marionette

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.

chemistry-lab

“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

77 Comments

  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.

    • 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.
    Cheri

  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 (docs@barefacedtruth.com).

  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 nada.no 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.

      THIS IS A PERSONAL TESTIMONIAL, NOT A SOLICITATION TO BUY PRODUCTS FROM MY COMPANY, WHICH NEITHER ENDORSES OR CONTROLS THIS BLOG. ALL OPINIONS ARE MY OWN, AS A PRIVATE INDIVIDUAL, A MIDNIGHT BFT BEAUTY BLOGGER BY HOBBY, NOT BY OCCUPATION.

      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?

  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 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).

  40. 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.

  41. 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.

  42. 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.

  43. 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!

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