Every time you turn around lately, it seems a new dermatologist’s line is premiering on the market. Dr. Neil Sadick, M.D., a Park Avenue-based dermatologist I have been honored to interview on this blog, has just released his new line, featuring (for now) an AM Protection Cream ($36.00, Amazon.com), PM Protection Serum ($48.00, Amazon.com) and PM Protection Cream ($38.00, Amazon.com). Of these, the PM Protection Serum ($48.00, Amazon.com) appears to be the best bet, with the highest concentration of active ingredients.
Ingredient Analysis: Solid source of tripeptide-3 and retinol
Like Peter Thomas Roth and other skin care entrepreneurs before him, Dr. Sadick cleverly markets combinations of ingredients into “complexes.” In this case, the complex of Dr. Sadick’s design is Dermplex™, a combination of the peptide palmitoyl tripeptide-3 and retinol.
Palmitoyl tripeptide-3, lysyl-valine-lysine, is both anti-inflammatory and a proposed alternative to Botox® when it is injected. Palmitoyl tripeptide-3 has been shown to upregulate a cytokine called TGF-β, which in turn lowers inflammation within the skin (Syn-Coll, 2006) This peptide is currently marketed under the name of palmitoyltripeptide-3/5 or Syn®-Coll. Palmitoyl tripeptide-3 or Syn®-Coll is also proposed to act similarly to Walglerin-1, a neurotoxin found in the venom of the temple viper snake, which causes a Botox®-like reaction when it is injected into the skin. Specifically for you science buffs out there, palmitoyl tripeptide-3 causes reversible antagonism of muscular nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (mnAChR) at the postsynaptic membrane, preventing it from opening. The company (Pentapharm) has performed their own in vitro and in vivo tests confirming its efficacy in decreasing muscle contraction and reducing wrinkle depth (Dermatologic Therapy, 2007). Most data suggests that the success of topically-applied neurotoxin-like peptides in the skin is variable, working completely for some, not at all for others, with many falling in-between. In all cases, the effects are temporary, lasting 4-8 hours maximally.
On the other hand, I estimate the retinol in the Sadick PM Protection Serum to be somewhere in the 0.025-0.050% range – significantly lower than some of the other products out there, but still on par with most of the retinol products that do not specify concentration levels. Retinoids are one of the most effective ingredients in skin care products today, running the gamut from increasing collagen production to decreasing the appearance of wrinkles. Although this 2001 study in the journal Clinics in Dermatology found over-the-counter retinol is 20 times less potent than prescription retinoic acid in the skin, over-the-counter retinol use is still recommended, as Dr. Ranella Hirsch, president-elect of the American Society of Dermatologic Surgeons once said: “We have beautiful, profound data that shows if you use [retinoids] for 20 years, you’re going to look a lot better than someone who doesn’t.”
Sadick PM Protection Serum is a solid product, with fair concentrations of retinol and palmitoyl tripeptide-3. When used regularly over time, it is likely to refine the skin and decrease the appearance of fine lines, skin roughness, and dry patches, though it is not potent enough to be considered a “miracle product.” More of a fine standard treatment. Product Rating: 8/10
Water, Cyclopentasiloxane, Glycerin, Butylene Glycol, Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Dimethicone, Ethoxydiglycol, Glycosaminoglycans, Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Laureth-23, Laureth-4, Caulerpa Lentillifera Extract, Hydrolyzed Rice Protein, Palmitoyl Tripeptide-3, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Sodium Ascorbate, Tocopherol, Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate, Retinol, Hexanoyl Dipeptide-3 Norleucine Acetate, Lecithin, Phenoxyethanol, Ethylhexylglycerin,Fragrance.