Have you ever met a member of the opposite sex who seemed incredibly attractive by virtue of an exotic accent alone? Even if they didn't have much going for them in wit or looks, the accent still brought them up at least a few notches. A few years ago, I had this experience with a South African (older) man I met at a party, who charmed me with a mellifluous accent that brought an instant smile to my face. Several phone calls later, I still loved hearing his voice but couldn't quite connect on any topic of conversation. Like a foreign-tongued suitor with a mind-numbing personality, Dermaxime Rejuvenating Night Cream has impressed me right from the start, but solely for superficial reasons.

It all started with a glowing recommendation from Marta, who had recently become enamored with Dermaxime's Rejuvenating Toner and Rejuvenating Neck Cream. Since I had nearly exhausted my dwindling supply of night creams throughout a particularly drying winter, I was in need of a new potion that would both satisfy my parched skin and put premature aging to bed. I immediately figured that Dermaxime was the night cream for me, since, after all, relationships set up through a friend have the highest rate of success.

At $106 for 60ml, I had high expectations for the Rejuvenating Night Cream, which promised to be the best anti-aging night cream money could buy. A quick glance at its ingredients list and thorough breakdown on its website further signified a promising product. One of Dermaxime's biggest selling points is that all active components are included in the correct percentage, or "therapeutic quantity," to ensure effective results. You won't find any angel dusting here.

I was certainly seduced by its smell, which is pleasantly delicate and outwardly natural, though (as indicated by a buried "Parfum" on the label) it's not. Likewise, the lightweight texture is lovely and absorbs readily without any greasy residue or shine. But because the lotion spreads out so thinly, it would be better suited to daytime use as a base for makeup and SPF. On more than one occasion, I woke up the morning after applying Dermaxime to find flaky areas on my face (not really the look I was going for). Lending only a frail coat of moisture, the cream never made my skin feel deeply hydrated or "rejuvenated," as its name pledges.

That's a shame since Dermaxime seems to have taken painstaking care in formulating its product. Several patented complexes of active ingredients appear near the top of the night cream's formula. The first of these is Hydromanil, a novel cosmetic complex that improves moisture levels in the skin through extracts from a Peruvian plant's seeds, which are nearly 30% oil. A couple of powerful peptides are added for their healing and anti-aging benefits. According to Dermaxime, one of these peptide complexes actively prevents dryness, binds to fibroblasts, and boosts collagen and elastin formation, reducing wrinkle depth by an average of 44%. The other peptide is involved in increasing the bond between skin cells and the base membrane of skin, which declines during the aging process. In returning the cohesion levels to those of younger skin, this peptide is meant to restore a more compact, firmer appearance.

A few botanical extracts contribute antioxidant benefits, thus neutralizing oxidative stress caused by free radicals. In particular, cranberry extract is an excellent source of vitamin C, flavanoids, and polyphenols, while green tea (camellia sinensis) reduces inflammation and may inhibit collagenase, a natural enzyme that breaks down collagen. There's also horse chestnut extract, which is believed to improve the health of veins and capillaries, preventing capillaries from leaking into the tissue and increasing circulation. Vitamins such as tocopheryl acetate (vitamin E) accelerate cell renewal and reduce UV-induced wrinkling. Additional hydration comes from jojoba oil, evening primrose oil, and multiple variants of olive.

The Rejuvenating Night Cream's moisturizing ingredients are supposed to penetrate to the deepest level of skin within only 30 minutes due to hyaluronic acid, but I have a hard time believing that one of the last ingredients on its list is strong enough to deliver such power. Considering Dermaxime's outcry against angel dusting, why does sodium hyaluronate appear so low in its formula, and could this level really be sufficient to bind moisture in the skin and prevent trans-dermal water loss? The only inclusions to follow sodium hyaluronate are a miniscule amount of retinyl palmitate (vitamin A) and the preservative sodium hydroxide, which can cause irritation even at very low levels.

As much as I like Dermaxime's Rejuvenating Night Cream for its comforting texture and promising ingredients, I don't think I can be loyal to it every night. It takes more than a nice accent to justify the cost of an expensive date.

Ingredients:

Aqua, Caesalpinia spinosa oligosaccharides/Caesalpinia spinosa gum/Glycerin, Propylene Glycol, Cyclopentasiloxane/C30-45 Alkyl cetearyl dimethicone crosspolymer, Tocopheryl acetate, Vaccinium macrocarpon (Cranberry) seed oil, Hexapeptide-10, Pseudoalteromonas ferment extract, Simmondsia chinensis (Jojoba) seed oil, Cetearyl olivate/Sorbitan olivate, Hydrogenated olive oil/Olea europaea (Olive) fruit oil/Olea europaea (Olive) oil unsaponifiables, Centella asiatica extract, Aesculus hippocastanum (Horse chestnut) seed extract, Camellia sinesis leaf extract, Oenothera biennis (Evening primrose) oil, Phenoxyethanol/Ethylhexylglycerin, Parfum, Xanthan gum, Disodium EDTA, Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl acrylate crosspolymer, Sodium hyaluronate, Retinyl palmitate, Sodium hydroxide.