BRAD Biophotonic Ultra Elastin Cream Complex 1.7 fl oz

Our Rating: 4 stars

Reviewed by Emily on January 1, 2013


Truth in Aging has introduced me to something that could be an expensive habit but might be worth the money. I was sent BRAD (yes, Brad) Biophotonic Skincare’s Ultra Elastin Sculpting Firming Cream Complex to test.  I still can’t sort my way through its unclear claims, but I can tell you that my face and neck do feel firmer, brighter, and very happily hydrated since I started using it about four weeks ago.

I did guess right away that the line hailed from Los Angeles and immediately adored the notion that this “cult” brand (says Vogue) was originally designed around the needs of — and sold to — the oxygen and moisture deprived private jet traveler set. So, it’s not so surprising that 1.7 ounces of Ultra Elastin (50 ml) sells for a stunning $195 (in the shop)!

I cannot tell you what biophotonic means in this context. I know photon means light, but of course this is a line of topical preparations. Turns out that the sleek and attractive jars are fashioned of black glass not just to say they’re from LA. The “special density Miron glass, which blocks the spectrum of visible light” exposes the ingredients to “only life-giving violet rays that protect and improve [their] quality.”  Hmmmm. Mark’s recent review of BRAD’s Ultra Elastin Lift gave more credibility to this notion.

The second claim has to do with something called “bio-fermentation”: the BRAD website says that it uses this process to “give BRAD’s high-potency ingredients increased values, allowing them to be more easily absorbed and resulting in instantly transformed skin that continues to improve with daily use, irrespective of aging body chemistry.” Wow! I’ve taken several detours around biochemistry sites but I still can’t tell you what the brand means by formulating using oxygen or why these products work differently or resist oxidation compared with those ingredients synthesized in other ways.

The key ingredients are a very solid list of vitamins, natural oils, herbs, extracts, and butters, antioxidants, and something called multi-peptide bioferment, perhaps the BRAD secret. Glycolic acid is the third ingredient — presumably that explains the brightening; MSM doesn’t get much respect from TIA and was a bit of a surprise. Propolis and Coenzyme Q10 are relatively prominent.

I have used it mostly as a night cream — though there’s no reason not to use it in the mornings as well, especially if you’re feeling particularly ancient, as I was earlier this month. And when I have, I’ve found it an excellent base for makeup. The cream is unscented, surprisingly light-textured for its heft, and absorbs beautifully. I’d say that it’s improved my skin’s tone and texture, kept my face and neck looking smooth and well-hydrated, and even, I think, provided some firming. It is definitely expensive (more expensive than anything I’ve used before) — but for the most part, I’ve skipped the use of serums while using the Ultra Elastin, so it may be a bit of a two-fer for some people. I’m not sure I’ll use it year-round, but I do think I’ll return to it when I feel I need help dealing with the winter elements.