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 doesn’t believe that fine lines and wrinkles are an inevitable part of getting older. Instead, he sees aging as an inflammatory disease that happens at the cellular level. 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 plans focus on eating antioxidant rich foods, high-quality proteins and vitamin supplements combined with the right 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 skincare 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.
What Is the Perricone MD Philosophy?
The Perricone motto is “We pick up where nature left off.” As the company explains, Perricone MD is a three-tier skincare and wellness system that consists of an anti-inflammatory diet, dietary supplements and potent topical skincare solutions. The brand takes a holistic approach to skincare by focusing on what goes inside- and outside- the body. The key concept for Perricone is controlling inflammation. As explained on the company website, inflammation is caused by poor nutrition, sun exposure, stress and irritating skincare treatments — which lead to an increase in free radicals, which can ultimately lead to accelerated signs of aging.
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 credited 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.
What Are The Most Popular Perricone MD Products?
The powerhouse ingredient in the Vitamin C Ester Brightening Serum 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. The Cold Plasma collection targets the signs of aging and has earned cult favorite status. The line has a proprietary liquid crystal delivery system for faster and deeper penetration of key ingredients. The Cold Plasma collection includes the Perricone MD Cold Plasma Plus and Cold Plasma Sub D, which addresses signs of aging on the jawline, face and neck.
Serums are a big part of a Perricone MD skincare regimen, and some of the most popular include the Cold Plasma Plus Advanced Serum Concentrate, which is packed with vitamin C ester and tripeptides. Another serum, the Brightening Anime Face Lift, contains glycolic acid for a gentle exfoliation along with vitamin C. The Brightening collection also includes the best-selling Brightening Overnight Treatment, which is designed to boost elasticity and fade the look of dark spots.
The Deep Crease Serum targets wrinkles thanks to vitamin F and antioxidants. The Vitamin C Ester CCC + Ferulic Brightening Complex 20% contains vitamin C ester along with two additional forms of vitamin C for the brand’s highest concentration of vitamin C (20%). The Brightening Eye Serum helps to reduce the look of under eye circles and discoloration.
Some of Perricone MD’s best-selling moisturizers and creams include the Cold Plasma Advanced Eye Cream, Hyaluronic Intensive Moisturizer and Face Finishing and Firming Tinted Moisturizer, with SPF 30. Specialty best-sellers include the Chlorophyll Detox Mask, which deep cleanses the skin, and the Intensive Pore Minimizing Toner, which is packed with DMAE and salicylic acid to help minimize the look of pores.
Perricone’s makeup line is known for creating a subtle look, including the liquid Bronzer Broad Spectrum SPF 15, which delivers a sun kissed look along with protection.
What Ingredients Are Used in Perricone MD Products?
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 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. It’s a key ingredient in the Deep Crease Serum, the Eyelid Lift Serum and the Intensive Overnight Moisturizer. The Essential Fx line also contains acyl-glutathione, a naturally occurring antioxidant that decreases with age, stress and environmental aggressors.
The Cold Plasma Sub-D line, which includes the Cold Plasma Sub-D cream and High Potency Amine Face Lift, 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 harnesses 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.” Some of those products include the Growth Factor Firming & Lifting Serum.
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 and hyaluronic acid. The Hyaluronic Intensive Moisturizer contains three different types of HA. Vitamin C is the signature ingredient in the Vitamin C Ester line, and retinol (a gold standard wrinkle fighter) is found in the Growth Factor Firming Serum as well as the Retinol Treatment and Moisturizer.
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 and Amazon.
How Much are Perricone MD Products?
Perricone MD products are on the pricier side of the spectrum without nearing stratospheric prices. The Cold Plasma collection is among the most expensive- the Cold Plasma Plus Duo, which contains the Advanced Serum Concentrate and Advanced Eye Cream retails for $199. The products are sold individually as well as in kits.The Face Finishing & Firming Moisturizer retails for $69, while the No Makeup Foundation Serum is $69. The Lightweight Moisturizer for men is $59. The Vitamin C Ester Brightening Serum is $69, and the Brightening Amine Serum is $99.
Are Perricone Products Cruelty Free?
Yes. The company says “Perricone MD does not test on animals nor do we believe in the practice.”
Do Perricone MD Products Work?
Perricone MD 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.
But what do real people think about Perricone MD? Customer reviews are harder to come by. On Influenster, the Perricone MD Vitamin C Ester Serum gets a 4.4 out of 5 star rating from about 400 reviews. Satisfied customers noted “My skin looks brighter, my complexion is even, and I love how my skin looks in the morning after using at night” and “this deserves the hype.” Some users commented on the high price tag, and people who gave it low stars felt that it didn’t work for them or made them break out. “I don’t see any results. I’m very disappointed. I was really hoping it would lighten up a few spots I have.
On Sephora, the Cold Plasma Plus+ Sub-D/Neck has 4.3 out of 5 star rating, from more than 200 reviews. Some people can’t get past the smell. “It smells like a spoiled fish drizzled in vinegar,” while someone else commented, “It smells horrible (like chemicals) and pills on my neck. I don’t want either of these for a $100+ product. Will return.” But for many people, it is “hydrating and luxurious” and worth every penny. “I have been using this product for 5 years now and I am 42 yrs old and I have a neck of a 30yr old.”
The Perricone MD High Potency Classics: Face Finishing & Firming Moisturizer has a higher number of reviews on Sephora; more than 1,000 reviewers gave it 4.2 out of 5 stars. Fans call it “the best” and “lovely.” One reviewer noted, “This is by far my favorite anti-aging moisturizer that I have tried so far. It smells great (to me),like roses, and absorbs quickly with no greasy feel.” Others noted that the product smells bad, like “old-lady rose room deodorizer.”
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.
There’s no need to compromise when it comes to finding skincare that is effective and safe. Carrot & Stick takes a tough love approach to skincare, perfectly balancing the power of plants with cutting edge science. Not only is Carrot & Stick good for your skin, it is also good for the environment as the formulas skip harmful chemicals commonly found in skin care products.