Suggestion Box for New Topics |

Suggestion Box for New Topics

BFT is building up a regular readership, which we think is great! Thanks to all of you who stop by regularly to see what mischief we have gotten ourselves into lately. As we were sitting down to plan our next set of feature posts, we thought  we might ask you all for suggestions.  So, consider this a suggestion box.  What would you be interested in? We can do more news pieces,  skin physiology or biochemistry or care 101 type topics, do more investigative work on e.g. a particular ingredient (real or imaginary active) or product, tackle the industry’s marketing practices, more on advanced cell biology like stem cells, cytokines, DNA and that sort of thing, or how about crystal balling the future of anti-aging skin care.  We will leave this up for a few days and see what responses we get.  If you see a suggestion you agree with, drop a comment saying so & will count that as an extra vote. We’ll share the final list.  Oh,and we are also looking for some guest bloggers; knowledgeable  folks who may have a passion for sharing on a relevant topic. If you are one, talk to us. Thanks again, Dr John & Dr George.


  1. NGP says:

    I would like to know, as a consumer, what things we should be looking at before trying a new product. Often times, people buy things merely based on other people’s reviews, but as response can be so individual and subjective, how can you weed out products that are merely temporary cover-ups or moisturizers versus products that can really make a change in the cellular structure of the skin. How do you logically go about testing a new product when you are using a bunch of other things at the same time. How long should you trial a product? What are the differences in skin care requirements as you age.

    Also, would be interested in your opinion of off-shore pharmacies that sell drugs like Retin-A and Careprost without prescriptions to people who want to bypass a MD and save some money. Do you think they are equivalent to drugs produced in the US.

  2. Erg says:

    I would like to learn more about your thoughts on Copper Peptides (first and second generation), dermarolling and the use of estrogen creams on the face.

  3. cindytalbert says:

    I’d appreciate seeing some more exposes on the deceptive practices of review sites. I don’t know whether you have kept up, but Marta at Truth in Aging has added two more products to her daily facial routine. I am not kidding. No mention of stopping any of the others. Of course she never does. I guess that would send a bad message to the shoppers for the products she already hyped up. Pack of big fat lies-in-aging if you ask me.

  4. missnorway says:

    I noticed you mention on a forum that you would publish a table of ingredients that have been proven effective. I would love to see something like that. Also, more about cytokines, please. I’ve done some searches online that gave me a basic sense of what they are and what they do, but I’m still trying to figure out how they work to reduce aging in skin. Seems like some cause inflammation, some are anti-inflammatory, some cause cells to grow, divide, but then you caution about too much growth factor being a bad thing. Maybe you could do a chart of cytokines and their different roles, and how they help?

  5. DragoN says:

    How about a point by point rip into the bogus peptides available? One by one….then your blog will become a lovely resource for others when the question arises as it always does. Can’t fight the machine one on one…TIA appeals to the average person without a scientific background and emotions over rule logic.

    When you have mentioned effective ingredients in other posts on other forums, you mentioned frequently Soy isoflavones, however that remains a composite…need to break that down. Slapping them into a cream will not be all that helpful.

    • drjohn says:

      Bogus? Those peptides are bogus? Oh my, you have just shut down half the skin care industry. Oh, except 98% of buyers don’t give a rip about the science.

      • rileygirl says:

        I think most people do care about the science. However, most do not understand it well enough to be able to make heads or tails out of the studies (they just get the little “pertinent” bit that is pulled out from a study and slapped on to an anti-aging product).

        • drjohn says:

          Then you need to help us 1) translate science into understandable language, and 2) spread the word that this stuff is important. People shouldn’t waste their money on products that don’t work because they are based on no science or junk science. It just encourages the industry to make more poorly conceived products. Let’s stop rewarding them for being so cavalier with our money, and the health/appearance of our skin.

  6. ana says:

    Premature graying/hairloss/hairloss; also hair products such as Skin Biology’s Folligen (with copper peptide) touted for hair loss and thought to reverse hair color (by forum users) and Retin-A (which new facts are cited that they help with hair loss). Also, do omega 3 supplements really help for hair? I understand people on hair loss forums take a ton (biotin, niacin, foti, he shou wu).

    Thank you!

    • drjohn says:

      We will definitely cover this soon. There are some fascinating new approaches that take advantage of advances in cell biology. Actually manipulating the stem cells that live within the bulge region of the hair follicle. Very interesting indeed.

  7. Kristina says:

    A topic I’d love to hear more about is anti-oxidants. Will putting anti-oxidants on your face do anything? Specifically, I know several people who put green tea on their face, and I know someone else who puts fresh orange juice or mango juice on her face for it’s vitamin C and anti-oxidants. Do they have any effect?

    • drjohn says:

      Hi Kristina, The short answer is that antioxidants are very important in preventing damage (and to some extent reversing). Helps to keep DNA in keratinocytes from becoming damaged, which leads to all sorts of problems. But applying juices to the face is pretty much a waste.The strong citric acid would have a drying effect. Vitamin C and other antioxidants don’t penetrate the outer layer of the skin all that well, so most would be wasted. Better to take that juice by mouth, and apply products to you skin that encapsulate key antioxidants and help them to get deeper into the epidermis where they can do some good.

  8. Camryn says:

    Dr. John and Dr. George, THANK YOU for the great work you are doing. I work in advertising, so you can ‘trust me’ when I say way too many shenanigan-gimmicks are told in boardrooms with copywriters, only to be emblazoned on packages, spun into compelling marketing PR stories with the aim of duping unsuspecting consumers. It’s nonsense. I’m tired of it… I have been a naive consumer for far too long — pinning my hopes and dreams to that next jar of whatever, which promises miracles. And delivers nothing.

    Thank you for cutting through the clutter and decoding these beauty buzz-word ingredients!

    And just when I thought I’d found a dermatologist “approved”, economically-price line of skincare (Image), I see that they’ve jumped on the bandwagon, launching an “Apple Stem Cell” serum or something or other. What to do? Does this one brand mis-step undercut other serious efforts by the line. Are their other products just as nefarious?

    Now I know this is cheating, and I know you don’t endorse products or brands, but I would love a cheat-sheet on products I could start using, that aren’t packed with nonsense. Anything brands/products that you like or support? You could be as vague or specific as you’d like — I’ll eat up your wisdom no matter what. Your article about wrinkles cropping up overnight at age 33 struck a chord with me. I’m 33! I have dry skin and fine lines developing. I’m waiting for the morning when I wake up to find a faint line has become a quivering fault-line.

    Thank you — keep up the good work. And please tell me…what should i buy?

