The Flaccid Truth about NeriumFirm

matter with meOK, we admit it. When we first heard of a product named NeriumFirm (from the people who bring you Nerium AD) we thought they were getting into the erectile dysfunction market.  Another one of those creams to … well …  you know,  make some things work better.  We were wrong. What they claim to shrink and tighten are thighs, buttocks, abdomens, arms, but no mention of penises. Have they succeeded in creating another miracle? We hate to deflate that notion, but we are compelled to tell the truth. Even when the truth is embarrassing.

We don’t often review skincare products these days, but who could resist. Here we have a product containing an extract of cardiac glycosides (a known poison) claiming to do away with cellulite (what is that again?), dimpling (watch out Miranda Kerr), smooth and tighten loose skin (oh no, wait … just the ‘appearance” of loose skin –  not actual loose skin) and restore youthful contour, tone and texture. In other words, a liposuction in a bottle.  Lookie here:oh no-cellulite

A scientific breakthrough holds the answers to looking toned and smooth all year long. Following the historical success of the NeriumAD age-defying skincare line, Nerium International presents NeriumFirm Body Contouring Cream. NeriumFirm is a skin-tightening cream developed from the patented NAE-8 extract of the Nerium oleander plant. Its powerful antioxidant formulation has been clinically proven to reduce the appearance of cellulite and dimpling and to help smooth, tighten and firm the appearance of loose skin. NeriumFirm also helps restore the appearance of youthful contour, tone and texture.

Quite a feat, if it is true. But is it? As always, lets start with the logic, and an examination of the ingredients.  That should be the easy part, right? A sound hypothesis perhaps? Then we shall move on to the evidence.  is there any, and what quality. If you really force us to, we may comment on how it is sold, but only to make the point that it is not a hot seller at Target or CVS. Or any store for that matter, except maybe e-bay.  We will endeavor to explain why that might be the case.

Ingredients in NeriumFirmsharpei 3

NeriumFirm is the only contouring product on the market harnessing the power of the NAE-8 extract, the key ingredient in the renowned NeriumAD skincare line.

I believe that. What other company would be so cynical that they would add a known “massively oxidizing” chemical to a firming cream, for goodness sake? NeriumFirm contains five other key ingredients:clueless

  • Peptide matrix
  • Caffeine
  • White willow bark extract
  • Green tea leaf extract
  • Forskohlii root extract

Let’s start at the top with the term “peptide matrix”.  Now if you thought that means some actual peptides (a popular category of actives in cosmeceuticals) you would be logical, but you would be wrong. We thought the same. But then when you look on the label ingredients you see it is defined as “Peptide Matrix (Collagen, Elastin, Glycosaminoglycans)”.  Not a peptide in sight. Peptides are very small fragments of proteins. Not collagen or elastin (very large proteins) nor glycosaminoglycans (amino sugars). No self-respecting biochemist with even minimal credentials would ever call any of those constituents a peptide. So, once again, we are forced to conclude either an innocent mistake (ahem) or lack of knowledge / incompetence, or marketing manipulation. We report, you decide. collagen What about the “matrix” part?  The extracellular matrix (ECM) in our skin and other tissues is composed of an interlocking mesh of fibrous proteins and glycosaminoglycans (GAGs). GAGs themselves are long unbranched polysaccharides (sugars, or amino sugars). They are important constituents of interstitial tissues in mammals, and largely responsible for maintaining hydration.  The best known is hyaluronate, which is the most prevalent constituent of  skin connective tissue, and a major product of dermal fibroblasts. While you can put matrix proteins in a bottle, matrix itself is far too complex. It contains many other components, cross links, etc. All-in-all, the term “peptide matrix” is a nonstarter, scientifically speaking. We are not necessarily opposed to including matrix proteins in a product, and they can be good moisturizers as they are quite good at holding onto water. But they are large molecules, and therefore not likely to penetrate if you merely slather them on normal skin. caffeineThe next ingredient is caffeine. This chemical (the “active” ingredient in coffee – well, it can make you more active) is widely used in slimming and firming creams, but for no sound reason. There is really no solid scientific evidence that it performs either purpose when applied to skin. The only studies documenting its usefulness in cellulite are seriously flawed  (I was a medical director for the sponsoring company of one of the two studies), and fail to distinguish between the effects of caffeine and multiple other ingredients including retinol,  tetrahydroxypropyl ethylenediamine (THPE), carnitine, and forskolin.  What’s worse, in the classical first study published in 2001, weight loss wasn’t measured as a confounding factor.  Really bush league, that one. As respected colleague Paula Begoun points out, J&J had a product in the market which may have influenced the results of that study.  I would add to that insight that it came from a consumer products company in France that J&J inherited in some deal, and has no reliable track record in dermatologic research other than certifying oatmeal as safe to apply to skin.  If I had to guess, any effects actually measured were due to THPE (and contaminated by weight change). Or due to the fertile imagination of French cosmetic “scientists”. White willow bark is a folk remedy passed down through the millennia.  Salicin, the active ingredient in willow bark, is a salicylate, like aspirin. Salicin is famous for having caused the death of Ludwig von Beethoven. It seems he ingested large amounts of salicin before he died. His autopsy report is the first recorded case of a particular type of kidney damage that can be caused by salicin. So, here we have another chronic insidious poison being touted for skin. Roll over Beethoven! Now, you may have heard of another MLN selling skin products, called NuSkin. They have been in hot water with regulatory authorities, and courts, multiple times.  They are the beethovenones that popularized the idea that salicin is good for skin. They even hired some scientists to do some in vitro experiments.  I will now boldly tell you that these experiments were total and absolute crappola. This is one fine example of science distorted for a commercial purpose, with an incorrect interpretation of data in order to come to some “miraculous” conclusion.  I will explain briefly, but it could be the subject of a whole post. It is that bad. In one press release they claimed to have “discovered” this gene cluster. There is a cluster phrase in my mind right now, but it is not “cluster discovery”.  Let’s just call it “cluster gone amuck”. Suffice it to say, they discovered nothing. They chose (not discovered) a group of genes that have to do with matrix production (remember matrix is hyaluronic acid, GAGs, collagen, elastin, etc). Salicin increased to expression of genes HAS1 and HAS2 (both involved with the synthesis of hyaluronic acid or HA), and decrease the output of some other genes having to do with collagen breakdown. From this they concluded “salicin acts on youth genes”.   problem is, what they really “discovered” is a stress response.  In response to just about any kind of stress, biochemical or mechanical, fibroblasts and the cells that support them crank up the genetic machinery to make more HA & other matrix proteins. It’s a survival mechanism.  Salicin probably works really well (since we know it is a known toxin to kidney cells). Although I have proven in the past that these same genes are upregulated by spitting into your cell culture. Saliva alone is enough to perturb these cells to make matrix. There are other experiments by the NuSkin folks I won’t bother with. Let’s just call it “MLM Science” (MLM in this case= multi-level malarkey). I do find it interesting that Nerium International has decided it needs more than one potential toxin in its latest concoction. Nerium oleander was not enough? Green tree extract contains some helpful chemicals, and is antioxidant. Ho hum. Forskohlii root extract is another folk remedy, and may help weight loss when taken by mouth (weak evidence) but has no demonstrated benefit in changing anything when applied to skin.


“I wonder if any of the chemicals in here are flammable?” (Lead Nerium formulator)

Here are the label ingredients: Water, NAE-8 Proprietary Blend (Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Nerium Oleander Extract), Ethylhexyl Palmitate, Hydrogenated Polyisobutene, Glycerin, Cetyl Alcohol, Peptide Matrix (Collagen, Elastin, Glycosaminoglycans), Caffeine, Salix Alba (Willow) Bark Extract, Cetearyl Alcohol, Phenoxyethanol, Camellia Oleifera (Green Tea) Leaf Extract, Isohexadecane, Ceteareth-20, Polysorbate 80, Sorbitan Stearate, Hydroxyethyl Acrylate/Sodium Acryloyldimethyltaurate Copolymer, Theobroma Cacao (Cocoa) Seed Butter, Dimethicone, Ethylhexylglycerin, Xanthan Gum, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter, Coleus Forskohlii Root Oil, Sodium Hyaluronate, Sodium Hydroxymethylglycinate, Disodium EDTA, Retinyl Palmitate, Tocopheryl Acetate.

zeroClinical Proof for NeriumFirm

Now, I would love to tell you about the clinical trial, but I couldn’t find one. maybe one will show up. There is a “user ” trial, which means only subjective measures, no objective measures.  In other words they gave a group of women some free product, lots of attention and praise, invited them to some do, and ask them “so, did you like the product”.  I’m worried for them that even with that low bar they couldn’t get 100% of the women to say “yes, we absolutely loved it.” Then they have some very strange before & after pictures with ABSOLUTELY NO CHANGES to the eyes of this highly experienced observer.

NeriumFirm Body Contouring Cream in Summaryb a

They include (why??)  the trademark poisonous substance (Nerium oleander extract)  proven (by parent company Nerium Biotechnology to be a “massively oxidizing” chemical & cell killer (and is used to treat cancer)  and then add a second (kidney) cell killer and a collection of largely unproven and uninspired ingredients. The rest of the ingredients list is sadly deficient. Amateurish. Cheap stuff. The so-called clinical trial  is an opinion survey. The before afters are either ludicrous or impossible to see change. They want to charge $90 for this product? You could take out everything but the green tea extract and make it a better toner product. In which case it should sell for $15. In fact, here is one with green tree and about 15 other proven ingredients which you can buy from Paula for $16 The emperor has no clothes.  But he still runs naked in the street. Won’t somebody please tell him to stop embarrassing himself? NeriumFirm?  Flaccid as a marionette without strings.


The science switch is on the off position.  Caveat emptor.on off


  1. Marie Kwan says:

    You are mentally ill. People know that about you.

    • drjohn says:

      And they would know that how? Because that’s what Nerium says? We invite any of you have heave heard these or any similar types of things about the barefacedtruth docs at Nerium events or from Nerium people to contact us and let us know dates, places, and whom is speaking. Let’s just be open about this … it’s the fair and right thing to do. No more lurking in the shadows … that’s evil. Anyone willing to be forthcoming & honest?

      • chris says:

        yo dr. john…
        my friends are being suckered into this bulls*** in chicago now. i’m lucky to have found your blog. the reason its hard to find this blog is because of the copy & paste SEO strategy they have running with their brand partners. maybe people should start copying and pasting this blog… and maybe you should employ some stronger SEO techniques, (no offense) you’ve done some good stuff SEO wise… but the URL “nerium-part-2″ should be “nerium-scam” or something that may be searched. same with your title tag. Your H1 and H2 tags should be mentioning the scam as well. You could throw a couple hundred bucks at google, and raise this site to the top. Heck, take up a collection to pay for google adwords. you’ve done some great work, more people need to see this stuff.

        • drjohn says:

          We don’t have the time or knowledge to do those things. We rely on folks like you to spread the word. Thanks!

      • NoUserName says:

        Well if this isn’t all reminiscent of the movie Cat Woman with Sharon Stone. Also the line from The Wizard of Oz, “Don’t look behind that curtain.” This product is a Hollywood wet dream.
        Seriously? Name calling? Mentally ill? The quote “Never miss a good chance to shut up,” sure seems appropriate here.
        Go ahead and trust the company who can only market their product via the old “scam of the month” autopay method. While your at it, ignore the side (Dr. John’s) that is playing the devil’s advocate that’s trying to make others THINK. Yee gads! Not that!

    • chris says:

      poor marie…
      you should take a trunkload of your nerium to the scientology center, and never leave.

    • Elizabeth says:

      Personal and petty attacks such as this are a terrible representation of your brand. Your attitude speaks volumes about the cult-like practices of Nerium.

  2. Hatchetwoman says:

    They are now touting NeriumFirm as a solution to the excess skin from serious weight loss. I’m not kidding. See healthy theresa dot nerium dot com. They claim skeptics are welcome …

  3. Justwondering says:

    I stumbled across your site while looking up info on Nerium. The things you say about it are quite interesting. I’m curious if you’ve written/researched this Itworks! craze that has recently become just as popular? I didn’t know where else to contact you, so I’m hijacking this post. Thanks!

    • drjohn says:

      Looks like a product line with a whole bunch of botanical extracts in it. Some quite good ones, mostly just same old. So lots of antioxidants, but really nothing more potent or modern than that. But nothing toxic looking on the label either. Mind you, not much different than what you can buy at Target. Not leading edge science, to be sure. We will do a post soon using a skin care pyramid recently published on one of our dermatology journals. Helps to make sense of classes of ingredients in terms of potency, low to high science, evidence base, and that sort of thing.

  4. spadirector says:

    I think your article is very useful and your sense-of-humor is simply very, very intelligent, even though you balance the knowledge and non-nonsense facts with some less academic banter. I’ve been in this business forever and I totally agree this product is worthless. People like this only because it apparently is sold through a pyramid scheme, meetings like tupperware or something, world of mouth and just high enough price to give it airs of high-end quality, total BS…..Thank you so much for informing and doing this important job.

  5. Trish says:

    Wow. I was just surfing the net looking for some info on Nerium. Is your entire blog dedicated to defaming this product? I am a realist and more than willing to look at both sides of a story. But I’m a bit hesitant to take your content seriously. You are biased.

    • drjohn says:

      Did you bother to look around? Lots of other content. Oh, but wait. You were told by your Nerium handlers how to respond to any criticism … go after the whistleblowers.

      • Leo says:

        No, we call you cuckoos and don’t waste our time. This company is like no other. I usually don’t reply to these posts and we definitely are not told to go after whistle-blowers. You have no idea of the class and respect behind this company

        • drjohn says:

          We have heard what they call us behind closed doors, and sometimes in public, and it is far worse than “cuckoo”. You clearly have no idea of the complete and utter lack of class or even basic human decency of this company.

        • Josie says:

          You’re right, Leo. This company is like no other and, hopefully, there aren’t many more like Nerium. What turned me off years ago, besides the ineffectiveness of the product, was the way it attempted to market – identified with MD Anderson, to the ad nauseum point that MD Anderson posted a disclaimer on its website that it had nothing to do with Nerium. Right on the front page of its website! That was 3 years ago. And then there’s the Ray Liotta incident. Using bogus before and after pics to the point that he is suing Nerium! He’s never used your potion! And then there’s a Brand Partner I know of who goes for her Botox shots, and claims the results are from the magical Nerium potion. This company is nothing but a sham, and, sadly, we have a group of lemmings all following one another right off the cliff.

          • Joan says:

            I am wondering, Josie, have you tried Nerium?

            I personally have tried NeriumAD, just recently, and fine it to be wonderful. Everything this product claims it does, I find to be true. My wrinkles are disappearing, pore size is significantly reduced, my skin texture is silky smooth to the touch and my skin appearance is just glowing. I couldn’t be happier with this product. I am so delighted with it that I am considering becoming a Brand Partner.

            So I ask again – have you tried Nerium? If not, I suggest you try it.

          • drjohn says:

            No kidding? Wow – a seller who likes the product. Amazing.

    • Shel says:

      He’s biased by science and facts, apparently. Things that are sorely lacking when it comes to the internet and Nerium.

  6. Terri says:

    I just saw Nerium’s latest pictures pushing their Firm product that Hatchetwoman is talking about. Anyone with functioning brain cells would know that the results they are showing could not be achieved without a visit to a licensed plastic surgeon. I honestly don’t understand how Nerium brand partners can be so delusional (or so dishonest) that they can sell this crap.

  7. Sue says:

    GOD I love this website!!!! I can’t get enough of your wisdom and honesty! The world NEEDS more of you! We are long time “Paula followers” and now you . . .

    You absolutely ROCK! Keep up the GREAT work!!!

  8. jackie says:

    Great info, stellar wit! I really wanted this product to work…boo-hoo, it didn’t. Seriously, it gave me a rash on my tush. I wonder which fancy toxin-matrix did that? Keep up the debunking, I’m a fan.

    • drjohn says:

      Toxic tushitis. I think I read about that in last month’s Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology.

  9. Marla says:

    I am 59, and have deep wrinkles around my mouth. They are softening and fading! Visable results! I used my Iphone to take my before pics. No special lenses, no tricks. Same with my progress pics. I wish I could post, because the results are remarkable. Everyone make their own judgement, but my “proof” is me.

    • drjohn says:

      Send your pics to Please share the miracle with us all.

    • Leo says:

      So happy for you Marla!! The product is amazing!!!

      • drjohn says:

        Repeat after me … the product is amazing. Repeat it 10,000 times. Go write it on every blog you can find. Wishing is believing.

        • Alissa says:

          Dr. John,
          Did you or any of your lemming staff even try the product or am I solely to go off of your “reference” “research” of Nerium. All I have read so far is a complete lack of true experience and all about what you THINK and possibly believe the product will or will not accomplish. Don’t tell me what to do unless you have been through a trial of the product and its very easy to attend a session where people are more than willing to let you try the product. Try Google, maybe it will help with you finding a location to try the product.
          Yours Always,

          • drjohn says:

            So I googled “nerium” as Alissa suggested, and came up with a list of posts on BareFacedTruth. Very clever search engine, that.

          • drjohn says:

            Insight has given me, well, a new insight. And for me it conjures a loose metaphor that looks like this – MLM’s may bear vague resemblance to organized crime “famiglia”. The top lieutenants figure out how to skirt the law, remain undetected. They hire “mouthpieces” (MLM-specializing lawyers) to do their bullying & threatening (yes, we have received such communications). They shield the top of the pyramid guys, the “godfathers” if you will, from consequences. The little guys at the bottom want to rise up in the ranks of the organization. To do so they have to prove themselves by performing acts (risky business). They must prove their loyalty along the way. Questioning the party line (e.g. science) is disloyal. Everyone outside is either a pigeon (downline recruit) or a threat (e.g. “hater”). At the end of the day the godfathers and their immediate family get rich. Everyone else is cannon fodder (churn ‘em). Let’s do a remake of “Believe – The Movie” with this “Goodfellas” twist. Maybe we can get Ray Liotta to play the godfather? I’d bet he’s up for it.

          • Diana says:

            To address both sides on this topic with an open mind, I am new to the Nerium product, specifically the AD for the face. I am a sincere skeptic of all products that claim to reverse the aging process – & any pyramid sales promising financial independence! A friend gave me a bottle for free so why not give it a shot right?! I’ve been using the product for 2 wks today, & am seeing definite results. I did the before pics, pics 2 days ago, & will continue using it & taking pics – since this month is free, why not? I’ve never done Botox & don’t want to, & have sun damage from my love of the outdoors, so if this product actually does what ‘they’ say it’s doing… Who’s NOT gonna use it?! My stand in the Nerium matter is the proof is in the pudding, I will see results, or I’ll stop using it & not buy any. Seems simple to me.
            Thanks for the opportunity to share
            Sweet D

          • drjohn says:

            Diana, let me answer your question. Who’s NOT gonna use it? People who research the topic carefully, and find the science and/or system of selling (including cost) to be questionable. Your opinion is “this product actually does what ‘they’ say it’s doing”. Our opinion as scientists is this: they say one thing one day, and something else the next. On the one hand they have claimed it is in antioxidant. On the other hand the principal active ingredient (oleander extract) was shown by their own scientists (ever hear of Dr. Newman?) to me massively oxidizing to cells. A cell killer. So, which is true? What is it doing? And while you didn’t define results, please not that wrinkles are structural and don’t go away in two weeks. What can happen in days or weeks with any skin care is plumping – from hydration, or from fluid drawn to the area by inflammation. As many people have reposted to this blog – try stopping it and see what happens. Do wrinkles soon reappear? Then they likely weren’t gone, just masked by hydration or inflammation. By the way, the aphorism you are going for is not “the proof is in the pudding”, but is actually “the proof of the pudding is in the eating”. But as anyone around around here, or any toxicology textbook will tell you, nerium oleander extract is poisonous. So please do not under any circumstances try proving that pudding via the oral route – the results could be fatal.

  10. Bill says:

    Very informative blog that you have written mostly as opinion. I say that because no where in your blog did I see that you prove or disprove a product by doing your own personal testing. So it leads me to ask, wouldn’t everything that you have written be an opinion that you have formulated for yourself instead of science?

    • drjohn says:

      Its the other way around. If i tried the product that would be an opinion. If I compare what the company says about it (what’s in it, why it should work, etc.) and compare that the what is widely published – that would be science. Opinion yes, but opinion based on summation and interpretation of extensive, peer-reviewed, legitimate science.

  11. Kelly says:

    Great breakdown of the product! Applying humor will always entice me to read the entire piece. I actually gave NeriumAD the full 90 day trial with before and after photos. They were good photos (photography is a hobby of mine that I occasionally make extra money from shooting weddings) and I did my best to use the total absence of facial expression. I used an app to show the photos side by side…and nope. No improvement whatsoever! If anything, I’d redeveloped a texture problem that had been solved by my previous product line *sigh*. I’ve exercised good skin care technique since my Mom gave me my first Clinique products when I was 14. I’m now 50 and no one ever believes me when I own my age. The first Nerium introductory party I went to, there were a couple of women there who said they’d seen a difference, but added that they’d done nothing more than wash their faces as their skin care regime prior to trying NeriumAD. At the time I thought “well duh! Anything with moisturizing ingredients would make a difference on thirsty skin”. No thirsty skin here, so nada.

