?

  19. Lynne says:

    A friend of mine just became a rep for this and raves about it. I always take that sort of thing with a grain of salt, so I have been reading up on it just out of curiosity to see what she has gotten herself into. She reminds me of my brother who sold Matol Botanical for years and annoyed everyone with his attempts to “convert” us all into believers. As for me, I started using Retin A about 30 years ago and haven’t felt the need for anything else. Besides I get it in Mexico, and for about $25 I can get a tube that lasts about a year. It’s kept my skin healthy and looking good, so I don’t even get a little bit tempted to buy all these expensive faddish things. As an aside, Retin A in the States costs about $125 for the same tube…after you go to a doctor, pay that cost, and get a prescription. Such a deal!

  20. anna says:

    Is there any evidence that absorption of this product into the skin can cause any kind of damage, systemic or local. I’m being asked to use this product, but I fear the poison associated with oleander. If there is so little (or no) oleander in this product that it cannot do any kind of damage, I can use it and save a friendship. It looks like there is more aloe vera than anything else. Perhaps the parfum is to give the stuff an oleander scent?

    • drjohn says:

      Hi anna. The evidence supplied by the company shows that when applied to skin in the recommended doses, it doesn’t get absorbed enough to be detected in blood. So, systemic toxicity is not the concern. It never was in our minds. The other part of your question (does it cause skin damage) we cannot answer. It is the question we raised nearly 6 months ago, have raised here numerous times, and have never been offered and data to answer that question. We can however look at a large body of work from MD Anderson about how oleandrin (or cardiac glycosides, the active ingredient) affects cancer cells. The mechanism is well characterized, and it leads to the generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) within susceptible cells. The pathways involved are complicated (a signalling cascade), and not every cell will behave the same in the presence of these chemicals (receptors that recognize the chemicals may be sparse or abundant). Clearly cancer cells are more susceptible, but there is indirect evidence also that liver cells and skin cells are affected by these pathways. You should know that increasing ROS is the opposite of anti-oxidants, which you have heard of. This would make the chemicals anti-anti-oxidant (or oxidizing), and can lead to DNA damage, and cell death (by apoptosis or autophagy). Now, given all that, you might expect there to be some data supporting the “accidental discovery” whereby an anti-cancer drug is found to be anti-aging. You see the paradox here? If there is an explanation, even a theory, why hasn’t it been shared with the scientific community? Why would they hide it, after all our efforts to answer these questions? So, the answer is we don’t know whether it does harm or not, but issues exist here. We will continue to try and get answers for you.

  21. ERIN says:

    A friend of mine gave me a sample bottle one week ago today. i am a complete skeptic…I will definitely be buying some when this bottle runs out and everone i have seen says my skin looks better and great!

  22. ibasq says:

    …. and still no reply?

  23. Carole says:

    I can tell you that I have been using this product for 2 months. I am a holistic health counselor and researched whether or not I felt comfortable using it on myself and recommending it to others. I am 62 yo today and all I can say is that my skin looks incredible and people are telling me the same. I had two lines on the side of my face where I have slept for years and it created a long bubble in the middle of them….That bubble and lines have almost vanished and the lines around my upper mouth seem to be smoothing out also. I could hardly believe what I was seeing but there it is…before and 2 months after… I will continue to use this cream…
    But let me ask all of you nay sayers…. those of you in California…Are you voting Yes on Prop 37? Do you care that Monsanto is poisoning our foods and taking over the food industry…that you are putting these poisons into your body…Do you drink coke and pepsi, coffee and alcohol…nuke your foods in a microwave till they are limp and have no nutrients left in them….do you buy organic or do you think it too expensive and buy the gmo and chemically sprayed foods instead…meat and milk that’s been pumped up with steroids and fed gmo corn and soy, injected with bovine growth hormones??? Because if you do then what the hell difference does it make if the creme is a little toxic (which I don’t believe it is) and makes you look GREAT!

    • drjohn says:

      You worry about GMO, microwaves, pepsi, but then you don’t care if the stuff you put on your face contains a known drug that is a cell poison? That’s a twist of logic I cannot follow.

  24. JP says:

    Sadly my wife has been poisoned by Nerium’s sleek marketing. She has quit her job, saddled me with more household chores, and reduced our bank account by $1200 or so the last month. I see little income coming in from her efforts—but just wait, right? I examined Nerium Intl the best I could and have serious doubts about them being a long term viable business. When I shared my suspicions with my wife she called me unsupportive and a downer. It was then that I realized the real miracle nerium performs: giving bored, middle aged suburban housewives a renewed sense of importance and empowerment. Heightened self esteem may have improved my wife’s complexion, but the wrinkles have shifted over to the foundation of our marriage. I hope we are able to overcome this irritant. Have to run, need to watch the kids while the wife attends a nerium mixer. I wish I was kidding…

  25. ibasq says:

    is nerium extract an enzyme?

    • drjohn says:

      No, but as an extract, unless purified it may contain many plant chemicals including some enzymes. According to the work of Dr Newman, the key active ingredient in oleandrin (Nerium oleander extract) is a class of chemicals called cardicac glycosides. These chemicals are also present in certain potent prescription heart medicines.

    • drjohn says:

      No, the extract of nerium oleander contains a drug, oleandrin. This drug belongs is a class of drugs called cardiac glycosides. These are potent drugs, used in the treatment of congestive heart failure and cardiac arrhythmia. They may also kill cells, and that is why Dr. Newman was investigating their use in cancer. Normally, sodium-potassium pumps in the membrane of cells (e.g. cardiac muscle cells) pump potassium ions in and sodium ions out. Cardiac glycosides inhibit this pump so that sodium cannot be pumped out. As a result intracellular sodium concentration therefore increases. This also leads to calcium accumulation within cells. If higher glycoside doses are given, rhythm is lost and ventricular tachycardia ensues, followed by fibrillation. This is why oleandrin is considered not just a drug, but also a natural poison. It has a narrow therapeutic window. This means that the difference between an effective dose, and a toxic dose, is small. Doctors prescribing digoxin (a common cardiac glycoside) must monitor blood levels to assure safety for the patient. If the blood level gets too high it can lead to a cardiac arrhythmia (heart attack) and death.

  26. hellothere says:

    I have been using Nerium for about two weeks. I started using it not because a friend told me to, but because I noticed the change in the skin of two different friends and asked what they were doing. I’m in my 40s and don’t have a lot of lines but I do have some crow’s feet when I smile (more than my mom who is 70!) so I’ve been testing it and so has my husband. Our brand partner gave us a bottle to use to test out, so we haven’t paid anything yet. I’ve been debating whether to sell it–other friends of mine are already interested–who doesn’t want to lose wrinkles? But I have a few concerns, some nagging and some interesting. Maybe you all can help me sort this out.

    1. I am about 99.5% sure that the oleander in the extract is genetically engineered. (or transgenic, GMO, GE or whatever you want to call it.) It would be hard to imagine that a biotech company with patents pending is using an ordinary, highway-variety oleander. I eat organic food and believe in putting only organic things on my skin, and usually do. But I made an exception for this because I saw exceptional results in two friends (and now in myself and my husband.) I do get irritated at the “before and after” photos on the Nerium site with the “after” photos clearly being blurry, so of course you can’t see the wrinkles! Still…I have seen a huge difference in the faces of my friends, and my husband’s and my own. But I digress. The problem with genetic engineering is that it creates so much junk DNA, or unexpected changes in the DNA of plant. There could be a whole lot of weird material that the body doesn’t know what to do with, that may be a slow cause for other health problems down the road. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, watch the movie Genetic Roulette. And in fact, the skin may be a better absorption vehicle than your digestive system.
    2. I have a lump (swollen lymph node) in my left armpit which started about 5 days ago, and has gotten larger and more painful since I’ve been continuing to use the Nerium. I would like to think that it’s a random infection passing through and getting absorbed, but the coincidence is too strong. I’m going to stop using Nerium for a few days and see if it goes away or reduces.
    3. I have gotten an itchy nose and a few bouts of minor wheezing since I’ve been using it. Again, I’d like to chalk this up to a coincidence but I can’t rule out the Nerium as being the cause.
    4. I stopped using it for two days and my skin was sooooo dry! Drier than ever before! Most people probably never realize this because they never stop using it. If I stop using it altogether I might have to put straight Vitamin E on my face and use a Vitamin C nebulizer or something to heal it. I do think there is something a little weird going on with the nerium that isn’t necessarily good.
    5. When I put it on at night it makes my face feel tight. My husband also said his face feels tight. That could be a function of the aloe vera in it (it also feels tight it you apply it by itself) but it feels like *something* is happening in the skin and there is definitely a tight feeling associated with it.

    My skin is super soft and smooth from using it, and my crow’s feet have gone from probably 50 per eye to about 20 per eye (yes literally in 2 weeks) but my intuition tells me there is something amiss.

    So, what do you all think? Should I continue? Or quit and just douse myself with Vitamin E?
    Thanks!

    • hellothere says:

      So…I’m the same one that wrote the long comment above about Nerium, so sure it was GMO. … If you want Nerium or ST&T Research to answer a question you haven’t gotten answered yet, I suggest you either call them or submit a question through their websites. If you just ask, you will surely get a response. If you say you have asked and have not gotten an answer, I would have to question you rather than Nerium…. I’ll have to chalk your reaction up to jealousy.

      • drjohn says:

        So, by your logic, if Nerium refuses to answer a key scientific question we have asked over and over again for 6 months, it must be us. Our fault. In fact it must mean we are “jealous”. Of what, you don’t elaborate. Quite frankly it makes me think the genetically modified kool-aid you drank is causing serious cognitive side effects. PS want to know how to quickly modify genes on the fly? Massive oxidative stress will do it. That in fact is how the sun’s rays causes skin cancer. What else causes massive oxidative stress? Let’s see….

  27. whitney smith says:

    SO…. Is this safe to use or not?? lol

    • drjohn says:

      Safe for your skin? We don’t know whitney. You can read a number of articles here which repeatedly ask the core safety question. We have been asking it for six months now. So far no answer. We have been threatened with lawsuits because we ask the question. We have heard the screeds against us. But no answer.

