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BioEffect EGF Serum- reviewed and recommended

a scientist researching plant stem cells

Pros

Just a handful of potent ingredients

Cons

Results require patience over a couple of months
November 7, 2011 Reviewed by Marta 64 Comments
Most effective when used in a very targeted way

After two months of testing Bioeffect EGF Serum (from $220) I have come to the conclusion that is it one of the best serums yet. Right now, I don’t want to use anything else on my face. I wanted to take time before coming to a verdict for a number of reasons: the claims made for it seemed a bit too good to be true, the early results on my skin seemed a bit too good to be true; meanwhile the price was not, and so I wanted to make sure that a 0.5 oz bottle was really worth $210 (there is a 0.17 oz at $110).

Bioeffect is made in Iceland and is based mostly on one single active, a stem cell that is derived from barley. It is important to note that there are only nine ingredients in all — Bioeffect says that the efficacy of the barley stem cell can be compromised by too many or the wrong type of ingredients. It is a perfectly clear serum, very light weight and absorbs nicely. After two months I am exactly half way through the 0.5 oz bottle that I was given to review.

Because the price point and, to some extent, the formula reminded me of E'shee Clinical Esthetic Cellular Repair Serum, I decided to test them side by side on crow’s feet (with a little prodding from Junko). Within a couple of weeks, Bioeffect seemed to be every bit as good as the E’shee, but I was a little suspicious that I might be getting a superficial effect from the glycerin that is the main ingredient. If Bioeffect was really smoothing out wrinkles by repairing them, I needed to give longer.

A month in, I was convinced that the Bioeffect side was looking much smoother than when I’d started out. I even began to wonder if it was doing a better job. In fairness, it was hard to say because I was using Bioeffect on my left side, which is less wrinkled than my right (I tend to sleep on my right side and the skin is more creased as a result). So I decided to stop using the E’shee on the right and went with Bioeffect. After a week, the right side looked no worse and after two weeks, it even seemed to be slightly improved.

The results of my test lead me to believe that Bioeffect is every bit as good as E’shee and on the wrinkle smoothing front, possibly better. It is worth pointing out that E’shee is also good at reducing redness and broken capillaries, more so than Bioeffect.

Gradually, Bioeffect began to be my go-to serum for all my face (except eyelids and the immediate under eye area, where I am currently using YBF Correct). As my various other tests finished, Bioeffect took over as I liked the refreshed and smoother look that my skin was getting.

I’ve also been testing a similar product to Bioeffect, made here in the US by DNA EGF. It is based on the same Icelandic barley active. I’ve been testing it on my upper lip lines. So far, I haven’t seen much of an effect, but I only started three and half weeks ago and intend to give it a few weeks longer before coming to a view.

Yes, Bioeffect is expensive, but I know that I will buy a replacement in a couple of months when this runs out. From using E’shee, I’ve learned that these serums can be made to go a long way if used where they are most needed in a very targeted way. Bioeffect’s own research suggests that it keeps on working and the results are cumulative. That is certainly my experience after two months. Bioeffect is worthy of a place amongst stem cell based serums that really do seem to be effective.

At this point, I knew that I had to get Bioeffect for the TIA shop and I have to say working with the company, ORF Genetics, in Iceland (thanks to Gerdur for her good-humored efficiency!) to bring the serums over to the US has been a pleasure.

P.S. We’ve recently learned 70-something Martha Stewart is also a fan.

See also:

  • April 8, 2016

    by Sharon

    Is Bioeffect noncomodogenic? I am 67 but still have clogging problem. I currently am using the Nuderm system by Obaji. When I am finished this treatment, I want to be prepared with a new system. My friend spent time in Iceland last year and came home with Bioeffect.

    If you have a product better for skin that clogs easily, please recommend.

  • April 11, 2013

    by Kathy Peracca

    Ask "doctor" Sanderson why he still calls himself a doctor when his license was revoked in 1995. If his lips are moving- he's lying.

  • August 14, 2012

    by Rose

    I purchased this product because of the reviews reporting fabulous results on crow's feet. I can't report such fabulous results, however, so I wanted to let people know that maybe they should pass this one by. I'll keep looking!

  • May 12, 2012

    by Marta

    Hi Fan, I did some research on EGF efficacy and safety and wrote about it here: http://www.truthinaging.com/face/epidermal-growth-factors-do-they-work-and-are-they-safe

  • May 12, 2012

    by Fan

    Other than the physician who posted here––and who appears to be avidly promoting his own skin care line at this point––has anyone heard or read comments from a source that identifies carcinogenic effects of BioEffect?

  • January 6, 2012

    by Esmee

    Thanks for recommending this product. I have been using it for a month now and it has totally transformed my skin!! It is glowing - all my friends keep asking me my secret!

  • December 8, 2011

    by Marta

    Hi Paula, I am 52 and have noticed good results with both Bioeffect and E'shee.