  12. Stacy says:

    Thank you for this. I’m a longtime Paula fan. I’ve used her products and followed her advice for years. Recently my Facebook feed is blowing up with testimony and pictures of this miracle NeriumFirm. I knew it was bogus!

    • Leo says:

      You just need to try it before you listen to someone. Then come back and repost. They give you 30 days free trial. IT is that awesome!! What you see all over your facebook is real!! Don’t knock it until you try it. Then you can bash away all you want if you weren’t happy

      • drjohn says:

        TRANSLATION: ignore all the universities and medical journals and textbooks and doctors with degrees in medicine and science. They are “cuckoo”. Just buy it (preferably from me so I can make money). Even though we charge you for it, let’s call it free. Just try and get your money back and see how we respond. Lots of fine print. Lets all use the word happy while we extract dollars from your purse or pocket, because that is what we really sell. Except of course for those poor suckers who lose money on the proposition. But they are just bashers. Let’s call everyone who disagrees a basher.

        • Colleen says:

          Yes ignore all the universities and medical journals because doctors are “cuckoo” chemotherapy (mustard gas ) who thought destroying your immune system was a good idea!! oh yea doctors!!!!

      • Elizabeth says:

        Normally I’d say “gee okay I’ll give it a try, after all – it’s easy to find free samples of the stuff”. But in this case, you must understand that I am VERY reluctant to rub a cell-killing poison all over my face without proper evidence suggesting that it is safe and effective. And by proper evidence, I mean a peer-reviewed study specifically addressing the anti-aging properties of the Oleander leaf. I will happily re-consider my position if you could please send us such a study. Thank you!

  13. Jenifer Dimacali says:

    Who cares what your scientific review says when people have pictures that prove that it works for them? Why break down every ingredient? If it works, it works! Lol

    • drjohn says:

      Jennifer, I am going to hold my tongue and allow our faithful readers to comment on your logic and its consequences in the real world.

    • Cynthia says:

      It WORKS? At what cost to your health? This is why clinical studies are important, duh! Consider the long-term effects, and remember you’re rubbing this garbage on the most vital organ – your SKIN. I ordered Nerium AD before doing any real research on it. Not brilliant. I rubbed it between my thumb and forefinger and not only did it stink (which I realize is aesthetic and a matter of opinion), but my fingers were numb for over 7-hours. The sensation was kinda like rubbing hydrogen peroxide between your fingers. The skin of the face is much more sensitive… and close to the BRAIN. You ABSORB this toxic mixture into your dermis and cells… nerium oleander is commonly used for skin cancer so, like chemo, it kills cells. There is little in the way scientific proof to substantiate their claims. And why is that? Finally, this is a company that hooks you into an Auto Delivery Plan of product, and coaxes people into a Pyramid Scheme by offering “free” product if you bamboozle three of your friends to buy under you (nice way to create enemies). Thankfully, I have learned my lesson, kicked my vanity to the curb and cancelled the same day it arrived. Think about it.

    • sj says:

      Every single before/after picture I’ve seen is a case of obvious lighting differences, facial tension, and picture settings. Some even go as far as makeup and photoshop.

  14. Cheri says:

    Dr. John, Have you nothing better to do in life than bash a product/company’s science? Try reading up on the science and researching our own medical spa doctor and then we’ll talk…perhaps, if you can reveal some iota of emotional intelligence.

  15. Gia M says:

    This is the guy who was extorting Jeff Olson for $50M or he was going to defame the product.

    • drjohn says:

      Is this what Mr. Olson told you? If so, who else did he tell that story? Email us (Gia or anyone) and let me know if you heard this one (

  16. Kara says:

    Omg I love this site. First off I tried to exain this to my cousins two of them sisters who sell this. I ask them for their pics and guess what I get crickets nothing response. Your better off using natural oils. Also if you baked yourself through your teens and twenties in a tanning bed then your screwed.

  17. amy says:

    Wait…I bet you are a libtard too!! $10 bucks says your a stupid communist fool…

    • drjohn says:

      Wow! We are just so impressed with the high level of rational debate and science discourse coming from the Nerium proponents these days. Had to look up what a “libtard” is … Libtard n. Portmanteu of “liberal” and “retard”. Well, we may be retarded in your educated medical opinion, Ms. Henley, but we are not liberal by any definition. How about “conservatard”? Oh, and by the way, it used to be considered slander per se to name someone a communist who is not one. That may no longer be the case since a Communist regime (China) is a major trading partner. Neriumites: how low can you go? To let people like Amy be your advocates???

    • Skye says:

      I… Well isn’t this… I mean what the… Ummmm…

      Yeah…I got nothin.

  18. TriedIt says:

    I had the honor of getting the 30 day free trial of NeriumAD. All it did for me was give me a rash and breakout as if I was going through puberty again. Before and after pictures didn’t show any improvement at all. A couple of my friends sell it, but there is no way I am shelling out big bucks for a product that doesn’t work for me. My friends’ facebook walls are covered in Nerium posts. Makes sense since they make good money selling this product. Oh wait, they aren’t really selling the product, they are selling ‘you too can make money selling this product’. They also claim to use the product on a daily basis, but I have yet to see their own before and after pictures. Then they tried to sell me the new firming cream. I lost a lot of weight and have some not-so-tight belly skin. I didn’t. Here’s why: after asking my dermatologist, who could have sold me any expensive cream they have in their office, about what would work for my loose skin…his answer was: surgery. I think I’ll believe a doctor over a friend who wants to make money off of me.

  19. Amanda says:

    AnteAGE vs. Nerium AD-there is no comparison here. I did try the Nerium AD day and Night cream and joined as a brand partner back in February of this year. My reasonos for joining we not so much for the “Nerium”, but for the Free Lexus and lucrative income structure. I was not interested in signing up because at both entry levels it was too much for me to afford and I had not even tried the product and really didn’t even know what it was. Anyways, a couple that ranks really high in Nerium offered to pay 75% of my “$1,000″ Starter pack fee. Without hesitation I took this offer. I thought it was odd, but hey they are great with the Network Marketing business structure and I know they offer helping people with the cost to join. IMO, if they did not do this, they would probably not be where they are today with their Nerium Business. Sad, but true. The reason many people don’t join this “great” company. When I got my starter kit you bet they kept on top of me about making calls, going out and cold prospecting, etc. I felt like I was in a trap. When I started using Nerium AD the day cream burned my already sensitive skin and also burt the skin of 5 friends who tried it. One broke out in a rash. I called my uplines and they said that not everyone can use the day cream. I thought really? Isn’t this Nerium marketed “for all skin types”?! I went on to use the Nerium AD Night cream. I didn’t see anything remarkable happen. I am in my late 20’s and I am a natural bodybuilder so I am very meticulous with diet, exercise and overall skincare. I do have a problem with redness on my cheek bone and jaw area. It does sting and feels hot most of the time. It is not roseca and I have been to 6 dermatologists in the past 10 years and 3 Estheticians. All of which, were able to help alleviate the problem, but not correct it permanently. I tried the Nerium AD with the hope that it would help this problem, but it did nothing. I did not like the smell of the product either. It was just too strong smelling for me and I know that I can be like many people. You try some skin care stuff, use it for awhile and stuff it in the closet or file it in the trash after you find the next best thing. After a month of using Nerium (while being signed as a BP) I called my upline, thanked them for the opportunity and told them that I was leaving Nerium because it didn’t work for me and it was not my personality trying to “sell” through the network marketing business. The couple was very kind and professional in me leaving Nerium, even though they paid most of my way in. When I went to return the Nerium kit, I was disappointed with the company. The materials they would not take back or the Nerium products unless they were unopened. Of course, I failed to read the fine print and had let friends “sample” Nerium so I only had a couple unopened bottles left. I was going to send them back, but then there is a “restocking fee” which would have left me with a $0 refund amount after taking into consideration the return shipping I would pay, etc. I will say the Nerium experience was worth the lessons I learned. This experience makes it easier for me to say NO to people when they try and convert me to something. Personally, this was something I struggled with for a long time, but I grew a backbone in the end of this Nerium ordeal. I never tried the Nerium firm because that was released right around the time I departed the business. What I will say from an educated fitness professional standpoint is this: exercise (strength training), proper diet and cardio-the “holy trinity of fitness” along with keeping the body and skin hydrated via adequate water consumption are the only ways to “rid” cellulite. There is no “cure” for it, but when you are lean enough and carry the right amount of muscle you won’t have that problem. I would never recommend a “cellulite cream” to anyone. That’s just as silly as putting a band aid on a battle wound! Nerium people-more power to you. Glad it works for you, but it is disappointing reading the “emotional outlash” responses from Nerium BP’s on here. Why bother, if Nerium is that great then let it speak for itself somewhere else. I stumbled across this blog after a Google search where Nerium BPs were “bashing” this site. This was over this past summer and I was curious to see what the fuss was about. I ended up spending many hours on this site reading the blog posts by Dr. John and all the comments here. I really enjoy this blog and keep it bookmarked on my iPad. After several months of following his writings I, out of curiosity and NO influence from Dr. John on here, went over to the AnteAGE website and decided to try the $25 sample kit. It was honestly, the BEST money I have ever spent on a skincare product hands down. I have collectively spent several thousand dollars on skincare products (between prescriptions, foreign skincare systems, DIY, etc) since I developed this redness problem as a teenager. Trying to rid this redness problem on my face was a losing battle, but I have always been willing to try new products. The package arrived 2 days later and I used it for less than a week and saw a huge change in the redness in my face. Not only is the skin on my face not hurting from feeling like it’s burning (for the first in 12 years), but the redness is barely noticeable and close to being gone. This is exciting to me and because of it I am ordering the combo pack with the expectation that contiuned use will permanently rid this redness issue. I do have very fine lines under my eyes that I will be excited to see how my undereyes respond after more time has lapsed. I also had some skin tone bumps on my forehead (fell like mini zits, but cant see them) and this AnteAGE zapped them after three days of use. I am really amazed and I am never one to post on blogs, ever, but for this product I am stepping up to comment. I realize there are reviews on google from users who love it and others that didn’t notice a difference or thought the “Lifeline” company is better. I can’t speak for “Lifeline” because I have not tried them and their price point is higher than AnteAGE. All I will say to the reviews where people don’t notice a difference in a short period of time is this: dermatology anything takes time. If you have mega skin problems don’t expect a miracle in a short period of time. There are so many factors that come into play. It’s just like being someone who is severely overweight wanting to be “fit and toned” within a couple of months. Did it take you a “couple of months” to let your body reach that level of deconditioned? No. Usually, years of a poor diet and no (or minimal) exercise. It takes time to let your body reach that point and it will take just as much time to fully reverse it. It’s all about choices along the way and being educated in the process on improvement. Same principle applies with skincare. Time, patience and being consistent. I know that AnteAGE will be a consistent factor in my skincare moving forward. Thank you Dr. John. I would love the opportunity to meet you someday.

    • drjohn says:

      Disclaimer: BFT is not owned by Cellese / AnteAge and we don’t use it to promote our own products or commercial ventures. BFT is a public service, science focused blog, and all opinions expressed HEREIN belong solely to us, DrJohn & DrGeorge, as private individuals. Those of our guests and those who comment to our posts are their own, as well, and may differ with ours (we encourage debate). We allow reasonable, fair & civilized comments about all products, pro and con. Unsolicited comments from others about products we happen to work on are therefore published, just as any other would be. We do not censor just because they mention our products. That’s fair, in my opinion.

      Thanks, Amanda. If you are ever in SoCal, come on by and see us in the lab.

    • drgeorge says:

      Amanda, thank you for your story. I have a similar one, but first have to give my disclaimer: I am drgeorge, and like drjohn, have a daytime job developing and marketing Cellese products. I was patient number one, the first person to try AnteAGE. That’s the story I want to recount here.


      Like you, I suffer from facial redness – flushing, stinging, tenderness, exacerbated by alcohol (red wine, especially), spicy foods, heat, cold, stress – all the classic signs and symptoms of type one rosacea. It caused me embarrassment and inconvenience for three decades, despite using daily oral low-dose doxycycline & topical Metrogel and steroid for years. I hated it, and so did my wife because I used to steal her makeup several days a week to go out of the house. It all stopped on July 1, 2011, and I have not had a single flare up since, despite total disregard for all triggers. (Life would be so much less enjoyable without my red wine!!)

      July 1, 2011 was they day I stopped all prescription meds and started using AnteAGE. In fact, I was the first person to do so, although a few weeks later we conducted a 49 person clinical trail that proved we had an extraordinarily effective product on our hands. Being small fish in a big pond, getting the name of AnteAGE to be a household name is still far off in the future.

      As critical as we have been about the science & logic (or lack of same) behind the Nerium brand, I am aware of no other product launch that has been more effective in creating near hysteria among the masses. Kudos to Nerium on that score. These guys can market (MLM schemes, anyway). What they apparently can’t (or won’t) do is explain how their product works, given what the research says it does (massively oxidizing, poison, etc).

  20. Tony says:

    Tried Nerium. Got some from a friend who was selling it. Wanted to support her business. I knew nothing about it so I tried it. It smelled like sweaty balls and I never saw a difference in my skin other than the day cream made my face red. I never bought more and she stopped selling Nerium after she concluded too that the stuff doesn’t work.

  21. Teresa says:

    just cancelled my Nerium attempted it twice for a friend and no difference in my skin!! Have you heard about skincare line Livio? Know anything about it? I have sensitive and rosacea skin and aging skin so need skincare line?? Help!!

  22. Tara says:

    I found your information VERY TRUE and on point. I have an ex family member that contrary to the Kool aid drinkers comments, is and has always been on skid row with his next get rich quick screem that he is trying to push down our throats. Aka Nerium. All of his texts and social media posts include “building a legacy” for my children or his latest bs is pictures with his kids embarrassing himself with comments about how great the product is that people comment this must be their brother instead of father. All the while, stalking anyone he can to “get on board” the product sells itself! It’s just new Amway pyramid sceem. Nice to know they did not complete ANY scientific trails that they will legally release to the public.

  23. Dexter says:

    My niece just got involved with Nerium and I started doing some research on it. Always fascinated by products that offer absolutely no basis for their claims other than anecdotal “evidence” and no controlled clinical trials. Some people are using these products as alternatives to products containing harmful ingredients, which is a hoot. I also love the before and after photos – before and after Photoshop! In addition, the way Nerium products are sold is also problematic. My partner’s niece was selling Mary Kay cosmetics and had to drop out because of the pressures to sell more and recruit more people to sell.

  24. Charity Swinney says:

    Dr. John. I’m curious. Has anyone who claimed to have real pictures of this miracle cream sent you any?

    • drjohn says:

      No, none at all. We do have an expert who can spot photoshop alterations, so we would be a good source of validation if pictures pass that test. But no, nobody ever sent us any in all these years.

      • Ana says:

        I’m also looking for more info due to my Scientific background. However, I do have pictures to share.

        This is my mom after 2 months.

        As FYI, the international formulation does not contain the Nerium oleander as part of the ingredients.


        • drjohn says:

          Ana's Mom Ana, Hard to tell anything from this picture. Her eye is wider open in the second one, which of course pulls the skin up to reduce folds. You can tell by the amount of iris showing. See that? A raised eyebrow works just like Botox. We we see this same type of misreading of photos all the time. I know you didn’t mean to deceive – but many people do this sort of manipulation deliberately. The lighting is also different in these before/after pics. If anything I would say there is evidence of early hyperpigmentation in the second one – perhaps due to inflammation? Please send more pics as you gather them. We will give them a fair analysis.

  25. Hellen says:

    The only problem I found in this article that I could not stomach was the reliance on Paula (the so-called cosmetics cop). Her followers are more cult – like than any I’ve ever seen. When she came out with her own product line, she lost ALL credibility. Call it a case of the “fox watching the henhouse!” That’s the only problem I had with your article. Thank you.

    • drjohn says:

      Still, her articles & database are a cut above as they include references to published science literature and are generally well written, although a few errors creep in from time to time. The science is deep, so mistakes can be forgiven. Some of our medical colleagues are prone to worse things, and do so with arrogance to boot. So we give her credit for a job well done.

  26. didgeridoo says:

    This was a fun blog. Very informative and a good basis for looking further into the product itself. But all in all. The business is all about convincing people to become partners. You join in to ‘share’ the product and try to “share” the experience of “sharing with others. Can’t say sell of course because that total taboo and you would be “cuckoo” if you sold nerium. I just recently had a loved one join nerium and I have no problem with that I see results in her skin but at the same time long term what will these results become. And second I must applaud their briliant CEO for building a company funded by individuals signing up as much as buying the product. What I see is a very legal pyramid scheme where the only way to be on top is to fight for it…. they give you the open tuning to be on top but don’t alow you to get lazy. If you alow your “nerium babies” to surpass you. You no longer benefit from their abilities. Which is clever and thought out. But I thank you again and I will be delving deep into research of this product and find the true science behind it. I have seen fantastic results but I also see the “withdrawal effect” it leaves behind. Such as with my loved one forgetting to use her product for one night and morning and having issues that I know weren’t there to begin with. Thank you again.

  27. Perez says:

    I have to thank every person who participated in this blog. You guys had me rolling with laughter and shock. I was approached by two people to sell Nerium. Of course, I wanted to do my research before I jumped in the boat. I have made my decision, I’m OUT! They showed me the pictures of the firming cream and the girl who’s stomach who went completely flat after applying the cream. She had bags of loose skin hanging in the before photo. I’m too much a skeptic to believe this nonsense. Word of advice to the Nerium people; stop blogging! You only offended me with your comments. I was trying to be open minded. This is all I heard “just try it, you like it, just try it’. You guys sound like kidnappers who are trying to lure children into a white van with no windows.

  28. Fred says:

    My sister is a new BP for Nerium. She and my Dad are always looking for the next “big thing’ ad nauseum. I am struggling with sll of it. The pyramid scheme, toxins, useless inert ingredients and no proven successes othe than anecdotal. How these companies work is easy. Greed.

  29. Tish says:

    Honest review on someone who tried nerium firm. I do not seller it. Let me say first I am not a over weight woman. I and 5’4″” 138 pounds however I am 45 and seeing some cellulite around my butt and upper thighs. I work out and eat right so I was hoping this product would give me just the little help I needed. I found that it did NOTHING! Bottom line eating right and exercise regularly it still your best option. Not trying to be disrespectful to Nerium or anyone who sells for them just giving my honest review.

  30. Joanne says:

    Trish’s suggestion is spot on! Eating well, exercising, and staying hydrated is the prescription for healthy skin. I know of someone who is an aggressive brand partner. Of course I won’t mention any names but the gal she goes to for her botox shots has spilled the beans. She does botox and claims it’s the work of Nerium. Just makes me ill how unscrupulous many who are involved in this pyramid scheme are. But they’ll use the name of M.D. Anderson and an actor to give authority to its product. If the product were truly effective, they wouldn’t have to stoop to such levels. In a few years Nerium will be nothing but a memory, and, unfortunately, a sad memory for many.

  31. Lily2424 says:

    Hi! I have given the 3 products they sell a try for two months. I was pressured a bit to become a salesman or whatever they call their sellers but resisted. I saw the pictures of everyday people and liked the results. I have normal skin, few lines and starting to lose elasticity. This product did nothing for me. Nada. I would have a moral dilemma if I tried to sell this product at their outrageous prices knowing it’s useless. It may hydrate temporarily but it is not a quick fix for anything. Save your money! I went back to my retin-A which they tell you not to use if using this product.

  32. RPh says:

    I’ve worked in retail pharmacy most of my life. Lots of products on the shelf get sold that don’t work. Make some great claims. Weight loss and nutrition are probably the worst. Not much better an industry with big pharma paying for research studies supporting claims that don’t replicate when not funded by proprietor.
    I was curious about the term nerium babies and the context in which it was used. I recently worked in a mental health clinic where a 16 year old inpatient was using Nerium, I looked at product and it said it was an anti aging formula. What’s the long term with this product? I’m guessing we don’t know or like big pharma knows just not telling. Or big tobacco “no evidence smoking causes cancer. Or Corvair or Pinto death traps.

  33. RS says:

    Sounds like you need some personal development. All you write about is negative. Nerium is authentic, and their products work! Those of us who have actually tried it can see our results! It is completely safe on your skin as the clinically trials have shown! Nerium has made 400 million dollars in 3 years! I don’t think they would make that if the products didn’t work! Please leave our company alone and stop saying bad things about it! The Nerium Brand Partners know the truth! We love our Nerium!

    • drjohn says:

      Personal development? How about some personal integrity? How about thinking of your “fellow man” (read some of the stories here) instead of lining your pockets will ill-gotten MLM-generated gains?

    • Lorie says:

      Oh RS give us all a dang break!!! Leave us alone and stop saying bad things about us, you sound like a preteen! If you cannot handle constructive criticism maybe you just cannot handle the truth. You say Nerium has made 400 million dollars? I think closer to the truth would be the top 1% of Nerium’s big wigs are making that kind of money,that is the truth! Can you honestly stand behind a company that LIES to the public with picures that proclaim rolls of fat disappear by putting on cream? You live in a world of fantasy if you call that truth!!!