  28. Peggy says:

    I have seen the product work, but the business model and marketing tactics they used are very deceptive. I signed up as a brand partner four months ago. I was sponsored by a very lovely lady who lives in my building. She convinced me to come to one of their “success” meetings. Firstly, just like other MLM businesses they hold rallies where the BPartners can bring in potential recruits. They charge the Brand Partners to attend, but their “guest” are free. Everyone shows genuine excitement while the speaker spins the “share, get rich, help others,” story. My first of these meeting, the presenter went on about how easy it was to get brand partners. I remember distinctly him saying, “everyone has three friends who will do this, right?” Of course all the Brand Partners the audience started clapping and yelling as the excitement rose. “Easy right?” he exclaimed. Again there was an outburst of cries as the brand partners chimed in. Then he went on to say, “…and there is absolutely no risk, as there is a 100% money back guarantee. That is right, you can get your money if within 30 days, for any reason, you change your mind, and no questions asked!” It turns out this is completely untrue. Yes you can quit within the initial 30 days, but do you get 100% of your money back? Absolutely not. You can get your money back on any “unused bottle” bottles of the product. 100% money back guarantee, does not mean you get “some” of your money back, it does not mean you get “part” of your money back. It means you get all of your money back, 100%. Hogwash! Lie #2
    These two statements he made, was what pushed me over the fence and I decided I would go ahead and try this out. Anyway, I loved the product. What is interesting is the minute you become a brand partner all of a sudden you start finding out the truth. This same person, who touted how easy it is to get three friends to join as BPs, now when talking to Brand Partners exclaims, “the hardest thing you will do is to get the first three people!” After that it’s all downhill. Ouch, did he just say that. Of course when you don’t get the results that was touted and you are frustrated due to the lack of interest, the next spin on it is, “it takes 5 to 6 months to really get your business off the ground, don’t even worry about it until then!” Of course because they don’t want to lose you, the chase cow. Because as a Brand Partner, you are “required” to buy one bottle of the product every month. Yes I said required, they call it your “obligation!” And like so many other MLM that require you to buy product, you DO NOT get the product at a discount. That is right you pay retail for it and each bottle, with shipping and taxes (CA) come just under $100. So think about it, you are paying them to work for them. This is their business model. They sign you up and now how many hundreds-of-thousands of dollars a month are they making off the “cash cows”? On top of all of this, although you are told their are no additional charges if you miss the fine print, they start charging you an additional $29.95 per month to use the “back office” of your website. The first time I saw this charge on my credit card, I emailed Nerium support. Since I did not get a response, sent another email a week later, however, I am not sure this went through as ten minutes later I discovered the little ball spinning on the web browser which indicates there were issues. When I was charged a second time I again emailed them. This time they respond and told me the charge was an auto charge if I did not opt within 30 days, Wow most reputable companies have you opt in if you want there, “add on.” When I called customer support, they basically said, too bad, we do not refund anything.
    I do no that some people are making money doing this business. They are the ones who have a huge client list from working other MLMs or own a business where they have a captive market, such as an Estheticians or hair salon owner. Unless you are a very good salesman, and are okay pushing this thing on every person you meet, spending your life and focus selling this and even take the initiative to go business-to-business in your town, DON’T GET INVOLVED. Just my 2 cents.,

  29. Chad says:

    Is there a way you can have the product analyzed in a lab to find out how much oleander is in it?

    • drjohn says:

      Good question. Yes, you can measure oleandrin and its constituents (cardiac glycosides). We haven’t had reason to do so. A reasonable guess is that there is very little oleandrin in Nerium AD. How might we make that guess? Since they have told us that a child can ingest 400 bottles of Nerium AD and survive. Now, lets say for purposes of argument that there it would take more (maybe 1,000 bottles?) to kill a child. Since it is widely reported that a single leaf of the Nerium oleander plant can kill a child (or a sheep for that matter), one might speculatively estimate that the product contains less than 1/1000 of the amount of oleandrin in a single leaf per bottle. There is 0.1-0.2 mg of oleandrin per 100g of dried N. oleander leaves. Each leaf is only a 1/10 gram or so dry. So a single leaf may contain only 10-20 mcg oleandrin. Divide that by the thousand bottles (theoretical fatal dose in a child), and it suggests that there is only 10-20 nanograms per bottle. Tiny amounts indeed. Smaller than homeopathic. More like trace contaminant levels. But then they list it on the label as the first ingredient, which is supposed to be sorted by precedence. Which would make it much higher! So which is right? All very confusing. Unless the company decides to tell us exactly how much oleandrin is actually in there, we won’t really know, and will be left speculating as we have here. Unless you good readers want to start a charitable foundation to do some analyses (we are but a non-commercial blog, no budget for such things).

      Shaw D, Pearn J, Oleqander Poisoning. The Medical Journal of Australia [1979, 2(5):267-269]

      Langford, S, Boor, P. Oleander toxicity: an examination of human and animal toxic exposures. Toxicology 109:1, 3 May 1996, p.1–13

      Abdullatif, M. Study of the Effect of Collecting Time of Nerium Oleander Leaves on their Oleandrin Concentration in Damascus
      and Lattakia Regions. http://www.damascusuniversity.edu.sy/mag/farm/images/stories/019.pdf

      Top 10 most poisonous plants (Nerium oleander is #1). http://adventure.howstuffworks.com/top-5-poisonous-plants5.htm#page=10

  30. Martha says:

    They might claim that a child would have to ingest over 400 bottles to have an effect. [snip] So why believe this? The only thing I’ve been able to come up with so far is the initial “study” which makes a vague statement that nothing registered on the blood serum samples taken from the study volunteers. As far as I can tell, the “study” was done by a Dr. Fan, who according to the website, also sells Nerium in his practice. Before Nerium, he sold another cosmetic product.

  31. Ugh says:

    I’m trying it now and my skin is incredibly dry feeling. I had psoriasis break out before trying it thinking it would fix it, but after day five, I’m seeing a rash on my cheeks and more itching on my neck and chest. Like some kind of a reaction. Look, unless I’m able to get a real diagnosis as to what the heck is going on here, I don’t want to get a reply that its impurities and that I should stick with it to see results. The smell is cloying and it is not diminishing enough in aroma for me to avoid the stink. Please don’t tell me I’m some baby who can’t stick it out for the results. Or that I have some bad attitude for being honest. People do smell things differently. Like, I love broccoli and accept that others can’t stand it and don’t take it personally. Unless that broccoli is a special MLM making me money and then I get pissed they put down my special money making broccoli. I digress: Being someone with normal to dry skin all of my life, this dry feeling is not something I’m getting used to the fifth night. Whom ever heard of torturing oneself for results? You’re supposed to pamper yourself for results! Forget this stuff. Not going to torture myself any longer. I’ll keep my stupid age wrinkles and pay for plastic surgery if I’m desperate. Not skin tightening stinky stuff that makes my psoriasis peel even worse than ever with itch bumpy red dots all over my cheeks my chest and my head. I’m a fool to stick this out for 20 more days (as I scratch myself while typing this)… I wish I were making this stuff up. I’m not. This is really what I’m going through at this very moment as I type this testimonial of torture… and right after I type this, I’m washing my face and putting on REAL moisturizer. As far as MLM? As long as you don’t go into debt while trying to build your business and are working with a supportive team that brings you with them, your chances may be good. If you are struggling and your friends are avoiding you, its time to quit.

  32. Gabriel says:

    Everyone I’ll give my Honest answer. This is my experience OK

    I joined Nerium International in may 21st 2012. I was so excited when a friend/mentor talked to me about Nerium. I enrolled in the $500 package. I told my Mom and my sisters and within the first week I received a commission of $287! Not bad I got half of my investment back. I booked 3 parties My family and I invited friends and family I signed up 23 people the first month.. I thought myself How great the opportunity is!!. I made a $1183 in commissions (to this day), I won the iPad and receive like 4 free bottles. It’s been 6-7 month and I can tell you it’s not easy I have not made more than $100 since august. One of the problems I faced is that after a couple parties the people who helped you started get caught up helping others and at one point you’ll have to step up and take charge of everything with little to no experienced and that’s when most people failed. They help you but not like the beginning. I have learned that any opportunity can be a blessing or nightmare for some people. In my case I got my investment back and got some incentives not bad for a beginner. So far I’ve learned a few things. As for the products, most people were happy with the results I can’t complain because I even tried and still using it myself and my face looks actually better, after 6 months using it I’m not sure if my face have changed significantly… now few people said the product did not work, some other said they could not use the product because it caused rashes and other things, some others it was too expensive.

    This Business and whatever businesses you start will be successful if you:

    Become a Pro of their system
    Communicate well
    Stay connected 24/7
    Honesty
    Invest a lot of time
    Be good with people
    Be realistic
    Be comfortable with failures
    Work hard
    Etc…

    The opposite of all these will not get you anywhere.

    I was not told of many things about the business at first. Once you get exposed you will find out little by little about the things you did not know. The Job of the person who recruits people is to tell them exactly everything they need to know to avoid surprises later.

    For example.
    I was not told about the reset every month. Once you hit certain $volume one month it will become $0 the next. I was not told about the website $29.95 after one month you pay. And few other things. Thus, did not bother me at all but some people might get angry about this if you don’t tell them.

    Another thing is that you will invest more money outside the $500 or $1000 packages. Trainings, hotels, conferences, if you don’t get 3 customers in a month you will pay $93 out of pocket and the website $29.99. And other expenses like gas and some advertisement materials you need to buy.

    Another challenging thing to do is retain customers, 65% of the customers my team has stopped the auto-shipment after the 2nd and 3rd month. Few customers will use the cream longer, but it will be a challenge to maintain all 3 customers.

    One thing that you will encounter is the need to help other people trying to get them enrolled for example I help 2 people with $100 each to complete their packages and they failed to continue. I even help a relative with everything $550 and she failed as well.. And when I say failed it means they did not want to continue for one reason or another. But I can say they put a little effort on the things I mentioned above, even though I pushed them to perform better.

    When people don’t want to continue working with you, you can get discouraged and if you’re not strong enough you’ll quit trust me!!

    I’m still doing Nerium part-time because I have a full-time job that I like. And I have a few people that want to continue.. It’s challenging but it works if you have support from your Upline, from your team, if you stay connected and willing to learn everyday. I’m sure when people are not sure about doing this and find this type of blogs they can either get really discouraged or testimonies that will help them decide if it’s a good choice to make.

    Another thing I want to point out is that Nerium AD is not a miracle cream. ( I’m not into the science details so much but I know enough to trust the product I’m just not go nuts with the science) You need to be patient and use the cream every day. Personally I do believe, and it’s only my opinion that Nerium AD works better on lighter skin than dark skin. I had had light skin customer and they get results fast, and I have dark skin customers that take a long time to see any results.

    Everything comes down to you. What do you want to do in life? How positive are you? How bad you want things? And how much discipline can you take?

    I personally know 1 guy making 20k and more a month, another guy making 7k-10k a month and a few others making 2k-3k that I personally know and I believe they’re in the 1% earners.

    Like I said this is an honest answer and this is my experience so far. I will continue because I like it, I think it’s real and you can actually make money but it will not be easy like anything else in life.

    • Gabriel says:

      Forgot to say that home based-business is a great deductible for your taxes.

    • drjohn says:

      Very long comment, but well composed; it presents a different viewpoint, and one that is reasoned and balanced. A believer, but not one overtaken by hype or blind to the downsides. Much appreciated. Thank you, Gabriel.

  33. Susan says:

    drjohn, all of this info is a lot to take in, I understand Oleander is poison, but what about Botox?
    Isn’t that some sort of botulism?

