3Lab's $675 Cream

Truth In Aging community member, Pam, recently forwarded an email on a new product by 3Lab. The name 3Lab Anti-Aging Cream was as simple and direct as the price point of $675 was audacious. My question was the same as Pam’s, could it be really worth it? The answer is not completely straight forward...

Sure, most of us wouldn’t pay anything like this price for a face cream and I would not buy this knowing that at a third or quarter of the price, I can access some fantastic and effective anti-agers. But, I still feel I owe to myself, the Truth In Aging community and, heck, even 3Lab to give Anti-Aging Cream the benefit of the doubt. My views are based entirely on reviewing the ingredients list and I have not tried this product.

For such a costly cream, 3Lab’s claims seem relatively modest: “harnessing the power of hydration to fight the signs of aging.” The key ingredients are a proprietary marine complex, peptides and minerals. The kicker, however, is that 3Lab Anti-Aging Cream has been “engineered with targeting technology” to deliver active ingredients to each layer of the skin.

What this really means and how this “technology” works remains a mystery and so I am obliged to look at what those actives are and what they can potentially do.

While the first eight or nine ingredients won’t set the world on fire, they aren’t awful. For a posh department store brand, 3Lab has been refreshingly light on the silicones and at least the synthetic emollient, pentaerythrityl tetraethylhexanoate, is rubbing shoulders with jojoba and shea butter. The much-touted marine actives prove a little illusive. I found two—pseudoalteromonas ferment extract that is readily available in other quality serums and red algae. I guess the inclusion of sea water also counts.

This is a little disappointing, as are the synthetic skin-conditioning agents that come next. I was relieved to see vitamin C and, if the marine complex is a bit fishy, we are on much firmer ground with the peptides. Acetyl tetrapeptide-2 is supposed to compensate for hormone loss in the skin, palmitoyl Tripeptide-38 is the collagen-boosting peptide marketed as Matrixyl Synthe’6, and there’s a copper peptide that has been formulated with a kind of glucose and is marketed as an ingredient called Neodermyl.

There are a couple of unusual botanicals: siegesbeckia orientalis is an herb with anti-inflammatory properties and rabdosia rubescens is used in Chinese medicine. After that, though, it’s the usual suspects in the preservative department and a not-so-usual one, Pentaerythrityl Tetra-Di-T-Butyl Hydroxyhydrocinnamate, which has toxicity issues but, because of its high molecular size, is not thought to penetrate the skin, copolymers, and synthetic waxes.

So what’s my take? Well, the marine stuff doesn’t really float my boat, but I do like a good peptide and 3Lab’s Anti-Aging Cream has made three excellent choices with ones that are most definitely cutting-edge. And, it has to be said, the good amongst the ingredients do outweigh the bad.

Kaitlyn found another 3Lab cream, just as I had finished this article. It costs $875. I was expecting to find that Super Cream would be a thinly disguised version of Anti-Aging Cream—a lot of these brands keep costs down by using same formulations, with a few variations, in all their products. The only thing that makes them different is the marketing. It must be said, though, that the 3Lab has made two very different creams and Super Cream has a few interesting things going on.

Copper hexapetide is an encapsulated copper peptide and seems to encourage the production of messenger molecules and the skin’s proteins. There’s also Matrixyl 3000 and a special type of phospholipid that acts as a signaler. Botanicals with a good anti-aging record include oats, pea, hops and mistletoe. It all looks good, but it is hard to tell if it is great.

What’s your take? Would you spend $675 to give 3Lab Anti-Aging Cream a whirl?

Ingredients: Water, Glycerin, Butylene Glycol, Pentaerythrityl Tetraethylhexanoate, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Dimethicone, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter, Sorbitol, Squalane, Hydrogenated Castor Oil Isostearate, Lactobacillus Ferment, Mangifera Indica (Mango) Seed Butter, Panthenol, Trehalose, Pseudoalteromonas Ferment Extract, Cetyl Alcohol, Stearyl Alcohol, Polysorbate 60, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Octyldodecyl Myristate, Bis-Behenyl/Isostearyl/Phytosteryl/ Dimer Dilinoleyl Dimer Dilinoleate, Stearic Acid, Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate, Sea Water, Acetyl Tetrapeptide-2, Palmitoyl Tripeptide-38, Capparis Spinosa Fruit Extract, Copper Lysinate/Prolinate, Decarboxy Carnosine HCL, Kappaphycus Alvarezii Extract, Siegesbeckia Orientalis Extract, Rabdosia Rubescens Extract, Sesamum Indicum (Sesame) Seed Extract, Adenosine, Dipotassium Glycyrrhizate, Hydroxypropyl Cyclodextrin, Methylglucoside Phosphate, Sodium Hyaluronate, Sodium Salicylate, Pentaerythrityl Tetra-Di-T-Butyl Hydroxyhydrocinnamate, Hydroxyethyl Acrylate/Sodium Acryloyldimethyl Taurate Copolymer, Beeswax, C30-45 Alkyldimethylsilyl Polypropylsilsesquioxane, Caprylyl Glycol, Dimethyl Isosorbide, Glyceryl Stearate, Sodium Citrate, Sorbitan Stearate, PEG-100 Stearate, Disodium EDTA, Tocopherol, Phenoxyethanol, Citrus Aurantium Amara (Bitter Orange) Peel Oil, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Oil