  34. WhyDidIFallForThis says:

    I never got these results after four months…I was bothered constantly by a friend for months until I gave in, just to shut him up. I couldn’t take the “you’re going to be poor all your life” emails anymore.
    If you have to try this, be a preferred customer first and see if it works for you before you shell out 1k. Didn’t work for me.

    • Kristin says:

      Dear Dr. John,

      Your blog is interesting, very resourceful. One question and maybe this isn’t something you can answer. Don’t you think that if Nerium were to make a bogus product, they would make it more appealing. You know, make it smell great ( like bath and body works products) or make it easier and less confusing to apply. They say you have to keep your face wet when applying the night cream. Also, why not just make more normal, like all the other bogus products sold at drug stores? It makes me more curious. Like if the product is simply worthless, why does it smell so bad, and is difficult to use? At least of it smelled good and was like something we’ve all seen before it would probably sell based on those qualities alone…. Just like drug store products and bath and body works etc….

      • drjohn says:

        Because someone (Nerium Bio) sold them (Nerium Int’l) a bill of goods – that it really worked. They were too scientifically naive to know what questions to ask, and too arrogant to ask for help. So they got stuck with a cream containing poison from a plant that just doesn’t smell very nice. Makes you wonder how much they could have sold if it worked, wasn’t a ridiculous proposition to start with (a well known poison, and used to kill cancer cells), or smelled good. Probably 10 times as much. But, again, too dumb or too proud to ask for help. They bought the swamp. Now they are selling little pieces of it.

  35. Sean Hug says:

    Pyramid scheme cult that preys on human nature flaws. Eternal youth and greed. You will not receive either. Wife is in cult and we have lost our friends and family ties do to her constant sermons on the lotion. She is negative $$$$ and currently spending the last of her bank account at their gathering in LA. Last local event she held 0 people showed up. MLMs are inregulated scams. Nerium is a con mans dteam come true.

  36. Drgeorge says:

    Sean, BFT has been receiving comments about Nerium for over two years. As a rule, they continue to be rabidly positive or remorsefully negative. The Nerium story about rag-to-riches fortunes, accidental “scientific” breakthroughs, and mind-boggling 30-day facial transformations, continues to appeal to enough people to fill good size venues with screaming fans. It is our opinion that getting new recruits is the primary business of this enterprise as the attrition rate seems significant…either because of displeasure with the product, or inability to “convince” (dupe?) new converts to the cult.

    No doubt, MLM’s can survive for long periods of time. One granddaddy in the industry, AmWay, has been around a long time and has international networks that number in the many tens of thousands. BUT, with their large number of product offerings that meet many of the day-to-day needs of ordinary people, the survival of this company is in large measure the result of network members buying for their own use. From a personal conversation with a former executive, it seems the vast majority of AmWay products are purchased and used by members of the network. AmWay makes good products so its survival is not surprising. Anyone want to venture how long the Nerium juggernaut will chug away?

    I am sure some brand partners continue to be delighted, especially the hand-picked early ones who migrated arm-in-arm with Mr. Olson from his other MLMs to Nerium. Those people will never quit; why would they ever want to?

  37. Rose Ann says:

    This company is sickening, I am watching mothers put their daughters in and take money from them as placement in the pyramid. They will say and do anything for $$$$. One of the BP that I know personally, has done extensive plastic surgery on her face and has the nerve to say its all
    because of Nerium. How crazy can people be. She does before and after pics, after her botox treatments and fillers, give me a break!

  38. Anna says:

    It really works. I have pics to show, but not putting them online. You have to use with
    pics to show results.

  39. Dee says:


    I came across this site doing some research on views etc. about Nerium. I have not read every comment, however have read mostly the negatives as I was curious what many are saying about the company, products etc. i am actually a new nerium brand partner. I joined the company after trying the night and day cream. [editors comments in brackets] As far as many bashing the company structure, well MLM companies have lovers and haters, it will always be this way. (how many times have we heard this “hater” thing now? If you disagree with something you are a “hater”. Nerium party line. Pass the kool aid]. If you do some research however, direct selling/marketing is growing in our present day world of current technology [so is ebola] and is predicted to be the way to sell in our near future. So why is it so wrong for someone to jump on this band wagon? [um, because it has evil consequences as many people get hurt who are looking to get rich and don’t]. It is not any different than endorsing a product or service you believe in [except that is is a poison, small matter, right?]. As for the nerium oleander being “toxic”: as with many naturally derived medicinal ingredients, yes, the oleander is not something you would want to pick in the garden and ingest or rub all over your skin in its raw form, duh. But as with many plants, there is a process determined and used to avoid toxic exposure [not so – the company says the toxins are the actives, and prove they are indeed in the product]. And yes, this was being tested for certain cancers [kills cells so makes sense for cancer], and is also similar to other plants used in present heart medications [dangerous medications requiring a prescription, a doctor to prescribe, warnings, real clinical trials, etc]!

    Clinical trials were done. I am ignorant in the laws and ways of what is acceptable however know that an american [Nevada] company did them [a company with two employees, no doctors], and were obligated to follow guidelines to assure safety just as any other company manufacturing beauty/makeup etc. must do [show us the FDA certification document – we have one so we know what they look like]. If this information is easily found by me I am perplexed why those critiquing have not looked at them? [we have and found them lacking].

    “Making money on beauty” i saw a comment about this somewhere in negative fashion that nerium was taking advantage of people. Have you paid any attention to what sells, no matter what the economy? How about the pharmaceutical companies making money on erectile dysfunction? Or diseases that are killing people? Is Nerium REALLY a monster? Lol [yes – Nerium is really a monster, as history will prove].

    Is Nerium the BEST product for what it does? [if you mean massive oxidative stress to cells, as their own research proves, then perhaps yes]. I don’t know, there may be something better [Drano?]. But it is the BEST I have tried that was economical for me. (Drano costs less. Aloe vera costs much less.]

    I decided to take a risk and make an investment. These are my reasons:

    I had great results
    Organic ingredients/natural
    Gluten free
    Paraben free
    Vitamins A, C and E
    Co Q10
    NOT TESTED on ANIMALS [are humans not animals?]
    [sanity free]
    [ethics free]

    annot do anything about that there are bad people in EVERY business. [you don’t know how bad]

    “How long will this company last?” [Armageddon? – that’s when Satan is taken down]

    I do not know, but it is looking promising. It was presented to 26 people 3 years ago and now there are THOUSANDS of us! Lol

    Are we a cult? [yes, by some definitions] I have found very positive people doing this, and it has been a pleasure so far. The business support is like no other I have tried/experienced.

    Fyi: the company became BECAME because the researching company found that while studying it had positive effects on skin, and not desirable results for cancer [good enough that they sell it as a cancer killing drug in 3rd world countries] in which it was initially studied for. That is how Nerium was born [myth perpetrated by the perps].

    I believe everyone is entitled to their opinion. All I was tryng to point out is that many things said about nerium could be said about hundreds of products/companies. I believe that everyone should be well informed, look at all data etc. [we would be happy to supply more]

    I would be happy to share MY before and after pictures with the person who runs this site as my photos are only done with my phone and NO editing was done. But. I do not want my photos made public here for privacy. So contact me about that if you wish, i have not yet tried the firm cream but am anxious to see if it really does help!

    Blessings [suggests this commenter is a believer?? or wants to look like one? At some point I want to lay this all out in theological terms, with biblical citations. ]

  40. Dee says:

    I wrote a novella on herefor comment and it did not post?

    • drjohn says:

      It takes us a while to read these things. We edit for content (We get a lot of very nasty language directed at us, and we want our blog to stay G-rated).

  41. Anya says:

    My co-worker is hung up in the Nerium scam, talking about how she looks younger now than she did two years ago, all the miracles, and how people get so excited. I am hesitant to tell her that she looks exactly the same as she did two years ago. The only thing that changed in those two years is that the company that photographs us and our students for the yearbook does a quick Photoshop cleanup on our pictures. In the pictures she does look younger. In person she has a few more lines around her eyes and the same bad skin she had before she started stalking everyone in the teacher’s room with her Nerium products. I like this woman and I respect her as an educator, but she’s had a full gallon of the Kool Aid. That “free” car she’s earned with sales? She pays the lease when she doesn’t sell enough for the company to pay for it. I asked her how it is that she could tell me that she drives a freeeeeeee car when she was just bitching about having to make a car payment that month due to low volume, and she changed the subject to how many celebrities use Nerium.

    When I asked her about the Nerium and Ray Liotta case, she quickly changed the subject and said that she didn’t know about that, but she knew that if I became a brand partner, I could replace my teaching income and be at home with my kids. Before this she was in Mary Kay. Before that she was in Avon. I bet next time it will be selling candles or Rainbow vacuums or some other get rich quick part time from your own home nonsense. I wish the FTC would put a stop to this kind of scheme.

    Thanks again for your blog. I appreciate what you do here.

  42. drgeorge says:

    This story is, sadly, all too familiar – dreams of riches and emotional allegiance to the party line creating a huge blind spot in judgement, common sense falling victim to the dream of creating liberating passive income from downstream recruits. Do brand partners who read these comments on BFT ever wonder why this story recurs over and over? Is the product really as great as adherents proclaim, or is the promise of easy money trumping discernment and critical evaluation. Time will tell. BFT remains very skeptical that products with questionable foundation (especially when its creators and marketers refuse to answer reasonable scientific questions) can sustain themselves. Is Nerium’s amazing meteoric rise going to continue or is a crash inevitable? Like we said, time will tell.

  43. Stacey says:

    Organic coconut oil. That’s it. That’s the greatest “skin care secret” for the ages.
    $22 a jar and it softens your hair, moisturizes your skin, aids in healing derma lesions, injuries and psoriasis. It’s a natural antioxidant and smells incredible. Invest in Mother Nature. She’s way more reliable than any MLM company.

  44. yoyo says:

    I was invited to a get-together for ‘nerium’ on Monday. I will be bringing up this forum at that time and see what happens. I told my other half not to give out our address at that time. Ain’t Nobody trying to get killed. Hahaha
    Btw:there’s no chance in hell in slathering unknown goop on my already awesome face. If it’s not broke, don’t need no fixin. ;) oil of olay forever!

    • drjohn says:

      Please come back and tell us what they say when you bring us up.

    • drjohn says:

      When they named it “OIL” of Olay they weren’t kidding. How many of these ingredients are byproducts of the process of refining crude oil?


      • Angela Charette says:

        I found this blog because someone on a local “chat” site was trying to sell some for 1/3 the original price. I wondered about such an expensive product being sloughed off. This is a company I would run from….

        As for Oil of Olay products – I know lots of women who like it. It gives me a very useful look. LOTS OF ZITS. Not quite the youthful look I was going for and very flattering when combined with wrinkles.

  45. Louise Washington says:

    Thanks for sharing as I had a negative reaction lo two of the three Nerium products, but could not deal withthe cat piss smell of the night cream and finally made an appt with a dermatologist to undo the damage to my now red, welted, itchy to the point of bleeding skin where the Firm product was applied. It may work for some but the product is definitely not for everyone.

  46. SGM B.C. says:

    Good posting. Maybe some of you will save your money.

    There are reviews from professionals in the skin-care industry not aligned in any way with Nerium. Their evaluations are not good for Nerium, and the products they recommend are found OTC. My wife bought this Nerium product (I bought it for her), and gave it 90 days. Nothing except a burning sensation when she put it on. A waste of a few hundred dollars

    MLM has a very bad reputation as a distribution model mainly because the concentration is selling to the hopeful money maker rather than to the consumer. This is the main problem even when the product is good! Usually over priced too. Amway started by selling primarily to the consumer which is why they may have gotten so big, In view of this fact, if Nerium was that good, you could just sell it as a distributor and forget the hoorah meetings. Most likely, you wouldn’t be on this blog reading and commenting because of your success and confidence. Learn to market and sell. Do it the right way-focus on the consumer…..See what happens.

    A good product with value in its pricing will sell if you have expertise in marketing and sales. A bad product will not sell. The market won’t buy in the long term. Nerium does not focus on the consumer. They focus on the opportunity. Time will tell whether this is true or not. Can’t last if what we think here is the truth. Hopefully – people will think clearly before they buy into this ego-centric product. BTW: Why are so many young people involved…hmmmmm.

  47. Denise says:

    A friend said her Neice sells Nerium products….swears by it…earned a Lexus by selling it…etc. I like to truly investigate prof to venturing into selling it….read all you wrote and I ‘thank you’. I’m a retired teacher (Biology) for 28 years…so always appreciate the scientific approach to researching a question I have. As for a product and Company…I vote for Younique and its Uplift Eye serum…the best these 62 yo eyes have seen!!! Tks again ‘doc’ for your blog!!

  48. obie's mom says:

    I tried Nerium AD.
    1. it STINKS (literally…smells AWFUL)
    2. if you can only buy at a ‘reasonable’ price by giving your cc info to charge indefinitely, sirens need to be going off (WARNING, Will Robinson! DANGER! DANGER!)
    3. if the co is MLM, that is a red flag. I like Tupperware. I like Pampered Chef. So I’m not totally close-minded to the concept. But this one sounds like a questionable product with a lousy customer service record.

    I read online reviews of Nerium on several different sites during the ‘trial’ period (I never gave any payment or payment info). The ‘does it work’ reviews were mixed, but the customer service reviews were 100% BAD. People who had severe allergic reactions were told they could not get a refund for unopened product; people were told they could not sell their unused product (really? How ya gonna stop ‘em?); duplicate charges that were still not credited after months and months.
    I returned the unused portion of my trial bottle without any problem (directly to the lady who asked me to try it). I think I used it maybe 3 days. I just couldn’t deal with the odor. It gave me a really bad headache.
    The lady that I got the stuff from came in telling me how great it was; how she looked YEARS younger since using it, etc. etc. I was shocked to find out she’s only a few years older than I am…because I would have guessed she was 10-15 years older.
    My dermatologist says I am doing just fine with the products I use (available at any retaill drug store, and even some wholesale clubs). Works great, reasonably priced, readily available, and I only buy as I need it (or when there is a really good sale!) And most people guess my age as around 10 years younger than I am.
    if you want to have younger looking skin: DON’T TAN, use sunscreen, moisturize, drink plenty of water, don’t smoke!
    I don’t know if it’s allowed on this blog, but the brands that I use are: ROC, Neutrogena, Aveeno.

  49. Lauren says:

    WOW—you people are real jerks on here to bash a company and a product and have never even used it. Well—I HAVE used it, and know MANY people who have used it as well, and sorry to burst your ranting bubble—-but it DOES work. It doesn’t NOT reverse the aging process, you have to continue to use it if you want the smooth results, but if you have wrinkes in your forehead or crow’s feet—-Yeah it actually works to fill in the lines and have the wrinkles smooth out.

    You think you’re so cool and witty with your humor. And I am sure you will have a great comeback line to my post, but it’s fine, I got your number, I know your just an insecure jerk who doesn’t believe anything unless YOU prove it. So whatever. I know it has worked on my face, and that’s all I need to know. I have my before and after pics that I know are real.

    • drjohn says:

      We seem to have upset Lauren. Maybe we should clarify for her that we are not product testers, we are physicians, scientists, and occasional beauty bloggers who are interested in the science (or lack of same) in personal care products. Why? Because we value truth, and there are so many lies out there. Why is truth important? because everything comes at a cost A risk, to you, your health, your pocketbook, and your integrity. Being a shill for pseudoscience, wherever it pops up, is not an honorable occupation. It’s right up there with the world’s oldest profession. It may even be the world’s oldest profession, with “product” placed before it. In short, if you want to be self-righteous and take pot shots at the whistleblowers, because in your mind you know more than all the scientists and anybody else who doesn’t agree with you, we grant you your right to free speech. We even provide you with a forum. But if it is respect you are looking for – you haven’t earned it.

  50. Lauren says:

    Nice. Pat yourself on the back if you think you’re so great that it is your respect that I was looking for. Wasn’t it clear that I obviously didn’t agree with you?? Since that was already blatantly obvious, why would your respect be something I wished for.

    And for another thing, thinking that I am bashing “physicians, scientists and beauty blogger”….I have a few close friend who are physicians, I myself am and a old beauty blogger/vlogger, and to top it all off—about 60% of my friends are scientists—-I WORK IN A LAB. I know them well and they know me well. and we RESPECT each other’s opinions cause we know that we’re not “liars”. So believe whatever you want. I have seen proof of this product’s work with my own eyes. I don’t need anyone to tell me it works or doesn’t work. I don’t need them to.

    You can go back to your lab now, where you are greatly RESPECTED and thought of so highly. You obviously need that.

    • drjohn says:

      In other words “I don’t need well designed clinical studies with statistical analysis or peer review or expert opinion – It works because it works on me”. That’s an opinion, but that is not science. Science deplores that sort of testimonial that shuts down evidence and discourages debate. Science want to learn, not dictate. Science is not a bunch of cronies who never challenge one another. Science deplores the arrogance of “I work in a lab, so I know everything”. The janitor works there too – but his humility and good sense have not led him to do an Elmer Gantry impression.

  51. Mitzi says:

    I actually just received a free sample today, and before i even put it on or anything of that nature, i decided to read some reviews, because after all who doesn’t like to view other people’s opinions. Now, I’m afraid of even putting it on because of the smell. But, C’mon skin cells? People are afraid of burning off skin cells? I think that if it were put on your face then it would matter but anywhere like your hips and what not wouldn’t matter.We produce skin cells all the time and they fall off also (all the time). It was recommended to me for stretch marks?
    I have no idea why but nothing is written about it being for stretch marks.
    Oh & besides that, the woman or girl who let me test it out said to return the bottle in a week?
    This could mean that they reuse the same bottles to hand out free samples?
    It just seemed a little odd. I hate spammers & false advertisers, so wish me luck!

  52. marlena says:

    I’m just wondering why Dr John sounds so hateful and bitter about this product. It seems he’s going out if his way to to really bash it. Just wondering why?

  53. marlena says:

    The more I read of Dr Johns comments the more I wonder why he’s so bitter. He’s sounds really smart ellic about the comments which makes me doubt his findings are true he’s sounds jealous to me. Just saying.

    • drjohn says:

      Jealous, bitter, smart alec. We get lots of ad hominem attacks. Why don’t you debate the ideas instead of attacking the messenger?

  54. Lyssa Savedra says:

    I was at a meeting last night and met a woman who was in the before and after photos. It was her, no plastic surgery. I am not signed up but am also not that naive either. This product totally worked for this lady. I saw it myself. Hey what the worst that could happen? You buy a months worth and improve your skin. Sounds like a good exchange to me. I want to try it despite your report. I saw her and met her myself. It worked.

  55. Criss says:

    I’m a 38 year old female and had a friend give me the 30 day trial a year ago. Let me tell you… it BURNS, it STINKS, it caused a horrible rash on my face, and I broke out like I was 13 again. I had to stop using it cause it looked like I not only had a sunburn but I literally looked like a pepperoni pizza and smelled even worse from the odor the product puts off. I had an infant at the time and I was terrified to kiss her after applying it because I was afraid of what it would do to her skin and if it got into her mouth. This product is dangerous and a piece of crap. I might have done better putting rat poison on my face, probably less toxic than Nerium.

  56. Jesse Gunderson says:

    I have tried so many products like sooo many other women today. We believe, hope and put our hard earned money down for something that makes us look or at least feel more Beautiful.
    Well Nerium did not make feel good, it stinks and tightens like glue. I hated the feel and in the morning… YUCK! my skin was puffy (maybe thats where they get the wrinkle free pics) I followed two ladies (well now there are a dozen) from another company that had great products to nerium. The thing is they trashed our other company and did everything to get people to their Market parties in Seattle!!! Everyone that has listened or have received samples have poor results! NONE of these ladies EVER SHOW THEIR Before and Afters! NONE, 1 is in the top 10 in the Nerium scam, she tries to pretend she is classy but this woman is pathetic. Between her and her alcholic side kick and their junkie followers the money they are making on people make me SICK! I won’t name names but these women are truly VOLTURES! RAH ! RAH! nerium. I can not believe the recruiting practices of these women. They continue to pretend and burn through the NW and now Canada! No amount of quick money or personal shoppers will help this woman gain credibility! They are the essense of rude snobs that have NO CLASS! They think they are great right now because of their sick paychecks but they are Laughing stocks! Pure and simple, no one as respect for them or would follow them. They preyed on weak area and district mgrs. to fill their pipelines. Now even they are leaving! There are a few that want to but have spent sooooooo much $$ on the Rah Rah Events they don’t know what to do! I am just heart broken for the ones that followed these sick women, to be used up like trash! I hope they are sleeping well at night, for NOW!

  57. a_Valdivia says:

    I, for one, was very skeptical of nerium. I thought it was a BS pyramid scheme where you bring in three pepperoni bring in three, etc. and it is…! But was still curious enough to try the sample because of a bad acne breakout. And in my case, it started clearing up my acne in three days, and it was noticeable.. I was so sad that I had to give the sample back that I thought of keeping it hehe.. Honestly I’m still skeptical that it does all that it claims to do, but for me it did work.. However, I won’t buy it at the ridiculous price it sells for -$100- but would if it was $50..

    • drjohn says:

      Anything that kills bacteria might help acne in the short term. That goes for bleach, lye, and any number of toxic substances. Kills off the P. acne bacterium. The problem is that with continuing use you get inflammation, and that can lead to acne scarring.