    • Drgeorge says:

      Yes, it is a powerful poison. Botulinum toxin is produced by the bacterium Clostridium botulinum and is the most acutely toxic substance known. A very, very dilute solution used for medical purposes is known by one of its trade names, Botox. It is used for various cosmetic and medical procedures (originally to treat strabismus or crossed eyes and uncontrollable blinking or blepharospasm.) It works by preventing the release of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine from the nerve ending that controls the function of muscles and other structures. Hence it can be used to control excessive sweating as well as the spasticity or stiffness of cerebral palsy. The paralyzing effects are long lasting and have found great popularity in smoothing wrinkles caused by the action of facial muscles. Deaths and near deaths have occurred with excessive use of the botulinum toxin, usually the result of novices unfamiliar with dosing or inadvertent use of preparations that are not adequately dilute.

  34. Cat says:

    Glad to see all the info, personal experiences and opinions here. I started using the product about 2.5 months ago after a friend recommended it. (We’re both 50.) She moved out-of-state several years ago but her skin has been looking great in photos recently, so I figured I would give it a try. I have seen some positive results – the texture of my skin overall is smoother and the pores on my nose are smaller – but it’s not really dramatic, and my worst lines (the “marionette” lines on either side of my mouth and the frown lines between my eyebrows) haven’t really improved at all. Now that I’ve read about the potential for oxidative stress, I’m going to stop spending money on this product.

  35. Nondy says:

    I am curious to know how the product gets past the stratum corneum to the basal layer of the skin. If it does, what percentage gets through the barrier of the SC? Thanks.

  36. Laura says:

    Great site Dr. George. Thank you all for the posts. Dr. John, love the humor.
    I was just introduced to this product today.
    I would consider to try it and market it from the potential
    side effects… have you seen a viagra commercial lately…?

  37. Kitkat says:

    Human growth hormone. If you want to defend against aging then do it the way your body naturally does it.

  38. Olivia Bizub says:

    I have been approached several times by family members to try this product and subsequently sell it. I’m also an Independent Avon Representative and I wouldn’t touch this product or the “opportunity with a ten foot pole! First of all, I’m pretty happy being an ‘Avon lady”. I sell many wonderful skin care products to my customers and they love the products. Never do I harass them to sell Avon. Second, I don’t have to be in leadership with Avon if I do not choose too, in order to make some extra cash. After being an Avon rep, I recently decided to try leadership within the company. I still have to SELL the products however and I know you don’t like MLM or network marketing, Avon didn’t start that way and only recently in their 126 plus years started to offer it to those that want to build teams. All in all, something seems fishy to me with the Nerium model. It seems that the “Brand Partners” aren’t interested in gaining customers at all. They just want to recruit everyone into the company. No one seems to be actually selling any products, which confuses me.

  39. Dr. Kim says:

    I have been using Nerium AD for about a month. I have seen a difference in my crows feet and sun spots and decided to check into selling the product. I was Googling Nerium and saw a peace about it being a scam. I read with interest and am convinced the Nerium Ad is the reason for my heart dysfunction either Bradycardia at 47 beats and then jumps to Tachycardia, which landed me in the cardiologist office and a stress test. Since the company does not put the amount of Nerium extract one receives per dose, I am discussing this with my cardiologist and have the Keller Kellani test ran to see if I do in fact have cardio glycosides in the blood stream. I am an runner, in good shape and eat pretty healthy (mostly organic), the only change I have made in the last month, which is when I first noticed this heart issue, shortness of breath and mild chest discomfort, is the application of Nerium AD. I did not put the two together until I read the article of how toxic this plant can be.Perhaps I am sensitive like one who might have a peanut allergy. Would love your thoughts. Thanks-Dr. Kim

    That should have been piece not peace–I am an old hippie at heart.

    • Drgeorge says:

      Dr. Kim, thank you for your interesting post. This is an important medical question since oleandrin, the active in the nerium oleandrin plant (a drug recognized as such by the FDA) is a cardiac glycoside. This class of drugs also includes digitalis, digoxin. ouabain, and others used to treat certain types of heart disease i.e. rhythm disturbances and pump failure. BFT is very interested in learning whether or not your blood test shows the presence of cardiac glycosides. We assume you do not take them routinely. Because of similarities in molecular structure, tests for medically prescribed cardiac glycosides will detect oleandrin. The following points need to be made:

      1. The Nerium International folks have repeatedly and vociferously stated that systemic toxicity from topically applied oleandrin based skin products does not occur. “A small child would need to drink 400 bottles of Nerium AD to reach a toxic level of concern”, according to at least one of their experts. We have no basis to contest that statement as published studies seem to support that is the case. BFT readers know we have repeatedly stated this is not the basis of BFT’s concern with this product.

      2. Cardiac glycosides can create rhythm disturbances but this is typically seen in patients who are on doses that are too high, or the patient has blood potassium levels that are too low. The most common disturbances are premature ventricular contractions (PVC), bigeminy, ventricular tachycardia, even ventricular fibrillation. The conduction of the atrioventricular node (AV node) can also be impacted which is why these drugs are used to treat atrial fibrillation with rapid ventricular response.

      http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/6167072

      3. Bradycardia/tachycardia syndromes are relatively common and the reason implantable pacemakers and defibrillators were developed. New onset of this condition and the fact you are using Nerium AD is more than likely serendipity without any causal relationship. Brady/tachy dysrhythmias can occur in anyone, even people who exercise regularly.

      4. While you raise a medically interesting sidebar issue, BFT’s concern remains the same as we have stated many times elsewhere on this blogsite: regular application of a cytotoxic drug to healthy skin in an effort to produce an anti-aging benefit makes no scientific sense, particularly when the published mechansim of action of lethal impact on cancer cells is production of high levels of oxidative stress, something known to be pro-aging. Again, we reach out to the the experts at Nerium Biotechnology, Nerium Skincare, and Nerium International to educate us. We are open minded scientists who love learning new things. We are also certain that even “accidental” findings have a rational explanation.

  40. Show-Me Skeptic says:

    My brother asked me to look at this, AFTER he bought in. The first thing that caught my attention: all their talk about “science” wasn’t science at all. It is marketing. Right down to the motto of the clinic that does all of their research–the mission of said company is to help you find the right audience to target your product on. Yay. I think I know the answer to our question……

  41. Annie Scherer says:

    You are all a bunch of negative people! I tried the product and had results in 20 days!

  42. Mb says:

    Any new information on heart safety?thanks

    • drjohn says:

      No, but then systemic toxicity was never our issue. Chronic inflammatory changes in skin (which is pro aging, not antiaging) was, and remains, the focus of our questioning. While it has been published that crushed oleander applied to skin can lead to heart toxicity, we doubt that there is enough in this stuff to warrant that concern. But the long range effects of daily applying a substance known to cause massive oxidative stress in cells, and to inhibit protein synthesis (think e.g. collagen downregulation) – that is the unknown nobody has addressed.

  43. Josh says:

    You are all so annoying!! Hahah jeez! If you don’t like the product, shut the heck up and don’t use it!?! You are literally wasting your time complaining about the product and opportunity when you could be doing better things with your lives… The product is legit, the product is patented, The relationship marketing strategy is very strong and the people in the company are truly happier because of the personal development.. If you don’t like nor understand this, then just shut up and keep your negative thoughts to yourself hahah… I just can’t help but laugh at the people who find the negatives in everything in life… I would love to see you post one positive thing about the company… If you started talking like that with everything, I bet you’d all be happier people.

    • Josie says:

      It’s not about finding the negative in life; rather advocating for truth, honesty, and integrity, all of which is missing in the making, marketing and selling of this product. I find it deplorable when friends with little money, invest their ‘little’ into this scheme and then spend hours upon hours each week trying to sell – get their Lexus (big joke), and a year and a half later, they haven’t made a dime. They’d do better running the blue light special at K-Mart!

      • somersham says:

        Josh needs a serious reality check and I encourage him to stop drinking the Kool-aid. If he’s capable, Josh needs to perform the math of a pyramid scheme and then make a self-evaluation of how many people will benefit. Josh can make a significant amount of money if he’s in the one of the top few levels of the pyramid, but good luck if he’s below that. Josh, what happens if your “buyers” stop buying after a few months? Do you lean on them and risk losing your fiends and relatives? Can you afford your Lexus if your sales volume drops? Are you concerned that the product has a long term negative effect given the nature of oleander? Are you concerned that Nerium LIED about MD Anderson developing Nerium? You need a serious reality check.

  44. paul says:

    Mlm plus new skin care = over priced product no one realistically can sell, just push biz opp.
    Seen this type hundreds of times. Maybe the company and a few hand picked will make money.
    If it was real breakthru, the product would be licensed to sell all over tne world like every other non mlm breakthru and not through a money making mlm marketing plan designed to confuse the masses so a few at top clean house.

  45. Rakesh Sethi, Ayurvedic Practitioner says:

    In Ayurvedic medicine- “The rule of thumb is whatever you put on your skin you should be able to put on your tongue.”

  46. Pooky says:

    I just went to a party for Nerium AD last night. I knew going in it would be a MLM but when my friend who invited me put the video on I could not believe what a hard/direct sell it was – so totally canned, I closed my eyes and dozed while they prattled on about what a great “company” it is. I have been using a locally sourced, organic basic skin cream for years and I love it. I thought I would try this out since I would never think this friend of mine woudl get involved in something that didn’t work. I tried the product last night and today my face feels dry – even after putting on my regular lotion. The ingredients contain several forms of alcohol which I avoid so, that made me even more skeptical of the products efficacy. I appreciate all of the comments on here. Very eye opening. Any new revelations since July 2013?

  47. Gwen Collins says:

    All I know is that this product is working for me…very well. I am 42 and have always battled acne. I have spent thousands at the dermatologist and no drug or person has really ever been able to help me. I have been on accurate twice and have wasted thousands on cosmetic peels, masques, and treatments. Nerium AD is the only product that has ever helped me like this. For the first time in 42 years, I feel like I look beautiful. My skin is clear and my complexion looks amazing. It is a product that I believe in because I know it works.

    • drjohn says:

      Gwen, this is interesting. As you probably know, the product has nothing to do with acne. Never tested, no claims, no monograph references, etc. But I am willing to entertain the hypothesis that oleandrin and other cardiac glycosides are potent bug killers, which is half the battle in acne – dealing with bacteria. Would make sense that massive oxidative stress could be responsible – within the bacterium itself. But I would still be concerned about inflammation within your own skin, which could eventually lead to fibrosis.

      • Desiree says:

        Dr. John, you are absolutely right that the company won’t make a claim about using this product for clearing up acne. I went to a party a week ago because a friend asked me and wants me to join. I don’t really have any issues to speak of with my skin and was puzzled that she thought I’d be interested. I learned later, it’s only because she’s banking on my experience in direct sales from the last five years. Anyway, I got a bottle to try for free. I asked if it could be used on my teenage son for his severe acne? Thus far, nothing else has worked :( The response was that they couldn’t say yes for sure but I can try it if I want and let them know. They assured me that it was non-toxic and one other person there is using it for her teen as well. Needless to say, we tried it and it seems to be working slowly. My son wants more but I’m skeptical because I’ve been reading this blog and worry about the long term effects on his skin. I’m also curious if it really is the cream working or the fact he’s been taking special care of his skin these last few days? When we tried Proactive, his skin cleared DURING the times he actually did the treatment. As soon as he missed a day, his breakouts were worse. I’ll continue to follow this blog and research more before purchasing this product. I welcome any feedback you can provide.