    • drjohn says:

      I personally think if a company is using plant “stem” cells, then they are pretty far from understanding (or caring about) science. On that basis alone I would eliminate them from competition for my skin care dollars. It’s not that we don’t want to endorse products, but because we are about science, we tend to focus on active ingredients rather than products. We don’t even look at the actual products. We can’t tell you if they smell nice or like yesterday’s cod fish. We have been trying to partner with “user experience” sites, but thus far we haven’t found any willing to put up with us! Actually we have had some nice overtures, and we are still exploring all that (there is a thread here about that). The coop idea seems to be catching on. On the ingredients side, we are working on a table that will list all the popular (and a few unpopular) actives, with a rating scale for efficacy. Also may a rating for non-active junk (incipients) because they can do harm. We hope that people can use this to scan label ingredients to see how they rate. Anyway, we thank you for your kind comments, and hope you keep coming back as we try to get create more useful tools.

  9. Leigh Thomason says:

    Is is possible to review certain skin care lines? For example, I have used Isomers ( for many years and value your opinion. Specifically:

    Retiniacin – ingredients: Aqua/Water/Eau, Carthamus Tinctorius (Safflower) Oleosomes, Niacinamide, Rh-Oligopeptide-1, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Sodium Ascorbate, Tocopherol, Retinol, Propylene Glycol, Xanthan Gum, Santalum Album (Sandalwood) Oil, Phenoxyethanol, Tropolone.

    R-Pur Serum for Face: Ingredients: Aqua/Water/Eau, Glycine Soja (Soybean) Germ Extract, Oleyl Alcohol, Dioscorea Villosa (Wild Yam) Root Extract, Glycine Soja (Soybean) Sterols, Glycine Soja (Soybean) Lipids, Glycine Max (Soybean) Symbiosome Extract, Glycine Soja (Soybean) Sprout Extract, Glycerin, Glycine Soja (Soybean) Seed Extract, Lecithin, Sodium Hyaluronate, Phenoxyethanol, Tropolone

    Carnosine Complex: Aqua/Water/Eau, Cetearyl Olivate, Sorbitan Olivate, Niacinamide, Butylene Glycol, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter), Cetyl Palmitate, Sorbitan Palmitate, Pinus (Pine) Haeda Bark Extract, Carnosine, Resveratrol, Lecithin, Phyllantus Emblica Fruit Extract, Citric Acid, Disodium EDTA, Phenoxyethanol, Tropolone

    Thank you for your great work and I look forward to the product you have been working on.

    • drjohn says:

      Hi Leigh. The Retiniacin is not something we would like. It’s got some well-evidenced actives that we approve of (retinol, Vit C, Vit E, niacinamide. However, rh-Oligopeptide-1 is an INCI name for human epidermal growth factor. We do not approve of applying single growth factors to skin, unopposed by other “balancing” cytokines. It’s just not physiologic. You can read our review of another product with hEGF click here. I find it also disturbing that they don;t talk about what it is, just hiding behind the nondescript INCI name. The R-Pur Serum for Face his a confusing array of soy isolates, all except for the one we would like to see — soy isoflavones. Looks like a good moisturizer, =nothing much more to commend it. Cheap ingredients. Carnosine Complex has nothing objectionable – both carnosine and niacinamide are well evidenced. But why a separate product for these? –they could be in your primary anti-aging system. Hope this helps.

  10. Leigh Thomason says:

    Thank you for your input.
    Do you have a projected date for the public to purchase your product?

  11. DragoN says:

    “I personally think if a company is using plant “stem” cells, then they are pretty far from understanding (or caring about) science. On that basis alone I would eliminate them from competition for my skin care dollars. ”
    Yep…. trading on a buzz word…bugger off. Couple companies have gone down the tubes big time in IMHO.

    Add Syn Ake garbage to 15 ml of HA serum [ $0.50 ] and now charge $85.00 ??? They can take a flying leap…

  12. NRome says:

    And this company’s BIG product I’m curious about from SkinMedica – the TNS Essential Serum, here’s the ingredient list…. uh-oh… looks pretty scary to me. Has my dermatologist been had?!

    Key Ingredients

    Chamber 1: TNS Recovery Complex

    Human Fibroblast Conditioned Media (TNS®) → A physiologically balanced, naturally secreted and stabilized growth factor blend that helps improve the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, and overall skin tone and texture.

    Chamber 2: APS Corrective Complex

    Peptides help support the foundation of skin:

    Palmitoyl Tripeptide 5
    Hydrolyzed Silk (Sericin)
    Dipalmitoyl Hydroxyproline

    Antioxidants that fight free radical damage due to environmental aggressors:

    Ergothioneine (EGT) → A super-antioxidant with free radical scavenging properties.

    Ubiquinone (Coenzyme Q10) → An antioxidant that helps to counteract free radical damage and works synergistically with vitamin E.

    Camellia Sinensis (Green Tea) Leaf Extract → A natural antioxidant rich in polyphenols, specifically EGCG (Epigallocatechin gallate), which has photo-protective effects

    Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate → A stable form of ascorbic acid (Vitamin C), a proven antioxidant

    Tocopheryl Acetate → A form of vitamin E considered one of the most important antioxidants and free-radical scavengers

    Rubus Fruticosus (Blackberry) Leaf Extract → A natural antioxidant rich in polyphenols.

    Saccharomyces Ferment Filtrate Lysate → A bio-optimized yeast extract that helps protect against the detrimental effect of ozone, which has an ability to deplete antioxidants in the skin

    Specialty Ingredients:

    Alpha-Arbutin → Visibly brightens the skin

    Hyaluronic Filling Spheres → Dehydrated filling spheres containing hyaluronic acid help trap water in the superficial layers of the skin like a sponge resulting in immediate visible plumping of the skin

    Human Fibroblast Conditioned Media, Water/Aqua/Eau, Cetyl Ethylhexanoate, Olea Europaea (Olive) Fruit Unsaponifiables, Alpha-Arbutin, Isoceteth-20, Arachidyl Alcohol, Glycerin, Ethoxydiglycol, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter), Palmitoyl Tripeptide-5, Ergothioneine, Dipalmitoyl Hydroxyproline, Hydrolyzed Sericin, Phospholipids, Ubiquinone, Rubus Fruticosus (Blackberry) Leaf Extract, Saccharomyces Ferment Lysate Filtrate, Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate, Aminobutyric Acid, Phytosterols, Tocopherol, Tocotrienols, Squalene, Oryza Sativa (Rice) Bran Wax, Sodium Hyaluronate, Tocopheryl Acetate, Camellia Oleifera Leaf Extract, Dimethicone, Ethylhexyl Palmitate, Silica Dimethyl Silylate, Polyacrylate-13, Polyisobutene, Polysorbate 20, Behenyl Alcohol, Arachidyl Glucoside, Cetearyl Alcohol, Steareth-10, Steareth-20, Butylene Glycol, Maltodextrin, C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate, Xanthan Gum, Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Aminomethyl Propanol, Disodium EDTA, Phenoxyethanol, Methylparaben, Propylparaben, Butylparaben, Isobutylparaben, Ethylparaben, Parfum/Fragrance, Hydroxycitronellal, Linalool, Coumarin, Alpha-Isomethyl Ionone, Geraniol, Isoeugenol