  • December 8, 2011

    by Paula Cheshire

    I wish that i knew your skin ages? i look terrible and have not taken care of myself. surgically lost hormones at 42. i am 54...have deep forhead wrinkles with 11 lines...crows feet...lip creases from smoking. I no longer smoke. I have reactions to products that don't make sense. My skin looks paper thin when i smile and it wrinkles more.
    i read through posts to see how Elysee product worked for somebody, and now I can't remember who it was. (Another side effect of no hormones is memory loss, at least for me.)
    Anyway if you know who I am referring to, how did it go?

  • December 7, 2011

    by Truth in Aging Fan

    I don't understand what the good doctor is saying... we eat genetically altered foods in today's market... corn, rice, tomatoes, squash, potatoes ect. The government approves and allows them.

  • November 23, 2011

    by Susan

    You are rather intriguing, Dr. Sanderson.

    I for one welcome the science, especially when it is shared in a logical manner and without a taint of condescending self-indulgence.

    I look forward to the bare-faced truth.

    Thanks TIA for allowing us all to bring it on.
    :)

  • November 21, 2011

    by John Sanderson, M.D.

    Per your suggestions, we have started a new side blog to delve more deeply into the science of anti-ageing products and ingredients.

    barefacedtruth.com

    The first controversy is an extended review of Bioeffect EGF. Please drop in and join the debate.

    Thanks to Marta and friends for your hospitality, and for caring about the truth.

  • November 19, 2011

    by AgelessJen

    If you have a LinkedIn account (free), there is a group called "Safe Personal Care Products The Right Way", which has a science edge...might be worth joining for the other science junkies in the crowd?

  • November 17, 2011

    by Ana Callan

    Wow, what a bounty of feedback. Fascinating. Bioeffect is already causing a stir. As a Northern European woman, I'd love to sample a product that was created in that climate. I am 52 years old and have tried many skincare products but am still searching for The Elixir.
    Maybe Bioeffect is that elusive jewel!

  • November 17, 2011

    by Julie Kay

    Oh heck ya! I have a variety of places that need a power boost- horizontal forehead lines, vertical lip lines, and my left marionette deep groove (that I thought I had control over) is back which displeases me to no end. I say: Pretty Please, Master... ~grasshopper

  • November 16, 2011

    by maria r. lewan

    Hope I can get a word in here in the midst of all of the scientific info!
    Would love to try the sample. I'm 60 & look younger-always looking for the "holy grail" & always, always, always check here first before I purchase any new product!

  • November 16, 2011

    by Valerie

    I would also love to try this one. I've been using Reluma, but think I may have plateaued with it. I'd be very excited to see the results!

  • November 16, 2011

    by Becky

    I'd love to try this out and do another review!

  • November 16, 2011

    by Pam C

    I would be willing to try and give a review also if still have samples availabe or still need some to test it and give a review. I have tried E'shee and ReLuma and still use both on and off so I would be able to compare pretty easily. Because I have tried both, I am very interested to see how this product compares.

  • November 16, 2011

    by Mary Andre

    I would love to try this product! I have been sticking with only antioxidants and these growth factor products do show a lot of promise. Thanks.

  • November 16, 2011

    by Dava

    Would be happy to sample and give a full review. I just turned 50 last month... a late Birthday gift would be nice :)

  • November 16, 2011

    by Cecily

    The thoughtful reviews on products, done with a critical eye for what works, what doesn't, and why, is what makes TIA a trustworthy resource. For me, the contributions from scientists just makes it that much more so. I find the debates and commentary interesting and respectful. Thanks for all!

  • November 16, 2011

    by Annette

    I would love to try the Bioeffect serum!! Im not finding anything i use that effective at the moment

  • November 16, 2011

    by Denise Duane

    I would love to try the Bioeffect serum on my 40-something wrinkles! I'm curious to see how it stacks up against the Reluma serum and moisturizer I am currently using....

  • November 16, 2011

    by Ki

    I'm turning 60 in a month, and could use a boost! Even though I am lookin' good, and feeling great, I do have the beginnings of lines a bit more serious than laugh lines. Pick me, pick me, and I'll reveal all after I test it!

  • November 16, 2011

    by Kim

    Ok, I'm not sure if I'm the right fit, but i'm dieing to try this sample on the lines around my eyes!! I feel like they are new enough that perhaps this will really have true and noticeable effect on them. Would love to let all the late 30's girls know how this performs on our fine lines!

    xoxo
    kim

  • November 11, 2011

    by spo

    This is the best of all possible solutions - a separate blog for Dr. Sanderson's scientific info, so that those of us interested can visit there..

    The discussion here was getting 'out of hand' and I'm glad there is an equitable resolution to this..

    Thanks to Marta & Dr. Sanderson!

  • November 10, 2011

    by Jaysie

    Dr. Sanderson - I'm looking forward to your blog. Hope you'll be ready for all the skin care junkies who will be clamoring for information!

  • November 10, 2011

    by Dawn Nikithser

    I'll keep it succinct -- bring on the science! I welcome it and look foward to reading more. One can be a cosmetics chick and a science geek at the same time -- this new blog sounds ideal to me.