        • drjohn says:

          Desiree, Proactive is a good bug killer. Nerium oleander may also be a good bug killer. Acne is about bugs, and a friendly environment for growing them in your pores. Killing the bugs is half the problem. But bug killers are not necessarily good for skin in the long run. They can be highly inflammatory. And toxic. DDT on your face would kill acne bugs. But as the face heals from acne, scarring can occur. Inflammation promotes scarring. You may be left with chronic sequelae of the inflammation. Also, why buy a $100 product for acne when a $9 product will do just as well?

  48. Kluey says:

    I am 33 years old and was convinced to try Nerium through a family member who is a brand partner. I used it every night for three weeks, noticed no change in my skin whatsoever. However, at the end of the three weeks I had a routine Dr. appointment and my blood pressure had dropped to 80/50, the nurse was concerned so she took the bp from my other arm and it was the same. I was also experiencing a very slow heart rate, dizziness, nausea, and very dilated pupils. A few days later I became sick, the sickest I’ve ever been. For five days, I was unable to eat or get out of bed. My husband and I began thinking, and realized that the only thing I had changed in my lifestyle was Nerium–I immediately discontinued use! And the symptoms subsided. At my next dr appointment a few weeks later, my blood pressure had returned to normal. We researched and found all the above information you wrote about as well. So thank you for your careful research and informing consumers of the dangers and risks.

    • drgeorge says:

      Kluey, without a blood serum confirmation showing a level of cardiac glycoside of concern, I would not consider this necessarily related to Nerium AD application. The timing and sequence of events is interesting but not proof of cause and effect. We continue to be of the opinion that systemic absorption is likely not an issue although oleandrin excretion can be influenced by systemic illness, most notably liver disease. The major route of excretion is in the bile and thence out of the body via feces.

      Other conditions can account for the symptoms you experienced and they would need to be ruled out. An interesting anecdote nonetheless.

      Although I doubt you are interested in trying this”n of 1″ trial (and BFT is NOT recommending it), if repeated exposure to Nerium AD resulted in a return of symptoms, the probability of a linkage would be increased.

      For the more academically inclined, the quote below is taken from a reference article. .

      Kumar A, De T, Mishra A, Mishra AK. Oleandrin: A cardiac glycosides with potent cytotoxicity. Phcog Rev 2013;7:131-9 ; available at: http://www.phcogrev.com/article.asp?issn=0973-7847;year=2013;volume=7;issue=14;spage=131;epage=139;aulast=Kumar

      ” It [oleandrin] is excreted mostly in feces, but also in urine. Because the main route of excretion is through biliary excretion into the feces, it is mainly the liver that is exposed to oleandrin. As excretion in urine is only a smaller route, the kidneys are less exposed. There is also accumulation in the cardiac tissue, which explains its potential for cardiac toxicity. In mouse studies, it also appeared that oleandrin rapidly accumulates in brain tissue as it can pass through the blood-brain barrier. The data suggest that other components within oleander extract may enhance transport of oleandrin across the blood-brain barrier.”

    • Tamara says:

      I am 45 years old and started using this product in December. I too, was extremely sick, could barely get out of bed and my heart was beating rapidly. I figured that I had a bug or something as it lasted for at least 5 days as well. I stopped using the Nerium at that time because I did not use anything being so sick and not getting out of bed. Again in February, I started using Nerium again and AGAIN I became extremely ill. I had the worst stomach pains, no appetite, rapid heart beat, etc. Immediately I stopped using the product thinking that it was too much of a coincidence that I became ill again. Within 4 days (as I had not used it as long this time) I immediately felt better. NO MORE NERIUM for me.

  49. Evin says:

    I am going to start by saying that I am NOT a Nerium distributor. Do I know whether it’s safe or not, no. I am going to say however, that no MLM should ever be thought of as a “get rich quick scheme.” If that were the case, everyone would be doing them and everyone would be making money. MLMs are actually quite the opposite. Any legit MLM requires A LOT of work. Like any sales job, you get back what you put into it. It really irritates me when someone compares a legit MLM to a get rich quick scheme. I’ve worked MLMs before and had to work my a** off to make anything. And SRC…most lotion types of products say they are for external use only. I’ve worked in the medical field and believe me…you would be amazed at what some people have done in order to warrant that statement.

  50. Jason says:

    “drjohn” is cracking me up. So he claims to be a doctor, yet he has time to sit on on the internet, responding to comment in an article all day. Personally you all should take whatever the good ol’ “doc” says with a grain of salt.

    • drjohn says:

      Ralph Nader is an attorney turned whistleblower & consumer activist. We at BFT are are physician-scientists turned whistleblower & consumer activists. We aspire to this honorable tradition of community service with our volunteer labor. And salty is a good thing. We thank you, loyal fan, for taking time from your busy schedule to read all this quite regularly. Glad to entertain, as that is part of our stated mission.

  51. Jason says:

    To add, I would highly suspect that our “drjon” has made at least one failed attempt to make money with mlm, Nerium being the most recent. Since he failed of course, it’s the company’s fault, rather than his own because not only did he find that mlm isn’t a “get rich quick scheme,” he found out that it takes actual work…more work than sitting online all day. Goes back to, “I found it on the internet, so it must be true.” No proof of credentials to back up ANY of your claims, yet you want for people to take what you state as fact. Salt is bad for you in large doses, but you know that already, right doc?

    • Bettina says:

      Vitriol of this kind is usually spewed by mean spirited simpletons, Jason. There is infinitely higher purpose in what drjohn does- busting the myths behind a sham product than what you tout- luring other naive people into spending money on a potentially harmful skin inflammatory and indebting themselves in the process. It’s obvious that you, Jason, don’t take any information you receive from your master at Nerium with a grain of salt, nor do you care to actually read, otherwise you would not make the ridiculous assertion that drjohn provides “no proof or credentials” in his research on Nerium. You, in return, excel in ad hominem attacks on someone who is civil (more civil than I am to you) and has nothing to gain from spreading misinformation. Drjohn is doing all of us who are curious, but level headed skeptics a great service with well researched information. Unlike you, Jason, drjohn does not insult or ridicule anyone here.

  52. buziebee says:

    I have read a few of the comments. The last read was from DrKim…she never followed up. Did she die or find out that Nerium was not the cause of her problem or is it possibly fake. My daughter is using it and makes big claims but she is only 45 so not much to have to improve on that a normal moisturizer wouldn’t improve on at this point in time. I have been using it to help her out but have not seen any changes in the 9 mo that I have been using. I am 64 and I believe you cannot change your DNA what will be will be. Staying out of the sun and any moisturizer with a sunscreen is your best bet. I also see the point that others are making with the gmo’s and botox and the mountains of drugs on the market, they too are harmful but no one (dr’s) is making a big stink about them. In this day and age there is no such thing as “organic and safe” in anything. Eat and use what you are all comfortable in using for yourselves. This thread seems to be pretty much ‘dead’ so I don’t expect to receive a response, but may be helpful to someone.

    • drjohn says:

      buzibee, well if the thread was dead you just resurrected it. I do agree with much of what you say (you can see my philosophy summed up in this piece I wrote called Beautiful Aging. And yes, the sun is a huge factor (which is why we tend to advise staying away from chemicals that act just like the sun in that they increase free radical production in skin cells). The thing about botox is that it is regulated as a drug, so the safety data is reliable. Not so with “oleander extract” which is a drug (evidence documented elsewhere in this blog) but is marketed as a cosmetic, so safety remains a question. I will disagree with the DNA comment – you can be genetically modified, but I will certainly understand if you forego the opportunity to be the first in human clinical trial. And then there are epigenetic events – like altering the cytokine production of cells such that they mimic regeneration. Safe and effective (see cytokines series here). The whole organic thing is a misnomer. Why worry about keeping toxins out of your food and cosmetics if the purported active ingredients top the list of most potent plant-derived toxins known to medical science? Thanks for your comment.

  53. Kluey says:

    Thank you for your reply, drgeorge! And also the link, I look forward to reading it when my kids give me some time!

  54. John says:

    Read through all the comments and they’ve been quite informative. Being only 21 I continue to be stereotyped as ‘young and naive’, so I thought it’d be good to educate myself a little bit on the product before making any purchases. I was originally given a sample of nerium to treat acne and scarring on my back (apparently that’s not common), and while it didn’t do much for that particular problem, I also tried it on my face and just like someone had commented and had promising results in a very short period of time. However, based on everyone’s findings I’m not too sure if i’ll want to continue using nerium as it seems very unclear on whether or not there is long term damage that can be done. Thanks for all the great information folks!

  55. Barb says:

    I am using NeriumAD and have been since Sept. 5,2013
    I have had dramatic results ! My skin is softer pores are shrinking! Saggy skin on my eyes have shrunk dramatically, even the deepest of lines and I have deep ones have shrank,and everyone who knows me has seen the changes! I’ve had no heart arrhythmia , no decreased blood pressure.
    I’m not a salesman at all but have had no problem getting customers simply because of my results! I’m not wanting to discredit anyone who says they have had issues or those who say they had no results! As any product sold this way you have to work hard! I was never told it was going to be a piece of cake! If there are going to be accusations of poisoning, or permanent skin damage then I want hard core evidence! I’m seeing results! So, prove to me it is harming me! I would quit in a heartbeat! I’m not stupid!!
    I think those saying no results to its all about the money were all about the money! I’m a Brand Partner, I have customers and no, I am not pushing them to spend a pile of money to get rich quick! I want them to have their own results before ever considering selling!
    So please give me the proof I am harming myself and not only will I quit but I will encourage my customers to do the same!!

    • drjohn says:

      Barb, I need once again to reiterate that it is not our mission here to prove that anything is harming you or anyone else. Rather we are here to ask questions – sometimes tough ones – and debate these topics, should anyone wish to, based on the sum of scientific knowledge in the area. It is not our job to prove safety, or efficacy, of products other than our own. Rather, it is the job of those purveying such products to do so AND answer any and all questions about data or knowledge to the contrary. Especially questions from the medical community. Now, what we have done here is ask questions, and provided a place for the answers to appear. These questions have never been answered. Much obfuscation and blowing of smoke yes, but no scientific answers to scientific questions. We are, naturally, left asking “why is that?”. Seems if there were good answers, they would be forthcoming. But thus far nothing. Excepts threats against us for even asking the questions. Kill the messenger. Read what you will into that. To me, it is telling us something. We began with, and persist in, one simple question … how can a substance that is based on a known potentially fatal toxin and causes cells “massive oxidative stress” and kills cells and halts protein production and slows growth (based on their own research mainly) be good for skin in the long term. Safety issues aside, it is a good question to ask, as we known that chronic inflammation in skin causes it to age more, not less, over time. On the safety issue, we have acknowledged that there is probably way too little of the toxin in each dose to cause heart problems. We have heard the homeopathy hypothesis, but that doesn’t really add up either. Would other poisons work the same way? If so, our environment is filled with trace amounts of toxins – and we know these are NOT good for skin. And also that leads then to another question – “why not just use aloe vera?” and save ~$98 per bottle. You see, in the end, it just doesn’t add up (scientifically). Then add to that the fact that the only good things we hear about it are from those who are selling it, while those who are not (or who have dropped out of the pyramid) often have “less nice” things to say.