    • drjohn says:

      Hi NRome. No, this is a high quality professional-grade product, with excellent scientific backing, from a company with a long track record. TNS complex has been the company’s mainstay anti-aging product for over a decade. I’m sure that is why your dermatologist is familiar with it. All the actives have solid evidence. The key ingredient is Human Fibroblast Conditioned Media which is rich in human cytokines, a whole panoply of them. The only problem I have with this formulation is that it is also rich in parabens. Dr. George and I also work with cytokines, but ours are derived from human mesenchymal stem cells. We believe them to be a far superior source, for a lot of reasons, including the specific role that MSC’s play in the human body (damage control and rejuvenation). There are some papers showing the clinical superiority of stem cell derived media; I will ask Dr. George to append this note with those references for anyone interested.

      • rileygirl says:

        Dr. J,

        This is what Lifeline has to say about mesenchymal stem cells: “Multipotent stem cells–for example, mesenchymal stem cells–are stem cells that have limited capabilities, and can only form different cell types within the same “germ layer” –that is to say, closely related cell types such as hair and nail or bone and cartilage.” (

        What are your thoughts on this and why will your product be better, and most importantly how safe are these?

        • drjohn says:


          I read that on the ISCO web site, and then saw that same assertion in some marketspeak delivered by their rep who occasionally visits the EDS forum. There are several problems with this statement. First, they are talking about differentiation – the ability of a stem cell to transform into a more specialized cell type. While that may have some bearing on issues of stem cell (or related tissue) implantation or transplantation, it has nothing to do with the use of stem cells ex vivo (outside the body) to produce cytokines, which is what both Lifeline and Cellese do to create active ingredients for skin care. Differentiation, or ability to differentiate, has really nothing to do with the cytokine cocktail you create in the lab. So, this statement has nothing to do with skin care products, and doesn’t belong in their marketing literature for same. It’s confusing, and does nothing to educate sophisticated consumers like yourself.

          Further, I brought this whole issue up in my telephone discussion with Dr. Craw, and he stated unequivocally that they were not making any claims of superiority of parthenogenetic stem cells over mesenchymal or any other stem cells, in the context of cytokine production, as they had never done any testing to show that sort of thing. In fact, they work with the one stem cell type only. Further, from a purely theoretical viewpoint, the idea that an embryo is better tuned to producing wound healing or anti-inflammatory cytokines than a mesenchymal stem cell (which have a specialty role in rescuing damaged cells and tissues) makes little logical sense.

          Next, as I pointed put in my ISCO / Lifelinereview, the whole field of regenerative medicine is rapidly changing, and we now know that you can induce cells not only to differentiate but to de-differentiate. Become more “potent” (i.e. more potential, pluri- or whatever). In other words, stemness is a characteristic on a two way street. We now essentially bypass stem cells and go from one cell type to an unrelated type.

          Further, if you scroll a few comments away in this thread you will find Dr. Georges exposition from the medical literature on the superiority of mesenchymal stem cells over other types of cells for these rejuvenative cytokines. Again, the role of mesenchymal sten cells as being the “911 system” is well established in stem cell science. None of these tests against embryonic stem cells, and we haven’t either. Further, there are many factors that determine which cytokines appear in your “farmed” cell broth other than beginning cell type. Gets way complicated. But FUN science!

          Finally, I think ISCO/Lifeline just shoots themselves in the foot when they keep pointing at their cell platform (parthenogenetic stem cells) because they are embryonic by definition. Unfertilized, but embryos nonetheless (by inducement). They are defined by the NIH and FDA and all such agencies as embryonic. Since a large chunk of the public wants nothing to do with embryonic stem cells for ethical reasons, I suspect their spotlighting this fact just cuts out about half their potential customer base.

          But the message I really want to leave you with is this one – in terms of cosmeceuticals, it’s all about the cytokines. No cells are incorporated into these products. Stem cells are the factories (and some, like SkinMedica use fibroblasts instead). We can all make arguments about which cell is the better producer, but it distracts from the core issue which is the cytokines themselves. They are the magic chemicals. This is where we spend the bulk of our research dollars. Companies like ISCO interested in a wide array of internal diseases perhaps need to be more focused on the cells. Our4 own work is much more focused on cytokines, and the benefits that understanding their unique biochemistry can bring to aging and damaged skin.

          Now, on the other hand, other laboratories have compared mesenchymal stem cells to

  13. Drgeorge says:

    I concur with Drjohn regarding the scientific premise of Skinmedica’s use of human fibroblast conditioned media in its anti-aging formulation. I also endorse the opinion that there are superior cells from which to harvest cytokines beneficial for skin healing – remember, skin aging is the result of long-term assault and damage from the sun, environmental toxins, and other factors. Decades of small insults occurring while the ability of the body to repair tissues is steadily declining due in part, as we now know, to progressive reduction in those very important instigators and managers of healing, bone marrow derived Mesenchymal stem cells (BM-MSC).

    If one is interested in providing “signals” that induce cellular repair and rejuvenation, is it not wise to use the cells now known to play THE major role in that function? We think so and for that reason our research has focused on methods to coax cultured BM-MSC to produce even more of the types of cytokines needed for that purpose. (Admittedly, we have the benefit of more than a decade of research that has occurred since Skinmedica launched it TNS products.)

    It is now known that BM-MSCs are the body’s 911 emergency responders, mobilized from the bone marrow in times of injury by biochemical “alarms” released from the site of damage. The signals, chemokines, attract the BM-MSCs to the site of injury where they orchestrate the healing response through paracrine (locally secreted) factors i.e. the complex yet exquisitely choreographed cytokine cascade required for proper healing. BM-MSC can produce daughter cells, or differentiate into tissue cells, but it is now felt that their cytokine production is the major role they play.
    An even more recent study compared the effects of wound healing of BM-MSC paracrine factors to those released by dermal fibroblasts using sophisticated tools to examine specific changes is cytokine composition. From their abstract:

    “BM-MSCs secreted distinctively different cytokines and chemokines, such as greater amounts of VEGF-α, IGF-1, EGF, keratinocyte growth factor, angiopoietin-1, stromal derived factor-1, macrophage inflammatory protein-1alpha and beta and BM-MSC conditioned medium significantly enhanced migration of macrophages, keratinocytes and endothelial cells and proliferation of keratinocytes and endothelial cells compared to fibroblast-conditioned medium”

    Couldn’t have said it better myself. Hope that helps.

