Dr. Nicholas Perricone may not be the first celebrity dermatologist to launch his own skincare line (Dr. Howard Murad and Dr. Frederic Brandt also jumped in) but he was one the first to embrace holistic healthcare and wellness. His line has been around for 20 years and has expanded beyond skincare to include “no makeup” makeup as well as supplements. Here’s a closer look at the brand, what it stands for, and does it really work?
Who is Dr. Perricone?
Dr. Perricone was an assistant clinical professor of dermatology at the Yale School of Medicine when he published his first book, “The Wrinkle Cure.” In this book he laid out his philosophy of aging. He rejects the idea that fine lines and wrinkles are an inevitable part of getting older, and has also said he doesn’t believe in using injectables on the face. Dr. Perricone believes that aging is an inflammatory disease that happens at the cellular level, but it can be controlled by what you eat. His theory is that when inflammation is controlled, skin can maintain a youthful look and the cornerstone of this concept is a diet rich in Omega-3 fatty acids.
Dr. Perricone’s three day and 28 day diet plan focus on eating antioxidant rich foods, high-quality proteins and vitamin supplements combined with topical skincare to fight the signs of aging. His diet includes food such as wild salmon, turkey, almonds, beans, pomegranates and yogurt.
His other books include “Ageless Face, Ageless Mind”; “The Perricone Prescription”; “Forever Young”; and “Dr. Perricone’s 7 Secrets to Beauty, Health, and Longevity: The Miracle of Cellular Rejuvenation.” Dr. Perricone no longer practices dermatology and focuses on his business instead. The company was initially called NV Perricone but was rebranded to be named Perricone MD. The packaging was also changed to follow a color coded system. As of 2008, the company had generated $50M in revenue.
What Does Perricone MD sell?
Perricone MD sells a wide range of skincare products as well as makeup and supplements. The brand debuted in 1997 with the goal of treating inflamed skin. In 2003, the line was available on QVC and proved to be a hit. One of the brand’s standout products was the Cold Plasma Cream which launched in 2009. The “No Makeup” makeup line launched in 2014 to rave reviews, and Dr. Perricone is created for being a pioneer of “Cosmeceuticals,” which is makeup that is good for you. The newest line to join the range is the Essential Fx, which includes vitamin F, which is found in argan, rosehip and chia.
The Perricone MD line features multiple collections, including the High Potency Classics, Vitamin C Ester, Hypoallergenic, Cold Plasma Plus, Essential Fx, Neuropeptide, No: Rinse, No Makeup, Masks, Pre:Empt Series and H2 Elemental Energy.
Here’s a closer look at some of the brand’s bestsellers.
Perricone No Makeup: This unique product is a hybrid foundation and a serum, and gives natural looking coverage. It’s also lightweight and helps minimize the appearance of pores, and also protects skin with an SPF 30.
Vitamin C Ester Brightening Serum: The powerhouse ingredient here is vitamin C ester, a more gentle version of vitamin C. The serum delivers a dose of radiance while helping to even out skin tone.
MD Supergreens Supplement Powder: Packed with vitamins C and A, as well as riboflavin, vitamin B6 and folic acid, these single serving packets also contain probiotics and are meant to promote healthy aging.
Cold Plasma Neck & Chest Broad Spectrum SPF 25: The Cold Plasma collection has earned cult favorite status. It’s designed to target sagging neck skin and tone this area, while improving skin texture.
Cocoa Moisture Mask: Another cult favorite product, this mask smells like chocolate and delivers a deep dose of hydration thanks to hyaluronic acid, cocoa extract and DMAE, which is meant to lift sagging skin.
High Potency Classics Face Finishing & Firming Moisturizer: The popular High Potency collection uses ingredients such as vitamin E and kukui nut oil in products such as this deeply hydrating moisturizer.
CBX Lightweight Moisturizer: Designed for men, this lightweight moisturizer is designed to be absorbed quickly. It contains phytocannabinoids, which are derived from the hemp plant.
What are Some of the Ingredients Found in Perricone MD?
Perricone products are formulated with a blend of well known ingredients such as hyaluronic acid, which holds up to 1,000 times its weight in water, and lesser known ones such as vitamin F and DMAE. Vitamin F is the cornerstone of Perricone MD’s new Essential Fx line. Vitamin F is an unsaturated fat like Omega 3, 6 and 9 and is found in chia seed oil, flaxseed oil, macadamia seed oil, pumpkin seed oil and sardines. The line also contains acyl-glutathione, a naturally occurring antioxidant that decreases with age, stress and environmental aggressors.
The Cold Plasma Dub-D line is based around DMAE, or dimethylaminoethanol. This is naturally produced in the brain and also found in oily fish such as anchovies and sardines. DMAE in skincare is thought to boost skin health by boosting cell function. It is also found in the Cocoa Mask.
The Neuropeptide line harness the power of neuropeptides, which Perricone MD explains as “powerful, protein-like building blocks that offer the ultimate visible antidote to wrinkles, sagging, dullness, and discoloration. Neuropeptides encourage surface skin cells to work together via a unique chemical structure.”