      Barb, you say “please give me proof I am not harming myself” — but as we have said, that is not our responsibility. Rather, it is the responsibility of the product seller to convince you it is safe. So, why don’t you ask them the same questions we do, and see what answers you get. Better yet, ask them why they have not answered us. Here. They read BFT multiple times each day, it seems. We would love to have Dr. Newman present their case and debate us right here. Perhaps the outcome would be that all these issues could be put to rest.

  56. lgiannini says:

    All I know is that I used Nerium,per instructions, for 3 days. Stopped using it because it caused a cyst like nodule on my chin and my lymph under my chin swelled, and now, 6 days later, I have what looks like rug burn on my chin. Not sure how long this will take to heal, but it’s kinda embarrassing going around like this.

  57. Sara says:

    I think it’s funny that Craig the scientist that has these degrees and studies references a study on the Nerium website itself… and is a distributor lol cmon man

  58. TheGhostofBelleStarr says:

    Just another MLM scam. I have a friend who recently started selling Nerium, she and her boyfriend really got sucked into the hype. Spending money flying to conferences etc. I refuse to go to any parties they invite me to. That’s the thing about these MLM pyramid “businesses”…most of the people selling only have friends and family to try and push this junk on. they eventually run out ( or runoff ) friends and family. I mean do they really think they are going to find enough strangers to buy ultra expensive skin cream for crying out loud…esp. in this economy. I don’t have much respect for people who get sucked into the sales hype of stuff like this, gosh these two have become like cult members..so busy talking about Nerium, Nerium, Nerium…he’s even talking about stopping some of his other business ventures ( legitimate home construction and real estate) to focus more heavily on Nerium…all I can say is oh brother.

  59. Shirley Dion says:

    I am a licensed Esthetician…. I can’t believe the negativity on this site. Nerium is not for everybody. There have been some with reactions to it. That is the same with many other skin care products. I used to work at an Aveda Spa. I encountered many other people who were sensitive to their skin products than I have with Nerium. As for the MLM. Avon, Mary Kay, Tupperware, Arbonne, and many other respectable companies have had great success with this sales model. Why all the negative hype over Nerium?

    • drjohn says:

      Shirley, as an esthetician I am surprised that you defend the MLM way of doing business, and the product, haven’t bothered to look at the science as part of your appraisal. You didn’t even comment on the vast evidence presented on this site calling the science to task. Did yoiu see those pictures in the last post?? Aren’t estheticians supposed to be professional practitioners, and therefore knowledgeable about ingredients science?

  60. Karina says:

    I read through most of the comments in this post (I am very desperate for answers) and was wondering if you could email me your sources in regards to Success Magazine being funded by companies to present their product?? I’ve been using Google to find facts that support such statement and nothing comes up about it, only from Success itself… (algorithm dilemma??) Someone wants me to sell for NeriumAD after they found out I was an aspiring entrepreneur and I want to make the most informed decision whether it’s a good choice or not to invest in and sell such product. Thank you in advance!!

    • drgeorge says:

      Thanks for your comment, Karina. Nerium (the product and the company) has now been the cover story for two issues of Success from Home Magazine (not Success Magazine, which is a different magazine.) Jeff Olson is a genius marketer. I said as much when I referred to him as “a huge luminary in the MLM firmament” in the first BFT installment about Nerium. As to what it takes to get cover billing, one comment posted to BFT last July by “texasgirl” stated:

      “FYI “Success from Home” isn’t a real magazine. A company pays them to produce an issue on their company. So it is not exactly journalism nor is it unbiased information.”

      I do not know the source of her information but admit to sharing her opinion that the journalistic standards of the magazine do not appear to be very high. It seems plausible that the cover and majority of content, when dedicated to a single company, may have likely involved a cash payment. Once published, the value of this marketing tool is obvious in recruiting new members to the MLM. The following quote is from an internet sourced (via Google search) “script” document published (presumably) by Legal Shield to its MLM membership. Legal Shield was previously known as Pre-paid Legal, the company where Jeff Olson served as CEO before founding Nerium International.

      “The key is having hundreds of lines in the water to catch as many fish as possible. In the same sense, having hundreds of Success From Home magazines “in play” out there will always keep you busy following up and getting people deciding to join as members or Associates. Always let the tool do the talking, be excited, be BRIEF and in a hurry. Use the “sense of urgency” and “fear of loss” (by saying you
      have others waiting to see it), and always use third party (upline) to close them for you. And remember, too, one tool is not enough. Have many out there working for you at any given time. Be sure to have your name and number stuck to the magazine cover (or staple your business card to it).”

      Sound familiar to anyone? Full document available at URL below.

      https://sites.legalshield.com/pdf/success_scripts.pdf

  61. Tre says:

    Wow, what a bunch of negative blather! I imagine my remarks won’t make the cut, but seriously!? Some stuff is for some people, others not so much. Why the negativity about this company and the product? Personally, it seems like BFT is just wanting to smear Nerium Intl. Nothing more.

    Like attracts like, they say… and in this case I see that it’s true. I am NOT a Nerium distributor or customer and feel like those that are who have responded are immediately discounted BECAUSE they see something in this for themselves… If there isn’t an ulterior motive to this site, which is to review beauty treatments, I’m not seeing it. The bulk of the posts are just plain mean… but especially this.

    Rather than the pompous positioning of DrJohn, the people who are related to Nerium Intl. seem to try to inform without the the mean spirited or negative edge. If you agree with the doc, you are rewarded with a virtual pat on the back. If you don’t, or have joined the evil empire of Nerium, tread lightly. I’m glad I haven’t joined a camp, but whatever the Docs are peddling, I’m certainly not going to investigate that.

    Mean is just mean… not great “bedside manner” for doctors…

    • drjohn says:

      Let’s see, if we express our opinions, and happen to blow a whistle or two, we are mean. If we disagree with someone, we are pompous. If we are physician scientists (we do science, not treat patients currently) we must have bad “bedside manner” (actually our stem cells love us and think we are true Marcus Welbys). Then there is the ” people who are related to Nerium Intl…Seem to try to inform without the the mean spirited or negative edge”. Oh, really? Truth be told, we cannot even publish some of the stuff we get. Did you read the “Neriumgate” post? Anyway, you are entitled to your opinion. And we even publish it here. But you know what? Try to publish anything even slightly derogatory on a Nerium controlled site. They wipe it clean within seconds. We have heard, and have seen this, over and over. So, if you are actually a believer in free speech you are barking up the wrong tree, Tre. Here you get both sides of the debate. There (Nerium) you get marketing, propaganda and firm intolerance of any diversity of opinion. So, who do you really side with? Are you tolerant?

  62. lea says:

    well have not read all comments, but I did see and tested the product for 3 days. Did not see any visible sign of improvements, neither did someone I spoke to that had used it for long time.
    i feel MLM has been the same for many years the few on top make a lot of money and the dream goes on.Some companies have good products but you have to work hard and many people abandon it,
    I am not interested in the business and always like to research what they say before I use products. For my face I use natural oils and they are less expensive than brand name. The natural remedies are always better.

  63. raindeer says:

    I have read every single post here..and here is my input. I was involved for several years in a MLM company selling essential oils.. the product was great. I truly hated the marketing of it and after a few years , the benefits changed and guess who was receiving more and who was receiving less?..you got it…of course their guise was ” to better help our independent distributors”…what a bunch of bologna..It was to line their million dollar pockets….I quite selling for them and swore I would never do it again..I started doing my own research and found other oils ( and yes tested them myself) to be just as good at half the price..
    So, in December, along comes an old classmate selling Nerium..I had no intention of selling any of it, but just trying it..I have just completed my second bottle. I couldnt get on the site for some reason , it wouldnt take my info, so I got frustrated and bought a bottle from Amazon.. The classmate went wild on trying to say “on no , dont do that, the bottles could be diluted, no , send it back and I will send you a free bottle from my own stash untill we can get this website stuff figured out”…..ok that was generous..however I never returned the bottle ,so I have now used them both and I will say, I am seeing results.. but only in certain areas..I know why its a night creme too because it tightens and drys your face so bad you wouldnt DARE go out looking like this.. but when you wash it off in the morning, wala..beautiful!…well..in some areas.. Eyes, I see no diffference, neck is no doubt tighter, chest lines are shrinking and face is much smoother…I am a 54 yr old woman and am liking the results..but here is my conclusion
    I will NOT Be buying into the marketing of this..and after reading all of this..I may very well not order another bottle from anyone. I do as much organic as possible and use herbs in teas, tinctures and mega green poweders and spend alot on trying to stay healthy…the last thing I want is to be prettier on the outside while I am decaying further the inside.. thanks so much for all the hard work you do in your research and informing those of us who ride the fence in decisions regarding our health.. Making educated decisions gives us the power to succeed. Thanks again!

  64. Poppy Walls says:

    I am neither a scientist, tho I do have a Masters in Science, but I would like to leave a comment for toil. I am concerned about the toxicity of this product due the product crossing into the bloodstream through the skin. In my opinion would be close to ingesting it. Correct me if I am wrong…. For the same reason we wear gloves while handling any poison.

  65. Kim Hiller says:

    I find your obvious bias against Nerium very suspect. In reading your responses, I found them to be riddled with inacuracies. I am not a Nerium Marketing Rep. Your inferences as to toxicity levels are inaccurate. If you google nerium poisoning, you will find experts with chenistry, toxicology, medical and bio-chemical degrees who refute your veiled attempt to cast a shadow on something your company cannot make money on. I looked for reviews which weren’t influenced either way by money.

    • drjohn says:

      In typical Neriumite fashion, Kim tells us our responses and inferences are “riddled with inaccuracies” yet doesn’t explain what, why, or how so. She also doesn’t bother tell us what her qualifications are for making that science judgment. (we here have MD’s, PhD’s and Masters degrees in related disciplines). Other scientists have chimed in here with comments (e.g. see Poppy a couple of comments back). I took Kim’s challenge and googled “nerium poisoning” and found on the first page barefacedtruth.com and a dozen sites all documenting the well known fact that Nerium oleander is a poison, and the toxicity is high enough to make it on the “top ten” most toxic plants worldwide. You want more reviews? Try this one (from Paula the Cosmetics Cop)

  66. Jim Martin says:

    I have to laugh at these negative comments as the third party testing by ST and T, a highly regarded testing co., gave us a 5 star rating in it’s ability to youthful regeneration of skin.

