Reviewed by Hollis
I've been using two Kaplan MD products - the Perfecting Serum and the Intensive Eye Cream - for about a month now, spanning the transition between chilly Spring and soggy Summer. My post-menopausal skin is very oily, prone to breakouts, occasionally sensitive, and aging - making me a sort of dermatological "Everywoman", sharing at least one skin issue with everyone out there. Happily, I'm not plagued by wrinkles -- yet -- but I'm willing to squint a little to highlight some crow's feet for testing purposes. And I must believe I fall into the "transitioning" skin category that Dr. Kaplan targets with his line.
To make my review a little more substantive and objective than a simple "smile report", I borrowed a riff from my professional life as a corporate educator. This four-part Kirkpatrick Model measures the effectiveness of training programs according to reaction, learning, behavior and results. For the purpose of rating a product, I morphed it into response, usability, performance and value - Did I like it? Could I Use it? Did it work? Was it worth it? (Let me add that I am NOT a skincare professional and I can only comment on my personal experience as a consumer.)
Did I like them? YES. Unscented, quick-drying, and pleasant-feeling. They did not trigger any allergic response or sensitivity, even when the eye cream wandered into my eye due to overzealous or inept application. I also observed that their sealed, opaque packaging ensured that the active ingredients would not be compromised by exposure to air, sunlight, or my germy fingers. My initial fears that the serum might provoke zits proved unfounded. If anything, I felt it helped keep breakouts at bay. And I awoke dewy, not gooey.
Were they easy to use? YES. I followed the simple instructions and incorporated them into my existing routine without a hitch. They were easy to apply, twice a day as instructed. I used the serum in addition to what I was already using, but swapped the eye serum from what I had been using before.
Did they work? YES, I think. I'll admit that it's hard to pinpoint a specific change in my skin, especially since I have had good habits to begin with. Heck, we use plenty of things that don't produce an immediate, visible result - sunscreen and dental floss come to mind. Nonetheless, I *feel* that my skin looks better and has a smoother texture, overall. I did notice an improvement in the texture of the skin on my upper eyelid, where I had not been applying anything earlier.
I like the fact that Dr, Kaplan crams in 10 active ingredients (although they don't start kicking in until further down the ingredient list after water, glycerin, and a bunch of other items that seem to be carriers or stabilizers.) So, as an amateur user, I can't tell whether they appear in sufficient quantity to be truly effective.
Were they worth it? YES, MAYBE. After a month, I estimate that I have about half the original product left. If I had bought them at full retail price, I would have paid $185 for 1.3 ounces of the Perfecting Serum and $95 for half an ounce of the Intensive Eye Cream, for an estimated two month supply. That comes out to about $4.67 a day or $1700 a year for those two products alone, not the full regimen. Unless a doctor prescribed these products to resolve some specific, serious skin issue I would find this hard to justify.
I will say that the product seemed to go a long way. Like the old BrylCreem commercial, "a little dab'll do ya." And the packaging was of sufficiently high quality that you could control the amount of product dispensed, unlike cheaper dispensers where the stuff comes spurting out no matter how carefully you press.
At the same time, the packaging was neither wasteful nor deceptive. (I recall several major brands that over-package their products to create the illusion that you're getting more than you really are, or to suggest a level of contrived elegance to justify their outrageous price. Not here.) In other words, a reasonable ratio of product to packaging. On the downside, the sealed containers cannot be unscrewed and disassembled for recycling. After my two-month romp with their contents. the plastic pumps will roll around in landfill for centuries to come. Sad.
SUMMARY: On balance, I was pleased to have the opportunity to try these elegant, worthwhile products. They were easy and pleasant to use. No adverse effects of any kind. If they contain all their listed ingredients in sufficient amounts, they can provide one-stop shopping, er, glopping that saves a lot of hassle while doing the job of several lesser products. They are spendy, but not out of line with what other commercial brands are charging. Thumbs up!