  58. Margaret says:

    Hi Dr. J.
    My boyfriend and I were recently approached and invited to become part of the Nerium “team”. I find your article very interesting and I’ve been looking for clinical trials regarding the use of Nerium in skincare products specifically. On the Nerium Biotech website I found this and they talk about safety and clinical trials but they don’t give a specific clinical trial number to refer to.

    What are your thoughts?

    Suspicious in Seattle….

    • drjohn says:

      As a former Seattle dweller I appreciate the sensible skepticism people of our region express, especially when when it comes to products claiming a scientific basis. We have commented here on BFT before on the SST trials (put “SST” in the search box) and won’t repeat ourselves here. Our advice? Think nutritionally. Would you ingest a known poison (in any concentration) because selling it someone told you it was good for you? Your skin deserves the same consideration as the rest of your body.

    • The study on the effectiveness of the product was done here;
      I believe I have the actually study in my docs somewhere and am happy to send em to you if you want.

      • drjohn says:

        Shelly – we are scientists, we looked at the research, we found it “underwhelming” in terms of design and results. That’s our scientific opinion on the matter. We also tried to contact one of the scientists listed on the roster.

  59. Jillian says:

    The truth is, by having this blog, you make $ for every hit. You couldn’t care less what Nerium does as long as you keep people reading… So get off your soap box and do something that really makes a difference in the world.


  60. Jason says:

    These charlatan shillers of snake oil are having a convention in my neighborhood next week. I’ll crash the party and let you know what the scoop is as far as bad mouthing the good Doctor Jonn goes.

  61. Rob says:

    Dr John, I don’t understand the Nerium bashing. I am NOT a nerium brand partner, nor a customer. But reading from afar, I can see it is obviously personal for you. Maybe you are right, and it doesn’t work…but either does any ‘anti-aging cream’. So why aren’t you bashing the hundreds or thousands of other products that are similar? I guarantee people have had satisfactory results, but I also guarantee 5x more people haven’t had any positive results. Basically like every other skin product. If people want to buy it, let them buy it. If people want to sell it, let them sell it. It sounds like you are overwhelmingly bitter towards Nerium and I dont think its because they claim that you can get rid of your wrinkles, when in actuality you can not. Again, there are many companies like this, looks as if you are just bullying Nerium because of a personal issue with them and them alone. I apologize in advance to all the women out there for my next comment, but (most) women would put their mouths around an exhaust pipe if they were told by scientists that it would do wonders for their skin. They go crazy over skin products and spend a lot of money on it. Nerium is not the only benificiary of that. As long as the product is legal, I don’t see what the issue is.

    • drjohn says:

      The repetitious “bashing” epithet is silly. So is “hating on”. We are consistent in our well-reasoned, logically sound, scientifically validated opinion, and because many people write and express theirs we feel equally justified in expressing ours. If we are consistent in our opinion it is because nobody has offered us even a scintilla of evidence to counter our main arguments about the underlying science. They have had years now to do so. Nothing of substance has been presented. Instead we have been persecuted for having contrary opinions – all manner of dirty tricks that shock the conscience of reasonable folks. For the most part, we are really just in a response mode – answering questions & debating points with our readers. And by the way we most assuredly do criticize many other products, and by abstraction an entire industry. We are equal opportunity “bashers” as you would call us (we prefer “whistleblowers”). You need to read more BFT! You go on to make the argument that selling (they way they do) Nerium is legal. We are not expressing an opinion here on that.We are not lawyers. But as observers of trends, it wouldn’t surprise me to see class action lawsuits springing up, just as they recently have for Herbalife (who, it is published elsewhere, settled for many millions). It is of course illegal to sell products deceptively. We have observed more than one company engage in bald faced lies (opposite of bare faced truth). Some get caught.

  62. k.russell says:

    Sooooo glad I read this. Of course I have a friend selling this product. I’ve even seen a pic of it used on a babys face (really hoping it was fake). My son has a moderate case of eczema and I’ve tried everything. I have tried OTC products and was curious about Nerium before I resorted to the Dermatologist. I’m definitely making the appt after reading this. I am NOT putting posion on my 10 year olds face. Thank you so much

    • drjohn says:

      I’m with you in hoping that picture was a fake. Commercial exploitation of children is disturbing to say the least, whatever you think the risks are.

  63. Cn29720 says:

    Just came across this as I was researching reviews regarding Nerium products. I am currently doing the 5 day trial…haven’t noticed much difference except that the day cream makes my face break out, however the night cream seems to help that, but not a process I want to continue over and over! I am 34 and still have occasional breakouts, tried many products and the age defying moisturizers seems to make breakouts worse! Just curious if you have a suggestion of what really does work, without high prices or toxins? I have a proper diet, exercise regularly, and drink lots of water! Need help finding something that works!! Thanks!

    • drjohn says:

      We do talk about things that work on BFT, but they are scattered about and maybe you haven’t found them. Posts like Dr. George’s classical missive on retinoids and skin care. Perhaps we should do a review post. We could base it on the skin care pyramid that is published in dermatology journals, with basics at the bottom and more elegant or biologically advanced solutions at the top of the pyramid. It would make a nice contrast with those other pyramids (MLM skin care pyramid schemes) that continue to annoy and make trouble. We could call it dueling pyramids. Science vs. nonsense. Regenerative medicine vs. degenerative marketing.

  64. Karen Lawton says:

    Thanks for the update….I was of course suspicious..if it sounds to good it usually is and at my age I can say this sincerely LOL….nothing bad in it obviously but nothing miraculous to work wonders…and way to expensive..glad I saw this site!!

  65. Cher Dunbar says:

    Hi Dr. John, Great blog! My friend bought in to the Nerium marketing and I am trying it for week because she is my friend, but I am worried about the side effects later? Any comments?
    Also, can you send me info your blog or article on a good anti aging cream that works, like retin-A or something? Thank you!

  66. sil says:

    I have many friends selling Neurium. It’s a cult! Couple friends stopped being friends because I didn’t buy the damn product. I guess they were not friends to begin with, but it’s a cult and people that get into this don’t know how to talk about anything else. If they meet new friends they offer the stupid product… lol if the product works it would make my friends look 10 years younger than me right? ?? Uhmmm not the case…

  67. I’m a blogger. A friend of mine has just offered to send me a 30-day free trial of Nerium. I am going to take before and after pictures. I will be happy to share them with DrJohn. I will post them, unedited, on my blog. I have no interested in $90/mth products. I won’t continue to use it when I’m done because I can’t afford, nor am I willing to pay, that much. I’m not happy with the ingredients, that’s for sure. But, I’ll try it. I have severe melasma, so I anticipate, if this actually works, that I will see some sort of difference. I’ll let you know!

    • drjohn says:

      Good idea. Maybe you could do a weekly picture? Try to keep the lighting & expressions consistent. When you are done with your trial, I will send you something effective for melasma, as a thank you. Sandy’s blog is at for those who want to follow along.

    • My review of Nerium DA will be posted at on 1/14/2015 at 6 AM (EST). All unedited pictures (except for being cropped) will be posted side by side. I have given Bare Faced Truth permission to use my pictures, so don’t be surprised to see them. Thanks Dr John and Dr George for getting the truth out there about snake oil salemen.

  68. Frank Mosher says:

    Thank you very much for putting in the time and effort to research and inform people about Nerium. As the leader of a local group dedicated to scientific skepticism I know quite well how thankless the job you are doing often is. Rarely it seems are people actually interested in knowing the truth about something, they would often rather just go on believing whatever they want to believe.

    I found this site while researching Nerium in order to have as much information as possible when I tell the friend of mine who is trying to sell me on it that there is no way I will be signing up. I’m familiar with MLM scams, and science based medicine, so everything about Nerium set off my bull**** detector right away, but I couldn’t be sure exactly how much was complete bull****.

    So thanks, and keep up the good work :)

  69. Terri Pebsworth says:

    I “inherited” a bottle of Nerium skin care product. I used it once and decided before applying it further I would do a little research. Long story, but I started doing intensive facial yoga exercises about 3 weeks ago. In 3 short weeks of doing 1-2 sessions per day of 150 reps per muscle group in the face (10 difference face exercises with acu-pressure massage before and afterwards), I have literally turned the clock back 10 years on my face. I had some sagging skin under the chin, fat cheeks, and somewhat sagging jowls. The results are stunning. I’m still in a bit of a state of disbelief that facial yoga works, BUT you have to really really work the muscles to they hurt to rebuild the muscle structure underlying the skin and burn off fat. Way way better than a face lift (you work out all the facial groups including forehead and upper lip), certainly cheaper, non-toxic, and you look normal.

    • Terri Pebsworth: What facial yoga exercise program did you follow? I agree with the less than value issue with Nerium. A client of mine described his new venture with great enthusiasm, though he had not sold much yet, but bought the samples/kit. So many different yoga facial programs out there; can you help me?

  70. Sarah Burton says:

    I have a ‘friend’ that tried to recruit me to sell Nerium. I declined after I tried the product and had a mild reaction to it and then did my own research into the ingredients!
    To be honest, I have no idea how she even managed to suck me in to trying it because I usually only buy natural, organic products, or make my own. She told me the opportunity would be financially life-changing…. she has her Lexus already, but it has the Nerium logo’s all over the back window, so not really ‘her’ car, in my opinion. Plus, she is still working at her other job too, so I’m thinking the rewards (Lexus, cruise etc) are great, but the actual cash earned isn’t.
    She constantly posts about how great Nerium is on her personal Facebook page, almost like she has been instructed to do so or is trying to convince herself because I don’t know anyone else that posts how wonderful their employer is (even if they are – mine is!) on a regular and frequent basis. It gets boring to read frankly. I have looked at the ‘Before’ and ‘After’ pictures from her ‘Real Results’ get-togethers and honestly, I can either see no difference or the ‘After’ picture does look better, but only because the ‘Before’ picture has the person squinting or raising their eyebrows, this creating lines, but the ‘After’ picture shows them with a non-expressional (not sure that’s a word!) face. In my opinion, having almost been involved with Nerium, knowing at least two friends and several other acquaintances involved with this, I believe Nerium is a well-orchestrated product pyramid scheme. Good to get that off my chest!

  71. Lisa says:

    I stumbled across this article because I searched Google after continually reading my friends posts about this miracle cream. I figured it was bullcrap, thank you for verifying. Women my age (almost 50) really get suckered in to stuff like this easily because we of course want to believe that something will indeed make us look younger. These medicine show people will disappear after a couple of years or sooner never to be heard of again. And they’ll be rich.

  72. Jillian says:

    I simply don’t understand how you can sit there and call Nerium “evil.” How is having an AMAZING skin product evil??? What am I missing here? You are the one who is EVIL, by spoiling the opportunity for people who’s skin WILL benefit from this product, DRASTICALLY. And why target Nerium when there are hundreds of thousands of products out there that HONESTLY don’t work. I KNOW, I’ve tried them all! From products that cost $500 a jar, to $25 per jar. I have been using Nerium for 5 months, and I absolutely LOVE and cannot live without this product. And I have MY PERSONAL before and after photos to prove it, that were taken in the same exact light, at the same time of day and in the same exact spot. With all the time you waste in this precious life, try getting one by channeling your energy into something positive to give back to the world, rather than spoiling a great thing that millions of people can benefit by and be HAPPY. Nerium is an AMAZING PRODUCT THAT WORKS!!! And as with ANY product, ANYTHING we put on our bodies or into the, does not work for EVERYONE. Just like food. One person’s poison is another’s delicacy…

    And what I’d like to know is what “successful” Dr. has time like the drjohn to spend on a blog like this. My husband happens to be a doctor and barely has time for our new baby. Unless you’re retired your practice must suck! Big time! And if you are old and retired, you may want to catch up with modern medicine…

    • drjohn says:

      Really, Jillian? One person’s poison is another’s delicacy…? So I should maybe try some poison ivy on my skin because maybe just for me its a wonderful skin care product. Absurd. yes, you will find Nerium oleander in every poison database in the known universe.

      And yes, Jillian, we have a life. Sorry to dispel that Nerium myth that BFT is really just a teenager living in his mother’s basement. We are physicians & stem cell scientists working not just on wrinkles but also on major advances in diabetes care. We have been around the block a few times, and recognize evil when we see it.

      Perhaps it is you who needs a life other than the one where you keep trying to peddle worthless nostrums to your friends and relatives. Hey, why not just steal $100 out of grandma’s purse when she’s not looking? That way you can fulfill your need to filch from her without adding to her aging skin woes. You can enjoy HAPPY money grubbing moments without even going to the endless droning rah rah meetings. Really!

      As for your physician husband, we would love to talk to him. Has he looked at the science? Does he defend it? I wonder. I would even go as far as to speculate that he is too busy to think about it, but if he did he might find it an embarrassing that his wife is peddling medically suspect products via an MLM to family, friends, and social acquaintances? Do you peddle to other doctor’s wives? We would like to hear how that’s going, if so. But one thing I am certain your husband can confirm for you – that all modern medical textbooks on toxicology say the same thing about Nerium oleander as those of past generations. It is a poison. You might also ask him this question- how is it that a substance known to cause massive oxidative stress (their own research) be good for skin?

  73. Chris says:

    I have seen many people pushing these products on various social media sites, so I thought I would look into the product. After all, they make it sound like the greatest invention ever! I have been thoroughly entertained by these comments but I have noticed an interesting trend.

    The pro-Nerium crowd continues to point out how great their experience was/is with the product as the only proof that anyone should need. Meanwhile, many others have anecdotal evidence saying the exact opposite regarding their experience with the product. It is obvious that user experience is not enough to say for sure whether it works or doesn’t, which is why what you are doing is so important.

    I was really hoping that the Nerium advocates would bring some actual science to the table to refute what you have researched, but it appears that I will continue to be disappointed. Hopefully they will prove me wrong, but I am not counting on it.

  74. Jillian says:

    Uhhhhhh, I’m not a distributor for Nerium. I have zero interest in becoming involved in an MLM. I’m actually a writer. Interesting how you would ASSUME just because I support and back a product that WORKS, I would have to somehow be involved. And I don’t know the person who introduced me to the product personally either. And hey, I know people who eat blow fish and they’re not dead! This thread is becoming quite comical to me. I love how passionate you are to hate on something so badly. It makes me wonder what the driving force behind your disdain for the company. I’m not here to sell anything to anyone. I was just researching, because this is what I do, and I stumbled on this and just can’t figure out why you have such a boner to shut this company down. And why THIS company when there are so many other companies out there that blatantly lie. Something is VERY fishy & suspicious with this thread. Oh well, whatever. Today I woke up and my skin looks better than ever! And this makes me happy which is all that counts.

  75. Jillian says:

    Again, I am not a distributor for this product, nor do I have family members or friends who do. I have ZERO to gain by supporting a product that happens to be absolutely amazing. I take my looks very seriously and it would devastate me if this product were ever to be pulled off the market. BFT, please stop trying to destroy a product MANY people happen to love, just because you are on a power trip to prove your unfounded “truth?” Live and let live and stop BULLYING people who are genuinely happy with an awesome product.

  76. Shannon says:

    Haha coconut oil people!!!

  77. Minnie Gilmore says:

    I guess the moral of the story is: if it seems too good to be true it usually is!! I’m like the rest looking for the easy way out rather than exercise lol….thanks for the info I found this very helpful

  78. Mr. E says:

    I suggest that everyone here read the book published back in the 90’s called “DROP DEAD GORGEOUS” Basically to sum up the books contents, If you can’t eat the product then you should not wear it as your skin is the biggest organ on your body and what ever you put on it absorbs deeply in to your system and other organs…..I say again read that book then re debate this blog and comment I think the discussion would basically swing to the far left as Dr John stated from basic review of the science a child or infant would agree…. nothing is good for your skin except the natural items made on this planet that we were created with and even then some of those items like arsenic can be fatal…. light humor to ease a very tense blog. My old man taught me you can’t bring a horse to drink water if he wants to drink beer…. and Ultimately everyone has different motivations… be it cashola or believe in the fountain of youth… basically be honest with your self and identify what you are ultimately trying to achieve and respect that this country was founded on free speech and everyone has their right to be heard…just seriously inoculate your selves asap from the major virus sweeping across the globe and spreading like wild fire more deadly that the H1N1 or even EBOLA…..its called………STUPIDITY…….get your inoculation shot asap. Anyways Happy Holidays and to all a Good Night!

  79. Kim says:

    I’m a Registered Nurse and hesitant to believe claims that aren’t backed up by evidenced based research. An acquaintance of mine was raving about this new product when it was first marketed and suggested I try it. As soon as I heard “if you get just three people under you, your monthly product is free” I knew it was a scam. Because of the money back guarantee I went ahead and gave it a try. I liked the consistency and smell of the product but never saw any results. I accidentally dropped the new bottle and inside the exterior Gray outer case was a much smaller clear plastic bottle which contained the NeriumAD product. I was angry when I saw it was half full. These scam artists make you think your paying $90 for this large bottle of product when in reality is half of that. I was angry but decided to finish the bottle and at least see if it produced results. Sadly it did not and I called and asked for my refund. If it seems too good to be true it usually is.

  80. Alisa says:

    I can tell you from experience that Nerium works. I have been using it for a few months now and I have seen the changes in my skin. You can talk all the crap you want to but the proof is in the pudding… It works… That is why the company offers the 100% money back guarantee. You have nothing to lose by trying it and because the products produce results, the products sell themselves…

    • drjohn says:

      Quite clearly Alisa is quick to speak, but slow to listen. If she were to listen (or read) the multitude of comments here she would have to address this question: IF it “works” and IF “you have nothing to lose” then why have so many people written to tell us 1. that it doesn’t work, and/or 2. that they suffered harm from it. And also, it the products “sell themselves” why do you need an army of people pushing it aggressively to their family and friends? Why not just order on the internet or in a store? Sorry, Alisa, it doesn’t add up. It’s like you are a parrot, squawking out the party line, because that’s all you know. It demeans you, and those around you.

  81. Sharon says:

    The sad truth is that ethical business practice requires transparency not propaganda and Nerium Int. seems to thrive on half-truths and marketing ploys intended to deceive both their brand partners and the public. I have been a researcher and past securities analyst and I love to dig. I have only recently begun doing some “digging” into the hype of Nerium because I have a friend who is deeply involved in this organization. A small sample of what I am unearthing as I go back to the beginning of this company in 2011 can be read as follows. Now be aware that Nerium has posted very misleading information about the involvement of the respected MD Anderson in it’s “propaganda” in order to authenticate the research into the safety and effectiveness of their product. Brand partners are spewing this misinformation as if it is gospel and unfortunately this, in my mind, constitutes fraud. Great products and great companies do not need to dupe others into buying their product. More to come. This is directly from MD Anderson and is widely available to the public, but for some reason few are paying attention.

    “MD Anderson is all about new ideas.

    For more than 70 years, we’ve been developing and researching new drugs, combinations, diagnostic tests, techniques and technologies for our patients and others around the world.

    But where we draw the line is directly endorsing a company or a company’s product or service.

    For that reason, you might be a little confused about some buzz regarding a skin care product called Nerium, and a vague connection to MD Anderson.

    It’s suggested that the product, which is featured on multiple social media channels, the product’s website and at in-home sales parties, was discovered by an MD Anderson researcher.
    It’s important for you to know that:

    MD Anderson did not develop this product and does not vouch for its effectiveness or safety.
    MD Anderson does not endorse this product or company.
    The researcher in the web video, Robert Newman, Ph.D., who is professor emeritus, is speaking as an individual, not as a spokesperson for MD Anderson.
    MD Anderson, as an institution, is not connected to this product and we do not profit from its sales.
    MD Anderson has not authorized the use of its name in connection with this product.
    We welcome any questions or comments you might have related to this topic.

    In the meantime, one of the best things you can do for your skin during this hot summer is to wear your sunscreen. Now that’s a skin care topic we want to talk about!”

  82. Dave says:

    Dr John…I have read this loooong exstensive review and most all the comments on here. While there is definitely numerous bashings I could easily rebut with total objective proof rather than the majority of subjectiveness I’ve read here such as smell, numbness, schemes, poison, etc…all which are opinion based.

    No one has ever offered you a bottle to try after all these years? Last I checked, in any of my 24 yrs of law experience, the burden of proof falls upon the ‘plaintiff’ or in this case, the ‘professional blogger’.

    Simply put, there is zero need for any single one person to offer you or any of the numerous critics which no company in this country goes without. If you would like a bottle to try on yourself, test the actual lotion under scientific conditions with logged data and conduct your own actual clinical testing, I’d be honored to provide you with as many bottles as neccessary to allow that.


    I have not only consulted other medical directors, as yourself, which I have been personal friends with for years, but also dermatologists, medical estheticians, biochemists, and biologists with decades of impeccable pedigrees which would be admitted as experts in every court I’ve ever served with, and while you and Dr George present your reviews based on limited science, meaning no real physical contact or usage of any product, how is it would you respectfully and professionally submit that your findings are more just, proper, and conclusive than those of your peers which boost extreme academia backgrounds and credentials themselves and have actually physically fully tested in labs themselves?



