I've tried for a long time to make friends with Remergent DNA Repair Formula ($125 for 1.7oz), but in response it has alternated between indifference and downright hostility. By which I mean that it didn't really do anything to tackle wrinkles and it gave me a burning rash.

On the face of it, Remergent looks good. Its secret sauce is to use liposomes derived from plankton, which are supposed to go straight to the skin's DNA (via some kind of special delivery system that is supposed to be inherent in this potion) and repair damage. Dig a little deeper, however, and it doesn't quite live up to its promise.

The main ingredient, is in fact, sandalwood. This is used by herbalists to treat minor abrasions and pimples. Next up is the extract of the bark of a tree called phellodendron. This is an interesting plant because it produces a lot of phytochemicals, one of which is anti-bacterial and another may suppress the immune system. Ironically, it is so good at producing phytochemicals that it has become an invasive species (people in New England are very put out about it rampaging over their state and squeezing out indigenous species). I can find vague references to it being a skin conditioner and one or two that say it is an anti-inflammatory. Neither appear to have an anti-aging pedigree. There is some barley extract, which is supposed to have anti-oxidant properties.

Then there are glycerins, stabilizers and emulsifiers before getting to squalane, which it must be said is a good moisturizer. Then come more emulsifiers and acrylics. There is arabidopsis, a plant related to the cabbage. It is of interest only because Australian scientists discovered that it has a large amount of fatty acids and can be used to replace products derived petrochemicals. A good thing, but not an anti-ager.

Eventually, we get to ergothioneine. This is a potent anti-oxidant found in mushrooms.  This plus the plankton that is the penultimate ingredient are the only things that can really be qualified as anti-aging ingredients. Although I do like the inclusion of evodia ruteacecarpa, a berry that is said to be an effective hangover cure (always useful in my experience).

Finally, there are several preservatives that are known irritants (probably the cause of my rash), including phenoxyethanol, which was the subject of a warning issued by the FDA the other day (it is used in a product for breast feeding mothers).