When I embarked on my trial of Neocutis Bio-cream ($59) a month ago, I said that if it was a handbag it would be more Canal St than Fifth Avenue: a smattering of designer skinwear trying to disguise some thrown together fillers. This analogy turned out to be way off the mark. This cream is a raiding party and my skin has been a battleground for the past four weeks. Forget the Cold War, I've been in the cold cream war.

By which I mean, I broke out. I have been using Neocutis on my forehead and left cheek. After 10 days I had to stop using it on my forehead and I really should have stopped altogether. My skin reacted to this cream by forming red lumps under the skin that eventually erupted and blistered. Because, I doggedly kept going, two of them started to heal and then blistered again. I now have several scabs. I should remind everyone that I have very sensitive skin, so my experiences aren't always typical. However, Tman left a comment on my first post on Neocutis mentioning breakouts.

There are so many things in Neocutis Bio-Cream that could been responsible for the assault. It could be one of the 10 (yes, I'll say that again: ten!) preservatives, all of which are known to be irritants. Or perhaps I have been ambushed by all of them working in toxic tandem. Then there are back up forces in the form of cetyl alcohol, seen by many medical experts, along with other fatty alcohols, to have the ability to altercate the lipid bilayer of the epidermis (protective barrier) and cause allergic dermal reactions. If that wasn't enough, Neocutis threw in a grenade in the form of ceteareth-20. Although some say it is carcinogenic, there actually isn't much evidence of that. However, the cosmetic industry's own panel found that when used on burn victims, ceteareths may result in kidney damage. They determined that this ingredient should not be applied to damaged/injured skin. Those with oily skin or the acne prone might want to avoid decyl oleate. Although not an irritant it is comedogenic, meaning it may clog the skin's pores. As does myreth-3 myristate.

And I exposed myself to this onslaught because? Oh yes, processed skin proteins. Neocutis claims that its formulation of human growth factors is comprised of the most complete blend available of cytokines (signaling molecules) and interleukins (cytokines secreted by white blood cells). Cytokines, a unique family of growth factors primary secreted from leukocytes, stimulate immune response and can activate cell proliferation. I can't say I really noticed an effect from the PSP. But then I've been preoccupied tending to my wounds.

Water, octydocecanol, glyceryl stearate, decyl oleate, glycerin, propylene glycol, wheat germ oil, stearic acid, cetyl alcohol, ceteareth-20, myreth-3 myristate, ceteareth-12, cetearyl alcohol, cetyl palmitate, tocopheyl acetate, dimethicone, borage seed oil, carbomer, triethanolomine, methylparaben, propylparaben, processed skin proteins (PSP), glycosphingolipids, phenoxyethanol, disodium EDTA, BHT, ethylparaben, butylparaben, methylisothiazolinone, methychloroisothiazolinone.