    I will make a couple statements with 100% objectivity and allow you and your readers to continue your beratements and onesideness and urge you to email me privately to receive any info tou wish to substantiate my words including those which I truly believe have seriously more credibility than that of a ‘Dr blogger’

    … if you both were very happy in your own lives, and busy with growing and nuturing positive lifestyle, you wouldn’t be acting smug and continually sounding like bitter old men which were obviously never taken seriously within their own peers as no self respecting, mentored after, and renouned person of statue would have the time or energy to continue on as you do here.

    Your turn to show evidence…

    What prominet scientists, Dr, nobel prize winners, docurtal written, published, successful professional has ever had a prominent ‘blog’ filled with negativity?

  83. Tracy Lewis-Currie says:

    The question I have, and have had for quite a while now that I’m in my late 40s, is: do wrinkles cause us harm? Is there something about wrinkles that is unhealthy or dangerous to our health? I would like to be able to embrace the aging process since there really is little I can do about it without spending a lot of money on botox and plastic surgery. I despise the term “anti-aging”, because aging is inevitable. Even if you try to cover up the surface signs of aging by using such processes mentioned above, the fact is you’re still aging. Your cells, tissue, muscles, organs, etc. are still getting older. Why is it this culture of ours just simply can’t honor the aging process? I know rhetorical question….but it seems the beauty industry is so large and lucrative because of our fear of aging. I think it’s such shame. I feel that so many companies and products take advantage of this irrational fear. Anyway, just my two cents. Love this website. Thanks so much for all you do!

    • drjohn says:

      Thanks, Tracy. Wrinkles per se do not cause us harm, at least in the physical health sense. Socially, however, there is rampant youthism in our culture, and has been ever since homo sapiens started living past age 30. That’s where the fear comes in – being rejected & tossed aside for having some visible wear and tear. Now, facies (medical terms for general facial appearance) also reflect health & vitality (on the one hand) or stress, damage, inflammation on the other. We tend to emphasize facial skin health, rather than the mere presence or absence of wrinkles. You can read a bit of that philosophy here in a brief blurb I wrote years ago titled “Beautiful Aging“.

      On the issue of cells getting older, let me share a perspective from my world of stem cell science. Cells do age, and then die, and are then replenished from a storehouse of stem cells in varying niches in our bodies. The process of stem cells becoming new tissues (heart cells, skin cells, etc) is called differentiation. But in the past few years we have learned that cells can also go backwards. E.g. skin cells can become stem cells. It’s a two way street. In some abstract sense, that is like moving backward in time. If we can harness this, and start de-differentiating cells back to more primitive states, we can get them to produce the biosignals (communication chemicals) associated with youthful functioning.

      Now, to complicate matters, stem cells also do age and die and so we eventually run out. Or they get knocked off early by our skin to toxins and sunlight. But suppose we expand (multiply) and freeze some of our own stem cells, at birth (from cord blood), or even when we are 20 (from bone marrow). Then when we need some new ones, we use those to replace those that have worn out. Need a new retina? Fine (our colleagues here are now making those in the lab). Rejuvenated facies? No problem. Well, of course we have a few kinks to work out. But the message here is that as we better understand aging at the cellular & biochemical level, we can begin to imagine ways to restore health (and beauty) that are not all that far off in the future. It takes some of the inevitability away from the issue of aging.

  84. William says:

    My lovely Girl Friend was invited to one of these “party’s” At A Freinds house. I warned of the sales pitch, she assured me she would not be buying into it…..well she did. Thank you for the great blog to show her how far fetched the information she was fed is, but it’s to late (she drank the koolaid) none if the pages of information seam to get through due to the great lies she was strung on …wish me luck in convincing her the get rich quick scheme she was sold is not the case and she will just end up having burnt bridges with freinds and family. I’m a blue collar working my butt off day after day last thing I want to see is hard earned money wasted on crap product thus doing my research.

    • drjohn says:

      My best guess is that the lure of riches (money, status, power) is so seductive to many of us that logic, sense, and wisdom are easily sacrificed. I have seen good folks devastated by these schemes. They prey especially on the vulnerable. Widows (I know one who lost her home), those with economic insecurities, those who are willing to suspend disbelief to become involved with a cause. It really is very cult-like. We do wish you luck, William, and encourage you to be persistent and strong. Your steadfastness may be what it takes to overcome the siren song. Please let us know how this turns out.

  85. Jay says:

    Any product that comes to market that truly is a winner whether it’s a skin care or Dermal filler or neurotoxin lke botox is always acquired by a big boy! Examples
    Valient bought medicis creator of dysport and restylane and activus bought Allergan creator of botox for $66billion and Allergan bought skinmedica and medicis bought obaji etc. If nerium actually had amazing results with true science behind it a big boy would acquire it. If there is no plays being made to buy it it’s just one more product that’s probably decent but 100% driven by hype and grat network marketing just as countless others

    • drjohn says:

      Aesthetics (especially topicals) seems to be one marketplace where true value gets obscured by marketing prowess. What the big boys are buying is a brand, distribution, and market share. If that product or brand got there because it has superior efficacy or innovative science (e.g. SkinMedica), fine. If that product or brand got there because it spends many bucks building distribution and brand building on the back of a less than innovative product (e.g. Obagi), well that seems to be fine too. That is why it is so hard for the consumer to make sense of it all. Survival of the fittest has little to do with innovation, science, technology. It’s all about the brand and market share. So, there is little to stop Nerium from becoming successful. The utter stupidity that led to choosing a known poison as a hero ingredient can be overcome with lies, deception, hype, and good old network marketing (where true product value never really has much to say about success). Maybe buy the distribution and ditch the product or its hero ingredient. Oh, wait, I guess that was already done in Canada & Europe. Proves the point – MLM’s are not about the product, but about the selling motivated by get rich quick ploys. Insert any product – they are interchangeable. Today its youth in a bottle that actually oxidizes skin cells. Tomorrow maybe a worthless scammy prepaid legal scheme. Oh, wait, its the other way around. :)

  86. Jacinda says:

    I have a direct question to the writer of the article. I just want to know which cream(s) should I be buying that has the right ingredients in it?

    • drjohn says:

      Do you mean a cream for cellulite reduction, or a just generally good skin care? Addressing cellulite reduction, to list ingredients alone is not all that helpful, you need to understand the nature (pathophysiology) of cellulite and how each ingredient might be helpful. That would require a whole post. We will do one of those soon.

      Meanwhile for a short answer:

      The most powerful ingredients are going to be those that are human in origin (not plant). Based on the specific defects known in cellulite, look for VEGF (promotes growth of new vessels), and IGF-1 (overcomes of the key metabolic defect).

      Another problem is fibrous bands tethering fat in the wrong plane (another part of cellulite problem). There you might want to see a protease (bad protein gobbler). But at the same time you will want to increase production of new good proteins to build new connective tissue in the right orientation. There you would want to see first a reduction in inflammation (which is why cellulite gets going in the first place) along with chemicals that promote collagenesis. Retinols are good here, as well as growth factors such as bFGF. The whole process (destruction plus reconstruction) can also be called remodeling. The idea is that there is not necessarily too much fat, but that it is poorly contained. Needs better packaging, a better connective tissue container, to return to normal appearance.

      A key enzyme deficiency in cellulite compared to normal fat is the lack of adiponectin. Here a strategy involving chemicals that are adiponectin inducers may be helpful. Amongst the known ones are bilberry extract, circumin, sulfatides, raspberry ketones, and catechins. Amongst botanicals that may help by altering lipid synthesis are licorice extract, ruscogenis, and extract of Centella asiatica. Some folks think xanthines are good (evidence not strong here) so theobromine, paraxanthine, and methyl xanthine may be seen as secondary ingredients.

      We will explain this in greater detail in an upcoming post. Will also include information on devices to reduce cellulite through fat destruction (lipolysis), as well as how these things can be used in combination.

  87. Rachel says:

    I am so glad a came along this blog, I had been approached to sell the product as well, I have stage 3 non hodgkins lymphoma and probably should never put this on my skin. I currently use raw virgin coconut oil and have wonderful results. I was bamboozled into selling Mona vie and that never worked out for me. So thanks for posting this valuable information. Eating well and less stress always works for me. Happy holidays everyone

    • drjohn says:

      Same to you, Rachel. We are also aware of some interesting results with coconut oil and hair. The only side effect is smelling a bit like a pina colada. I guess that’s an improvement over the pungent odor of sweaty testicles. I forget now who to quote on that pithy observation – an early Nerium AD user.

  88. Cynthia says:

    I have heard all of the claims about Nerium and wanted to read some reviews before possibly purchasing. That’s when I came across this site (BareFacedTruth) and started reading all the comments. And I’m so glad I did! I had no idea that nerium oleander was the key ingredient in this cream. I moved to Florida 4 years ago and fell in love with the beauty of the oleander plant and knew I had to have one in my yard. Once planted, I read up on how to take care of it. Every piece of literature I read greatly encouraged people to wear gloves when touching the plant and insisted that hands should be washed thoroughly after touching this plant due to EVERY part of the plant being poison.
    Furthermore, the American Cancer Society has conducted studies to see if oleander can help with cancer reduction. It states on its site…..”The effectiveness of oleander has not been proven.” It goes on to state…..”Since such tiny amounts can cause death, oleander supplements and extracts from any part of the oleander plant should not be used except under the careful observation and controlled conditions of a clinical trial.”
    (For full article, go to
    So tell me again……..why would I want to put this poison on my face????

  89. Anne says:

    All I know is that if one of my 1200lb horses eats Oleander there’s a good likelihood it’ll kill them. I’m not about to go slathering it on my *ss thank you very much.

  90. Olga says:

    I have read through this entire thread and find it incredibly enlightening. I, too, was invited to drink the kool aid three years ago when this mlm was being launched. I joined along with a friend of mine. We signed up at exactly the same time and were busy trying to get our “three.” Much to my surprise, XYZ was driving a new Lexus Coupe within 2 weeks! How was that possible when I knew XYZ did not have enough bps to qualify? Questioning this seemingly impossible feat, I called Nerium corporate and was fortunate enough to speak with one of the execs high up on the ladder. When I asked how this was possible, he skirted the issue, knowing that XYZ did not have a sizable downline established yet to qualify for a car. His answer quite simply – to appease my frustration, curiosity and confusion- was, “It’s not what it appears.” Hmm. Interesting answer isn’t it? It’s not what it appears. Coming from an advertising backround, perhaps this should be their new tag line … “It’s Not What It Appears.” And oh, by the way, soon after my conversation with the exec, I ended my affiliation with this organization … and yes, XYZ uses botox.

  91. JEDESOMMA says:

    I was invited to try the product Nerium Night cream by a person I know in my small rural town. Honestly, I was glad to TRY it. And because I felt a tingling sensation when I used it for the four days, I told the rep that I would like to purchase a bottle. Single bottles cost 110.00 PLUS shipping and handling. If I was smart, I would get it every month automatically. That is called becoming a “Preferred customer”. Each month they deduct 80. bucks from your bank account. That is when she said there was ” another side” to Nerium. The “opportunity side”. Becoming a brand partner , which costs 500.00 for the starting kit,(1000. for the deluxe) BUT they also pressure you to buy a training feature for 45.00 a month on top of that . An “invaluable resource” that you can’t live without you’re told. My heart was pounding at that point. I felt like a coyote caught in a trap. I start trying to escape. When I said I need to think about all this, The famous THIRD PARTY CALL happened. They are trained to never take no for an answer. The third party call person that is always employed if someone wants to think about it . That woman explained that I would be practically stupid if I didn’t do this. She told me her rags to riches story. When that wasn’t working , she shifted to “listen, we only want people that are worthy, that want to give back, that have a vision, there’s a lot of money to made here”. No exaggeration here. I was insulted and manipulated at the same time. I knew my rep and I like her very much. She is the kind of person that wants to sell something she believes in. She believes in it. My problem was, I have anxiety and I hate selling things. Before she left I had written a check for 500.00. When she left I felt sick. I was unable to chew my leg off to escape. I had told her I hate selling things( oh this sells itself) I was a busy teacher,( fresh meat where I work) and I am not outgoing like that. No chance to think it over. They are trained to keep you in that trap. This night potion with extract of oleander does not work. I have wrinkles AND dark spots. None went away after 180 days. I had wanted to TRY it to see if it worked before becoming a brand partner. If it had worked, I might have been able to get excited about it. But it didn’t and doesn’t. The rep gives you a free 4 day trial and sets the trap. When they come to retrieve the sample bottle is when you get hit. What did you like about it? There is a script, I realized later when I was taught the script. I casually mentioned it to friends, no one was interested. I never sold a bottle. I continue to receive irritating texts about seminars and group phone calls. This is a pyramid scheme, plain and simple. A few people make a lot of money; If you can actually get people to buy it, the profit is ridiculous. But my guess is many people buy and then cancel their preferred customer status. I can only blame myself for not standing my ground and saying no. But as someone that has tried a product and was disappointed by the lack of results, AND paid to be a brand partner, I will warn you. Don’t do it.

  92. Elaine says:

    Thank you drjohn, your blog saved me $120 today. I am 73 and am always taken for much younger as it is but the sales pitch that almost got me was the claim to reduce my aging sagging neck. Hooked but not stupid, I researched the product online and wonder of wonders found your blog. It wouldn’t be the first time I fell for some bogus b.s. cosmetic claim, but my history made me a bit more suspicious of someone selling a pyramid scheme before even trying the product. You have done a great public service. I wish the FDA would do it for cosmetics OTC supplements…it would make a lot of manufacturers more accountable for their specious claims!

  93. SillyGirl71 says:

    I can honestly say, I became a brand partner a little over a year ago. At first, using the product seemed AMAZING so I said, why not?! Now, first of all if you do get involved it’s like a total cult mentality-no lie. They’re a bit nuts with it and if someone tries to sell you that “I love making my own hours and working when I want to so I can be with my family..” it’s crap! Funny, these people say they have time freedom but want you on calls and events every week on evenings and weekends,…FAMILY TIME! Now to the product. About three months ago it stopped working for me. I mean, dead stop. My crows feet were awful, the frown line and laugh lines deeper, so I asked my friend who signed me up and I got “could have been a bad batch. Open a new bottle.” Still nothing. Went to my medspa and got botox (which actually does work miracles! lol) and the doctor and I discussed it and he told me that in some people it WILL work great for a LIMITED time due to the fact that the oleander tends to cause inflammation. When you’re inflamed and “puffy” it decreases the appearance of wrinkles. Over time, I built up a tolerance (just as you would to a medication you take daily) and the swelling decreased more and more…showing the wrinkles. 100% honesty, I get better results with the Neutrogena Ageless Intensives line. All their products are great and inexpensive. By the way, all the other ingredients in Nerium are laughable and common and found in EVERY OTC moisturizer. I feel like a bad person for calling out a company I’ve been affiliated with but I would say don’t bother and DEF don’t get roped into the “business”. Oh and if you HATE network marketing “catch phrases” like “you’re on FIRE” and “You don’t want to miss this ride!” you will want to beat all of them senseless :)

  94. Suckered In says:

    Hi Docs,

    I recently got suckered into the Nerium BS. I am so scared.. I wish I would have done some homework and seen the article before I joined up to sell it. I pulled the trigger a few days ago, and didn\’t think too much about it. I had to save the $499, which ended up being way more with all the hidden fees and such. Now after reading this.. I am afraid It will be a stubble to get my money back. Do you have any tips for me? Do I refuse my package when It gets here? I am so scared they will try to talk me into keeping the product, but I don\’t want to beg my friends to buy this stuff from me. HELP!

    • drjohn says:

      Could some of you readers who have been in similar circumstances please reply to Suckered In? Thanks.

    • Insight says:

      I would start with a BBB complaint once you run into problems. Come up with a fair deal, stand your ground. If then and only then if you feel you have been mistreated I would file BBB and see if they have any advise … I fear they may just say contact a lawyer. There are inexpensive lawyer answer/question sites. But read whatever you signed inside and out before you start. I am sure there is a lot of small print you never had time reading when signing the dotted line. I have heard many complaints about getting their money back and bad customer service EVEN though they train the people to say, “try it free, if does not work you just return it”. If you are involved of having you account debited each month, you can put a block on any transactions to the company.

  95. Insight says:

    Just something I have learned……I was given a trial to use this product. I work around the medical field and did my research first. I do have some health issues that I have to watch. Plus, the fact that this product is so pricey over others that work as well, I wanted to know more if I was going to invest. I was really willing to give it a try, until I noticed the first red flag with ingredients of this sort; it is not FDA approved. When I found on WebMD, their main ingredient that they rave about was listed as a caution. It came under a list of aka names and Nerium was listed as one of the alias names. I have SVT which is an electricity issue with the heart and they still do not know what triggers it. WebMD carries a warning with anyone with this sort of condition or close to should not use anything containing it. Yes, even put on skin it does go to the blood stream, how do you think patches work on people? This does not mean it is not a good product and does not work for many people. But in all good business to be a good business the wellness of the customer come first and far most. I sure hope this company has strict training and their first priority is to inform new customers of any side effects..and far most DO NOT just say, “try it and see what happens”. If warned, the customer can make proper choices. I guess this will be the test of a legit company, if those warnings are listed and they highly train the people who sell it on health issues. For others it just may work wonderful, but it seems some people can have dangerous side effects.

  96. Kate S. says:

    I have a friend who has been selling Nerium since the beginning of this year. After being harassed for several months, I finally gave in and accepted an invitation to a Market party on September 26 at the Lexus dealership in Memphis, TN. He and his wife were there along with several other “directors” because they had a special guest speaker flown in from California. I was offered wine by several of the people and it was specially catered. As I sat there, listening to this smooth faced woman talk, I had two thoughts: One, why does her skin look like leather, and two, I have never heard such bologna in all my life. The presentation focused on the benefits of becoming a brand partner and the before and after pictures. They didn’t leave them up long enough for me to get a good look. I asked my friend for his before and after pictures and he said that he and his wife were still in the process of taking them for a good comparison. Everyone was encouraged to sit in the Lexus of your choice. I looked around during the presentation and couldn’t believe the looks of rapture on some of their faces. Very little was said about the science, except that it had been researched for over 10 years and that it was a miracle discovery! Then came the stories about single moms and people who had lost their houses. There was a lot of thanksgiving to God about being chosen for this opportunity. I left as soon as I could. I felt so uncomfortable. It was some of the worst pressure to join a company, and I can see where someone can be bullied into signing up. I wish I had seen this before I went to the party, because I would have specifically asked about the use of a deadly poison and the absorption through the skin. I now notice that my friend and his wife have changed their profile and cover pictures to show smiling family photos and that everything is always positive. The wife is thankful to be at home raising her children, but is always away at conventions, or parties for Nerium. They also have a healthier lifestyle by running races and are posting about healthy eating. It makes me wonder if that is something they were told to do by headquarters. I don’t even bring up Nerium into a conversation with my friend because that is all he will talk about. I really hope that someone takes down this company before it hurts too many people. I saw that Good Morning, America endorsed this product as a must-have for the coming year. I feel sorry for anyone who believes this malarkey.

    • drgeorge says:

      Kate, your description of the lengths to which the Nerium juggernaut goes to recruit new brand partners is fascinating, and telling. The “flown in” speakers describing their rags to riches ascendence, the chance to sit and daydream in the Lexus of one’s choice, the wine and hors d’ourves, the excitement of being one of those “chosen” by god for the opportunity – how could anyone say no after a first date like that?

      While BFT continues to be amazed at the marketing investment (excesses?) of the Nerium folk, it astounds us that the science continues to be essentially ignored. BFT believes “accidental” and “miracle” discoveries are semantic devices used to quash legitimate questions in order to move on to the next topic. Who needs to talk science when there are dollars by the bushel to be made? And, being featured on a morning television show does not necessarily equate to being newsworthy. The “pair ‘o docs” have been approached several times to discuss their science on different morning television shows…always with a hefty price tag attached. We can say this: were we to do a television segment, we would talk science, not “miracles” and new cars.

      What you describe reminds us of the film “Elmer Gantry”. A smooth-talking charismatic salesman finagles his way into the confidence of a woman preacher going town to town holding church revival meetings in a circus style tent. His stories and convincing manner incites rapturous fervor in the audience. After that, it is easy to persuade them this worthy crusade requires them to give generously to the cause. He then skedaddles out of town with another bushel of money. At least with Nerium you get skincare cream to take home.

  97. Courtney says:

    I like so many other am currently surrounded by these vultures. I have recently join the Ava Anderson Non Toxic company, same kind of set up, I am a consultant selling to people, but to me the science of the chemicals in our blood from the garbage you buy at the grocery store that filters down into our water and the earth and all the links to sicknesses, Alzheimer’s, autism and birth defects really hit home for me.

    So my first question to my coworker begging me to take Nerium home was what is in it? They claim this is natural and organic but I didn’t see the word organic on the bottle once. My second question was why is he pushing me so hard, then I see his Facebook and he just got a free iPad. My last question was do you use it? He is 22 years old selling this stuff, of course he doesn’t use it. And why should he he’s 22!!! I am 25 and I can’t imagine using an anti aging cream. And what happens if you stop using it does your face melt off? Not to mention all he talks about are famous people on his conference calls and getting a Lexus. I am so glad I found all this information because I have extremely sensitive skin and i couldn’t imagine the adverse effects Nerium would have on me when I finally have my skin at a place I am happy with.

