Time Arrest is the newest addition to the many skincare collections of Dr. Brandt (our vision of the quintessential Bond villain). Dr. Brandt describes his proprietary "age-reversing platinum technology" as a "highly effective platinum nano-particle delivery system that works like the skin's own GPS," transporting ingredients into the deepest layers of the epidermis. Thanks to the inherent risks of nanotechnology, you better hope that active nutrients are the only parts that penetrate through your skin and possibly end up in your bloodstream. A quick once-over of the ingredients in Time Arrest Creme, which puts synthetics and preservatives before beneficial actives, would dash that hope.

In spite of the marketing mumbo jumbo likening my skin to a highway, I wanted to give Time Arrest a fair road test. I genuinely hoped it would firm, lift, and restore. Despite a twinge of distaste at the scent, I liked the thick consistency of the cream and appreciated the way my face felt after applying it. Not only was the hydration powerful enough to last all night, but the texture was lightweight and non-greasy enough to create a perfect canvas for my makeup all day. And yet, after four weeks of religious nightly use, I never noticed any significant changes in my skin tone or tension. Was my GPS out of commission? When I checked under the hood, my qualms about the quality of the ingredients were confirmed.

A set of silicones (cyclopentasiloxane, dimethicone, and dimethylsilanol hyaluronate) act as humectant and antistatic agents to artificially condition by binding water to the skin. A few other emollients come in the form of hydrogrogenated polyisobutene (synthetic oil), cetyl alcohol, myristyl myristate (found in coconut oil), triisostearin (a mixture of glycerin and fatty acids), octyldodecanol (fatty alcohol), dicapryl carbonate (veggie-derived fatty alcohol), glycerin, and lavender oil. Cetyl lactate, synthesized from cetyl alcohol and lactic acid, imparts a velvety, supple feeling to the skin, and soybean sterols help decrease water loss. Though they won't technically do harm, all of these ingredients put together are the cosmetic equivalent of Spam when you're craving a juicy steak.

If it weren't weighed down with four estrogenic parabens, potentially carcinogenic BHT, and allergy-inducing TEA, Time Arrest could pass for a decent night cream. What would elevate it above a mediocre moisturizer is a smattering of botanical nutrients and anti-aging components. Shea butter is noteworthy not as an anti-ager, but as a natural lipid that both moisturizes and assists in wound healing due to anti-inflammatory properties. Far down the formula, past yet another controversial preservative (phenoxyethanol), is green tea extract, rich in polyphenols which protect, heal, and purify the skin. Lecithin, a naturally occurring phospholipid from soybeans or egg yolk, and grape seed extract, nearly dead last on the list, provide more antioxidant protection.

Dr. Brandt's amino acid of choice, methylsilanol hydroxyproline aspartane, (which can also be found in Contour Effect and r3p Eye Cream) is the formula's most concentrated active. Known for its skin-conditioning properties, this ingredient is believed to help keep damaged tissue from losing its elasticity. Cyathea medullaris leaf extract, an oil from the Black Fern tree, contains a polysaccharide that forms an elastic film to tighten and smooth the skin. Additional anti-aging power can be attributed to retinyl palmitate, an ester of vitamin A that is ultimately converted to retoinic acid. It is this form that has been proven to promote cellular renewal, unclog pores, and increase elasticity.

Buried somewhere deep in the formula is Dr. Brandt's age-reversing platinum technology. The only logical ingredient that could lay claim to this capacity is acetyl tetrapeptide platinum, ostensibly some sort of peptide cocktail. Unlike Cosme Proud's Platinum Deep Treatment, which draws on real platinum to remove positive ions from the skin, Dr. Brandt doesn't actually deal in precious metals. The closest the cream comes to real bling is light-reflecting mica, which temporarily creates the illusion of a smoother skin tone. Taking advantage of the superior connotations of platinum without having anything to do with it, Time Arrest Cream appears to be no more than an overpriced knock-off from the Diamond District.

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Water, Cyclopentasiloxane, Methylsilanol Hydroxyproline Aspartate, C12-15 Alkyl Lactate, Dimethylsilanol Hyaluronate, Hydrogenated Polyisobutene, Myristyl Myristate, Triisostearin, Caprylyl Trimethicone, Cetyl Alcohol, Tricaprylin, Dimethicone, Bis-Hydroxyethoxypropyl Dimethicone, Ceteareth-20, Octyldodecanol, Shea Butter Cetyl Esters, PEG-40 Stearate, Cetyl Lactate, Hydrogenated Lecithin, C12-16 Alcohols, Dicaprylyl Carbonate, Palmitic Acid, Phenoxyethanol, Cyathea Medullaris Leaf Extract, Mica, Acetyl Tetrapeptide Platinum, Camellia Oleifera Leaf Extract, Carbomer, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Oil, Allantoin, Methylparaben, Disodium EDTA, Retinyl Palmitate, Glycine Soja (Soybean) Sterols, BHT, Lecithin, Butylene Glycol, Silanediol Salicylate, Glycerin, Ethylparaben, Butylparaben, Propylparaben, Isobutylparaben, Triethanolamine, Sodium Styrene/Acrylates Copolymer, Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Seed Extract, Sodium Hydroxide.