  • November 10, 2011

    by John Sanderson, M.D.

    Hi Joan. Dr. Gudmunder and I (and many others) agree that plant stem cells do not do what they claim for skin. It wasn't he, but the reviewer who mistakenly said that Bioeffect is made from plant stem cells. It is instead made by "transfecting" barley plants with genetic material (DNA) to tell it to make "human EFG-like" biomolecules. Stem cells (per se) are not involved. It's controversial, but for different reasons (see above).

    Thank you Jaysie. Per Marta's suggestion my staff is setting up a new blog which will be designed as a complimentary site to TIA. We will be able to answer questions about ingredients & skin care science. We won't review or sell products or take ads, because we don't want to compete in any way with TIA. Think of it as a sister blog. More on that as we get set up.

    Only 149 words!

  • November 10, 2011

    by Jaysie

    I’m grateful to Dr. Sanderson for taking the time to post here, and I don’t mind lengthy explanations at all. Counterpoints from someone like Gudmundur are useful, too, in making purchasing decisions. The products that seem to spur comments from scientific types are those that include the more mysterious, high tech, and/or controversial ingredients, like Growth Factors. I come to TIA precisely for this kind of information, delivered in plain English, that I cannot find anywhere else on the Internet. Combined with the honest reviews, this is all preferable to the hype found on commercial web sites.

    As long as the professionals disclose their credentials in brief and any affiliations within the cosmetic industry, I’m delighted to read what they have to say. TIA is unique in providing a forum that attracts such discussions about beauty products. I feel it’s up to each of us to edit the material.

  • November 10, 2011

    by Joan

    I'm a little confused. Not on the whole scientific debate, which is probably a good and helpful thing. I'm confused about something Gudmundur said in her comment above.

    In Marta's review, it says:

    "Bioeffect is made in Iceland and is based mostly on one single active, a stem cell that is derived from barley."

    But Gudmundur's comment says:

    "While he rightfully criticizes the use of plant stem cells in cosmetics (as they most likely do nothing for your skin), ..."

    Putting aside the whole GMO issue, my question is, do plant stem cells work to improve skin or not?

    Maybe I'm just having a blond moment today, but am I missing something?

  • November 10, 2011

    by Marta

    I think the science blog is a great idea. Come back and give us the link to it when you've set it up John and I'll be sure to visit. Do come back and tell us when you've launched your stem cell product as well.

  • November 10, 2011

    by Junko

    Emily * Well stated. I agree with your every word. I would appreciate a separate forum for the scientific comments if Marta wants to support that. If not, why don't they start their own site...

  • November 10, 2011

    by John Sanderson, M.D.



    The community is mixed. It seems that some TIA’ers want to hear about the real science, while others think the discussion only exists to further evil motives, or to condescend to “empty-headed broads”, and cannot be trusted.

    I welcome Dr. Gudmunder's return, and I am more than willing to continue the debate. I have my evidences all lined up, and a colleague or two (university MD/PhD’s masquerading as experts) who would like to chime in. But it is, frankly, a deep scientific topic that touches on the very nature of cancer causation and promotion, and probably not the sort of thing that interests some (perhaps most) of you.

    But given the apparent ambivalence it would seem that this is probably not the ideal forum. I suggest we start a new blog devoted to just this sort of thing. No advertising, no selling, just straight talk, more to the objective side to add balance the subjective. Try to keep the discussion at a "popular science" level. Those who want to participate can. Those who don't won't be bothered. What do you guys think? Marta?

  • November 10, 2011

    by Marta

    Hi Emily, I would certainly second that it is good forum manners to keep comments to reasonable length. 150 words would be a good guideline. Thanks to all in advance for complying.

  • November 10, 2011

    by Emily

    Marta, have you thought about putting a word limit on the comment section :-)? I hate to add to the already ridiculous verbosity on this post, but I am having trouble keeping silent.
    Here's the point: all of us welcome real information that explains the actions and impacts of ingredients and formulations. I think most of us consumers are sophisticated enough to understand that many of these interactions are complex. What I am awfully tired of is the all-knowing, condescending attitude that often masquerades as expertise: Dr. Sanderson being the most recent exhibit. Usually these folks turn out to have a very specific axe to grind (or commercial interest to advance). I do not claim to understand any of the science -- but here as well as on the Hydropeptide article I get only an alphabet soup of technical terms and assertions. Yes, I'm just another foolish, empty-headed middle-aged broad. But like others I have turned to TIA after recognizing that I can trust my peers to report their actual experiences, however subjective. I can't trust the self-proclaimed "experts" to give me straight answers about how any of this stuff works or how to take practical advantage of all the so-called science.

  • November 10, 2011

    by Marta

    Hi John, since you are becoming so prolific, a separate forum may be a good idea. I'll look into it.