    Thanks for the information and all the reviews and opinions. And a special thanks to all the Nerium sales people for still trying to shove this down people’s throats while all your previous dissatisfied customers tell the 100% honest truth. I hope people will learn to start reading ingredients labels.

  98. Jason says:

    I haven’t tried this product but some similar products that I thought were scams but I don’t have crows feet from a cream!!! As far as this taking care of of cellulite is just crazy…but if this cream helps people mentally to hit the gym cause they want cellulite gone they should be smarter than that and deserve to spend money on something they think is a miracle! Why mess with people that are actually making money from selling this! If you’re trying to fix your body without surgery nothing wrong with a cream and exercise, if your trying to fix a part you can!

    • drjohn says:

      Cannot agree with your logic. How does a cream make you hit the gym? The other way around is more likely – put your faith in the miracle cream and that give you an excuse to avoid the gym altogether. Why mess with people selling it? Better question is why are they are messing with innocent folks by selling 20 cents worth of ingredients for too many dollars. Answer not needed – I think we all know why.

  99. Jean says:

    Dang….who cares about all that scientific crap !!! Even the air we breath has harsh harmful chemicals in it yet we breath it to survive and live, If this product can shrink and correct your appearance so be it…WE are looking for results to make us look younger so we buy whatever is on the market to do that regardless of the ingredients. Even if it’s a temporary or part time fix. Just like the food you eat is a temporary/part time fix..!!! If this product makes you happy and you like the results … BUY IT.

    • drjohn says:

      This is at least an honest, unvarnished statement of the real Nerium party line … TO HELL WITH THE SCIENCE. Stop asking questions, just buy it.

  100. Laura Wagers says:

    So….at age 51 I’m always it seems trying something that will take the wrinkles around my eyes and soften them. So I figured hey why not and besides my friends were like OMG it’s amazing. I have used it for awhile now and all I can say is what a bunch of crap. I will say this it didn’t burn the skin around my eyes which is a plus considering everything else did, and the pores are still the same size. I’ve decided that I will embrace the wrinkles and lines as it’s a story of my life. Even with the wrinkles and lines I still get that look of “no way” when i tell my age. Good luck to all who have and will try this product but let me just say…..maybe try embracing the natural age processing I know I am!

  101. Irritated says:

    A family member is selling Nerium. She gave me a small amount to use for 5 days. It did nothing. I have good skin and no one ever believes me when they hear that I have a 22 yr old son because they think I’m much younger. I use Clinique or Neutrogena (whenever I’ve been in a bind financially). From what I’ve seen is the product works on people who don’t normally take care of their skin. If someone isn’t used to exfoliating or using proper facial products, the effects seem miraculous. They aren’t. They are simply taking better care of their skin than they had prior to trying Nerium. If you take care of your skin, you will not see ANY difference. Waste of money.

  102. Irritated says:

    I forgot to mention that the smell made me want to puke. It stinks!

  103. Tronda says:

    Cult mentality, seems to be how all MLMs work. One word now….Plexus

  104. Kim says:

    I tried the product b/c of my best friend. She is a BP and begged me. I used it, became a preferred customer (I wish I wouldn’t have) It is a waste of money for me, although I’ve told her I’m NOT interested in becoming a brand partner and I discontinued using it because the area around my eyes got red swollen and irritated big time. I stopped using it and it went away in about 4 days. She told me it was because I wasn’t using it correctly. ?? Ok…I gave away the unopened unused bottle to a friend of mine that wanted to try it. She has noticed no difference and hates the smell. I’m still being pressured into selling and I do NOT want to do it, it’s too expensive to buy (push people to get it, then if they get three it’s free blah blah) I do NOT want to hurt her feelings, but I’ve stopped even hardly talking with her b/c of the sells pitches, video’s she sends etc. I do not know if she’s made money or not, I don’t ask, I just want nothing to do with it. I stopped my shipments b/c it was too expensive for me and told her that, she said…I’ll get three people under you then it will be free, that was almost a year ago, and there is NONE under me. I have to call the customer service number to get OFF of the preferred customer list and I’m afraid to call! I do NOT want to use it, I think if it works for some of you, then fine, but please STOP the high pressure sells. If it is the miracle face cream, then it should sell it’s self w/o the high pressure. It makes me so uncomfortable to harass people to buy something they clearly do NOT want.

  105. Rhonda says:

    OMG! I was invited to a Nerium presentation last night and I almost went!!!! I am so happy for this website and blog. It was very informative! I knew that Oleander was a poisonous plant and as an R.N., I understand that the skin is the largest breathing organ and I asked myself the question, “Why would you put something poisonous on your skin?” I have to admit though that the product claims do appear very enticing. Always go with your gut and do your research before being suckered into things that sound too good to be true!!!!! Thank you for revealing the truth Dr. John. Keep up this great blog! Rhonda from Florida :)

  106. Hannah says:

    I would like thank for very valuable information on this website. I almost got into this nerium MLM but thank to the God, I realized this is not for me. Once i found out what is in that bottle, i could not put that on my face!!!!! I retuned 500 dollars package. There is 10% restocking fee and you need to pay shipping too. Do not expect good customer service from this company!!!

    • drjohn says:

      Glad you found us. Sorry for your $50 + shipping cost lesson. Made all the more painful by the “money back guarantee” (which could be called deceptive when you read the restocking fee fine print in your purchase agreement). That’s the way pyramids make money. Even people who reject or despise the product end up adding to the coffers.

  107. Steve says:

    So let me get this straight. Jeff Olson, The Olson family and Dennis Windsor are the devil in human form. One day they sat down and decided that they were so smart that they could easily devise a brilliant scam to rip people off by creating a line of break-through, science-based skincare products, bring these bogus products to market, and turn millions into billions. Am I on track so far? Then, knowing they would need to protect this little business from copycats, they devised a way to create this business around “science” and create an illusion of a massive barrier of entry by selecting the known toxic plant, Nerium Oleander. They figured that the “barrier of entry” created by basing their products around a plant that would surely cause significant scrutiny and skeptics outweighed the risk of being copied, so they decide to go that route. Is this what you are insinuating? Or is it more likely that you are a competitor that throws mud? I bet you were beaten as a kid and your mother didn’t love you very much. That is why you are so nasty. I am new to network marketing and I will tell you that it is not an easy business, but it is for the most part an honest group of people, selling real products in an nontraditional way in order to provide additional income into their households. You should do some research on the industry. It is $175 billion globally and there are thousands of companies around the world that operate legitimate businesses and spread the profits around to those that are willing to associate their names and reputations with a brand. Nerium has had a very successful launch and the hardest thing so far has been dealing with people after you scare the hell out of them and rob them of their dreams. You my friend will serve your time in eternal jail once your days on this earth are finished.

    • drjohn says:

      You will not be the final judge, nor will I, when it comes to sorting the wheat from the chaff, and the sheep from the goats. Which of the players in this drama are ultimately adjudged good or evil will be revealed not that long from now … we won’t have to wait for the Second Coming, or even the second act. The truth is nigh! How is that for prophesy?

      Meanwhile you criticize our opinion on the science, or non-science. Or you do you criticize us for having one, and expressing it. That is your right, and we (as opposed to those free speech squelching guys) willingly publish opinions (and even facts) that are contrary to our own. What does that infer, I wonder, in your grand scheme of things?

      You then point to MLM industry financial data and seem to make the argument that financial success is some index of legitimacy, or confers a moral protection. We disagree. The industry has a spotted history, legally, culturally, and financially. Look at the stock price of HerbaLife, another famous pyramid that claims it is not, this past year as an example. Stock price down 60% as various folks & agencies & countries begin to scrutinize the way they do business. A collapse in the making? These things come and go. The top guys leave with bags of money, and the bottom dwellers get left holding the bag. Your equating profit with righteousness is not supported by human history. Then there is the product itself. Oh, my. Can you really justify that in order to make a buck? Do your profit ends justify those means, in your heart and mind? Did you read our Machiavellian Neriumites post? You might identify.

      You talk of us “robbing people of their dreams”. Independent data suggests the opposite – that MLM’s as a pack are the real robbers, leaving some 98% of folks who sign up with table scraps, or less. We see ourselves not as robbers (keep in mind we make NO money here) but as humble whistleblowers. We daily receive letters of thanks from those who were nearly brainwashed, or who escaped the cult. Are we making a difference? We hope so.

  108. Troy says:

    It’s interesting how the CEO of this company was very high in what used to be Pre Paid Legal Services and used to bash those ” lotion and potion” companies. I have lost alot of respect for him. Seems he will say anything to sell a product. Just another lotion and potion company!

    • insight says:

      Troy, to most I do agree, one would not think a person who spent his life blowing the whistle on lotions would end up being the King Pin of the same thing.
      But in reality, this person would be the best to do this. Do you know what they learn from all these other manipulating companies? A LOT. They learn from the others mistakes and then how to get around it. Change a word, leave out a word etc. all to just have that edge not to be detected or sued. Ask any lawyer, or accountant they know every loop hole or space within the law. It is all apart of their job. Just like a person in jail, the most percent come out learning more how not to get caught, or their mistake by other inmates. So when they get out, they go back to crime but more smarter about it rather than learning from it and change to be a better person.
      He would be the perfect (or someone like this) master for this, they know all the illegal ins and outs and how they could have been avoided. How easy it is to start, what it takes and what people want and do not want to hear. Not to say, they know the cash flow involved. Sad, our world has ego problems with beauty and refusing to age…. he knows all those things.

  109. Insight says:

    Something caught my eye in Steve’s remark, but then I have raised 5 kids and do see red flags like this.. his comment that they must be wonderful if they make billions… what? .. that does not make them legal or at the least ethical. By what I have heard about the product, paying for clinical results and paying for pages in magazines, terrible customer service and treated poorly, not keep their word, getting sued for false photos, cashing in on selling cheap company starter kits for hundreds, no legal data on any of the science but is used as a way to con you.. hmmmm no just because they generate money does not mean they are a good ethical company or as some would say on the streets.. snakes

  110. Mary Vranesic says:

    No one commented on the post by SillyGirl17. After reading most of the posts here, it seems obvious that the way this works is the Oleander inflames your face, which would of course make wrinkles disappear. I have friends that have fallen into the Nerium trap, one of them approached me, I looked into the product, and decided it was too good to be true, and a lack of backing information why it works. As a former 15 year MLM seller for a good company (not skincare), I wasn’t interested in this, mostly because skincare is dicey. Too many variables and I don’t want the responsibility of what happens to someones skin, especially on their face. And I think this stuff could be dangerous, who knows what the long-term affects will be for some people.

  111. Steve says:

    Why you no post my last one there Doc? All is not evil, except in the mind of the ignorant unconscious soul living in a state of constant fear, judgementalness (maybe a new word), and skepticism. Get that? Maybe you need to check out who you really are? Why the clear grudge in such a outwardly vindictive manner? This is not about science. This is about you and your ego! You live for this because it is probably the most important thing in your miserable life. Sad really.

    • drjohn says:

      Steve seems a bit confused in his tirade. First he opines that this is the most important thing in our “miserable” lives (he somehow knows us?) and that is sad, says he. But then he is all over us because we did not promptly post his comment (on a holiday no less). Can’t have it both ways, Steve. And then he whines about our ego, which he says is why we are in a constant state of fear, all the while in context complaining because we did not get up early enough to read his comment and publish it – obviously we don’t realize how important he is. Shame on us.

      The comment he refers to is a long, exceptionally pedantic one (not meeting our standards of being issue oriented rather than another commercial) in which he extols the virtues of MLM and makes a point of telling you all how successful he is, proudly quoting his personal income figure, which he may think is large (guys are known to exaggerate this and one other thing) but is not really all that impressive. The main point of it (other than a commercial for you to be his pyramid underling) is to spout the Nerium party line about BFT. Here are the highlights: “You will probably spend your days banging out criticism in your lonely office with a big frown on your face and mumbling under your breath about the injustice being done”. And “Maybe you should spend some time thinking about who you really are. What do you really add to this world? How are you making a difference in the lives of others?”. Now, this comes from a guy who sells Nerium, mind you. So he in essence is saying that his job is so much more important to the worlds well being than ours (stem cell research, diabetes research, and medical care) which is what DrGeorge and I are up to these days. In all humility, we will probably not be winning a Nobel prize this year. Although I think BFT may be up for some awards! Anyway – the point Steve wants to make is that us guys should be ignored. We are bad men, with bad motives, because we criticize his product. This is part of the Nerium training nowadays. How to marginalize those pesky bloggers. Especially the ones that talk about science, and safety, and logic, and rationality. The only recourse they have is to use ad hominem attacks. They cannot seem to muster an answer to our hard questions, or come up with scientific arguments that hold water, so instead they attack us as people. Oh, how very noble you are Steve. We can see how you are really making a difference in the world, Steve. Steve finally asks: “Are you brave enough to do things that other people may not understand in order to be able to make a real positive difference?” We suggest Steve turns the mirror on himself. Is he brave enough to think for himself, and escape the brainwashing? Does he really want to make a difference? Then he would forgo the money he gets for doing this and join us here – crusading against pseudoscience and other evils with no monetary reward. Become a leader in the movement out of MLM exploits. Start a support groups for recovering victims. Call it Exodus from MLM Slavery. Be a real leader, Steve. Make a real difference.

  112. Jackie says:

    I always research a product before using it, and I am thankful that I tapped into this blog site. I was invited to lunch recently with a few ladies, and I realized shortly after arriving that I was being blindsided into a situation that I wasn’t expecting regarding these “miracle” Nerium products. Upon leaving the encounter, bag in hand containing the day and night cream and two magazines (one being “Success From Home” with the word “MILLIONS” filling in the middle of the cover sending a chill down my spine), I disappointingly realized that I had (once again) been the target of a pyramid scheme seduction. After reading about the dangers of the ingredients and other user’s experiences here, I am going to return the “samples” (and gladly, the magazines) unopened and unused. I’ll stick with my Erno Laszlo, a skin care line I’ve used for thirty-five years, and even though it is expensive, it was developed by a dermatologist and has the science and long history behind it’s claims. I don’t doubt that “Nerium” will be a thing of the past five years from now, if that.

  113. Steve says:

    To censored and filter. That is your only power you coward.Why would you not publish an unfiltered post? Fight fair. Because the truth is not your goal and opinions only matter if they jive with your story.

    • drjohn says:

      Let’s see now, this from a company where if you try to post a negative or even slightly controversial comment on a Nerium website or Facebook page it is immediately expunged. At the speed of light. Really, just try this, readers. We tested it, and others have reported the same. Now compare to this site where you can find all sorts of positive, negative, and just plain interesting comments. Isn’t your lame accusation really the exact opposite of the truth? You cannot see the logical inconsistencies in your rants? Yes, we filter out obscenities, clear slanders, advertisements, and spam. We have standards. But yu may have noticed we give vitriol spouting blatherers like you a platform. I suppose according to you it jives with our story. If we wanted to make the observation that the ranks of Nerium is populated with people who have problems with logic as well as truth, perhaps so. But we have talked with current and ex-neriumites and know that is not always the case. Lots of normal, nice people who just get caught up in the dream. Sadly, one of the costs is they have to put up with the likes of you. People who become rabid and intolerably self-important while they try hard to paint something as worthy and benefitting humankind – something that really is just all about chronic MLM cultism and pseudoscience and pandering. I’m tempted to analogize with lipstick on pigs, but if I do i’m afraid tomorrow I’ll see an advert for Porcine Oleander by Nerium.

  114. Susan Rankine says:

    I purchased two bottles of Nerium last year and the second one I am just beginning to use – have used once – and the pump will not work. I wrote to the Company and informed them that the pump is broken and I cannot use the product and they told me too bad I only had 3 months to figure that out. I was using the other bottle. I was SO annoyed. WHO does that? I will NOT use their product ever again. That is ridiculous. Their product packaging was defective and they will not replace or fix it? I am shocked. WHO does that?

  115. Tracy says:

    Hi Dr. John: I thoroughly enjoy your website and the information you share with all of us. I live in Canada and was wondering if you know why the Canadian version of Nerium – Optimera (?) – does not contain the Oleander ingredient. And if this is the case, does the message from Nerium change at all? Do they differentiate the products between the U.S. and Canada considering the ingredients are different? I have friends who sell Nerium in Canada and are frequently promoting it on Facebook. I would love to understand this more from the Canadian perspective. Thank you for all you do!

    • drjohn says:

      Many countries have more stringent regulations than the U.S. To quote: “Optimera meets all international regulatory requirements.” It thus appears that Nerium AD does not. We might reasonably speculate that the reason may be that its principle ingredient is a well known poison, and is listed as such in databases world wide. Optimera contains a few very unexciting and inexpensive ingredients. Same stuff you can buy in products at Target, Walmart, and Amazon for 1/10 the cost. The Canadian perspective is this – you don’t get to put poison on your skin, but the MLM’s will still find a way to get their hands into your pocketbook. Doesn’t Canadian Tire sell skin care? Oh yea, O’Keeffe Working Hands, $8.99. Probably a better bet.

  116. Steve says:

    So, anything that sounds positive about network marketing is an advertisement and not worthy of publishing on this site. The tax advantages of being an entrepreneur (home based business) outweigh the cost of the product, so to not be involved with a network marketing program actually costs the average household around $5,000 per year in missed tax breaks. Will you post this????

    • drjohn says:

      We post this only because it is so absurdly untrue, and we want to warn you honest folks out there against the kind of risky tax law manipulation schemes that this Nerium person is advocating. Rather than us answering we will invite any of our readers who are accountants or tax experts to comment.

  117. Suzanna says:

    I have read through most of this blog trying to determine whether I should continue using Nerium. Honestly it does seem to work – yet something doesn’t make sense. Yes my face has filled in a few lines and and does appear to look healthier – but what is happening underneath the top layer to make it do this? Oleander is a toxin! Is this product helping to re-generate healthy cells in the face? I know several people who now have broken capillaries on their face. I went for a facial today and the aesthetician said my pores in many areas were blocked. She did not know I was using Nerium. I worry about the long term usage.
    In conclusion, after doing a lot if research I am quitting. Besides being too leery about the product, I abhor the way it is sold.

  118. TaraHMUA says:

    Absolute genius.. You know what works… Botox…botox works. Botox, retin a, SPF end of story. I’m a cosmetologist, educator, and science nut. You can all stand up and regurgitate your que cards prepared for battle to defend your life changing product but in the end the truth hurts. Unless your making millions your a minion working for “the man” albeit a slightly more discreet, self help toting, pyramid shaped man.

  119. Tera says:

    I myself found this thread because I was searching for scientic evidence regarding Nerium.. I will be upfront that I am a consultant with Rodan + Fields.. The reason why I was researching Nerium is because I too was approached about this before I found Rodan + Fields. It did not take much searching and common sense to know that I would not want to put this on my skin! I have several friends that are using Nerium and hopefully this blog will enlighten them! I’m not trying to pitch the product I use hear at all but I do want to point out that not ALL MLM companies are bad.. I myself felt the same way about them until I was approached with Rodan + Fields. This company was founded by Dr. Rodan and Dr. Fields Stanford trained dermatologist who are also the creators of ProActiv.. I knew right off the bat that this was different. I myself am thankful that they are giving others the opportunity to sell their clinical grade skin care products that ARE FDA approved to help us financially along with being able to use the products at a discounted rate! Thank you for the information on this blog and I hope others will do their research before buying into skin care products that are just hype!

  120. Alison Marie says:

    I’m going to be completely honest….never heard of Nerium. I’m 30 years old, and the only fountain of youth that I use, is hydrating myself and my skin. A high school friend messaged me on fb one day. All she said was that she would like to send me some samples. No talk of what, where, cost, etc. I just received the 5 day “miracle” cream. So, just like most, I thought, why the hell not. I decided to start the regime this evening. Washed, left my face damp, and applied the night cream. 1. It smells awful. 2. It has a weird, gummy consistency. It did not go on smoothly like my moisturizer. 3. My dumb ass self put it on ALL over my face. Whatever you do, avoid your under eye or any easily irritated area. 3. Five minutes or so after applying, my face started to tingle and burn. So I decided to see what I could find out on Nerium, which led me to this blog. And I am so thankful that someone could actually be honest about the product. 4. WASH it off immediately. Actually, I washed it off 4 times now. And u can still feel it burn and tingle. My face feels stiff and uncomfortably tight. 5. If you like the puffy and painful look, Nerium is the product for you! I now have a red, blotchy rash on different areas of my face. Oh, and don’t forget about the puffy, red, and sore under eye. I’m not a band wagoner, I wasn’t pressured, or invited to a party. Just thought I would take advantage of a tiny bit of free cream. I will NEVER do that again. Obviously, I need to be more aware of what I do. Now, I’m going to continue to sit here with cold wash cloths on my face. In hopes that the rash, weird puffiness, and tingling burning sensation go away. I really wish I would have investigated first…

  121. Watch your back ;) says:


    I just wanted to congratulate you on being literally the saddest person on this planet!

  122. Hors'n Around says:

    Interesting. I was introduced to the product at a tack (hose equipment) sale. I was intrigued with the literature handed to me by a nice lady. As with many of these cosmetic ads, the lighting is never duplicated. The shadows for the before are different than “the after” shots. I’d like to get rid of the jowls time has given me and have visited the “Life Style Lift” (Debbie Boone) people to find out that was only possible for 9+ K (over $9,000.00). Could buy a nice used car for that. Guess I’m stuck with the jowls.