    Horwitz EM, Prather WR; Cytokines as the Major Mechanism of Mesenchymal Stem Cell Clinical Activity: Expanding the Spectrum of Cell Therapy; Israel Medical Association World Fellowship Conference; April 2009

    Chen L, Tredget E, Wu P, Wu Y; Paracrine Factors of Mesenchymal Stem Cells Recruit Macrophages and Endothelial Lineage Cells and Enhance Wound Healing; PLoS ONE, April 2008,

  14. jom says:

    How about a list of beauty product businesses we should look out for. Similar to the list you’re working on in regard to ingredients. I know you mentioned PTR as being on your bad list on the EDS forum. What other businesses should we look out for? Can a company put out one great product while the rest are questionable or is a brand just all good or all bad? Also a feature on how to read ingredient labels could be helpful. How far up on the ingredients list should a certain ingredient be for it to be effective?

    • drjohn says:

      I’m going through the suggestion box here and trying to catch up on replies. jom asks a really good question about how do you know you can trust a company, and another about ingredient labels. Let me comment on both of these.

      In terms of labels, it is difficult for the average consumer. Usually the active ingredient names are buried within a long list of other ingredients with strange names. They don’t tell you which are actives and which are just there e.g. to make a stable emulsion. So you have to know which are actives — you can use online databases of ingredients. Some companies are really good at explaining ingredients and what they do right on their web sites (e.g. SkinMedica). Others don’t even have ingredients as labeled listed on their web site (e.g. Lifeline). What we really like to see is not just lists or label cut & paste, but a drill down to explain each ingredient, and why it was included in the formulation, including background information (e.g. links to publications, explanation of the science). Why make it hard for people to educate themselves on these matters?

      Where a particular ingredient is on the “comma delimited list” you see on labels is not always informative. E.g. an ingredient as it comes from the manufacturer may be more or less concentrated in a solution. Suppose it is a quite dilute solution (99.9% water). It still goes to the top of the list which is based on volume. Also, they are not telling you what the effective (and safe) concentration is. Some chemicals work at very low concentrations (e.g. those that stimulate cell receptors, like peptides) while others require much more. So, those “comma delimited list” positions don’t really tell you all that much about how much of an ingredient is in there, compared to how much should be in there.

      Which leads to the other question — who do you trust? It’s a good one. I’ve commented elsewhere on this, but will do a quick “from the heart/head” on this. I’m sure not everyone will agree. First, I like transparency. Most companies make it really hard to get information from them. Usually when you do it is a marketing person, not a scientist, and the answers are often canned or programmed. A pet peeve. I really liked when Lifeline had their chief scientist call me to answer my questions. Elevated them in my esteem tremendously. I think every company in this business should have a medical director whose job is to explain the science but without marketing fluff.

      I frequent some of the online forms for chatting about this stuff, not so much to talk about our products, but about the science, and some basic education, and to further the “truth matters” mission that started this blog. I find myself often to be the target of much mistrust, vitriol, and downright rudeness. Maybe that’s not the best place to have these discussions, as they can become chaotic and unfocused. It may also explain why I don’t see a lot of other companies out there in the trenches. Not a very hospitable place. But I hold this out as our “do as you advise others” approach – companies need to be less mysterious about everything they do if they want me, and you guys, to trust them. I have written elsewhere about my experience at Johnson & Johnson, and how they have done it well sometimes and done it poorly at others. It’s even harder for a really big company.

      I want to say that forums are a good place to gather information (truth) but sadly there is just as much nonsense there as in the marketing literature. Rumors and snake oil nostrum gets spread there like wildfire. When the truly knowledgeable superusers that frequent the forums try to inject some truth in, they tend to get shouted down. It’s very democratic, everybody’s opinion counts the same as everyone else’s, and you are called arrogant if you point out that science is not mere opinion and vice versa.

      Most people trust their doctors. Doctors are trained and take an oath to put the welfare of their patients above profit motives and personal gain. Companies would do well to be a bit more like Marcus Welby, M.D., and a bit less like Mad Men. I know it’s not particularly intuitive for companies, who have shareholders. At J&J there is a credo that every member of that organization memorizes, and they hold one another accountable. I like that. Again, they are not perfect. But they have a moral backbone. Some of the companies in the skin biz seem to be at the opposite end of the spectrum.

      Since it’s hard to know the people that make these companies go, you should focus on the science. Don’t just take their marketing spiel as gospel, go look elsewhere for confirmation. Good sources of science-based information online, from people with actual training, like

      If a company purveys a product with a whacky ingredient, does this make the company evil? Should you avoid them forevermore? No, but it does suggest they they lack a science knowledge, or a sound ethical basis. Deficiencies of either are dangerous. I would be doubly skeptical of a company with any clearly nasty ingredients that have no quality science that makes sense.

      Now, if they ever come out and admit their mistake and set out to rectify it, I would not only forgive them, I would give high marks for honesty, transparency, and ethical stance. Putting people before profit. Like when J&J had it’s Tylenol recalls back a few decades ago, which earned them the highest trust rating of all companies in the US (they have since fallen into 4th place due to some repeated chronic problems in the same realm).

      There is a conspiracy of silence in the skin care industry. Nobody wants to rock the boat (well, I guess Dr. George and I fell off the boat long ago). We hear let’s all get together at industry hoohahs and slap each others back and swap stories about how to best bamboozle more consumers and whatnot. If you are skeptical, look for companies that are not starry eyed, but who are equally skeptical. Which is to say scientific, because all true scientists are by training skeptical. And companies should be a bit skeptical about their own products, marketing, etc. not just other’s.

      That’s my top of head remarks, If I can remember where I put my top 10 list of what to watch for in product evaluation, I’ll share it.

      • jom says:

        Thanks Dr. J. Sad to see you leave EDS. Can you talk any about your product? When is the release date? I’m assuming that you will have a website with research studies and details about ingredients, is that the case? If so please share the link. I use my intuition a lot when deciding which companies to trust but I do look for research to back up my “feeling” about a product. I must say that even though I am a social scientist myself I sometimes get confused trying to understand all the skin care science. Thanks for trying to explain things in a way the layperson can understand.

