What is it? A serum that lifts and firms skin while hydrating and smoothing.

For people with: Fine lines, wrinkles and age spots.

Recommended use: After cleansing and toning, smooth over face and throat. Gently tap into your skin until fully absorbed. Should have a silky smooth after feel. If your skin feels tacky, you applied too much. Follow with kaplanMD Day Cream or Night Cream for superior anti-aging results.

TIA recommends for people in: 50+

Highlights: Marta calls the serum the new love of her skin life, and it has been keeping her skin looking hydrated and healthy with a youthful texture and glow. One of our 2010 Five Best antiaging serums for 40 and 50-somethings

Stephanie says: Hi Marta, I tried a sample of this, and I *love* how it makes my skin look- both face and neck/decolletage.

Julie Kay says: I caught a sample (1 oz) of KaplanMD toner on Ebay. Now as in all things, I’m “p.i.c.k.y.” but I like this toner, a lot. I think others would as well.

Complaints: There are some parabens and phenoxyethanol in this product, and for the price (it’s not cheap), we wonder if they could find better alternatives.

Stephanie says: Hi Marta, I tried a sample of this, and I *love* how it makes my skin look. Sadly the price is out of my budget.

Hollis says: Were they worth it? YES, MAYBE. Unless a doctor prescribed these products to resolve some specific, serious skin issue I would find this hard to justify.

Ingredients we love: Marta loved that the serum is hydrated, with a whopping 50% of sodium hyaluronate. The other actives are black cohosh, grape and soy, which is supposed to combat the depletion of estrogen that women experience as they age. She was also impressed with the inclusion of carnosine, which is a potent antioxidant, Matrixyl 3000, and milk thistle, another antioxidant  that has shown to help calm rosacea.

Ingredients we don’t:

We could really do without the parabens and phenoxyethanol, though Dr. Kaplan says that accounts questioning their safety remain unfounded.

Retail Price: $185

Available to purchase at: the TIA shop

More in TIA:

Founders Series - Dr. Kaplan of Kaplan MD

Kaplan MD Skin Perfecting Serum

Kaplan MD Lip 20 Treatment

Estrogen in face creams

Bottom line:

Marta's been using the perfecting serum for a while now, and has been seeing some good results, perhaps from the potent antioxidants and sodium hyaluronate that are in it. While there are some parabens and some people question the use of estrogen mimicking ingredients, we are slightly reassured by Dr. Kaplan's vehement denial of there being no basis for their attack. And though the price is no small change, Marta thinks it is worth it.


Water (aqua), Sodium Hyaluronate, Glycerin, Propylene Glycol, Glycosaminoglycans, Gylceryl Acrylate/Acrylic Acid Copolymer, Butylene Glycol, Soy Isoflavones Aglycones, Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Seed Extract, Cimicifuga Racemosa (Black Cohosh) Root Extract, Lecithin, Phospholipids, Maltodextrin, Polysorbate 80, Peg-40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Tocopherol, Palmitoyl Oligopeptide, Palmitoyl Tetrapeptide-3, Algae Extract, Yeast Extract, Carnosine, Silybum Marianum Fruit Extract, Glucosamine HCI, Pisum Sativum (Pea) Extract, Glycyrrhiza Glabra (Licorice) Extract, Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein, Dipotassium Glycyrrhizate, Polysorbate 20, Urea, Carbomer, Xanthan Gum, Sodium Chloride, Phenoxyethanol, Methylparaben, Ethylparaben, Butylparaben, Propylparaben, Isobutylparaben, Fragrance