  • November 10, 2011

    by Ann

    Dr Sanderson: Thanks for your reply. I look forward to hearing more about your products. Perhaps some of us beauty junkies will be able to sample them??? ;)

    BTW, I'm nit really one of those women who freak out about wrinkles and I do want to use the most healthful products I can. I appreciate and respect your obvious expertise and really just want to know what you think is safer so I can purchase that....look forward to your continued postings.

  • November 10, 2011

    by Gudmundur Ph.D.

    I will still argue that the comments made by Mr. Sanderson’s comments are unscientific.

    Let’s start with the GMO issue which is something that I am more familiar with. While he rightfully criticizes the use of plant stem cells in cosmetics (as they most likely do nothing for your skin), he doesn’t realize that his view of genetically modified organisms is based on a similar foundation. Even though he doesn’t say directly that man can be turned into corn by eating genetically modified corn, he still suggests that genes from plants might be transmitted to humans! In my view, this is as an unscientific statement as they can get. There simply is no real scientific backup for such a statement. DNA is just DNA, regardless of it coming from a genetically modified organism or not. No food has been as thoroughly studied as genetically modified food and there is simply no indication that it differs from other food. Unfortunately people who are religiously opposed to GMOs are able to quote bad science, usually conducted by similarly minded people, in support of their personal views, such as the ones quoted in the AAEM report. All larger and scientifically valid reviews have however found that genetic technology is safe. The largest such review to be conducted was published recently by the European Union and the results were that genetically modified organisms are no more risky than conventional plant breeding technologies. The review summarized the results of fifty projects which have been carried out over the past ten years with funding totaling 275 million dollars (see: http://www.gmo-safety.eu/news/1262.eu-genetic-engineering.html).

    Regarding his comments on EGF, I said in my comments that EGF was not mutagenic. Mr. Sanderson seems to have misread this comment, as he quotes a paper on the mitogenic activity of EGF to refute my claim. Being mutagenic and mitogenic is not the same thing. The fact that EGF is not mutagenic means that it does not cause mutations in our DNA, which can lead to cancer. We can however agree that it is mitogenic, meaning that it promotes cell division. That is one of its role as the name Epidermal Growth Factor implies. That does not mean however that it is carcinogenic.

    And by the way, yes I am from Iceland and am involved in biological research (and hold two university degrees in biology), but do not have a relation to the makers of BIOEFFECT.

  • November 10, 2011

    by spo

    Kim, thank you for your analysis and insightful post... I totally agree with you and you put it out there very well.

    I love hearing from Dr. Sanderson - and his input on the sight is really invigorating to the discussion, although it can sometimes bust your balloon a bit... lol

    I second the Doctor's suggestion for a thread devoted only to 'science talk' and the Doctor's opinion on the acitives in products.

  • November 9, 2011

    by John Sanderson, M.D.

    Thanks to all for the kind welcome.

    Jina: leukemia is the first disease that stem cell therapy was proven to be effective, way back in 1968. That is the essence of bone marrow transplant. You totally wipe out the diseased white blood cells from the entire body, then infuse healthy donor bone marrow extract. Some of the cells are in fact mesenchymal (as well as hematopoetic) stem cells. They find their way to the bone marrow, take up residence, and start a whole new population. Doesn't work for all kinds of leukemia, so probably wasn't an option for you father. Here’s a good link:

    http://learn.genetics.utah.edu/content/tech/stemcells/sctoday/

    What’s it got to do with skin & ageing? In the past decade we have discovered that those same clever mesenchymal stem cells (MSC's) that call the bone marrow their home (or natural niche) are also the “first responders” when an injury occurs somewhere in the human body (wound, heart attack, poisoning, or even the chronic insult of photo- & chemico-ageing). So MSC’s can migrate out as well as in. They arrive quickly (within minutes of a heart attack. At first scientists thought that they were there to create new heart cells (or skin cells). Only in the past few years have we come to appreciate that their major effect is to secrete cytokines. These are cellular messengers. So the MSC’s are doing “command and control” to get the damage repaired, but new cells are mostly derived from the tissue itself. To help explain the ageing process, I often show as slide that graphs out the number of MSC’s we are born with, and then the number for each decade thereafter. It’s scary. No wonder newborns can heal without scars, and people of my age have wrinkles, which are a lot like scars in the way they form. Scarred collagen.

    Anyway, this is sort of the leading edge in regenerative medicine research. If anybody is interested, I am happy to try to translate this into “popular science”.

    Marta: can you create a blog thread that is about science & skin physiology, not a particular product review? Then we won’t clog the airways for those not interested.

  • November 9, 2011

    by Jina

    Hi Dr Sanderson, congratulations on all your good work and the precious time you spend answering skincare questions. My father passed away only a few years ago from leukemia and I am so paranoid as to what I put on my skin and nutrition, and that goes for my family. I have been intrigued with research about stem cells and how and if they can treat such diseases. Do you see this happening in the future? Please keep TIA community updated somehow of various break throughs with links whether it's about skin issues or health issues. If it's alright by Marta.

    Marta: I accidentally came across TIA when I was reaserching leukemia. Glad I stuck around.