        • drjohn says:

          Hi jom. Remember, BFT is really not about us or our products, it’s about science & the industry as a whole. But because I am getting a bunch of requests for info, I will say this….
          our company has a web site under construction. It will include ingredients listings, descriptions, and rationales; research results, and links to related research resources; pictures & videos from clinical trials, and all that sort of thing. As you know, we tend to err on the side of too much information, not too little. Can’t give an exact release date, but just a few weeks away.

      • jom says:

        Have you come across your top ten list of what to look for in product evaluation? I’d love to see it.

  15. Louise says:

    I’d like to see a search facility on your website so people could search keywords to find an entry. As your entries grow this will become very useful. I would also like a list of active ingredients and your scientific opinion on which ones work and which don’t. For instance I’m still really confused about the use of Kin Biology copper peptide products. I also want to know more about the other peptide products on the market.

    • drjohn says:

      Hi Louise. We do have a search function, it is right below the “recent comments” area on the left. It’s maybe a bit primitive. I think what you may like would be more of an index or topical site map. That’s a good idea, and we will put one together in the near future.

    • drjohn says:

      You are not alone, a lot of people are confused about copper peptides. We do have a post in the works on the subject of peptides. Please be patient. What I am puzzled over is the remarkable disconnect between the published research and what I read on various forums about no effects or bad reactions to Cu++ peptides. We want to look further into this and see if we can discern some explanation for this phenomenon.

  16. Erg says:

    Can you review this please?

    I like Skin Actives and this looks… interesting!

    • drjohn says:

      Cauliflower mitochondria (Brassica olreacea extract) — how do these help humans? They can’t be absorbed intact through the stratum corneum. If you grind them up, you basically have — cauliflower mush. Then there is “Dermal Respiratory Factor” which exists nowhere in the scientific literature. Some other site said it was “fungal cytokines and growth factors”. I can state unequivocally that cytokines from single cell organisms and plants are not the same as human ones. The rest of the ingredients look OK, but common. Then there is reference there to mitochondrial theory of aging. That’s nice, but no link to any literature to support these “mitochondrial” ingredients as boosting mitochondria, or helping skin, at all. So, on the surface this looks rather hokum. Using the cloak of science to sell nonsense. Why don’t we ask the SkinActives people to explain this for us? Always willing to be educated.

  17. Firefox7275 says:

    Oils/ butters/ lipids with reference to the fatty acid profiles please! Huge topic so would be particularly interested in the most ubiquitous/ controversial/ fashionable/ evidence-based – mineral oil, emu oil, argan/ Moroccan oil, olive oil, shea butter, silicones, lanolin, etc. There is still a strong belief that light oils are good and heavy butters are bad in acne, and little understanding of how different fatty acids might affect skin health and aesthetics.

    Would be happy to be assist with researching this, but don’t have the knowledge to fly solo plus I suspect it would end up a tad biased.

    • drjohn says:

      It’s a great topic, deserving of attention. But we need some help around here. So, why don’t we invite you to do the post. You can research, using Dr.George & me as resources. I helped to develop early intravenous fat emulsions, so I can help on the FA profiling side. There is an abundance of literature on essential oils of all sorts, but there the difficulty is knowing what fraction is providing benefit (often not the fatty acids part). Acne is on our list too. And by the way, bias is not evil. We all have some, and we can deal with it. Just state what they are so that everybody else can apply a balancing filter when they see your information. Welcome to the team!!

      • Firefox7275 says:

        Thanks for your reply! Hmmm …. I might try to recruit one of the ‘mad scientists’ from SCT as well? I don’t want my bias to drive the research because I’d like to signpost people here for the facts, not for another rehash of my opinions. Very happy to get stuck in tho, setting up a site like this is a mammoth task for you two docs.

        • drjohn says:

          Yes, mad scientists should run in packs. Recruiting is good. That also helps to balance the biases, and we can all hold one another accountable to strive toward maintaining a solid scientific perspective. Green light.

  18. KATHY says:

    Hi Dr. John,

    There has been a lot of articles on beauty products ffrom South Korea. One I read last year
    I was interested in the Purigenex line of live collagen mask and serum. I bought this set which isnt cheap, but I didn’t really notice a lot of difference. Is this product something I should keep trying. Maybe collagen doesnt work right away.

    Thank you,


  19. Erg says:

    Hey, Can you review or write an article on LED lights and skin. I just ordered an Antiaging Litestim. There is a huge thread on this on the EDS forum – great results have been reported.


  20. Leigh Thomason says:

    Maybe you have addressed this topic – what is your position on 1st and 2nd generation copper peptides (Skin Biology’s).

    • drjohn says:

      Tough one, Leigh. As others have pointed out, all the second generation research has been but Dr. P only, while the first has a lot more evidence to support. Dr. P has a lot of credibility. But a lot of people report problems with gen2 peptides. Now approaching it from the biochemistry, there is nothing faulty with the logic of gen2. Should work just the same. But sometimes there are unknowns that are the flies in the ointment. So, at this point, I sit on the fence. If you are a big fan, I suggest your try both, see which ones work for you. Maybe do a “split face” experiment. Somebody should. Meanwhile we are looking past peptides into the signalling cascades that they influence. The cytokines that turn them on and off in a very well orchestrated pattern. Which lead to good collagen, which to scarring. Matrix is fascinating stuff.

  21. DarkMoon says:

    I would love your input on this product which many swear is the latest and greatest thing since sliced bread. The “scientist” aligns himself with Einstein and claims the “energy” in this product is Dark Energy, There is a huge (now locked due to becoming heated) on EDS. The product is Ageless secret Gold, here is the thread:
    a few posts from the above:
    Yeah, I hate to be a downer, but Ageless Secret just got a negative flag in my book for this one:

    “The Ageless Secrettm gets its energizing ability from Dark Energy. Dark Energy is the name given to the mysterious energy that is making the universe accelerate. This was discovered in 1929 by astronomer Edwin Hubbel. Dark Energy makes up more than 70% of the known universe.”

