I was recently given some samples of KaplanMD’s antiaging cosmetic line and have already reviewed the Lip 20 Treatment (I am going to have to admit that I have since got a bit addicted to it and can’t imagine stepping out or into a meeting without a smear of it). Meanwhile, I have been getting to work on the Perfecting Serum.

I had two main questions about it. Was it going to be worth being at the very upper end of what I will pay for a single product? Secondly, was it going to live up to the KaplanMD mantra of simplicity and multitasking? To get some answers I have been trying it on my neck, face and hands.

KaplanMD’s range is based on what the good doctor calls his 10-3-1 Concept. “There are ten active ingredients per product, to prevent and treat all three types of skin aging, in one concise and synergistic line.” The idea is that the formula uses intensive concentrations of these actives so that you don’t need to use loads of different products (mind you, he has day creams, night creams, toners and whathaveyou like anyone else).

Unlike many serums, KaplanMD’s is very hydrating. This is surely due to the fact that this product is a whopping 50% sodium hyaluronate with a helping hand from glycosaminoglycans. The ten actives include Dr Kaplan’s signature black cohosh, which along with grape and soy, is supposed to counteract to depletion of estrogen that women experience as they age and is one of the three causes of skin aging identified by Dr K. Phytogenic (plant derived) hormone therapy is widely touted as a way  for women to control hormonal imbalance. However, it should be noted that some medical researchers have raised concerns about estrogen ingredients in personal care products and have linked them to cancer. By and large though, the links remain speculative and

There are some potent antiagers with a proven pedigree here as well. One of my favorites is carnosine, which can also be found in many products by Osmotics. Carnosine is a natural amino-acid that is a potent anti-oxidant, it helps to chelate ionic metals (flush toxins from the body), it has immune boosting properties. The thing I find exciting is that Australian researchers claim it can extend the HayFlick Limit. The Hayflick Limit is the name given to the sad fact that our cells will only divide and reproduce 52 times before dying altogether (no matter how much peeling you undergo). Carnosine may give us up to another 10! Then there is Matrixyl 3000, made by combining two peptides, palmitoyl oligopeptide and palmitoyl tetrapepide-3. It works by stimulating the matrix molecules – collagens 1,3, 4 and fibronectin to reduce the appearance of wrinkles.

One of my favorite botanicals is here in KaplanMD’s perfecting serum as well. The wonderfully names silybum, or milk thistle. It is worth noting that carnosine and silybum are marketed together as something called Amerliox. Anyhow, milk thistle is a powerful antioxidant, natural sunscreen and tests have shown it to help calm rosacea. As someone who is prone to rosacea, I am grateful that this serum has proved to be very kind to my skin as well as extremely conditioning. I suspect some fine lines may be getting smoothed out, but I’ll need to use it for a few more weeks to be sure. Bottom line, would I spend my hard earned on this not inexpensive product? Yes. (Although I do wish there fewer parabens and irritating phenoxyethanol).


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