    Regards

  • November 9, 2011

    by Marta

    Hi Kim, I will check what has happened to your account log in. BTW, the newsletter is separate and is distributed from a different platform to people who have specifically chosen to receive it. I'll get back to you.

  • November 9, 2011

    by kim

    looks like my post duplicated - sorry for that if it appears twice - site told me the first time I didn't type those security words in properly, and it didn't go, so I redid it.

  • November 9, 2011

    by Kim

    First, thank you Dr. Sanderson. It is great to have a scientific individual add some knowledge to the discussion, no matter how distasteful it might be to people who are not educated in that way and who do not want to hear bad news. Also, Gudmunder, whoever you are, you need to do a little better when posting, in order for people to take you seriously. You did not post the slightest qualification that would lead anyone to give credence to what you say. And indeed, my first thought was that you work for the company that makes this serum. We all wish to look younger and to find the Holy Grail that will do that. But, just armchair education does not substitute in any way for many years of professional education and experience in the field of science and medicine. People often want to believe that they can figure out and understand all of that, without any professional degree or without working in the relevant professional fields, but while, to an extent, it IS possible, it is important to not become arrogant and think that a layman can make conclusions based off Google and the internet and/or just because you use a serum for a while, and you see great -- visual -- effects. Doing such a thing, can harm yourself and others using potentially dangerous products in ways that a layman simply will not understand by reading some literature. I've personally seen too much of this arrogance, not respecting the individuals who have given their lives over to study and understand all the incredibly complex pathways and interactions that the body has with chemicals, medicine, procedures, etc, etc, etc. Everything is not intuitive by a long shot. I've said this before on here. That is not to say that I do not appreciate the people who go through 'testing' the products and sharing their results based on their visual responses and the info that they HAVE picked up along the way. That is great.
    Btw, my account here on Truth in Aging is seemingly gone? Very strange, as it says my email address cannot be found, yet, I received the newsletter just today in my inbox. Perhaps some temporary buggy issue with the site? I'll try signing in later to see if my account reappears.

  • November 9, 2011

    by Marta

    I appreciate the background John. ReLuma is also at Irvine. Are you connected in any way?

  • November 9, 2011

    by Dennis

    I actually welcome the rain the good Doctor brings. I have a friends who's been doing this to me for years and it's pushed me to actually research ingredients instead of blindly buying into hype. Here's to the the Doc bringing us a breakthrough.

    Meanwhile, I've noticed that few Doctors recommenced anything other than retinoids and sunscreen when it comes to skin care, unless they're peddling their own line, of course.

  • November 9, 2011

    by John Sanderson, M.D.


    Hi Marta,

    Happy to disclose about myself. The company is my own (Cellese) whose principals include another MD, a PhD, and an MBA. So we cover the alphabet. I am not the brains of the outfit, I am the CEO. I always associate with people much smarter than myself. It keeps me humble. You won’t find anything out there about the company, as we are still in “stealth mode”. No products on the market yet. We are connected to the Bill and Sue Gross Stem Cell Research Center at the University of California, Irvine. So you see right off the bat that this is an unusual company – run by a bunch of science guys, not a bunch of marketers. A recipe for failure? We like to think that when all is said and done there is a place in the market for a low hype, high science approach to anti-ageing. My background includes research (physiology, cell biology, neurophysiology), clinical practice (nutrition & regenerative medicine), and medical director at Johnson & Johnson. I also dabble in terrestrial radiolocation and bending spacetime (www.locatacorp.com, another company I helped start).

    The interest in stem cells grew out of our work in diabetes; diabetics heal wounds very slowly. We discovered about three years ago that you could coax mesenchymal stem cells to do all sorts of marvelous things. They are the ones that live in bone marrow and respond to emergencies anywhere in the body. They communicate via cytokines, to each other and to nearby cells. There are hundreds of cytokines, peptides and small proteins, and they have a really complex family tree. We have spent the last few years learning their “language” (cytokines patterns, like words in a sentence), which is the key to our discoveries. That, and stuff like understanding the differences between wound healing and photoageing (some overlap, some key differences), where the key metabolic entry points are, how to deliver peptides to the right place, etc., etc. Can’t reveal too much more as still writing patents. Have an experimental serum & accelerator undergoing testing right now. Results keep surprising us. Clinical trial subjects rave about it. Learning a lot. Planning a product release early next year. Probably will continue to tweak this for years to come….the science is just too fascinating, and we are still at the beginning in some ways.

    Meanwhile I am learning a lot about the marketplace from you and others in the real world. I think you know what niggles me, and that I am prone to speak out when I see things that I find troublesome or weird science or just plain outrageous. I appreciate your open minded attitude and willingness to hear all sides of the debate.

    Cheers,

    John

  • November 9, 2011

    by Marta

    John, you ask if I have objections to a deeper debate. The answer is of course not. We all welcome information from all sides so that we may then make up our minds as better informed consumers. However, since you are becoming such a ubiquitous participant in the TIA community I would, first, politely ask you to give us a little background on your credentials as a "science guy", to use your own words, the company you represent and the manufacturer for which you are conducting product trials. Thank you in advance.

