Fellr asks…My friend is looking at direct marketing with Nerium International. She dropped off a bottle of anti-aging cream, NeriumAD, for me to try for one week. Forever the skeptic, I am not convinced this is the savior for our aging skin. Does this product work?
The Right Brain responds:
Nerium’s claim to fame seems to be two proprietary ingredient blends: an oleander extract (made from a type of evergreen shrub) and a mixture of proteins (which appeared to be quite common so I’m not sure why these are exclusive.) Here is the complete ingredient list (as provided on the Nerium website):
- NAE-8 Proprietary Blend (Aloe Barbadensis Leaf, Nerium Oleander Leaf Extract)
- Aloe Barbadensis Leaf
- Proprietary Protein blend (Collagen, Elastin, Glycosaminoglycans)
- Oryza Sativa Bran Oil
- Stearic Acid
- Cetearyl Glucoside
- Cetearyl Alcohol
- C14-22 Alcohol
- C12-Alkyl Glucoside Glyceryl Stearate
- Ricinus Communis Seed Oil Cetyl Alcohol
- Olus Oil
- Chondrus Crispus Powder
- Sodium Borate
- Dicaprylyl Ether
- Hydrolyzed Quinoa
- Sodium Isostearoyl Lactylate
- Sodium PCA
- Proprietary Blend (Caprylyl Glycol, Glycerin, Glyceryl Caprylate, Phenylpropanol)
- Sodium Hydroxymethylglycinate
Note: This is how the ingredients appears on their website but they don’t seem to be listed correctly in order of concentration because, according to their clinical study (see below) the NAE -8 blend is only used at 0.0117%. Therefore it would NOT appear at the top of the list.
What is NeriumAD supposed to do?
According to their website they have done clinical testing to prove their product dramatically reduces the appearance of…
- Fine Lines and Wrinkles
- Uneven Skin Texture
- Enlarged Pores
- Aging or Sun-Damaged Skin
These are fairly standard claims made by many products on the market.
What do their test results show?
According to their clinical test report, they used impressive methodology involving state of the art wrinkle tracking imaging equipment and software. But we’re a bit perplexed by how this methodology satisfies the objective of the study. The report indicates that “Ingredients that may provide additional efficacy are sought to improve existing products” and that the purpose of the study was to investigate “the safety and efficacy of two such ingredients….Nerium oleander extract and proprietary protein blend.” Given this objective, we’d expect the test to be done comparing a lotion containing the “new” ingredients to a control that does NOT contain them. That comparison is the only way to ensure that the ingredients are responsible for any benefits that the product provides as opposed to other ingredients in the formula.
However, it appears that the test was done without a control. In other words they only evaluated a lotion containing the test ingredients. So not only can we not distinguish the effects of the ingredients from the effects of the lotion base but we also can’t tell if there were other factors that caused improvement. For example, did the skin show improvement from sun damage because the panelists had less sun exposure for the duration of the test? The only way to know for sure would have been to test the product against an untreated face (either by adding panelists to the study or doing some kind of half-face test.)
What does all this mean?
You asked if this product works. We have little doubt that this product, like many others, will help reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. However there’s no information here to indicate that this product works better than other less expensive products. If their test results showed dramatic improvement versus a ”regular” skin lotion we would have been more impressed. But as they stand, the data does not justify the rather exorbitant cost of the product ($110 for 1 ounce.)
The Beauty Brains bottom line
The information provide by Nerium doesn’t convince us that this product is worth the cost.
Image credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/brandondoran/4808896207/sizes/m/in/photostream/