    We ask any company to put their product through the same testing to get objective results, not subjective.

    this is a company that produced in it’s first year 100 mil. and the second year 200 mil.

    It was also the first co. to make into top 100 network companies in the world, the youngest took 12 years to accomplish! as far as the “Success from home mag.” you can’t pay them to review your company!

    • drjohn says:

      um, would you like to provide documentation that ST&T is a “highly regarded testing co”? I’ve never heard of star ratings from a legitimate scientific testing co. What would such stars mean exactly? Oh, and yes you can pay magazines to review products – it happens all the time. Lot’s of ways fro them to make money with ads, etc. BTW – which kool-aid flavor is your favorite?

  67. nadiap says:

    I have tried so many facial night creams, I can’t recall them all. But for the money, I still love Made from Earth’s Olive Night Cream is the best. It goes on smoothly and soaks in quickly. I get told I look younger than my 47 years, and I think good genes and this have helped! I also love the very light fresh scent and so does my husband.

  68. Julie says:

    I bought two bottles of Nerium AD, used for several weeks and was pleased with results. However, during that time, I was having mild chest pain, racing heart, slow heart (bradycardia), low Blood pressure, dizziness and utter exhaustion!!! I quit using neurium and now, one week later, feel back to normal. I am 62 years old and these heart symptoms are nothing to sneeze at. How nany other people are using this dangerous, poisonous concoction on their face every day and absorbing poison into their blood stream? After having these symptoms, I did some research and learned how poisonous oleander is, and how it contains cardiac glycosides, the same components that are in digoxin and digitalis, cardiac medications . Also, the cream works by constantly having top layer of skin cells die which makes lower layer continually making new. It actually started out as a skin cancer treatment (certain components in it) and its purpose was to kill cancer cells. I don’t like that concept of using a cell killing substance on my face that is absorbed and possibly killing or poisoning cells in other vital organs such as my heart or liver!!!!!

  69. Concernedhusband says:

    My wife and her girlfriends are in a buzz about this stuff. I’m no idiot I’ve done my research this is a straight scam. We are going to a nerium “party” tomorrow night on 3-11-14. Dr john I need your help give me some questions I can ask the nerium rep that will crush them In front of my wife. Thanks for all you help.

    • drjohn says:

      1. How is it that a substance that is universally known to be a poison and causes “massive oxidative stress” (according to their own research) be good for skin?
      2. It has been charged in papers filed last week in Los Angeles Superior Court that Nerium is a pyramid scheme. How is this not a pyramid scheme?
      3. It has been charged in papers filed last week in Los Angeles Superior Court that Nerium before/after photographs are fraudulent. Ho do you answer that?
      4. What legitimate or peer reviewed scientific publication has validated that Nerium AD works at all?
      5. Why do so many people who have written to barefeacedtruth.com report such negative experiences with the product and the company?

      Of course we all know that a certain variety of kool aid is served at those parties. We make no guarantees that any question will restore sanity to the delusional.

  70. rose says:

    Wow thank you for all this information. I am on day 4 using both night/day Nerium creams. My eyes are swollen, red, itchy, watery….. so clearly this product is not for me. I also found the smell irritating like a self tanning cream gone bad. I paid 129.00 to be a prefered customer, sounds like getting my money back might be difficult……I’ll let you know….
    .

  71. Donna Wilson says:

    I am curious as to whether there are any new updates on this product?? I just ordered some of this today from a friend, I have no interest in selling it. I have read all the above comments and done much research on this product, I have found it to be about 50/50 on good vs. bad results, however if I had researched this product before I ordered it. I most likely would not have ordered it. I will give it a try but am very skeptical after reading all the above comments. Thank you to all who have given there thoughts and comments on this product.

  72. Lori Brightman says:

    My father swears by a glass of scotch a day ( the good stuff mind you) he is 84 and looks 70′ish can out hike all his kids, I having aquired a taste for it at a young age ( used in our home for whatever ailed you, and no we were not allowed to spit out ” my good scotch”) he would say. I personally keep a good 18 yr old bottle handy and at 46 I am pretty darn healthy..I am thinking of using some on my face . Of course I am kidding ( maybe) fact is: just eat right and exercise and use sunscreen I look far younger than my years and for you naysayers out there it is not good genetics from my parents ( I was adopted) it is sage advice and wisdom I have gotten from them.
    Thanks Doc’S for all your wisdom, much appreciated.

  73. cbhungry says:

    The “clinical trials” I have seen only studied it up to 30 days, and my beef is that most topical products don’t absorb systemically or cause systemic problems until it has been applied for longer. ( take chronic corticosteroid cream application). Also, Retin A is now generic and a 10dollar copay, I know it’s toxicities when I prescribe it to my patients and side effects. I can’t say that about Nerium which is 100 times more expensive.
    the clinical trial referenced in the link neriumbiotech.com studied it in rats and sliced cultures of brain tissue. It is phase I clinical trials. We don’t usually see most toxicities until it reaches phase 3 and 4, which is why only 10% of drugs that pass phase I ever make it to Phase 3 and 4. Oh yeah, I used to be a research chemist and I can tell you that any clinical trials done by the parent company means they can suppress negative data and inflate positive data. I know, which is why most physicians ex- chemists like myself trust NIH funded , 3 rd party research since it is less subject to this type of error…..

    • drjohn says:

      Well said. Only problem is that the NIH umbrella does not include an NIW (“national institute of wrinkles”) and so grants are hard to get in anti-aging skin care. The industry itself surely needs to do a much better better job of regulating itself to sort the science from the nonsense. Create some standards, at least. But then companies like this would probably opt out (for obvious reasons) and spend their money on happiness magazines. Caveat emptor.

  74. Linda Gonino says:

    I smelled the toxic chemicals instantly! When the body is “clean” or severely toxic , it is more sensitive.

  75. ConsciousConsumer says:

    Dr. John ,

    - Was they any reply to your questions on March 11, 2014 by “concernedhusband”?
    - The Nerium website states that there was no animal testing. What I cannot find is whether they use any animal products in Nerium – do you know?
    - As the Oleander Plant is indeed poisonous, I would be keen to know how their suppliers are handling this leaf – meaning, whether people have been harmed in the process, is the production done in an ethical and sustainable way, how do consumers find out – is there transparency to this equation?

    Thank You.

    • drjohn says:

      The animal testing question is interesting. Recall that the whole genesis story of Nerium AD is that it was “accidentally” discovered by Dr Nathan Newman at MD Anderson that the extract of Nerium oleander plants he had been testing for years was somehow good for skin. The parent company of Nerium International is Nerium Biotechnology. Nerium oleander extract contains the same cardiac glycosides they market as Anvirzel, an anti-cancer agent. Which they they have tested on many animals, and humans (still no FDA approval for sale in US). Here is a publication in which they test it in mice as well as humans (interestingly, it kills cells in humans, but not mice). You can see lots of other publications on the Nerium Biotech site.

      So, clearly documented is a history of animal testing leading up to the cosmetic product. Now they will probably answer “but we didn’t test the cosmetic on animal” to which the obvious answer is “but you tested the ingredient you claim is the active many times in animals”. To deny that they did animal testing would be rather deceptive, don’t you think? The whole thing is so clearly documented. Look at the research, and the genesis story. No way of getting around this one.

    • drjohn says:

      The question of sustainability, transparency, and worker safety is ironic if not absurd. Peruse these pages, look at the pictures, and read the hundreds of comments and decide for yourself whether the company you are talking about cares one whit about people being harmed.

  76. lifesinsanity76 says:

    i too am lossing my girl because of neriumm…. or maybee its because i saw the finacial report of there parent company…. what am i to do when i know info … put it in front of her,…lol…… and i some how get blamed for my not suporting her and children … like she could do with nerium….. im heart broken and dumb funded that i could let this get so out of hand ,… i ,love her but shes hooked… please give me advice

    • drjohn says:

      I think this potboiler movie plot unfolds when the spurned boyfriend “mans up” and becomes a persistent and vocal champion for truth and justice in the battle against greed, lies, poisons, and evil in general (and Nerium oleander epidemics in particular). This awakens the woman’s passions to the actually important things in life, and of course to to him. He becomes that heroic husband who display remarkable strength and integrity, and who will make the selfish and grubby Lexus salesman pale by comparison. Her children grow up and become scientists who find a cure for cancer. The world is a better place because of this one man’s courage. A true superhero.

  77. Greg says:

    Hello,
    I have read all the posts here so far because, my 18 year old son went to a Nerium meeting tonight at the insistence of my Ex-Wife. I was asked to go too but have already been involved 5 years in MLM with the Ex long ago…. that started a year before we were married. I am glad I spent the last 4 hours investigating, not only here but many other sites about this product.

    From what I gather this poisonous plant extract kills the top layer of the skin and causes inflammation that gives the appearance of reduced lines and wrinkles. What happens with prolonged exposure, storage of toxins and side effects on the internal organs has not been adequately addressed.

    I would rather bathe in honey and stake myself out over an ant hill to get the same results naturally. That would also be a better alternative than getting involved with another MLM with the Ex…. I hope my son will take the time to investigate before getting financially involved with a company that charges you to work for them. Tomorrow is my Birthday, I will have a good talk with my son and let him know my concerns. He is “of age” and I will let him make his own well-informed decisions…
    Thanks again,
    Greg

    • drjohn says:

      Hi Greg, I like the honey and ant hill skin product idea. Hope you patented it. Reminds me of the “kiss kiss” fish treatment where carp nibble at your skin. Turns out they do secrete something in their saliva that is anti-inflammatory. But there is also evidence for human spit having some beneficial cytokines. We hope for you son that he inherited your wisdom genes. Happy Birthday!

  78. Greg says:

    Hello drjohn,
    Follow up from my last post…
    Good news, I am sitting here with my 18 year old son on my Birthday. He went to the Nerium meeting last night with my Ex-wife and had to hold a pillow over his face during most of the meeting to hide his laughter. He brought a friend of his with him as well. During the meeting his friend googled the product and couldn’t believe all the horrible stuff he found. The women started out the meeting by showing a video for about 20 minutes with before and after pictures that he said some looked photo-shopped. His friend said that some of the people in the before pictures could/might have clenched their faces to make it look like they had more wrinkles. Some of the after photos looked like their faces were more relaxed and used different lighting. The rest of the meeting the sponsor talked about money and how to get people involved. All about the money……and for a thousand dollars you could get started. (NO WAY)..
    No product was offered to try (THANK GOD) and any questions that were asked could not be answered to expectations. It seemed they didn’t know what they were talking about when it came to the product. It was not the focus of the meeting, only the enrollment process was discussed in detail, how you can get other people involved buying product to make a lot of money, get an I-pad and drive a Lexus, and (of course) wanting you to spend your money to get started….
    After the meeting my son and his friend took my Ex outside and told her that it was a Pyramid scheme and they tried to talk her out of it…To no avail, she went back inside, believing in all the hype… I feel sorry for her… This is only one of the reasons she is my EX…there is no reasoning with her… I hope she comes to her senses before what little she has in her bank account goes to zero. This will not only effect her, but both of our children…and eventually myself in the long run as well.
    So to end this, it looks like my son inherited my wisdom genes like you hoped for…
    Thanks for giving me a platform to air my dirty laundry….
    Greg

    • drjohn says:

      MLM’s (at least those of the evil variety) count on there being a certain segment of the population who are driven by dreams of riches, and high hopes of success, and who are too trusting or naive to believe that there could be folks waiting to exploit their vulnerabilities. Sadly, your EX sounds like she fits this profile. She is hardly alone. Some have it beaten out of them once they have been through the cycle once or twice. Others are indelibly gullible, and will keep doing it until they lose everything, like an elderly widow we know who is being evicted from her home. Like gambling, it can become an addiction.