  • November 8, 2011

    by John Sanderson, M.D.


    Spo: Wow! I could not have done a better job of shining light into that darkness. The AAEM is a highly respected “august body” of physicians and scientists. The evidence they have gathered, and the clear headedness of their position statement, says a lot. Well done!

    Ann: I have not used these products, although I just recently started to try one. However, I am supervising a clinical trial of a stem cell-derived product in 50 women (a few men), and talk to them at great length about their experience. I agree that men are a different species. Most of us don’t fuss much about wrinkles.

    I don’t want to rain on the parade, I just want the parade entrants to be more helpful (and less cynical) to you, the consumers. To start, be honest with you. Don’t make stuff up (like the apple stem cell story). It’s degrading. It’s as though the industry thinks you are a bunch of silly women who will buy anything at any price because you believe in marketing fairy tales and live in mortal fear of a blemish or (gasp) a laugh line. It’s not so much that that the products are dangerous; most of the stuff never gets absorbed anyway (topic for another day). And if you only knew the process by which these ingredients get blessed and products formulated by this huge array of small companies (another story for yet another day). If they just didn’t pretend it was science I might be a little more gracious. Why not just admit you are two guys in a kitchen with a recipe book? So, you wanted to know my motive? There it is. Hold their feet to the fire. And mine too. Maybe I say it out loud as a vaccine to inoculate myself so that I don’t end up sacrificing my own integrity for a buck.

    So, I really am not the one to make recommendations based on my own user experience. That is the role of Marta & friends. I can tell you which products/actives are based on real science (or even just a good hypothesis), which are baloney, which should make you worry a bit (like that platinum one that drew me here). In the best of all worlds, you would be able to balance user experience (heart) with knowledge (brain) to make your decisions.

    It’s late, I’ll get to those other questions tomorrow.

  • November 8, 2011

    by Ann

    thanks spo, I have read his other comments which I why I am asking him for his recommendations. Interestingly, I've tried the Reluma eye cream which I wasn't really impressed with but perhaps the serum is more efficacious. I seem to nave weird skin that doesn't react like others!

    The bottom line for me has been to use this information to enhance my understanding of what I'm using but to stick with what I find works for me. One could really go crazy worrying about all this. I guess that's a good kind of problem to have!

  • November 8, 2011

    by spo

    Ann, I don't think that Dr. Sanderson is really intending to 'rain on our parade' - even though that's what is happening...

    Just check out the Hydropeptide Hydrostem+6 posts, Dr. Sanderson threw some pretty cold water on me...

    But, hey - isn't it better we know the scientific truth? It really doesn't stop us from using the products & if they make us feel beautiful, then we will radiate that beauty - or something like that! lol

    I don't want to speak for Dr. Sanderson, but he has spoken positively about reluma serum.. ;-)

  • November 8, 2011

    by Ann

    While I appreciate Dr Sanderson's credentials i wonder if he uses any kind of skin care regimen. In my admittedly limited experience with men I have not found too many that even use these types of products! I would like to know what products he DOES recommend if he's going to continue raining on our parade and what his motive is for the continuing criticism without any alternatives offered. We're all interested in great, healthy skin and would be anxious to read what he feels is safe.

  • November 8, 2011

    by spo

    Not to throw too much more fuel on this fire -but I, too, have been itching to challenge Gudmundur's position that, in his words: "Statements that genetically modified organisms are somehow dangerous are simply ridiculous and have no scientific basis. They tend to be either based on lack of knowledge of fundamental biology, or they are made up for marketing reasons."

    I will simply point to the American Academy
    of Environmental Medicine's position paper, which discusses links to increased incidence of autoimmune disease, when genetically modified plants are consumed. They also cite their concern that consumption of these organisms might lead to - gasp! - accelerated aging!

    Here is the link for this AAEM position paper: http://www.aaemonline.org/gmopost.html

    I think it is not outside the realm of possibility, that by putting a genetically modified organism on your skin, it could lead, at the very least, to an increased inflammatory response..

    Doctor Sanderson, could that be why Marta has seen such great results - something along the lines of the bee venom mask - the skin is irritated and thus mounts a collagen/elastin building response?

  • November 8, 2011

    by John Sanderson, M.D.

    Well, looks like I raised some hackles here. That’s fine -- I am all for scientific debate. As long as Marta has no objections, we could delve deeper into the scientific evidence, and maybe along the way help interested readers to understand how to research these things for themselves. Others may just tune it out.