    Yeah, that’s wrong. Dark energy was not discovered by Hubble (the correct spelling) in 1929, by rather by two scientific teams in 1998 and the same year, it was announced as the scientific discovery of the year by Science Magazine. He’s confusing two different astrophysical concepts. Also, dark energy cannot be captured or manipulated. It’s just everywhere and evenly distributed in the universe, but at ridiculously low amounts–there’s less than one millionth of a gram of it in total on earth! Less than a grain of salt worth on the entire earth! So there’s no way that there’s even a single electron’s worth of this in his product…and a single electron isn’t going to do anything for anyone. Sorry, this particular claim is pseudo-science, in the same category as time travel and guns that shoot anti-matter…. However, it has now been revealed that those who praised Jim’s theories and even called him a “genius” hadn’t even read the information provided on the website. When I first read his anti-aging theory and that Dark Energy was responsible for the product’s effectiveness, alarm bells starting ringing. As I stated earlier, what has upset me most about all of this is that this Forum has been used to promote complete and utter nonsense – where I have always considered it to be a place to come for reliable information – a place to come to to weed out the empty promises. The company website: Also claimed by the formulator, LARGE bubble wrap protects this against radiation! Only LARGE will do!

    • drjohn says:

      Doesn’t deserve a review. Psychoenergetics is quackery from way back. Dark energy? Oh come now. Obvious complete nonsense. Ask any high school kid who has taken physics. First off, dark energy isn’t a “thing” its a theory to try to explain how the universe can expand, given gravity. Its the “cosmological constant” (fudge factor) Einstein used. Its a property of empty space. Obviously someone has taken empty space and is trying to empty your wallet by tricking you with scientific sounding terms. They clearly haven’t a clue what it really is. I could go on and rant and rave (as I often do) about charlatans and evil villains of cosmetic land. But this time I am going to chide the online forums that give these folks a platform to hoodwink the public. And let me chide you denizens of these forums as well to practice a little wise discernment. Do these people look like astrophysicists? Do they have advanced degrees? Yeah, hope in a bottle is very seductive. But please, please don’t be fooled. It makes my heart ache, and irks me to no end, that these people are freely engaging in cheating, lying, stealing your money.

  22. DarkMoon says:

    Thank you Dr. J We did get our money back, but some ‘true believers” were just insistent that this water…$160 a bottle of 4 oz. actually transformed their skin, lifting, plumping decreasing wrinkles no matter how many of us (including an astrophysicist) showed them the impossibilities of the science that was claimed. The problem was that others who read both as members and guests were being swayed by those who raved of their miraculous transformations.

    • drjohn says:

      There were probably shills to whip the crowd into a frenzy of buying. Really slick operators know how to exploit this quirk of human behavior. Highly manipulative. Evil.

  23. Anna says:

    Hi! Here are few suggestions : I would love to hear your opinions (pros and cons ) about skin treatments based on radio frequency. Is there any danger that it might cause more harm than good in the long run e.g. more rapid skin aging because of interfering skins own natural homeostasis?

    Also I would like to hear some thoughts about beta glugan, NAC and cats claw as a skin care ingredient. Thank you.

  24. Susan Dent says:

    I have three possible topics,

    One is my pet curiosity, which is about Collagen type III and Collagen type I in our skin, whether we really do have more coll III when we are younger and coll I as we age, whether this makes a difference in skin appearance, and whether anything can be done about it.

    Two, what about the smaller umm ‘bits’ (sorry, unscientific!) in skin such as lumican, decorin… proteoglycans, I think. What they do in terms of skin aging, structure and appearance and whether we can do anything about it? They’ve come into skin care a little as a couple of peptides say they can increase, say, lumican. true or false in vivo I wonder?

    Three, a few companies have touted ‘DNA repair ingredients’ in the past few years. Micrococcus lysate, arabidopsis thaliana being two of them. they get called ‘photosomes, endosomes and roxizomes’ and supposedly aid DNA repair. Boske, Priori, and other companies have used them in serums, and Estee Lauder uses at least one in its Advanced Night repair.

    I know that there are a zillion ingredients and skin claims and ‘ideas’ and that you will never be able to get to them all. I’m now sorry that my first comment was a touch doubting and sarky sounding. Its very refreshing to see someone really trying to tell us about the real science behind this so we can actually choose products properly.

    • drjohn says:

      This is your lucky day! Dr George is working on a BFT piece on collagen & matrix proteins. Coming soo – please be patient with us. I believe some of your your other questions will be addressed. The DNA repair stuff is mostly bogus in our experience. The main reason is that they use tests that sound good but really tell you nothing (and any good scientist would tell you so). We will have to look into these particular ones. Thanks again.

  25. Kristina says:

    Hi Docs,
    I was wondering about the safety of spray tans and self tanners. Everything I’d read says that they only penetrate the first layer of skin so they aren’t absorbed by the skin and are harmless. But since they are chemicals, it has made me wonder if that’s true. I can’t help getting the image in my mind of an apple that when you cut it, it turns brown as it is exposed to oxygen and has that oxidative process happening. Is that similar to what happens with the DHA (DHE? I forget) in spray tanners reacts to skin? Is it making my skin go through a harmful oxidative process or is it just a harmless benign chemical reaction that is safe?
    By the way, I have been using the Anteage now for two days. I won’t go into my rave review because I know you want to keep this site unbiased towards your product, so I will just simply say Love !Love! Love!

  26. Drgeorge says:

    Hello, Kristina. Thank you for your kind words about AnteAGE. We are very pleased you are enjoying it.

    About those self-tanning creams, gels, and sprays:

    The active ingredient in most sunless tanning products is dihydroxyacetone (DHA). It is often derived from plant sources such as sugar beets and sugar cane, and by the fermentation of glycerin.

    DHA was first recognized as a skin coloring agent in the 1920s when it was noticed skin turned brown when DHA was accidentally spilled on it during the processing of early x-ray film. In the 1950s studies using DHA as an oral drug for assisting children with glycogen storage disease were conducted. The children received large doses of DHA by mouth, and sometimes spat or spilled the substance onto their skin. Healthcare workers noticed that the skin turned brown after a few hours of DHA exposure. It was discovered the pigmentation effect was consistent and was limited to the stratum corneum, or dead skin surface layer. DHA penetrates no deeper than that but even if it did, the oral studies confirm its safety.

    This skin browning effect is non-toxic, and similar to the Maillard reaction. DHA reacts chemically with the amino acids in the skin, which are part of the protein containing keratin layer on the skin surface. Various amino acids react differently to DHA, producing different tones of coloration from yellow to brown. The resulting pigments are called melanoidins. These are similar in coloration to melanin, the natural substance in the deeper skin layers which brown or “tan”, from exposure to UV rays.

    For a day after self-tanner application, excessive sun exposure should be avoided and sunscreen should be worn outdoors. Although some self-tanners contain sunscreen, its effect will not last long after application, and a fake tan itself will not protect the skin from UV exposure.

    DHA has been approved for cosmetic use by the FDA, the Canadian Health Ministry, and most of the EU member nations DHA-based sunless tanning has been recommended by the Skin Cancer Foundation, American Academy of Dermatology Association, Canadian Dermatology Association and the American Medical Association.

