Oprah’s trainer Bob Greene has just published a new book called 20 Years Younger and I recently received a copy of it. For anyone already doing their best to exercise and eat healthily, 20 Years Younger will seem short on revelations and long on the obvious. If, however, you don’t yet get that exercise and diet will keep you looking younger and living longer, then buy a copy and get with the program. Greene does admit, however, that there is a third element: good skincare. And for expert advice he turned to Beverly Hills dermatologist Dr Harry Lancer, who has his own Lancer RX beauty products.

Dr Lancer has contributed the chapter in 20 Years Younger called Recapturing Your Skin’s Youth where he advocates a simple regimen of exfoliation (or “polishing” in Lancer parlance), cleansing and nourishing. There’s not much to argue with there and I was pleasantly surprised to see that it he doesn’t fall back on those dermatologist standbys of retinols, sunscreens and not much else. Indeed, for exfoliation, Lancer recommends enzymes such as papain (from papaya) and to nourish he points to vitamins C and E, antioxidant botanicals, CoQ10 and peptides.

By this stage, I was curious to see what his Lancer RX products would be like and I put 20 Years Younger aside and went to seek them out. I found vitamin C and glycolic creams, but decided to take a look at Lancer RX Natural Sea Minerals Polish ($50) and Lancer RX AM/PM Nourishment ($100).

In 20 Years Younger, Dr Lancer alludes to the fact that his skincare line is expensive. My initial reaction to Lancer RX Polish is that it is pushing it a bit to charge fifty bucks for something that has baking soda as the dominant ingredient. The polishing is done by magnesium oxide crystals, which grind away at dead skin cells, and the aforementioned papain enzyme.

I was a little put off by the description of Lancer RX AM/PM Nourishment saying that it “features the proprietary Lancer CRT OXYGEN TECHNOLOGY™ Liposome complex” that is supposed to help deliver oxygen to the skin. Glancing through the ingredients, I think that this is actually perfluorodecalin, which is said to dissolve and deliver oxygen. Personally, I remain a skeptic regarding oxygen. There are no studies to prove that added oxygen can actually repair wrinkled skin or prevent lines from forming. Conversely, too much oxygen can enhance the number of unstable oxygen molecules that cause free radical damage.

Nonetheless, AM/PM Nourishment is an interesting looking product with plenty of ingredients that do have a convincing track record. Matrixyl (palmitoyl pentapeptide-4) is fairly near the top of the ingredients list, as is the expression line inhibitor acetyl hexapeptide-8. Particularly noteworthy are three human oligopeptide. These are epidermal and fibroblast growth factors. Some of you might recall that FGF (fibrobalst growth factor) is the signature ingredient in E’shee’s serums and that EGFs are in ReLuma’s (see my Five Best with growth factors).

Phyllanthus emblica is a plant extract that is high in vitamin C and antioxidant tanins. Research suggests that it may have the ability to regulate melanin production in the skin, reducing age spots and preventing photoaging and sun damage. There is also arctostaphylos uva ursi. This is bearberry and it is a good source of the skin whitener arbutin. Some of the other botanicals used by Dr Lancer have a little less credibility though. Sigesbeckia orientalis (St. Paul's Wort) is a favorite of Clinique and Estee lauder, but there is no research backing up what it might do for the skin. Imperata cylindrica also has a less than convincing pedigree. It was thought that this was an inflammatory, but that has been disproved in clinical tests.

See my review of Lancer RX cleanser.

See our FIVE BEST recommendations including Five Best for sagging skin, Five Best with vitamin C and Five Best eye creams

Ingredients in Polish

Sodium Bicarbonate, PEG-8, Ethoxydiglycol, Magnesium Oxide, Glycerin, Oleth-20, Glyceryl Stearate, PEG-100 Stearate, Trihydroxystearin, Papain, Bromelain, Retinyl Palmitate, Lavendula Angustifolia (Lavender) Leaf Oil, Tocopheryl Acetate.

Ingredients in AM/PM

Water, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride , C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate, Glyceryl Stearate, PEG-100 Stearate, Cyclopentasiloxane , Glycerin, Butylene Glycol, Carbomer, Polysorbate 20, Palmitoyl Pentapeptide-4, Cetearyl Olivate, Sorbitan Olivate, Dimethicone, Acetyl Hexapeptide-8, Lecithin, Perfluorodecalin, Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate, Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate, Propolis Extract, Propylene Glycol, Arctostaphylos Uva Ursi Leaf Extract, Punica Granatum Extract, Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate, Ascorbic Acid, Stearic Acid, Glycine Soja (Soybean) Oil, Hydrogenated Lecithin, Human Oligopeptide-1, Human Oligopeptide-13, Phyllanthus Emblica Fruit Extract, Laminaria Saccharina Extract, Yeast Extract, Centella Asiatica Extract, Echinacea Angustifolia Extract, Imperata Cylindrica Extract, Sigesbeckia Orientalis Extract Wheat Amino Acids, PPG-12/SMDI Copolymer, Retinyl Palmitate, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter), Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein, Hydrolyzed Wheat Starch, Dipotassium Glycyrrhizate Urea, Sesamum Indicum (Sesame) Seed Oil, Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Oil, Theobroma Cacao (Cocoa) Seed Butter, Aleurites Moluccana Seed Oil, Mangifera Indica (Mango) Seed Butter, Stearyl Glycyrrhetinate, Polymethyl Methacrylate, Glucosamine HCl, Tocopherol, Carnosine, Phytonadione , Alcohol, Tocopheryl Acetate, Human Oligopeptide-3, Glycyrrhiza Glabra (Licorice) Root Extract , Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Xanthan Gum, Disodium EDTA, Triethanolamine, Gluconolactone, Sodium Benzoate, Phenoxyethanol, Fragrance