  79. Greg says:

    drjohn,
    You seem to have the ability to hit the nail on the head. How did you know about the gambling? Another reason we are no longer together…She just wont quit. It appears this also appeals to people that are easily “brain-washed” into thinking they will get rich by doing this. An example of my personal experience on what I was told in a different MLM. What difference does it make how much the products cost. Never mind about the product, flush it down the toilet if you want, just think about all the money you are going to make by getting other people involved in the program and duplicate what you are doing. Does this sound familiar to anyone?
    Has anyone heard this type of thinking in Nerium? Let me know…
    Thank you for your insight and “to the point” delivery.
    Greg

  80. Tammy says:

    MLM (Multi-level Marketing) is something that’s done with just about every company. It’s just that most companies also market through commercials, websites, and mail. For instance, Dish Network advertises using every avenue there is but they also use MLM to grow there business through their customers. If you are a customer of theirs, they will send you emails telling you that if you refer three people, they will award you with something plus the three people that you referred will also get something. MLM is nothing but Direct Selling. A lot of companies are going the way of Direct Selling and have been for years but nobody thought anything of it until “the big pyramid scheme” happened. Avon, Mary Kay, Tupperware, just to name a few out of thousands have been doing Direct Sales or MLM since they’ve started but no one sees them as a pyramid scheme. I sold Avon a few years ago and for everyone I could get to join Avon as a seller, I was rewarded with commissions from their sales. That’s no different then what Nerium is doing. If you open a restaurant and you give your customers business cards where they can put their name on them and tell them that if you give this to someone and they bring it in here and present this card, you will get 10% off your next visit then you are basically using a MLM tactic. So stop judging the product by how it’s advertised and just judge the product on if it works or not. Direct Sales or MLM whichever you want to call it is the way of the future because it’s the cheapest was to advertise anymore. A true MLM will pay you for your effort and the better job you do, the higher up the ladder you climb. That’s totally different from “a pryimid scheme.” And no I’m not in Direct Sales or MLM.

    • drgeorge says:

      Tammy, the issue with Nerium AD and the organization that sells it boils down to two basic points. The first one is the most troubling.
      1) The science behind their highly touted active ingredient (Nerium oleander extract) does not, in BFT’s opinion, support its being included in a skin product that is intended to be used day after day indefinitely. Cytotoxic compounds, while good at killing cancer cells, may indeed be harmful to normal cells over time. It continues to be BFT’s opinion that the “accidental” anti-aging effect may well be the result of inflammation, which if chronic is known to be pro-aging, not anti-aging. No studies or documentation have thus far been provided by the company or its scientists to allay that concern. Instead, the public has been provided with nonsensical claptrap about how many hundreds of bottles of product a one year old can safely ingest. And if truly safe, why is Optimera (which contains no Nerium oleander extract) being sold in Canada instead of Nerium AD?
      2) The MLM criticism is based on the fact that statistics confirm that only a few percent of people who join MLM sales organizations actually make a profit, the vast majority lose money. Dish network doesn’t require people to invest money (aside from paying for the service they are already receiving) to profit from referrals. The reportedly cult-like nature of Nerium International is troubling. BFT has published numerous comments from attendees at Nerium events who describe the hoopla as all about money, cars, and computers with little or nothing about the science behind the “breakthrough” ingredient. To the contrary, some say that questions about the science are met with derision and ridicule. Let’s put the MLM structure aside (it truly is a distraction from the major point) and agree that the public is owed an explanation about the science, or lack thereof, behind this product.

  81. Nikki says:

    I really appreciate this post, thank you. I am on a mad internet search after being told by Nerium and the person that sold it to me that their products are gluten free. I see on the back of the label that they include Oat in their day cream – almost never gluten free. I am waiting to hear back from the company on whether they use certified gluten-free oats (highly unlikely) but it may take a awhile as they have told me there is only ONE person in the entire company that can answer questions of this nature and she has left for the day. Meanwhile, I’ve been doing some research of my own and came across this site and many, many more. It is a terrible sign if the company refuses to answer specific questions about ingredients and to be honest, after 6 months of using this product at $110 a month I don’t see one bit of difference in my skin. I have been ill since starting using it and have gone crazy trying to figure out the sourse – for me it will most likely be gluten cross contamination. I am just having a hard time seeing why anybody would continue to purchase from this company when it seems very possible they are using toxic ingredients and the product sucks anyway!

  82. Michelle says:

    Yes, Oleander is so rare that I was able to purchase 2 Oleander trees at the Walmart garden center for $15 each.

    • drjohn says:

      Just be sure to keep it away from pets & children. Oh and no beehives….. “Oleander poisoning occurs when someone sucks nectar from the flowers or chews leaves from the oleander or yellow oleander plant. Poisoning can also happen if you eat honey made by bees that used the oleander plant for nectar.”. Some reports suggest one leaf is enough to kill a child or pet.

      Here is CA Nerium oleander is a “freeway bush” once somebody tried to claim that Nerium oleander was helping the environment by taking up CO2 from auto exhaust and converting it to O2. Manby plants do that. However, when a study was doine it turns out that Nerium oleander is an exception – it actually makes more CO2 than it uses. In other words, it is a polluter itself.

  83. Dee says:

    Love this! I have a friend who called me a few months ago raving about this new skin cream, she said she looks amazing and her skin has transformed 100%. She kept on and on and on about how her face is proof that the cream works wonders….then she said, I’m going to drop a 5 day trial of the cream in my mailbox and all I have to do is try it and Nerium will bill me $120.00 a MONTH!! Then she said I can call and cancel at any time. Long story short I called her back and refused the “free trial”, since then I’ve ran into a few Nerium nuts and they are super pushy and extremely annoying! The reps make me NOT want to buy this product, I’d have to bump my head in the wall and be bonkers to consider using this product. I enjoy my organic skincare and my skin looks great, these crazy people can keep their Nerium, wonder what will happen in 10-15 years of prolonged use of Nerium?

    • drgeorge says:

      Dee, let us know how your friendship with the person flourishes or withers in the weeks ahead. We have heard multiple stories of deteriorating relationships among friends, families, spouses, etc.

  84. Linda Bell says:

    The cosmetic industry appoints their PhD to steering committees and lobby.

    They have succeded in skipping Duponts “phenediamine” (in hair dye) MSD-sheet prohibiting
    skin contact and include only gloves not protective perforated cap to induce safety sense, sales.

    Exposing health harm using just gloves and unreliable 48 hour allergy tests builds risk.

  85. Jose says:

    I can also give a solid argument how water can kill you and the air you breath being more harmful to you than drinking chlorine. Leave the toxic comments out when you don’t understand the science.

    • drjohn says:

      And of course Jose understands the science, but all the scientists don’t, because water is a poison. This kind of nonsense doesn’t help your image.

    • drgeorge says:

      C’mon, Jose. From your linkedin page, it looks like you’ve been a Nerium brand partner for only one month. How much science did they teach you vs. telling you how much money you would make? What sold you on hopping on the bandwagon, superior science or superior remuneration? We (and now several others bloggers) have had concerns about the mechanism of action of this product since first learning about it. Not to destroy the company, but to insist they tell the public how a known cellular poison is supposed to be good for the consumers’ skin when used indefinitely. Thus far – nada back from the Nerium team. Accidental findings don’t stay that way for long. Our learned opinion, as opposed to non-scientists’ hunches, is there is a potential danger of long-term pro-aging effects from this product. If the Nerium folks can convince us otherwise, we’ll tell the world we were wrong. Their response? Ignore the question we ask and replace it with an answer for one we conceded was not an issue two years ago, systemic toxicity. Jose, answer this: Why does the new Nerium International product being sold in Canada not have the “miracle ingredient” in it. How about giving us your opinion on that.

  86. yrosetx says:

    I began using the Nerium AD a couple of weeks ago and can already tell my pores are decreasing. My makeup goes on much smoother and am using less of it. My mother in law tried it and after 30 days, the results were dramatic. I was a total skeptic until I saw proof on people that I actually know, not just pictures that may/may not have been photoshopped. Based on what my eyes have actually seen and the way my own skin looks and feels, I will definately be using this product! Say what you want, but I see the results I was hoping for and am very pleased. As far as the oleander plant, etc, you have to take into acct that hemp is also made from the same plant as marihuana, but you dont get high using hemp products, do you? Of course not. Stinging nettle burns like fire, but when harvested it can be used for many herbal products. The end products of plants are not always the same as the beginning. I stand by the product and no, I am not selling it,nor do I have a vested interest in the company, other than my own. I am 56 and have the best looking skin I have had in years. My mother in law is mid 70′s and its done wonders for her.

    • drgeorge says:

      Of course plants have value in health matters. Most classes of early drugs had plant origins. Two that come to mind are digitalis from the foxglove plant and atropine from the deadly nightshade plant. The physiology and mechanisms of action are totally understood. The same goes for the nerium oleander plant, its toxic potential is fully recognized and well understood. No problem there or with your other examples. Our issue with Nerium AD is the utter silence of the people marketing it to unsophisticated consumers. Your pores appearing smaller is consistent with our opinion that many of the purported improvements in appearance (let’s leave the lighting, focus, camera angle, and digital processing arguments out of this for now) of fine lines, pore size, et., can be explained by the edema (tissue water increase) that is part of the inflammatory process. Which brings up the fundamental question: is inflammation that is chronic and indolent good for the skin, or a recognized and proven pro-aging contributor? The jury came back with that verdict years ago. Inflammation is pro-aging. We think it is improper for Nerium International et al. to not take that question on directly. And if it is not edema related inflammation that contributes to some of the changes seen, what is the scientific explanation. And again, why did the Nerium folks omit their miracle ingredient in the product now being ballyhooed across our neighboring country to the north? Makes you wonder. Don’t you think that deserves an answer?

    • drjohn says:

      Actually, the Nerium people acknowledge that is in fact the same stuff (the Nerium oleander extract) and have gone so far as to test people to see how much gets into their blood. They proudly state it is not a lethal level. Gee, that’s good to know. They should label it as containing a “sublethal” amount of Nerium oleander extract.

