After Marta recommended Dermagenics’ Ultra Anti-Aging Moisturizer, Mark reviewed the men’s version and rejected it. Marta concluded the women’s version, marked by its pink label, did a good job smoothing out forehead lines, worked wonders as a hand cream, went on smooth, was easily absorbed and was pleasantly scent-free. Mark, on the other hand, found the blue label jar disappointing. Though Dermagenics promised a do-all, miracle cream to remedy the full spectrum of men’s aging concerns, Mark thought it was a decent moisturizer, but didn't experience the promised age-reversing results.

So, based on our review and consumer comments, Dermagenics reformulated their men’s and women’s creams to have a more uniform and less oily consistency.

That’s where I come in.

I’m not a consumer of beauty products, per se. In fact, before I started working for Truth In Aging several months ago, I paid little attention to, or had little idea of what was going on in the cosmetics world. I would use the shampoo and body wash that was on the rack in my shower, that is to say, the shampoo and body wash my girlfriend had bought. As for facial care: zilch. I hadn’t routinely washed or moisturized my face for almost a decade, when high school hormones had greasy ruled over my pimple ravaged face. Since then my routine of neglect, regular showering, vegetarian diet, and a return of hormonal balance have kept my face generally breakout free and clear.

So when Marta handed me Dermagenics Purifying Smart Cleanser and the Men’s Anti-Aging Cream, I was a bit skeptical, excited and self-conscious. I knew I was old enough to start thinking seriously about preserving my skin, but I didn’t think I was old enough to use an anti-aging cream. I thought, “Does Marta think that I need to start washing my face? Does she think my skin looks bad? Does she think I look old?”

That first night, after secreting the products with me to the bathroom, I first used the cleanser. It’s lightweight, clear and has a sort of scent-free, vaguely chemical, almost gas-like essence. It went on in a frothy lather, more like a foam than soap lather. It was gentle on my face, didn’t sting, didn’t feel as though it was dehydrating and robbing my skin of essential oils, and washed off residue free. Coconut derived cocamidopropyl hydroxysultaine and disodium laureth sulfosuccinate, are the key foaming agents and surfactants, both thought to be quite mild in nature. It contains lavender oil, and while I can scarcely smell it, the ingredient has apparent soothing properties. The one ingredient, I think, to shake a finger at is pheoxyethanol.

After cleansing my face, using the cream was a revelation. Having duly and thoroughly cleansed my skin after years of neglect, my pores thirstily soaked up the silky, lightweight cream. In a matter of minutes, I had excavated the filthy contents of my enlarged, clogged pores and filled them up with a mega moisturizer, intended to reverse wrinkles, let alone just moisturize my neglected, but otherwise youthful skin. The experience was totally refreshing, like an oil change for the skin. Instantly, I could feel the cream repairing my skin. My face felt smooth, soft, moist, but not greasy, my pores had shrunk and my skin felt tighter. My initial impression: I look younger.

Back in bed my girlfriend remarked that my face felt soft. Really soft. I turned on the light and asked her if I looked younger. “You just look cleaner, better,” she said. When I awoke, I could tell that my face had been cleansed, nourished, rejuvenated.

I was going to stop and talk about ingredients here, but a month’s use had worn away the ingredients listing from the back of my jar. So I emailed the company for the ingredients. Upon reviewing them, it struck me how similar they seemed to the ingredients listed in the women’s cream. As it turns out, the two products contain the same, exact ingredients. According to a Dermagenics spokesman, amounts of ingredients in each version of the cream have been adjusted to address the subtleties of men’s and women’s skin, though I’m not sure how the creams differ.

So, while I’m happy because I don’t have to analyze each ingredient as Marta did in her review of the Anti-Aging Moisturizer where she spoke favorably of the cream (that’s less work for me), I’m a little off put.

I understand Dermagenics’ intention to market the cream - which they obviously feel can help men as well as women – specifically to men. Generally speaking (but speaking as a man) most men would not assume an anti-aging cream packaged in a dainty pink, purple or turquoise jar was intended for their use. I get it.

Having had positive reviews for the cream marketed to women, and negative reviews for the men’s cream, and knowing that the makeup of men’s and women’s skin is only minutely different, it would then make sense for Dermagenics to make the men’s cream more like the women’s cream. I get that, too.
But why hold firm to the designation of men’s and women’s creams? I’m not sure how different these creams are, but they appear to be very similar. Why not market a unisex cream? One cream for men and women. A cream to rule them all. That way, my beautiful and thoughtful girlfriend could go to the store and while shopping for our shampoo and body wash, select a his-and-hers anti-aging cream as well. That, in my opinion, is how you attract male customers: via girlfriend.

All told, however, I was happy with the cream. I loved the texture, it’s rapid absorbency, even the nice little jar it comes in. But after that first night, I can’t say I was ever shocked by the results again. My face didn’t feel younger, just exceptionally moisturized. And while I thought it did a great job, I don’t think I’d shell out $85 dollars for it again.

As for the cleanser, I was quite pleased. I will happily continue to use it until it runs out and would definitely consider replacing it in the future.


Men's Anti-Aging Cream

Purified Water, Squalane, Ceresine, Sodium Acrylates Copolymer, Hydrogenated, Polyisobutene, Phospholipids, Polyglyreyl-10 Stearate, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower)- Seed Oil, Hexapeptide-9, Cyclopentasiloxane, Dimethicone, Vinyl Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Glycerin, Ethoxydiglycol, Jojoba Oil, Sodium Hyaluronate, Sodium PCA, Artemia Extract, Green Tea Extract, Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate, Allantoin, Phenoxyethanol, Mixed Tocopherol, Methylparaben, Propylparaben

Purifying Smart Cleanser

Disodium Laureth Sulfosuccinate, Cocamidopropyl Hydroxysultaine, Cocamidopropyl Betaine,
Cocamidopropylamine Oxide, Disterath-75 IPDI, Phenoxyethanol,
Caprylyl Glycol, Isopentyl Diol, Cetyl Hydroxyethylcellulose, Allantion, Organic Lavender Oil