    • drjohn says:

      I say keep the jowls and invest in nice used sports car. John Wayne developed jowls later in life, and he still looked tall in the saddle.

  123. Rt says:

    I’ve had a nerium seller calling me for the past year trying to get me to buy/sell nerium I almost did it, but I decided today to do some research on it. It was good reading your blog I’m still not quite sure what to tell this guy though

    • drjohn says:

      What is your opinion, having done your research? I would just tell him honestly what you think. If this is a friend or colleague, be kind & gracious even if you are declining the offer. If just a pest who keeps calling, you may need to be firm and tell them in no uncertain terms what you have decided.

  124. Tp says:

    You are going to look like the stupidest person on the planet come April. You are going to wish you were a brand partner.

  125. Paula says:

    I have read you comments and read some of the responses, what I keep seeing you harp on is Nerium Firm not Nerium AD which I have been on for 8 days now. I can definitely tell you I have seen a 50% reduction in the wrinkles in my neck and chest area. I am a retired plastic surgery nurse and I have a bathroom drawer full of failed products, but Nerium AD delivers. I am trying Netium Firm on the top of one leg to judge the results there and will see how it works. I have not heard anyone claim that it will help you lose weight.

    • drjohn says:

      You should look at all the posts here that give you our opinion on Nerium AD. See the “most popular posts” box on the right of your screen? Read all about it. If you are on a phone you have to tap on the menu icon and scroll down to the “nerium & neriumgate” category. See answer to Diana just before your comment, discussing “instant” wrinkle results. As a former nurse, you should know this. Surgery is quick, but the only topicals that work in days are those that plump or mask or hide, not cure. Regeneration just takes time.

  126. Josie says:

    This company engages in false advertising, lies and deception while creating a herd of sheep that jump at Jeff Olson’s bleating. First, they had to use MD Anderson to attempt to hook folks. That was debunked by Anderson. Then came the incident with actor, Ray Liotta, who wound up suing Nerium for using a brushed photo of him, supposedly evidencing his new Nerium skin transformation when, in fact, he hadn’t used the product. Now, I hear they’re saying the company is developing a medication that, when ingested, will cure cancer. Oh – not to mention a brand partner I know of who goes for her Botox treatments to ensure not only that her teams see the wonderful effects of Nerium, but, also, to lure more sheep into the pen. Their tactics are sickening, duplicitous, and immoral.

  127. Mara says:

    I had never heard of Nerium until this morning, when someone I know tried to convince me to become a partner or whatever it’s flipping called. I’m naturally pretty skeptical about things like this, but I decided to hear him out. The first thing that stood out to me as weird was that he kept trying to sell me on all the extra money and free bonus items that I would recieve for “doing nothing” in just 60 days. He never even mentioned that it was some sort of “miracle” skin cream that I would be required to sell. I feel like the focus is definitley more on the money aspect than what the actual cream is, etc. I asked him what the catch was. He said “nothing.” I call BS to that. He had me call into Nerium and listen to this whole recording about how this woman quit her job and now makes twice as much money with Nerium. It all felt very canned and scripted, and just kind of weird. When I got off the phone, it got even more creepy-cult-like. I said “So, it’s like an Avon type of thing, you buy in and then sell stuff.” He said “you’re not selling anything, you’re sharing information.” He repeated that and other canned lines that I heard in the recording. First off, I’m not even interested in doing anything like this because I don’t have the time or desire to be a salesperson. “Oh….but it’s not sales, you’re just sharing this great product with your friends and they’ll love it.” BS. I don’t know anyone that would even be interested in buying some random cream. And second, I could never be a part of a company that just seems so creepy and cult-like. It’s just not my jam, man.

  128. jessica says:

    I am amazed at the fact that you all are drinking in this bs that someone who claims to be a Dr is feeding you. Talk about “drinking the Kool aid”. And imagine my shock that he is part of another company!!! If you have to tear down another company to make yours look better…you must be worried.

    • drjohn says:

      And here we are back again to the ad hominem attacks on us by Nerium and its agents. No, we do not “claim to be Drs”, we are Drs. But Nerium in its desperation wants you to believe that we are not. So they continue to tell lies about us, and call us names. It gets passed on from generation to generation of Nerium recruits. And this person questions our ethics? because jessica crosses the line into libel, and violates the rules of civil debate, we will not publish the rest of her notes in which she explodes with vitriol and then has the audacity to call us haters. And telling us we have “no business” expressing our opinions or sharing facts. A case of the pot calling the kettle black. How much hate can Nerium send our way?

  129. AnonMom says:

    I have been creeping around this board for a few days now. My ex-husband is now pedaling Nerium. I share the same sentiments as Jay (above). It has only been a month and my ex has already been cutting out “negative” (let’s face it, non-Nerium believers) out of his life. He only has our 12 year old daughter 4 days per month and takes her to dinner 1 night a week. Well, since joining the Nerium cult, he is asking to switch around his already limited schedule with her. One of his days, he wanted to drop her off somewhere to attend a conference in San Diego. Also, been changing their dinner plans to go to Nerium parties. My daughter is absolutely horrified that everywhere they go (recently a Super Bowl party) he will not stop pushing this product on people. He is talking about quitting his secure job to sell Nerium full time. I feel like I don’t even know this person anymore. If he continues with this, I can tell you my daughter will no longer want to spend time with her father. Tell me all you Nerium disciples about your motto’s “Believe” and “Get Real”…what does that mean exactly? Does this apply to real relationships and parenting or believe in a product where YOU have to pay to push a product you know basically nothing about other than it is “awesome”? At what cost does this come? There is a very human aspect here that goes far and beyond a face cream. I feel sad for my ex, not only because I am afraid he will go into financial ruin for Nerium but he is fracturing his relationship with his child. Please, Nerium followers and groupies: tell me again what this success means to you…an IPad? Lexus? Promises of being rich? At what cost?

    • drgeorge says:

      This is perhaps the saddest story I have yet heard about the way in which Nerium “hysteria” can negatively affect a relationship. How can a man jeopardize his relationship with his daughter by making her play second fiddle to an MLM? What a price to pay – for both of them – and at such a vulnerable time in a young woman’s life. Imagine, a twelve year old girl, already reeling from the absence and loss of her father in her day-to-day life, and now she finds that her father has “better” things to do than spend his limited time with her. “Sorry, honey, I want to see you but there’s a Nerium meeting tonight.” Sad.

  130. AnonMom says:

    Thank you drgeorge, this is all really sad. I can’t even put into words how sad I am when I see a text from my ex saying “can I take drop xxxxx at your parent’s house on my day, there is a conference I want to go to” . How do I explain this to a 12 year old girl? How significant does that make her feel? You Nerium BPs, feel free to chime in on this. You all have such blinders on you can’t seem to see how this might be affecting the people that care about you or depend on you (like being a parent/wife/friend that is PRESENT). You are so wrapped up in your new circle of Nerium parties and hysteria conventions that you just don’t get it. Tell me how a Lexus (leased with hitches) is more important than relationships. You all have seriously lost your minds.

    • drjohn says:

      Perhaps we should start a new thread entitled “Nerium Family Values”. Our hearts go out to those families who have suffered when it seems as though an alien spaceship has taken their loved one and returned them changed, corrupted. Love of family sacrificed for lust of a Lexus. Most poignant when brand partners put pressure on family members to join the cult (under them, of course, so they meet their monthly quotas). Sad indeed.

  131. HowToSayNo says:

    I have been bullied into the promises of this cult and need advice on how to say no……they’re waiting on my word to bill my card………

  132. Steve says:

    Wouldn’t it be ironic if Nerium Biotech was about to announce that Nerium Oleander and the extract oleandrin is a miracle plant and has the power to prevent and cure cancer? Wouldn’t that be neat Doc?

    • drjohn says:

      They have been saying it for decades, so the “boy who cried wolf” problem may be facing them, whether it is true or not. Go back to the year 2000 FDA warning letter re: Anvirzel to Mr Nester, who continues his work now with Nerium Biotechnology who owns Anvirzel. Anyone interested in the topic should google on Anvirzel which has an interesting history filled with intrigue. It has not been able to pass FDA approval here yet. It is sold in Honduras as a cancer drug. Now, we have read the cancer literature, and find nothing wrong with the research. There is good evidence that oleander extracts do indeed cause massive oxidative stress leading to cell death, which is what you want in cancer. As an adjunct to other chemotherapy agents like cisplatinum, it has good clinical data. The mechanisms have been worked out. In essence, you are aging cancer cells quickly so that they die. Where the question then arises is … how is that good for non-cancer skin care, where you want the opposite (anti-aging, not pro-aging; anti-oxidant, not pro-oxidant). We have been asking this question for several years now, with no response forthcoming. And, if the oleander extract (a known poison) is so good, why did they take it out of the skin care products sold in Canada & elsewhere outside the US?

  133. Steve says:

    Perhaps I was wrong about being angry about this blog. This blog is actually a perfect filter. It will keep the negative people out, and reserve this amazing once in a lifetime opportunity for the positive people of the world that can read this crap and still find a way to get to the real research and the real truth of what is happening here. So, thank you Doc. You have ensured that Nerium only is comprised of like-minded positive (call us brain washed if you like) people. He who laughs last, last loudest. You are actually doing us a favor by posting this stuff. :)

    • drjohn says:

      You are welcome. So, where do I submit my invoice for helping assure that the Nerium workforce is the uniformly brainwashed squad that it is?

  134. Steve says:

    Perhaps you should read about Phoenix Biotechnology as well and there you will see that the FDA just approved plans for phase 2 testing in humans and the first patient under FDA clinical review is scheduled for April 2015. Neat stuff. Amazing group of people behind this, so skincare is not all this plant can do. Do you believe in miracles?

    • drjohn says:

      Steve has once again conflated the issue Nerium oleander as a skin anti-aging miracle vs. Nerium oleander as a cancer cell assassin. To put it succinctly – we have no trouble with toxins being used for legitimate purposes, and cancer is a good fit. But does that good fit mean than applying a known highly oxidizing substance to aging skin must therefore also be a good fit? That’s totally irrational, especially since the opposite would be more logical. A cell killer is a cell killer. But, hey Steve, if you think that somehow Nerium Biotechnology will be redeemed when it has a cancer drug approved (if ever; seems like Phoenix is way ahead) you deserve a prize for creative logic. There is no redemption for the brand of evil that shares a bed with the perpetrators of Nerium International’s dastardly deeds.

  135. Lulu says:

    Hey Steve…..what and where is the real research and real truth????

  136. Jeff says:

    I wanted to share my experience concerning NeriumAD. Never bought the product but I did check out three events (one in a home, one in a hotel, and another in a restaurant.) They were literally the same presentation each time which leads me to believe it originates from their $99 selling kit. Outline the benefits, show the same before & after pictures (with different lighting), and then the feature speaker goes right into the profits that can be made by becoming a brand partner. In all three presentations, a claim was made that the company spent ten years researching the product before hitting the public and that the company has spent the last ten years growing “this amazing plant” that is the primary ingredient and provides antioxidants that are good for your face (so there is no lack of product for you to sell.) This is how they lull you into a sense of security. Gloss over, in broad detail, what is in it and go straight into making money, getting a Lexus, and changing your life. I heard that a person usually remembers the last thing they saw/heard, which in these presentations is always the money-making aspect of becoming a brand partner. I had to do my own personal research in order to find out what goes into the product. Also happened upon this blog in the process. Glad to share and thanks for the info everyone. Cheers!

  137. Melissa says:

    Cognitive dissonance, it is easier to fool people than to convince them they have been fooled.

  138. Nikkii says:

    I read this blog doing my research on Nerium before I try. Now I’m not a doctor but I do have a degree in Biology. I haven’t tried the product yet, so I can’t say I’m a supporter nor a basher. But I would like to set the record straight about the death of Beethoven and offer these links in support for readers to refer to.
    P.S. Salicylic Acid is derived from willow bark and is the primary ingredient in acne medication.

    • drjohn says:

      While liver necrosis may cause renal necrosis, the papillary necrosis here is pathognomonic of analgesic ((salicin) abuse. “The autopsy report of Beethoven is the first case of papillary necrosis recorded in the literature. Salicin, a commonly used analgesic substance of that time (dried and powdered willow bark), is able to cause papillary necrosis. In Beethoven’s case, renal papillary necrosis was most probably the consequence of analgesic abuse together with decompensated liver cirrhosis. The autopsy report of Beethoven is the first case of papillary necrosis recorded in the literature.”

      Salicylic acid makes sense in acne medications – it is exfoliating, bacteriostatic, and anti-comedogenic. Makes no sense for cellulite, and hydroxy acids can irritate the skin. So what’s the point?

  139. Steve says:

    Tried to post the fact that all of the science is on Phoenix Biotechnology website and that Nerium is a spin off company of Phoenix Biotechnology, but blocked by Doc.

    While I am not a scientist, I have read every word of every research article found on this topic and I can say that the science in a simple way: Oleandrin has a unique ability to identify, seek out and attach to cancer cell because of their unique traits and makeup. By attaching to the cancer cell, Oleandrin has the ability to target the body’s own immune system on these cell and stimulates the immune system to destroy the cancer cells WHILE doing no harm to the normal cell. This is amazing science and world changing. As far as how the science is used with regards to skincare, and again to reiterate that I am not a scientist, the product while used to treat the skin is not absorbed into the blood or circular system and therefore does not interact at a cellular level. It is only a topical treatment that really does work for most skin type. It clearly does not work the same on every person, but no skincare product in the world does either. There have been cases of reaction, but there are also cases of reactions with EVERY product. We all are slightly different and our skin types vary, therefore the reaction to different product will vary. Thus we allow you to try before you buy and offer a full 30 day money back refund.

    Hope this helps a little.

    • Lulu says:

      Dear Dr. John and Dr. George, does this really explain anything?

      • drjohn says:

        No LuLu. Oleandrin doesn’t target anything. It poisons the sodium potassium pump in all cells. Go back and read all of BFT – we have deflated this unsupported argument many times. Now, if this nonsense that it only affects cancer cells was correct, then oleander wouldn’t be poisonous would it? Except to tumors. Except that we know it is highly toxic. One leaf can kill a sheep. A sheep is not a tumor. Cancer free animals (horses, dogs, people) who ingest enough will suffer their hearts stopping dues to that be very same sodium potassium pump inhibiting effect.

        • Lulu says:

          I thought so. My question is, how can they do this ? How can they say this? Just makes me sick. Nerium has turned some of my friends and co workers into cult following zombies. The only thing that’s true is they are changing lives……but not for the better.

          • drgeorge says:

            Lulu, the folks at Nerium have done their homework in how to frame their pitch. By using the “hook” of high-science cancer research at a prestigious institution (MD Anderson), their message is hard to impugn by those without the science background to dig deeper. Their REAL message has nothing to do with science. It speaks only of “accidental findings”, improving the “appearance of”, of “sharing” not selling the product, posting “before and after” photos that usually have dramatically different lighting or, according to the Ray Liotta lawsuit, are heavily photo-shopped.

            Oh, the most important part, challenging recruits to change their life and fortune, through use of rah rah pep-rally tactics, by phone, video, or in person. How many other times have you witnessed rooms of seemingly rational people screaming and applauding someone who is merely hawking a skin cream? Are they excited about a new breakthrough product, or the new Lexus, iPad, and lifestyle? And if you don’t subscribe, you are branded koo-koo or a hater.

    • drjohn says:

      Oleandrin does no such thing. We have unravelled that lame argument here many times. Oleandrin suppresses a cells sodium potassium pump. Calcium accumulates, and the cell stops working and many die. This happens in normal cells as well as cancer cells, as all cells have this pump. Here is a very simple way to tell that this argument is specious. Oleandrin (oleander extract) kills animals who ingest enough. One leaf is enough to kill a sheep, or a dog. So, is a dog or sheep (or a man) a tumor? Of course not. Healthy heart cells are bing poisoned, by the exact same mechanism as tumor cells. Absolute bunkum from a nonscientist, and one so arrogant that he cannot bring himself to belief an actual scientist. or maybe he is just so greedy that truth doesn’t matter. Of course we have seen excuse after excuse to explain away the apparently high percentage of people who write to tell us of adverse skin reactions. More nonsense. Did you read the post on topical Nerium oleander with vivid pictures? You should.

      • Ryan says:

        In regards to the adverse reactions/vivid pictures link you posted above. How come there are no pictures of these reactions on the face? Obviously the face is where is it most often used. Are there any adverse reaction pictures of the face available? I am confused. Why someone would bother wasting cream on their knees and feet. Just seems strange. Please advise. Thanks.

        • drjohn says:

          These are not commercial product-related pictures. They are pictures from the medical literature showing the extend of skin damage that is possible with the topical use of Nerium oleander plants. This refutes the many comments we get where the argument is that oleandrin (oleander plant extract) may well be a toxin if you ingest it, but not if applied to skin. Clearly the body of scientific evidence says otherwise.

  140. traci Egan says:

    I think you have to try a product before deciding. You will always find people adamantly opposed and in favor of a product. The only way to know is to try it. Anyone can do research and find both positives and negatives based on their particular bias. Further, there are countless blogs both supporting and denouncing various products. Again, as a consumer it’s always the best practice to try something if your curious and form your own opinion.

  141. TP says:

    The numbers speak for themselves. 700 million in 3 years makes this company the fastest growing skin care company. Somebody has to try to tear it down, right? I’m sad for you dr john. Is your skin care line really hurting that bad since Nerium came around? There’s enough skin for everybody, just play fair.

    • drjohn says:

      Another appeal for us to be quiet. We get it that you don’t want the truth out there. We don’t want any piece of the tainted pie you offer. Makes us sick.

  142. Dr. Scam says:

    Thank you for saving my money, if it is to good to be true, well it usually is, and a pyramid scheme to boot.

  143. Phillip says:

    I for one am glad you are no quiet. Not that I think what everyone on here has to say is correct, but nice to get different views. I was recently exposed to Nerium, shown before and after pics of the stomach of a lady friend who had very noticeable results. I just had a child last month, and thought it would be a nice gift for my babies momma to help with the stretch marks of child bearing. This lead me to a meeting, where I was intrigued by the show and in no way pressured, yet I signed up. If there is pressure then it is on a per person basis, because I have not experienced that. I assume an ambitious brand partner wanting to get rich might be like that. I was greeted by already successful people who were excited about the product and the possibilities of helping others. I was not aware of the toxicity until recently and passed this on to the nursing mother of my son, and she has discontinued use of the product for the time being. This aspect concerns me very much, actually scares the hell out of me.

    This all being said, so you know I am a brand partner, and I expect this to put you on the defense, but I am honestly curious to know more about the product I am having friends and loved ones try. There is a lack of “science” shown to me, but I intend to follow up with them to help provide me with it. I do find what you have stated interesting, and somewhat convincing. The studies you referred to for the ingredients was only stated that nothing proving it did anything for skincare, but I didn’t see anything disproving it either. Before you get defensive, I did not do my research so it might be out there.
    One of the comments you made referred to it possibly holding the moisture from the water in the skin, plumping I believe you called it. And challenged that discontinuing the use may erase the results. I would be very interested in knowing as well, because it makes sense that this could be what is happening to provide the results people are seeing. I don’t think it fair to basically pin a “liar” tag on these people, because they really have seen results, and I am a skeptic at heart, and pics with different lighting, angles, and expressions give me pause. Seeing them in the flesh does not. Standing next to someone and seeing the before pics, and seeing the result in the flesh is different. I understand your immediate reply is they did botox or surgery, but what of the ones I know and trust, and knew and seen them before they used the product. It does something although I don’t know what, or what the long term affects are.

    Now I would like to share with you the reason I did not run for the hills when I found out about the toxicity. With my welcome package cam self help books and CD’s, that have given me hope and drive to be better in all aspects of my life. I have also gotten to know the people in my upline that are genuinely good people that I am happy I had the pleasure of knowing. If I didn’t make a dime, it is worth my investment just for those two reasons alone.

    • drjohn says:

      Phillip, thank you for your thoughtful comments, well stated, and your open attitude. We don’t mind that you don’t agree with us; we like to hear a diversity of experiences. While I’m a tad surprised you have not encountered any early signs of rabies in your uplines, I’m glad for you. We only know some top of the pyramid folks and have had some disturbing experiences at that level. But, who knows? Maybe Nerium is maturing and some adults are beginning to take charge here and there, the good folks you refer to. Doesn’t help the science, but at least opens the possibilities for actual conversations. Do you think that things have evolved to the point where somebody might return our calls, answer our e-mails, or allow us to post a comment on their Facebook pages? We would welcome same. We allow civil debate here, as you can see.

      Not certain if you are referring to the Nerium AD or NeriumFirm products or both. We do invite you to read the whole Nerium series here at BFT if you want a deep dive on the science side. If you feel we have not done a good job of documenting the science, let us know. It can get pretty deep. Feel free to shoot us any questions. Bring your uplines over with you. We’ll have a virtual BBQ and chat casually about the things that matter. Best to you.

  144. Lynda says:

    I am with Nerium and I’m 61 years old. You are more than welcome to go to FB and take a look at my photos. I even Dared to Be Bare and posted a photo on FB with NO makeup on. I am so tired of all the skeptics and those who complain about the price, did you know you can get it FREE? I paid for my monthly product ONCE in about a year and a half. No Botox, no surgery or fillers, just Nerium’s products. If you want to contact me, feel free to do so and I’ll share my picture with you.