  87. bob rech says:

    Hello doctors , have you seen this video link I am sending you [the tired old Nerium "safety" video] could you please give your opinion on it . I am still questioning the product myself. This is the best scientific evidence I could find . Bob

    • drjohn says:

      Evidence for what? Not for efficacy, or solid scientific rationale. Evidence for safety? What, by telling you how much you would have to eat to kill you? Think about it for a moment … how many other skin care products do you know need to tell you that number? None, of course, because they are not based on poisons in the first place. To refute all of the PAID APOLOGISTS just look in any toxicology textbook. Or on the internet just google “nerium oleander” and “poison” or “toxin” or “death”. See what you come up with. These are medical databases, and online texts, folks. Look at respected sites like WebMD. Our opinion? We have written a number of posts and comments since that video was done. Just read around BFT – you will find “the rest of the story”.

  88. mark says:

    I’m not a doctor or a scientist. I would like to hear about SOZO and coffeeberry.fruit. The company also has a anti-aging product that is being sold. This company reports many third party clinical trials from accredited sources. Thank you for your help.

    Mark huss

  89. Gabriel says:

    One question did you make any money as a BP?

  90. Ben says:

    You shouldn’t be afraid to get involved in one of these companies IF THEY ARE ABOVE BOARD AND LEGITIMATE. The best way to find out about a company is to check what accurate information other reputable independent companies and organizations have on them. For any business, I would recommend checking the Better Business Bureau at BBB.org or the US Chamber of Commerce website. For MLM businesses, you should look at an independent ranking company such as mlmrankings.com. I personally am involved with an MLM and have found nothing to make me wary of any of their business practices. I’m sure if I name it, I’ll be censored for making an advertisement. Suffice it to say, this company has been around for over 50 years, with our number one partner having been in business for over 75 years. Both have received numerous awards from the US Chamber of Commerce. Long story short, there ARE reputable MLM companies out there. Beware and be aware. Do your research. Make sure you know exactly what you are getting into BEFORE you sign any paperwork or give anyone any money. And if you find one that works for you, I wish you all the best.

  91. FlaLady says:

    I am a licensed esthetician with a BS in Health Science and Master’s in Public Health. I would absolutely NEVER put Nerium on my skin! Botox is toxic too and I would not use that as well. It is a matter of choice; there are more natural and more holistic products out there. Cryo Stem Cells for example give remarkable results using bovine and marine stem cells. These cells penetrate the skin by 90% and have a 71% clinically proven rejuvenation rate. It is a matter of choice and to me it is about what is best for the client, and getting great and safe results – not if I can build an empire or get free product! You’re missing the boat! Quite frankly, I have not seen a difference in the people around me using Nerium, the same ones hounding me to promote this product. It is a matter of choice and I as a professional chose not to condone or promote Nerium.

  92. Drgeorge says:

    FlaLady, thank you for your post. We tend to agree with some of your conclusions, but as scientists, must ask where the 90% skin penetration factor was published and what data support the ability of stem cells (from whatever source) to wend their way through an extremely effective physical barrier i.e. the stratum corneum to produce 71% rejuvenation.
    It is well known that the larger the molecule and the more polar (similar to water as opposed to nonpolar fats and oils) it is, the less penetration is possible. To suggest that entire cellular structures are capable of making that journey without the help of a hypodermic needle or other rent in the epidermis, is not scientifically possible. And that’s just the beginning of what’s wrong with this story.
    This topic may need its own posting to help prevent consumer ripoffs. It appears at least one company is extracting bovine (cattle) stem cells from the amniotic fluid of fetus calves, and then concocting a fantasy of sheer nonsense to entice consumers to spend their money. From their website:
    “The extractions are carefully timed in order to achieve maximum amounts of stem cells, which have not become specific to the bovine genetic composition but contain the DNA information to convert to human genetic composition, specifically that of human skin, Science already knows
    that animal cultivated organs such as pig heart valves, have made medical history and
    miracles while co-existing with the human body once implanted. This compatibility
    also applies to human skin.”
    Please, please do not buy into this claptrap. How is it that bovine stem cells, the downstream cellular progeny of the union of cattle ova and sperm can be claimed to not contain bovine DNA. That is ludicrous. Furthermore, after application to the skin, they “can convert to human genetic composition, specifically that of human skin.” Does anyone reading BFT believe this?????
    Yes, pig valves are used in humans…after they have been treated with glutaradehyde and formalehyde to thoroughly sterilize and make them non-identifiable by the immune system as foreign tissue. Pig valves are dead, no different than a piece of leather that can last for years. They are not “compatible” with the human body…they are invisible to it because they are no longer alive and their DNA has been chemically obliterated.
    My, oh my. It’s worse out there than BFT originally thought. Thinking caps, people. Use ‘em.

  93. raye says:

    rose, your advise was probably the best…man you cant trust anything any more and its sad.Does anyone know of natural over the counter stuff that works for repairing skin damage. Im 41 almost 42 and I just stopped smoking a week ago. Probably the best thing I could do….but other sudgestions????

  94. Me, Maria says:

    I too was approched by an aquaintance to try this product. 3 weeks and nothing. I did, however, get an ichy rash & breakout. I must admidt that I tried it blindly, trusting my aquaintance. When I had mentioned that I had done no reserch on this reiterating that I always over analize everything, they said to me…that is the point, you don’t have to know anything to make money at this! just invite everyone you know to your house. then sit down and shut up. Let me do the presentation. At that piont, I was appalled. I am an esthetician and my daughter and I own a salon. Our goal is to educate the public to the ill effects of parabens and chemicals etc. in hair and skin care products. How what you put on your scalp, face and body go directly into the bloodstream completely bipassing our filtering sytem. wow, and she even read our mission statement. I have not completed my research, but should I put anymore effort after this foolishness? It is an MLM co. That says it all.

  95. Crispybunny says:

    No, the database does not provide any information on NeriumAD “proprietary blend”. More specifically the Oleander Leaf Extract. I too am concerned with the ingredients listed as I like to live as chemical free as possible. I did look into each ingredient and found that the most important had no information on it whatsoever. Another concern was the Sodium Borate which is essentially used for cleaning laundry etc. Anyways, I am personally concerned with the Oleander Leaf Extract as there is no data to show its safety. Another thing that would need to be considered in my opinion is absorption. I have heard conflicting views on this topic and would have to bring into question the possibility of your body absorbing and storing the plant extract. You have to use this product everyday and for as long as you want results. If absorbed, how does your body store or rid itself of this extract and what are the health outcomes of it either way. For me, there isnt enough evidenced to support safety. Hope that made sense:0) Skin Deep is the database I used. While it is a little lacking, I do like some of the information it provides.

  96. Carol says:

    Leila,
    OH then on the extreme ridiculousness of this venture if you are out of work and have kids if it makes money who cares if it swindles and possibly harms the public. gee people I just do not deal well with stupid. And this company and the product is stupid when they lead into it with an obvious pyramid scheme opposed to telling you how the product works so it can be marketed properly when questions arise. Brochures, pamphlets on the product the only thing in the little “party” I went to was publications that referred to the innovative ceo of a MLM…

    There is also a clear statement on the Cancer Clinic website that states NO affiliation,

    Thank you Dr. George for this entertainment into the stupidity of people that are duped by anything on tv reminds me of the commercial where the girl says “of course it is true I read it on the internet” same place she met her french model boyfriend (nerd with birth control glasses and a fanny pack)

  97. Summer Grace says:

    Frankly the minute you chose to use Wikipedia as your source….you lose all credibility….

  98. Drgeorge says:

    I don’t agree that using a Wikepedia reference is a de facto indictment of credibility. From my experience, the content is frequently valid and correct. While Wikipedia may not be the equivalent of Google Scholar, that is not the same as saying all Wikipedia entries are in error. I find it useful because content is typically more “approachable” by average readers as opposed to content more intended for advanced academic audiences I recently used a Wikipedia article as an example of how doses of poisons are “relative” i.e. powerful poisons require tiny doses for deleterious effect whereas the most innocuous of substances (water in my example) require large doses but can be fatal, nonetheless. I used the Wikipedia entry on water intoxication as my reference. For the more academically minded, the following may be more appropriate.

    http://archpedi.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=495646
    http://journals.lww.com/jonmd/Abstract/1985/03000/Death_from_Self_Induced_Water_Intoxication_among.5.aspx
    http://archpedi.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=499049

  99. src says:

    I am very concerned about purchasing this product, as it stated for external use only, but anything placed on the skin will be ingested, so how could the product not be harmful to the body?

  100. drjohn says:

    You are right, and everybody else is wrong (negative people). The mantra of a “true believer”, but not really a good way to establish truth.

  101. somersham says:

    Now that Jason is done with his juvenile rankings, we are anxiously waiting for his scientific analysis in support of Nerium.

  102. NotSoStupid says:

    Carol…… Where in the world do you come off calling people stupid! That’s just stupid In itself…. Thre are hundreds of products on the market… Get over this one people! If it works so be it! If not, so be it! Basically if you feel so strongly about it then make sure to never use it! It’s stupid for people to get on here and just post stupidity because they think they know what they are talking about!!! As it has been stated.,. There is no evidence that has been published to claim any of what you have to say is true…. As for drjohn and drgeorge, are you just trying to tear down a product because your product isn’t selling or successful? I have walked into dermatologist offices and seen the product for sale! I’m not saying it does or doesn’t work, that’s for me to decide! But for heaven sakes, get off the horse and go out and enjoy your life, the summer, your families and stop attacking everything that you can about this company! Geez. You call yourself doctors? I work with surgeons in the operating room everyday that are more professional than you, and as some of us may know, surgeons can be the biggest a$$es out there!
    Get over it! Stop all your ranting and upsetting everyone, basically forming your own cult! A cult against a product that you don’t seem to have any hard core information about!!
    No be good little boys and girls and go play nice!!! It’s 2014!!! Everything you read is harmful or gonna kill you!!! Just like all the naysayers about ecigs….
    Everyone just do what you gotta do and don’t worry about others!

  103. drjohn says:

    A cult works by mind control. We at BFT encourage all to think for themselves. A cult tries to shield their members from the world outside the cult, as that encourages people to think for themselves. They control, and they censor. They create and guard their propaganda from the truth. Cult leaders are typically bullies, who will twist the truth or outright lie to keep control of the thoughts of its victims, who are economically and socially bound to them. Now do you seriously contend that this describes barefacedtruth.com? Or does it sound like a well known evil MLM’pire? BFT operates in the open marketplace of ideas. BFT publishes all points of view, and edits only deliberate slander (which is unlawful). Try to get the MLM’s to publish something that doesn’t agree with their party line on their website. Many have tried and failed. I would posit that looking from inside a cult makes the rest of the world seem like a cult, but that is the inverse of reality. A Bizarro world. We hope for you that you are rescued before they start passing out the next batch of kool-aid.

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