    This may surprise, but I am not at all dogmatic about these things, nor bombastic, nor am I a chicken little. I don’t claim to know it all – in fact I am relatively new to the world of cosmetics and “cosmeceuticals”. But what I have seen so far troubles me. The hype and misinformation is mind boggling. The “regulation light” environment reminds me of the wild, wild west. I get troubled by snake oil pitches. And they are so loud that they drown out the message of the guys trying to work the real science into real, effective products. So, maybe my self-proclaimed mission is to inject just a little more truth into the marketplace. I think the truth matters. I don’t claim to have a monopoly on it, nobody does. As I learned on the first day of medical school … “Half of everything you are about to learn is true. We won’t tell you which half”. But I promise to use the principles of science to point out potential risks as well as potential benefits of new stuff. Then every purchase becomes more of an “informed consent” transaction. I like that idea.

    Let me first address the issues raised by Gudmunder (I assume from the name he is Icelandic, and that he is therefore part of BIOEFFECT, although he failed to make that disclosure. Am I correct?). His opening salvo was “this is truly an unscientific post by Mr Sanderson who is basically wrong on all his points”. Wow! Not even one point right? I got my first “F”. Pretty miserable failure on my part. Even sadder when you discover that I have been at it for 40 years as a researcher and physician, have three science degrees, etc. What a wasted life.

    OK, let’s get serious. I will start with statements he made about EGF, as I am most familiar with cytokines and growth factors, as I work with them every day. Gudmunder states that EGF is not mutagenic. Not so. I would draw his attention to the paper published in 1988 entitled Epidermal Growth Factor-induced Mitogenesis in Kidney Epithelial Cells. (CANCER RESEARCH 48, 4886-4891). Read that again. The title alone is enough to deflate his argument. For nonscientists, I will point out that your skin cells are also epithelial cells. In this paper from a highly respected U.S.medical research institution, published in a peer-reviewed journal, 10 nanomoles (a very tiny amount) of EGF requires only a 30 second exposure to these cells to induce a maximal mitogenic response. There are many other such published works. If anyone is interested, I can send a list. Gudmunder then goes on to mention EGF and genotoxicity and cytotoxicity, neither of which I mentioned. He seems to agree with me that EGF receptor activity is tied to cancer. Yet he fails to mention that there is a constant dynamic between EGF receptors and EGF, and that overexpressed receptors are signaled by EGF in a way that can promote tumor growth and progression (see e.g. Chung, et. al. Iron Oxide Nanoparticle-Induced Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor Expression in Human Stem Cells for Tumor Therapy, ACS Nano. 2011).

    I just look back on the last paragraph and realized that 99.9% of Marta’s readers have probably left the room, or fallen asleep. I apologize. Rather than refute every incorrect assertion that Gudmunder makes, I will summarize by saying this: at least half of everything I said previously was absolutely true. But, I can also provide high quality medical evidence (and indisputable expert consensus opinion) for ALL of it. However, to spare the rest of you, and preserve time, I will only do so if Gudmunder insists. At his own peril! (I remain up for the challenge).

    Perhaps a more important point I want to make here is that in the world of legitimate science and medicine, you cannot wave away an argument you may disagree with by simply calling it “simply ridiculous”. You also should not make ad hominem attacks, nor create straw man arguments by putting words in someone else’s mouth (e.g. when did I suggest people would turn into corn??) and then refuting them. Use the facts at hand to make your point, and draw on higher levels of evidence (from the literature). Respect others, even if you disagree with them. If we ignore the rules of scientific discourse then we end up with nothing much more than a shouting match. We won’t win many converts to critical thinking about cosmeceuticals with that tactic.

    I do understand Gudmunder’s “hope” that my comments are based on misunderstanding. But, they are not. Perhaps he will continue to hope. Or perhaps he will look into the evidence. What is that book title? “Hope is not a Strategy”? Something like that.

    Now, guess what TIA readers? I am a huge fan of epidermal growth factor. And all those other amazing cytokines that make up the language of cells talking to one another. And, I think when used in a rational way, that makes sense in light of skin physiology, they can have tremendous value, therapeutically, and as an anti-ageing tool.

    I’ll answer Marta’s and Dennis’s questions later.

    For Milking Mum, I agree with you: EGF is very basic and ubiquitous in the body. As to the logic breast milk = safe, meat = safe, (therefore) EGF = safe violates all the standard rules of logic (and I think you know it ;). Just because something is natural does not make it harmless. Cyanide is natural. Heck, excrement “occurs naturally in the body of all humans” too, but you wouldn’t want to smear it on your skin. Right?

    Curmudgeonly,

    John Sanderson, M.D.

  • November 8, 2011

    by Marta

    Hi Renata, I am still using Correct for right under the eye and I find that Bioeffect does a good job at crow's feet. But Bioeffect can be used for face and eye area. I'll try it out and report back, but I have a feeling that that I'll prefer Correct for close to the eyes and the lids.

  • November 8, 2011

    by Milking Mum

    What is all this about EGF being dangerous?? EGF is in the breast-milk that I feed my baby!! EGF is in the meat that I eat at my favorite restaurant. EGF occurs naturally in the body of all humans and even John Sanderson M.D. and he is still alive and kicking unless he is not really who he say´s he is?

    Breastmilk = safe
    Meat = safe
    EGF safe

    Time to feed the baby ;)

  • November 8, 2011

    by Renata

    Hi Martha! Which product would you recommend for disturbing fine lines under the eyes, this product or YBF Correct?