Other more commonly used ingredients in Perricone MD products include nourishing vitamin E; cold pressed kukui nut for a dose of moisture; olive leaf extract for hydration; and citrus extract for gentle exfoliation.
Where Are Perricone MD Products Sold?
Perricone MD products are sold at major department stores such as Nordstrom, Macys and Neiman Marcus, as well as specialty makeup stores such as Blue Mercury, Sephora and Ulta. It is also sold on QVC, Amazon and Walmart.
How Much are Perricone MD Products?
Perricone MD products are on the pricier side of the spectrum without nearing stratospheric prices. The Face Finishing & Firming Moisturizer retails for $69, while the No Makeup Foundation Serum is $69. The Lightweight Moisturizer for men is $59. The Cold Plasma collection is among the most expensive- the Cold Plasma Plus Duo, which contains the face and eye cream, retails for $199. The products are sold individually as well as in kits.
Do Perricone MD Products Work?
Perricone products have been best sellers for around 20 years and many of the products have achieved cult favorite status – which suggests the brand is doing something right. Many Perricone products have scooped up beauty industry awards as well. The No Makeup Instant Blur powder received a coveted award in 2017 from O Magazine, which called it a “Magic Eraser for your face.” Perricone’s Pre:Empt Oil-Free Hydrating Cream won Allure’s Best Facial Moisturizer for Oily Skin in 2016, while the Perricone MD Photo Plasma Anti-Aging Moisturizer won a New You Beauty Award in 2017. One of the most prestigious awards was from Good Housekeeping magazine, which named the Perricone MD Photo Plasma Moisturizer Broad Spectrum SPF 30 one of the beauty breakthrough products of 2018. The Good Housekeeping Lab found that the cream increased skin’s hydration by 30%, improved the look of pores by 8%, and texture by 11%, according to the lab’s measurements.
Every product on the Perricone website lists clinical results. For the Cold Plasma Advanced Serum Concentrate, the company says 100% showed a significant improvement in lines & wrinkles, while 97% showed a significant improvement in pore size. The rose scented Face Finishing & Firming Moisturizer also has similar results – the company says 97% agreed skin looked healthier, 91% saw a reduction in the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles and 91% agreed skin had a radiant glow.
Websites such as QVC, Sephora and Amazon offer a wider look at the products’ popularity and efficacy, but for the most part, the sites do not have a high number of reviews for Perricone products. The DMAE Firming Pads, a no rinse toner, gets mixed reviews on QVC from 20 users. One customer complained about the quality- “Dry, dry, dry! For this price I would expect a little more moisture in the product. I know it wasn’t suppose to be dripping with product but come on…. Dr. Perricone your heart is in the right place but your product fails frequently” while another one says “I love this product. When you meet an old friend who you have not seen in a while and they say to you “keep doing what you are doing, you look great”, I will take that as a verification of what I thought about my skin. So much better than before.”
Perricone products on Sephora tend to get higher numbers of reviews. The Cold Plasma Plus+ Neck & Chest Broad Spectrum SPF 25 gets a 4.5 star rating from 223 reviews; 139 of those are five stars. One reviewer says “I started seeing results as soon as I began using the product” while detractors criticize its “filmy feeling” and complain that it’s “not worth the price tag.” The No Makeup Foundation Broad Spectrum SPF 30 has over 1,000 reviews which give it 3.9 out of five stars. Some users call it “The BEST foundation ever!!!” and “This is a great product! Very natural–smooths out my un-even redness but reveals my freckles.” Users who are not fans complained that the foundation didn’t offer enough coverage or didn’t work well with oily skin.
What Are Alternatives to Perricone MD Products?
Perricone MD products come with a hefty price tag which may not be for everyone- or perhaps the products just don’t react well with your skin. There are a few other companies to consider.
Formulyst focuses on long-term and effective skincare, and the product line addresses everything from wrinkles to dark spots and dry skin. If you have anti-aging concerns, stock up on Formulyst’s Anti-Aging Night Cream ($59). It’s packed with the gold standard ingredient for softening the look of fine lines, retinol, which is derived from vitamin A. What makes this formula different is that it contains a high dose of retinol but it’s also packed with ultra-soothing and hydrating safflower seed oil and jojoba to lock moisture in and minimize any potential irritation.
Formulyst Retexturing and Perfecting Serum ($39) is powered by gentle but effective alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) and beta hydroxy acid (BHA) which works to dissolve skin cells. Packed with plant based acids, this serum sloughs off dead skin cells, leaving behind fresher, smoother looking skin. Formulyst’s Pro-Collagen Serum ($59) contains a highly concentrated mix of peptides and proteins, derived from seaweed, wheat and soy, to help tackle these signs of aging. Apply a few drops of this hydrating serum to help skin look smoother and younger.
If you don’t want to build your own skincare regimen, consider a skincare kit from Advanced Dermatology. The Advanced Dermatology line includes everything needed to address the signs of aging. The system can help diminish the appearance of wrinkles, reduce dark spots and hyperpigmentation. The regimen also works to minimize redness, even out skin tone and improve the appearance of eye bags and dark circles. The kit includes a cleanser, serum, anti-wrinkle treatment, moisturizer, day cream and eye cream- in other words, everything you need for glowing, beautiful, healthy skin.