..We got a kick out of this product’s claim that it “activates surface renewal of the dermis”. The dermis is not part of the skin’s surface, and there’s likely not anything in this hugely expensive moisturizer that impacts the dermis layer of skin, at least not to the extent that any permanent change will occur. Who is writing the marketing claims for this line anyway?
In many ways, this formula is an embarrassment for the company, and a pathetic waste of money for you. There is nothing in this overpriced concoction that is going to whisk away your wrinkles, sagging skin, and other signs of aging. The only thing that is going to “dramatically diminish” is your cosmetics budget.
The low amount of neuropeptides in this product is disappointing, but that really doesn’t matter because even more disappointing is that there is no research proving that topical application of neuropeptides has any benefit for skin. As noted cosmetic surgeon Dr. Arthur Perry commented, “The molecular size of these peptides is likely too large for them to penetrate skin and reach their target cells,” and that’s assuming these peptides can somehow avoid being broken down by naturally occurring enzymes in the skin.
The association between neuropeptides and skin care doesn’t have much logic behind it. Neuropeptides are composed of short-chain amino acids and are perhaps best known as being key components of the human brain (think endorphins, the feel-good chemicals our brains release after exercise or other pleasurable activities). How these neuropeptides go about firming skin and reducing sagging isn’t explained, nor is there any proof they that reduce sun damage; but that didn’t stop Perricone from claiming otherwise and hoping that consumers will take a (very expensive) leap of faith.
As with most of Perricone’s anti-aging products, this moisturizer contains dimethyl MEA. Also known as DMAE, this ingredient is controversial because research has shown conflicting results. It seems to offer an initial benefit that improves skin, but these results are short-lived and eventually give way to destruction of the substances in skin that help build healthy collagen (Sources: Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, November-December 2007, pages 711–718; and American Journal of Clinical Dermatology, volume 6, 2005, pages 39–47).
Interestingly, there is a formulation challenge when including DMAE in skin-care products. To maintain the efficacy and stability of DMAE, the product’s pH level must be at least 10. A pH of 10 is highly alkaline, which isn’t good news for skin. Moreover, because almost all moisturizers (including serums and eye creams) are formulated with a pH that closely matches that of human skin (generally 5.5–6.5, which is on the acidic side of the scale), in all likelihood the DMAE included in skin-care products cannot have any prolonged functionality (Source: Journal of Drugs in Dermatology, Supplement 72, 2008, pages S17–S22).
Last, for what Neuropeptide Facial Conformer costs, it is downright depressing that several of the most beneficial ingredients are listed after the preservative, meaning they are barely present and, therefore, barely effective.