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Elizabeth Arden's new Prevage Face

Reviewed by Marta January 15, 2010 4 Comments

My BS antenna started to quiver the other day when I saw in ad for Elizabeth Arden's new, souped up Prevage Face Advanced Anti-Aging Serum ($155). The Prevage range is big on an antioxidant called idebenone and the new Prevage is no different, except that it now it has an "advanced idebenone technology". Whatever that means. But what piqued my curiosity was the claim that it is "the most powerful antioxidant available today with an EPF rating of 95". Now what might an EPF rating be?

The small print on the ad says that EPF, or Environmental Protection Factor, is the trademark of Pharma Cosmetix Research. I haven't been able to find a website for Pharma Cosmetix Research, but from what I have been able to glean it is based in Virginia, was established in 1999 and has five employees. One of them, Joe Lewis, is the President and CEO and also runs a company called Priori, The Anti-Aging Solution along with a guy called Joseph DiNardo, who used to work for Allergan. Incidentally, (I'm sure not coincidentally) Prevage is a joint venture between Allergan (the makers of Botox and Latisse) and Elizabeth Arden. Priori supplies alpha hydroxy acid (AHA), idebenone and coffeeberry to cosmetics brands including Prevage, MD Formulations and MD Forte.

Nowhere have I found how the Environmental Protection Factor is calculated. However, DiNardo did write a paper in 2005 saying mineral oil doesn't give you zits. Personally, I am willing to consign EPF to the Dept of Daft.

Prevage's claims to be "the most powerful antioxidant available today" turns out to be based on comparisons with alpha lipoic, kinetin, vitamin C, vitamin E and coenzyme Q10. Some researchers beg to differ. Studies published in the March 2006 issue of the Journal of Investigative Dermatology found idebenone less effective than Vitamins E and C with ferulic on sun-exposed skin. Another study published in the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology two years later found that red grape antioxidant was also more effective than Idebenone on sun-exposed skin.

Having said that it is still a good antoxidant. Just not the best in the world.

  • July 29, 2014

    by Mike

    Dear Marta, I enjoyed reading your informative information, may i add i am an esthetician. As for the AGGRESSIVE Comment made by k-d' I am sorrowful and would like to add possibly Anger Management may be a good path before their next comment to any Individual.
    best wishes and good luck'.

  • July 23, 2013

    by Marta

    Thanks KD, I stand corrected and have amended AHA to ALA and the journal references.

  • July 22, 2013

    by K D

    If you think $155 is a lot it costs $200 here in Canada. (Much more in other countries).

    Just thought I would tell you that if you are going to quote information from Paula Begoun you might want to get your information correct. Idebenone was not compared to AHA (alpha HYDROXY acid) as you claim. It was compared to Alpha LIPEOIC Acid. Two very different things. You might want to change that before you further tarnish your reputation.

    Although I love Paula, and using her as a source can definitely help back your article, she isnt very good at wording things at times and can make both her and you appear foolish. What she says about Idebenone not being the best or most potent antioxidant is true, yes. However, she also personally rates this antioxidant as "best" on the very same page. I understand what she meant by this but most people wouldnt. I didnt like the smiley face ratings she had before, but now her new rating system is worse. It implies that anything rated as best is unbeatable. She even says (and repeats it like a broken record) that there is no such thing as best. See what I mean?

    Next we have you stating facts from two different studies and saying they were both published from the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology. Did you even read Paulas article on this???!!! Wrong again! the first one was, yes, but the second one was not. It was published in the Journal of INVESTIGATIVE Dermatology. Two VERY very different papers altogether.

    There were a few more, but I will same us both time, and you the embarrassment. If I found your article within 1 minute of a random google search, that means MANY others have as well. ITs slapped together articles like yours that spread misinformation, and make it harder and harder to collect the right information. Dont get me wrong, I am not standing up for idebenone. I agree with you that it is over priced, but It does have its highlights and I dont mark it as a bad product by any means. In fact if its given to me for free I will use it. If you want to establish yourself as someone with knowledge and want to be taken seriously I suggest you erase that article, do more research (or at least reread Paulas article), then try again. You are damaging your reputation and tarnishing your brand with this article alone! I, for one, wont read ANYthing else you have to say as you have killed all hope that you may know what you are talking about.

    You may not care about 1 persons opinion, but you should. I have a following of over 35,000 people on my blog, and I shared this with each and everyone of them as a perfect example of what NOT to listen to. It was an article about not listening to every Tom, Dick, and Marta. Dont bother asking me for the name. I dont want to start an online bickering session. I have had those and they can get very petty very quick and bad for both sides. I gave you a friends email address in case you want to chat. I am more than willing to discuss things with you as we have something in common.

    Take my advice! I only started my blog the last year.

    K D

  • January 16, 2010

    by Top Secret

    The following quotation was taken from a lawsuit involving Allergan vs SynoviaLabs. This is only one of many lawsuits that Allergan has launched with regards to this ingredient.Thought you all might find this interesting.

    "Use of idebenone, a derivative of idebenone, or a combination of idebenone and the derivative of idebenone, in skin care products is protected by U.S. Patent No. 6,756,045"

    Seems the lovely people at Allergan strike again patenting an ingredient that they didn't discover and charging people through the nose for it. Incidentally their patent does not extend to Europe and the Swiss company Rhan Cosmetics sells the raw ingredient Idebenone as part of their Cyclosystem Complex.

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