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 tge 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!

    • 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.

  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???

  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.

  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.

  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.

  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.

      • I plan to do before and weekly photos. I was requested to do them, but had planned on it as well. I’ll be taking them in the bathroom that has very unforgiving, non-fluorescent bulbs. I’m eager to see what happens.

  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.

  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. drgeorge says:

    Jillian, two comments from you in less than an hour about how amazing Nerium is. That might be a record. That is obviously a personal opinion, and one not shared by many of the other readers who have posted having had pretty dreadful experience with this product. We’re glad you’re glad.

    It is amazing the fervor and passion this entire Nerium debate has inspired. BFT asked a simple question: How does an ingredient that is a proven cellular poison benefit normal skin, and what is the mechanism of action that explains the benefit? Pretty simple, right? Evidently not.

    Nerium International, and their partner companies, have ignored the question and the issue of long-term safety except to say you can drink the Nerium AD product with impunity (400 bottles are safe for a one year old child, according to their expert.) Thus far, no one from the Nerium empire has addressed the issue, or attempted to dispute the fact that Nerium AD might induce inflammatory fluid accumulation, which will improve the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines, yet, when chronic, be detrimental in the long run.

    And, why are none of the Nerium advocates and brand partners, the very readers that abuse and malign BFT’s comments, wondering why the “miracle” ingredient in Nerium AD is nowhere to be found in the anti-aging Nerium products being sold in Canada and Mexico. Doesn’t that make you wonder? Fine for the U.S. market; not OK for others.

    The discussion that has ensued has not been civil. The BFT physician/scientists have been called “quacks”, unqualified to have an opinion, “haters”, “bashers”, and competitors only trying to hawk their own product…and worse.

    Are the scientific questions too hard to answer? We doubt that’s true. It’s more likely the answers might create or raise regulatory issues (an active ingredient that has already been the subject of a rejected application to be an approved cancer fighting drug now used in a cosmetic.)

    The answer to why and how this ingredient become the “hook” for a new product in the lucrative anti-aging skincare space is likely what BFT wrote at the outset of this interminable and aging “debate”. Visit .

    For those who have followed this saga closely, you may already be aware that Jeff Olson, a bona fide master marketer, is on the record as having disdain in the past about MLMs based on skin potions and lotions. So is it about the science, or the money?

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