  • November 8, 2011

    by Gudmundur

    This is truly an unscientific post by Mr. Sanderson, who is wrong on basically all his points.

    Statements that genetically modified organisms are somehow dangerous are simply ridiculous and have no scientific basis. They tend to be either based on lack of knowledge of fundamental biology, or they are made up for marketing reasons. Many of the best drugs used today are made in genetically modified organisms. Large studies of the proposed health effect of genetically modified organisms used in agriculture have shown them to be just as safe as other food.

    His statement that genetically modified plants can spread their genes to humans is scientifically impossible. In the human genome, one can read the evolutionary history of mankind. Through the history of life, there is not a single instance of a gene being transmitted from plants to animals, ever. DNA from genetically modified organisms is absolutely no different from other DNA which everyone consumes in food every day. We have not been turned into cabbage, corn or beef as he - theoretically- suggest. The lack of scientific basis in Mr. Sanderson’s argument becomes evident when citing grocery stores to prove a point! I sincerely hope his medical advice is better than his basic biology knowledge or dietary advice.

    As is stated on the website of Sif Cosmetics, the makers of BIOEFFECT, EGF is natural to human skin, but its amount decreases with aging. There is no indication that EGF causes abnormal cell proliferation or cancer. EGF and related cellular activators are considered completely safe in the concentration used in skin care products. There is an extensive battery of preclinical studies documenting that EGF does not induce genotoxicity, mutagenicity or cytotoxicity. No studies have linked EGF with malignant cell transformation leading to cancer. An overly active receptor for EGF is sometimes seen on the surface of tumor cells. (That is why the receptor, not EGF, has been targeted in cancer therapy.) When the receptor becomes overly active, it most often has become independent of EGF regulated signaling. There is no evidence indicating that EGF causes over-expression or mutations of the receptor.

    Hopefully Mr. Sanderson’s comments are just based on misunderstanding.

  • November 8, 2011

    by Marta

    Hello again Dr Sanderson. I would love to know more about your own stem cell business.

  • November 8, 2011

    by Dennis

    Hi Dr Sanderson. Are you a believer of ReLuma's anti aging qualities? What other skin care products would you recommend to the TIA community?

  • November 7, 2011

    by John Sanderson, M.D.

    Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but there are two profoundly serious problems with this product.

    First, it uses transgenically modified plants. Gene splicing. Maybe you can do this in Iceland. In this country, the FDA, USDA, and EPA must approve genetically modified plants. The reason for the concern is that there are known serious dangers. Genetically modified plants can spread the trans gene to other plants or – theoretically – even to bacteria and then to other species (incl. humans). The potential impact on nearby ecosystems is the greatest concern associated with transgenic plants. Ecologically speaking, this is a really nasty business. (Further reading: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Genetically_modified_plant).

    From another scientist: “It is really ironic is that when Whole Foods and Trader Joe proudly announce that their products are free of genetically modified corn or soy, a U.K. company comes out marketing their skin care products as made with genetically modified barley! Where have these people been all these years?”

    Second, applying EGF to skin has its own issues. First, EGF is mitogenic, which means it is potentially carcinogenic. Cancer cells use EGF to create tumor growth. In fact, blocking EGF is a cancer treatment approach. Now, when given as one of hundreds of different cytokines in a conditioned medium-based product (e.g. ReLuma), it is present in nano/pico quantities, and more importantly is balanced with many other cytokines, all working in concert to heal or regenerate skin. So the potential to cause problems is enormously reduced. But EGF as an individual ingredient has not been proven safe in the long term (despite being used in skin care products for more than a decade). EGF is a very controversial ingredient. It has been shown in some studies to regenerate skin cell growth, sometimes to the point of the hair follicles being choked off. Hair loss is a common side effect of this ingredient and in fact, it is often used commercially to remove wool from sheep. Some clinical studies on EGF were halted early due to the toxicity levels of EGF. It is also interesting to note that it does not increase collagen, which is what you want to do to fill in those wrinkles, but instead decreases collagen production in skin (European Journal of Biochemistry. 173: 261-267).

  • November 7, 2011

    by Marta

    Junko I am so pleased! I have been so knocked out by my results. Sorry about the breakout though. It seems well-suited to my skin, which is actually been a little on the dry side these past few months. I think post menopause, drying skin will respond very well to this.

  • November 7, 2011

    by Junko

    After 6 weeks of using this on my crows-feet, I whole-heartedly agree with your review Marta!! It think it's oilier than I remember E'shee being and the smallest amount spreads easily. I spot treated crows feet, lines above my mouth and between my brows. REALLY pleased with the results on my crows feet, but oddly, it hasn't done anything for the lines above my lips. I had to stop using it between my brows as it broke me out. Oiliness in a T-Zone, probably wasn't a good idea, and I'd be apprehensive about putting it all over my oily/normal skin as well. Been waiting on this review and so glad you had positive results!!

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