  145. Tara says:

    Dr john, thanks for saving me money n share the truth !!! I thoroughly enjoy your website and the information you share with all of us. Now that most of us realized nerium does not work. Would u be so kind and give us a few names of the ones that work for cellulite? I just need something that helps, i am so done with all the scams in the market. Thanks n many Blessings!

    • drjohn says:

      I have a database of about 40 different ingredients that have been tried for cellulite. Some seem to work, others not so much. It’s murky, so discerning some truth is a a daunting task. I’ve even seen combination products with all 40 ingredients. Even then I cannot say I was all that impressed with the results. We are interested in the problem, and know a bit about what causes it. For that reason, i think we should do a complete post on the subject. Explore it all in greater depth. So, stay tuned Tara. We will get to it.

  146. Fredrick says:

    Greetings to all,
    Firstly, I am not a brand partner, nor have I been ripped-off by Nerium. I say this so that you may attempt to consider my comments/questions somewhat objective. Recently a friend advised me that she was considering becoming involved with Nerium and requested my opinion. That was the first time I had heard the Nerium name. I decided to conduct my version of amateur research so that I may provide her with the best informed opinion that I could. I trade stocks and would do the same for any stock that I was considering. The first thing that struck me was the large volume of photographs and testimonials. The problem was that these photos and testimonials appeared to be the main source of validity. Then I looked at the product itself. The active ingredient NAE-8 was discovered by accident? Unbelievable! And if it were true, who would admit that. The only reason to state that is to avoid any explanation of procedure. I am not a research chemist so I will not even comment on the Nerium Oleander plant. I also found it very interesting that so many of the brand partners feel free to tell everyone that this plant is harmless to human skin. Maybe it is, but maybe it isn’t. Perhaps that question should be referred to Nerium Biotech (the science people, or maybe the lawyers) and not answered by Nerium sales reps. Who knows who is going to be liable for damages if this product does harm people in years to come. My friend was also excited that Nerium was preparing to go international and she wanted to get involved now before the business took-off so that she could make money. She already had informed me of the multilevel marketing business model that Nerium practiced and she was fine with that. As a matter of fact that is what attracted her to the company. Then I discovered that Nerium International wasn’t going to sell Nerium in Canada. It is called Optimera and claims to provide the same measure of skin care success as Nerium, just with a different name. The only problem is that there is no NAE-8 in the Optimera formula. This NAE-8 was the breakthrough ingredient that made the cream work. Now it has been removed and replaced with SAL-14? And the brand partners are blogging that it is the same thing with a different name? I accessed the United States Library of Medicine website and found no information on either of these two ingredients. Nothing! Folks, you can go to Canada for medical treatments that the FDA deems unsafe here in the U.S. You can go to Canada to obtain a legal assisted suicide. But Canada won’t allow Nerium to sell their skin cream containing the Nerium Oleander plant? It just doesn’t make sense. Then I read a comment in a Nerium press release that the Optimera product will be easier to sell internationally. Then I saw another Nerium press release that stated that Nerium was selling Nerium products, not Optimera, in Mexico. It just doesn’t make sense.
    Now let’s talk about the business model for a little bit. In the mid-nineties a co-worker of mine was selling a brand of skin care products for another MLM network, which I will not identify, but last year China determined that they were running a pyramid scheme and their stock dropped about 70%. My point is, I am familiar with the business model. The key to operating an MLM is selling product. An MLM can’t operate legally if it continues to support itself with recruitment money. It must sell product, otherwise, it is an illegal pyramid scheme and the Attorney General will shut it down. Nerium has solved that problem. Forced sales. I was looking at the compensation packages on the Nerium website and found it very confusing. Please correct me if I am wrong. It appears that for a brand partner to achieve any level of success the brand partner must buy a certain level of product every month and the brand partner’s down-line must also buy a certain level of product. One cannot ascend the ladder without buying product. That would explain all of the Nerium product that I have found on ebay and amazon. What happens if the brand partner can’t sell it? I believe stockpiling product is also one of the measures that the Attorney Generals used in making their determination
    Anyway, like I said, I was just doing a little hunting around for information for my friend. I hope you all stay well.

    • Mary says:


      you make some very interesting points about the multi-level marketing strategy. I know of several people who have been involved with various businesses of this type and they all lost $. speaking of china – they also put the hammer down on amway years ago. they accused amway of operating a mlm/pyramid scheme and shut them down until they changed their business, which they did. now they sell products from storefronts…to the tune of about $12billion per year. pretty impressive. I admit that I know nothing of the nerium company or products. I am merely discussing the mlm business practices here. from the info that I can gather there are approx 100,000 distributors/brand partners at nerium. I do not claim this to be a factual/accurate number. Im just doing the best I can with the info that I can find which is somewhat limited. all of the data that I have located (this stuff appears to be factual/accurate) states that less than 1/2 of 1% of mlm distributors make significant money/prizes/bonuses/ etc. That means that less than 500 distribtor out of those 100,000 make it…and they make it from the work/money given by their down-line or the people under them. it appears that the United States is very lenient with these business practices. this is probably true for 2 reasons. 1. we are a capitalist society and all about making $. 2. these mlm businesses donate a lot of money to politicians/pac funds. Im not picking on any one mlm. a lot of them do it. but the result is usually “you scratch my back and Ill scratch yours”. please dont misunderstand me. mlm is not the only business that contribute. Im just saying that this may help keep the laws against mlm/pyramid schemers relaxed so that they may operate more freely in this country…until the attorney general reviews their books and sees where the revenue is coming from. these businesses are definitely time sensitive. I bet most of the people at the very top of the mlm have a long history of starting a business/recruiting others who must pay up-front $/reaping the rewards and then cutting and running to start yet another. All the more reason to take the mlm business international…before the US laws catch up with any illegal practices and shut them down. I dont intend to be a burr in anyones bonnet. I just think these things need to be said. I really do wish all of the employees and nerium the best with their products and business. I hope everyone makes $ is is happy. wouldn’t that be nice.

      • drgeorge says:

        Mary and Federick,

        You both make very well reasoned arguments questioning the product and the business structure of Nerium International. If you go back to BFT’s first posts on the subject of Nerium, we raised these same questions. On the science side, we went a little deeper than only criticizing an “accidental finding”, we looked at the science of the active from the Nerium oleander plant, as published by their own scientific guru on the subject, Dr. Robert Newman. We concluded that a substance that causes “massive oxidative stress”, enough to be lethal to malignant cells and be considered as a possible anti-cancer agent, might well be doing harm to normal cells when applied on a chronic basis. We asked the Nerium folk to explain their science so consumers could make educated decisions about whether or not to slather a known toxic substance on their faces. All these months, nee years, later, the continued silence on the subject from Nerium (all three of the Nerium companies) has been deafening. And, doesn’t it make you wonder why the new Nerium products launched in other countries don’t contain the same miracle ingredient?

        As to the higher ups in the food chain at Nerium International, don’t forget that Mr. Olson used to malign MLM companies that sold “skin potions”, until the marketing planets lined up perfectly for him to jump on the bandwagon. “Accidental finding”, “prestigious research institute”, “miracle cancer-fighting ingredient with PhD researchers behind it”, “huge anti-aging baby boomer market”, “REAL SCIENCE”, “REAL RESULTS”, “REAL OPPORTUNITY”, “REAL PEOPLE”, “REAL COMMUNITY”…wow, who wouldn’t want to get on board that bandwagon?

        And yes, comments about MLM entrepreneurs creating sequential “best opportunity ever” companies one after the other is typical of the industry. It’s easy for them. They have already established top-level “down lines” that follow them from opportunity to opportunity. Some mega-winners in the Nerium International lottery are folk who have worked with Mr. Olson on his prior multi-level schemes, er, we meant to say “once-in-a-lifetime opportunities.” Opportunities that for Mr. Olson previously included solar energy, satellite television, The People’s Network (personal development training), Prepaid Legal Services, and now, a skin potion company called Nerium International. (Granted, his earlier ventures were not necessarily MLM businesses, the later ones certainly are.)

        Make no mistake, he is indeed good at what he does – monster growth, amazing exploitation of social media and viral marketing. But, what about the product? No need to look behind that curtain. Just think about how much money you can make.

      • Fredrick says:

        Hi Mary,
        Thank you for your reply post. Yes, I agree that we should be talking about the mlm business model here. The product is really insignificant. It could be a bag of poop. The only thing relevant about the product in the mlm businesses is that the product is usually useless, hyped and way overpriced. The product is just a vector to build the mlm around. I hope the nerium brand partners do not take personal offense to these remarks. They are not aimed at nerium. This is just the way these businesses operate. It would be nice if we could get some input/posts from some professionals (ie. accountants, lawyers) regarding the financials and laws that govern the mlm/pyramid business model. I hope everyone is having a great day.

  147. Mary says:


    that is quite funny about the bag of poop. yes, the business model is very frightening to me. I recall that you said you were investigating this business for a freind. I think you should be concerned because this mlm business model leaves the distributor/brand partner out on there own. I have already seen in several blogs that presumeably upper-level echelon partners are distancing themselves from the down-line/lower level people and simply claiming that they were “over eager” or “over zealous”. What is going to happen when the allegations become more serious. In the real estate business there is something called e&o insurance that the agents purchase because they are independant contractors, not employees. It stands for errors and omissions. It covers the agents when they make honest/good faith mistakes. The mlm distributors have nothing like this. They are very vulnerable. If your friend becomes a brand partner and loses some money she can write it off as an expensive mistake. But what if she gets sucked in further and starts using deceit or just plain untruths to sell the product. No insurance coverage will excuse her from that type of conduct. Nobody is going to support her from within the mlm. They will hang her out to dry. What ever decision she makes, I wish her well.

  148. Fredrick says:

    I just read one of the critical reviews for the Believe movie. I am always interested on hearing both sides of the story. In this case I am a little concerned. Is the critic actually comparing a multi-level marketing business to McDonald’s Corp? So I guess Nerium AD is like the Big Mac with the special sauce and Optimera is like the Big Mac … without the special sauce. Just some food for thought. Yes, that was a little pun.

    • drjohn says:

      So, some critic is trying to make the case that McDonald’s is a pyramid? That’s lame. If you want a food analogy, or parody, how about this one: toxic waste candy! Optimera is the “unleaded” version.

  149. Lisa S says:

    My aunt uses Nerium AD and I have seen significant results from her before and after picture every 2 weeks. I became a believer until I found your article that it is poisonous,so I definitely not gonna even try it. I have stumbled across Life Cell skin product that has the same claim, I am 41 years old and I need something for my fine lines and wrinkles,what would u recommend? If u don’t want to put it on this site,please give me some info in my email. I am so tired of spending money on products that don’t do anything. NEED HELP.

    • drjohn says:

      Life Cell seems to us to be overhyped and contains no ingredients that we find exciting (your truth pair o’ docs are not easily impressed, mind you). Good moisturizing though- LOTS of shea butter. Peptides (how last decade’s news that turned out the be underwhelming at best), and lots of antioxidants & vitamins (generally good, but no powerhouse).

  150. James Earl Moore says:

    Where do you come up with your info? You give no resources to the supposed facts you spew.
    I started my own research because of your claims. I googled what KILLED Beethoven, all of the autopsy reports I read said nothing about salicin being found in his system, or kidney failure. If you are for real, and want to help people, then give your resources so we may all reach the same conclusions as you. Unfortunately so far, I have not found your article factual, about Beethoven, and that causes me to question the rest of your findings. PLEASE LIST YOUR RESOURCES THANK YOU

    • drjohn says:

      Am J Kidney Dis. 1993 Jun;21(6):643-52.

      Beethoven’s renal disease based on his autopsy: a case of papillary necrosis.


      The autopsy report of Ludwig van Beethoven written by Dr Johann Wagner in 1827 reveals that he had renal calculi that had not been diagnosed during his lifetime, together with perirenal fibrosis. The most comprehensive interpretation of this autopsy finding is that the regular calcareous deposits in every one of his renal calices represented calcified necrotic papillae. Severe urinary obstruction or diabetes as possible causes of papillary necrosis were not present. Analgesic abuse because of headaches, back pain, and attacks of rheumatism or gout may be presumed on the basis of Beethoven’s uncontrolled way of taking medication. Salicin, a commonly used analgesic substance of that time (dried and powdered willow bark), is able to cause papillary necrosis. Perirenal fibrosis may be due to chronic infection or drug intake. Beethoven’s other well-known diseases are deafness caused by otosclerosis of the inner ear, relapsing attacks of diarrhea as the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome, and liver cirrhosis following viral hepatitis and chronic alcohol consumption. Liver cirrhosis also may cause papillary necrosis. In Beethoven’s case, renal papillary necrosis was most probably the consequence of analgesic abuse together with decompensated liver cirrhosis. The autopsy report of Beethoven is the first case of papillary necrosis recorded in the literature.

  151. Kerry says:

    Thank you for your presentation of the product. I used Nerium for approximately 2 years from 2011-2013. I liked it fine but was always suspicious of the ingredients and worried about toxicity. I cancelled my autoship because I moved across the country and my family was on one income-it’s quite expensive. I have a friend selling it and was getting ready to reorder it but after looking at this blog am reconsidering. My skin is quite acne-prone and it is doing better now than when I used Nerium in the past. ( I credit that with the addition of Retin-A every other night and using less products combined with eating a healthy diet and drinking a lot of water.) I am worried about what I put into and on my body so I decided to do some research and that I’d be more cautious this time before spending hard earned cash on crap (thanks for the lesson Herbalife!)

  152. Rita says:

    I first heard about Nerium tonight during the local news cast about direct marketing and started reading (I guess I truly live in BFE).

    #1 Only the early adopters get rich in these direct marketing schemes. The rest scramble to try to get rich while making the early adopters wealthier. They all work that way. That’s ok. They may not be nice, but they are legal.

    #2 Putting ANYTHING made in a chemical factory that has not been tested and approved by the FDA in or on your body is RIDICULOUSLY DANGEROUS. I’m 53. Viva la wrinkles.

  153. James Earl Moore says:

    Thank You

  154. Richie says:

    I have friends who are activily selling this stuff-Hey meet me at Starbucks. I’ll buy you coffee and you can buy some Nerium. What is it with women looking for the miracle cure for things they dislike about their body! I have great skin, know what use? Natural homemade soap and coconut oil. That’s it! Phooey on ths stuff!!

  155. Lauren says:

    Hi! Great post, I truly appreciate all the work you’ve done. I actually have more of a question than a comment : is this harmful?

    My friend is selling it and she gave me a bottle to try. I’ve used for 2 days, nothing special but it was free and I told her I’d be a guinie pig thinking no one would market and sell something that was harmful… now not so sure. It sounds like if there are any visible results, since the active ingredient is a toxin, the shrunken pores and wrinkles would be due to inflammation (mild swelling) that may look nice but will break down tissue integrity in the long run. Thoughts? I’m really thinking about throwing this out, but don’t want to hurt my friend’s feelings. Thank you!

    • drjohn says:

      Lauren, I think your hypothesis is well constructed and thoughtful. If you want to know our thoughts in general on the question you ask, please browse around here. We have a half a dozen posts about Nerium, and many comments.

  156. FM says:

    This might just be another addition to a very long (and informative) post. But please allow me to share my experience.

    I attended a “business” launch a few days ago, understanding it is yet another MLM/relationship marketing/pyramid deal. I have never been invited to one, so what the hey.. gives me a free hour from kids right? (I hold an MBA from a pretty good school and I have always been intrigued by these business models and I finally get a ticket to do some hands on learning if you will! – yes I’m a geek)

    So I arrived and her entire “up line” was there. It was myself and one other prospect. Small talk to gather your background (I’m a stay at home mom.. really, I am!! Quit my awesome 6 figure job and everything!), video, any questions. The other prospect was interested in ordering right away. Me? Oh I had plenty of questions – product rating on the Environmental Working Group’s Skin Feep database, standard business questions reguarding core competencies and weaknesses/non-success stories, questions on the team/leadership.. specifically how do YOU help downlines if they are unable to sustain the three orders, the science (did I mention I’m a geek? I also have a degree in genetics.. I wanted to see the REAL science).

    None were answered. I received canned answers to what appeared to be to other FAQs. The constant refocusing to the different catch phrases in hopes one will appeal to your motivating factor. “Just try it! It works!!” (Beauty) “It’s a great business opportunity” (Money) “Wouldn’t it be great to have more time with your kids?” (Time)

    I told them I was interested in the BP aspect. (And I am.. not to BE one. To LEARN about them.)

    Then I started asking the (even) more uncomfortable questions. — By this time, they figured out I wasn’t “just” a stay at home mom. — What addditial expenses are incurred (shipping, website fee, marketing meeting tickets, regional meetings that aren’t local)? Does an LLC, business credit and bank accounts need to be set up? How does one account for inventory for tax purposes… The starter pack and/or free bottles? –.waiting for the “I’ll get back to you” call.

    I even tapped my network to gather information. Called a pharmacist friend. She was unable to find anything in her clinical pharmacology programs. No clinical trials that she can find. Called my MIL who is a dermatologist. Called a doctor friend. Called a CPA.

    I understand I’m not a typical prospect. But if you are considering joining as a BRAND/BUSINSSS partner…please do your due dilligence. Think like a business person. Everyone is motivated by something. Be true to yourself as to what that really is.

    Is it nice to have extra cash? Sure! Is it nice to gain leadership skills? Of course! Is it nice to be able to spend more time at.home and/or with your kids? Absolutely!

    To make the cash, you will need to not sell the product but recruit sellers. And if you do it in 30 days, you get more cash! So if money motivated you, you will start getting pushy. Oh, did you know you have to pay for your website, meeting fees, and trips to exotic meeting locations? And that iPad and Lexus are considered income and will be taxed as such. And the business write offs they mention.. consult a CPA to understand it first and not wait until April ok?

    The leadership training.. there are speakers and CDs that are open to the public you can attend. You might still need a ticket to attend, but at least you don’t have a $500-$1000 sunk cost hanging over your head.

    Time with kids? You will be busy as ever. Three way calls, Skype, weekly meetings, parties.

    Do you really know what you are selling? I’m not a professional in cosmetology or chemistry or research scientist. I am a consumer and a mom. I want to know I’m being as safe as I can when it comes to consumable goods. There’s enough poison out there I have no control of.. So I just try to limit the ones I can.

    Know your ethical line and etch it in stone. Will you be ok selling something you don’t know much about? (Sure you at have tried it for x amount of time, but do you know how it works and what it might be doing to your system?)

    Ask questions as if your life (or your kid’s life) depends on it.

    • Fredrick says:

      You are a Goddess. This is by far the most intelligent consumer post I have read. Hopefully, you have encouraged others to see the light.

    • Donna says:

      Thanks for the in-depth post! I just went to lunch with 4 ladies, & pretty much got the same answers you mention. I’ve been with–and loyal to–another Dallas-based company since ’97, so I am a “hard sell” to begin with. I still want to try their product, because I want to know how it works, but I didn’t like their business model, & I really do NOT like the auto-ship feature–which supposedly customers can change to their own time frame.
      So now I’m doing my due diligence, as you suggested, & the first place I looked (Facebook) led me right to this blog.

  157. Delilah says:

    I have really enjoyed reading this blog and find the information to be informative. I’m a licensed esthetician in NY and have heard of Nerium. I had a client a few weeks ago come into my studio with the pm and am cream. She was annoyed that she had been pressured into an autoship commitment and wanted to give away the products to me because she had so much of it at home. She had not seen results and had been using it for months. As a licensed skin care professional I feel it’s important to have an open mind when it comes to products. There are some great ones and some not so great. It’s actually quite overwhelming when you look at the hundreds and hundreds of skin care lines that claim to do so many wonderful things for the skin. However, I decided to give Nerium a try and its a big thumbs down.
    I broke out, it smells like, (don’t even have the words), and the texture is off. My skin looked like leather. The MLM is also such a complete turnoff. But I am curious what is your opinion on Rodan and Fields? I saw an earlier post about it, and it too is a MLM company.

  158. Naomi says:

    I am a former Nerium Brand Partner. I used Nerium for 1 year and saw no results in my skin. My skin broke out in a rash and felt dried out. I also got several nasty eye infections from the product. My dermatologist told me to stop using it. I went back to the product that I have used for the past 12 years that I’m very happy with. I believe that our, DNA and our lifestyle choices plays a big part in the health of our skin. I drink lots of water, exercise and eat healthy. I’m in my 50’s and people tell me I look like I’m in my 30’s. My mom and her sisters are/were all in their 80’s and 90’s with beautiful skin with barely any wrinkles, and my one aunt uses Vaseline Intensive care body lotion on her face. For those of you that love Nerium, that’s great. Nerium was not for me.

  159. Marie says:

    I was literally getting ready to fill out all of the info and sign up before I found this website. Thank you thank you thank you!

  160. Fredrick says:

    That is exactly why Nerium recruiters use the high-pressure sales approach at their “meet and greet” parties. They want you to sign up before you have the chance to do your research and discover who they really are. That’s just the nature of the multi-level-marketing beast. Good job on your part for using your brain and not buying into all of they hype.

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