    Sunless tanning pills, which typically contain the color additive canthaxanthin, are unsafe. When taken in large amounts, canthaxanthin can turn your skin orange and cause hives. Sunless tanning pills can also cause liver damage and lead to the formation of crystals in the retina of the eye (canthaxanthin retinopathy).

  27. myhand says:

    My suggested topic is Squalene and Squalane.
    There is a good amount of info on Squalene , but very few on Squalane. I understand that Squalene provides Oxygen to the skin by taking hydrogen from water and creating by this Oxygen.
    Does this mean that Squalane will not provide the Oxygen benefit, because it already contains all the hydrogen?
    According to the info on the net, Squalane is %2 of our skin sebum and Squalene is %10. Does or skin produce Squalane intentionally , or is it just a byproduct of Squalene obtaining hydrogen?
    Is there any other useful functions to Squalane, besides the Oxygen?
    Can Squalane substitute Squalene completely?
    Are there functions that Squalane can perform better than Squalene?
    Today %99 of cosmetics companies prefer to use Squalane due to its stability, is this OK?

  28. Kris Ann says:

    Hi Drs – I would love to try your product – AnteAGE! Is the best way to wait until samples are avail per your website? Please advise and thank you for your awesome website.

  29. Kristina says:

    Hi Docs, I have another question, both about your product but products in general. First off, I’ve been using the Anteage for about a week and I love it. What I love so far is that it doesn’t irritate my sensitive skin and in fact, it has calmed down the redness in my sensitive skin. I’m loving that!. My question is, should I just put the product on the areas of my skin where I have visible signs of aging, like my eyes, mouth and forhead, or is it okay to put it on areas where I have no visible signs of damage yet like my cheeks, jawline, neck, chest and hands? The reason I ask is because some of the research I have read about skin care actives in general is that you should only put them on areas where you have visible damage because the actives need something to fix, and if you put them on healthy skin, the actives do more damage than good. Is this true? I am 31 and just beginning to show signs of aging which I’m hoping to improve with your product, but I’d also like to prevent wrinkles in other areas by using the product there, if that’s advisable.
    Loving the Anteage,

  30. Drgeorge says:

    Kristina, we are pleased you are enjoying AnteAGE. We have been getting very positive responses from new users, echoing the comments we have had from people who have been using it for several months. People like positive results (no surprise there) but they also like the application process and the ease of use.

    You can feel free to use AnteAGE in areas that are becoming move visible problems for you, and those that as yet have not. Recall that the general population of these special mesenchymal stem cells in all of us declines significantly as the years roll by, so you already only have a fraction of the number you had as an infant and child. Also, the damage that occurs to skin is gradual and cumulative so even though some areas are not demonstrating visible signs of damage yet, over time they will. Providing the cytokines restores signals that we all lose as we age.

    Skin cells of all types, fibroblasts, basal layer and beyond are under oxidative stress, and unavoidably so since the biochemical processes within our cells create damaging reactive oxygen species – it’s the trade off of having an oxygen based cellular respiratory system. Too much oxygen can be a bad thing. That’s what the whole antioxidant movement is about.

    Also, the recent post on collagen described how type 1 collagen becomes more predominant through the years, and total collagen decreases by close to 50%. over time. Skin loses it elasticity and tone just through the passage of time.

    AnteAGE addresses each issue. Stem cytokines reduce inflammation and restore more youthful healing behavior, other ingredients couteract oxidative stress, and others help promote collagen and elastin production or reduce the rate of destruction. It might be of interest to you to visit and spend a few minutes reading about the ingredients in the serum and accelerator. We have posted definitions for each ingredient, the physiology by which it provides benefit, and most importantly, scientific references that provide the experimental study results that support its use.

  31. Jenny says:

    Hi Dr J and Dr G,

    I just wanted to say how fantastic a resource your site is, and ask if you could cover the topic of topical AHAs- in particular glycolic acid. I’m playing around with DIY-ing a leave in unbuffered 7% glycolic serum and have been getting good results but really want to have a deeper understanding of the behaviour of the glycolic acid from a chemistry standpoint and it’s effect on skin.

    Is there an advantage of buffering glycolic acid, over simply diluting it? What would a graph of pH versus concentration of glycolic acid look like?

    How does glycolic acid react with actives such as L-ascorbic acid, botanicals such as hydrolysed silk proteins, aloe vera, etc.

    Thanks so much in advance!


    • drjohn says:

      Hi Jenny.

      Glycolic acid (GA) is mild compared to some other AHA’s. It is generally thought to be safe in concentrations up to about 10%. Above that, you should have it applied by a skin care professional who can watch over you. GA is an exfoliant – it removes the outermost layers of skin. It does so like any acid – it complexes with bases inside your skin cells and in the matrix in the stratum corneum (outermost skin layer) that holds together the thinned out, devitalized (dead) keratinocytes (skin cells) It only penetrates to a certain depth. Your skin responds by making new cells more quickly (in the basal layer) and pushing them up to the surface so that your skin is essentially “younger” (cells are newer). But if you use AHA’s too often, it can also kill off live cells, leaving to a thinning of the skin. Timing is important. Also it is important to remember that your body’s natural response in making new cells diminishes with age. You need less as you get older. Also don’t forget that AHA’s increase your skin’s sensitivity to UV rays. Make sure to use sunscreen!

      As to the deeper questions about pH titration curves and the like I would strongly recommend this site:

      You will see a glycolic acid pH curve, and you can dig around the site for useful tools and information for DIY’ers.

      How GA reacts with other actives depends on their chemistry. Acids love to form salts, and can neutralize all sorts of other actives. And they in turn can complex out the H+ ions to neutralize the acidic nature of the AHA’s. Mixing them with other actives never made much sense to me, not even acidic actives. Really does harm to proteins. These mixes also often have a short shelf life if not a pure acid solution. Break out those pH strips and use them.

      Hope this helps.

      For those of you who don’t know jenny, she is the proprietor of a very cool blog of her own where she reviews products. She is Aussie (my home away from home), an optometrist, a cat person, and is passionate about all things skin, beauty, and fashion. What a great combo!

  32. Michelle says:

    No suggestions here only praise. I am so glad this website exists and that there are doctors in the industry willing to talk about the actual available scientific data on cosmetics. Consider this my big virtual kiss on the cheek.

    As someone who is just starting to investigate beauty products with the big 3-0 on the horizon the number of products and amount of money being spent out there is mind numbing. Not only that, but there’s also the number of sites peddling mis/information. Your site will, no hyperbole, probably save me thousands of dollars that I would have spent over the years chasing false claims and questionable science. You may have even saved me from products that would have done more harm than good! Bring on the facts of reality.

    I suppose the one suggestion I have would be more product reviews for topicals, at-home devices, and cleansing methods.

  33. Michelle says:

    Okay, so I guess I have one topic of interest. I’ve been using the ANSR beam–an at home LED treatment with blue and red lights (red light wavelengths 632nm and the blue light wavelengths 430nm). Assuming the reported wavelengths are accurate, would this sort of thing do anything in the way of collagen and elastin production?

    • drjohn says:

      That is a really hard question. Increases collagen production (in rats & pigs anyway) but like so many other anti-aging appears to do so by causing cells to produce reactive oxygen species which leads to damage (perhaps even DNA damage) which then releases inflammatory cytokines. The reason it works for acne is that it kills the bacteria (the same way). Then the body’s own damage control system goes to work, which is where you get proliferation of matrix (part of wound healing cascade). Probably OK in the short term, but in the long term is it good to chronically stress the skin that way? Or does that lead to an increase in signs of aging (so called inflammaging). I don’t think anybody has studied this, or any other damage/damage repair inducing products long term. If nothing else, i would give you skin some long periods of rest. We will look more closely at this in the near future.

  34. Michelle S says:

    I would love to see a review on this product line

    • drjohn says:

      Hi Michelle, cursory view suggests that the products are based on OK but inexpensive ingredients, so why 10 products with only one or two of them each. E.g. C serum $85, carnosine + antioxiant another $85. These are very inexpensive ingredients. Why not put them all in one serum? Seems overpriced for what you are getting.

  35. Kim says:

    Was wondering if you could look into Lancomes Visionnaire and their LR2412 molecule which, according to the company, ‘The first skincare with LR 2412, a molecule designed to propel through skin layers’.

    Beautypedia did a review of it and some of the science behind it (apologies for the long link) :

    • drjohn says:

      It’s all nonsense. Just being a lipid is not exactly an innovation in “propelling through skin layers”. Check our our post “Let’s talk penetration” to see all the ways in which skin transport can be enhanced. It seems the label presents jasmonic acid derivatives as the special sauce ingredient. Jasmonic acid is a plant defensive hormone (slows down growth) which would not be a desired effect on skin. But, fear not, your skin cells don’t know the meaning of the message anyway. No jasmonic acid receptors to be found. Here is another example (like the plant stem cell farce) of what we might call botanical cosmythology, as practiced by (generally European) ingredients “inventors” (well, the marketing hype is the true invention). Let’s skip the science that says plants and animals (e.g. humans) have different signalling molecules and receptors, and just make up a story about how this would be nice for skin. There is no good scientific evidence it is.

      Another ingredient in this product is adenosine. We see it in other products as well. problem with adenosine is that while it accelerates would healing, it does so by creating fibrosis. Which puts it in the same class as Anon Anew. We strongly believe that this will damage skin over the long term by favoring a scar like collagen generation.

      We also not that Lancome has not yet changed their web sites in response the the FDA warning letter of several weeks ago.

  36. Anne says:

    Hello. I have been reading information posted on the Environmental Working Group website, but have managed to get fairly confused. Are paraben free, phthalate free, petrochemical free products safer than other products or is it all just more marketing? I think the information on parabens is pretty conclusive, but am not sure about phthalates and petrochemicals. Any safety information you can add would be great. Thanks.

    • drjohn says:

      Phthalates have been linked to reproductive abnormalities in lab rats. Mind you, so have a lot of other things. Since phthalates and parabens are not in the least bit essential in the making of cosmetics, may as well just avoid them. Most manufacturers do these days. Petrochemicals is too big a class to judge – you have to be more specific. Essentially all plastics are derived from petrochemicals. Virtually all containers contains plastics.

  37. Dar says:

    Hi Pair of Docs: Was wondering what you thnk about “Derm Exclusive” — a new anti-aging product I just saw on a TV infomercial.

    • drjohn says:

      First ingredients: Argireline and Myoxinol. Peptides purported to block the action of the muscles of the face to reduce wrinkles, “just like Botox”. Ah, but unlike Botox, where clinicians must be trained to know exactly where and how deep to perform the injections (to prevent unwanted side effects) there is no such training for these topicals making wild claims about blocking the neuromuscular junction. Here is the logic you need to consider: IF those peptides do what they claim to do, facial muscles would become weakened or paralyzed. Your facial expressions would change. Your eyelids would no longer open or close fully, resulting in ptosis. IF they did that, they would be affecting muscle, not skin, and would immediately be labelled drugs by the FDA, just as Botox is. But, the BAREFACEDTRUTH is they don’t actually do what they say. Because they cannot even penetrate into the muscular layer of the skin. In short, they don’t work as advertised, which, if you think about it, is a good thing. Our opinion of any product that contains these ingredients is that they are fairy dust, and those that purvey them are undiscerning at best, cynical chalatans at worst. Sorry, this one fails the sniff test – the science is whacky from the get go. In addition, the parent side ( is a dead giveaway that this should be a P.T. Barnum ethics in advertising award winner. Competes with “skin stem cell stimulators” for the top spot of 2012.

  38. Lauren Schneider says:

    Hello, I see that you have a large amount of scientific based info on micro needling. I am having trouble finding a knowledgeable person/doctor to do the procedure for me in the San Diego, California area. I have already worked with an esthitician for 6 needling sessions and got no results for my damaged/scarred skin from a chemical that went wrong from a dermatologist a few years ago. I had no scarring previous to this so I am sure you can understand how hard this has been for me.

    I was hoping you knew of someone in LA or San Diego you could direct me to? I spoke to the dermatologist that did the procedure that ruined my face and she will not take responsibility, so I have been looking for someone knowledgeable myself.
    After reading your info, I see that a longer needle needs more time in between sessions to heal. The previous person did 1.5-2 length needles on my face and had me going in every 4 weeks on the dot. I also have extremely thin skin to begin with and my scars are not deep-so I now think this was overkill and perhaps why I did not get results?
    Any insight and direction is so appreciated!
    Lauren Schneider

    • drgeorge says:

      Finding practitioners offering microneedling should not be difficult since it is a fairly common procedure. We do think that that selecting one that offers appropriate topical adjuvants to maximize results and minimize adverse events is important. We are fans (obviously) of those that incorporate our microneedling products into the procedure and feel it is superior to PRP for several reasons. Minimizing inflammation and getting on with the healing phase immediately is what we recommend. Our products do that. I’ll have our Director of North American Sales contact you directly with suggested names.


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