Does Dr. Oz's Favorite Moisturizer Really Work?

According to Dr. Mehmet Oz, M.D., of the Dr. Oz Show fame, you should save your money on the “fancy” creams, and buy St. Ives Facial Moisturizer Timeless Collagen Elastin ($4.44, Amazon.com) instead.

Unfortunately, while I have the utmost respect and admiration for Dr. Oz, I have to disagree with him on this one.  Here’s why:

The Real Problem is What’s Missing

Research demonstrates and concludes certain ingredients in skin care are more efficacious than others.  Efficacious ingredients currently available over-the-counter with a plethora of research relevant to the skin include retinoids (5414 PubMed hits), vitamin C as L-ascorbic acid (1293 hits), niacinamide (290 hits), alpha hydroxy acids (295 hits), and, of course, sunscreen (3079 hits). These ingredients have been proven to do everything from fight existing signs of aging to stimulating collagen production.  You can read further research on the ingredients under our “Ingredients” section, accessible from the “Ingredients” tab at the top of the page.

Unfortunately, St. Ives Facial Moisturizer Timeless Collagen Elastin only has one function backed by scientific research:  hydration.  There are no superior anti-agers in this formula, such as the retinoids, L-ascorbic acid and other antioxidants, alpha hydroxy acid, sunscreen, and other potent, proven age-fighters.

Putting Collagen and Elastin in a Product is Worthless

Collagen and elastin in a skin care product only serve as a hydrators, unless they are injected into the skin.  The reason is both collagen and elastin are larger than 500 Daltons, and only molecules of size 500 Daltons can penetrate skin (Cosmetic Dermatology). So, while St. Ives Facial Moisturizer Timeless Collagen Elastin won’t boost collagen production, it will rehydrate your skin.  A wonderful thing for winter, for sure, but not a definitive selling point.

Mineral Oil:  A Great Hydrator

Unlike many other online sources, I do agree with Dr. Oz in supporting a product with a high concentration of cosmetic-grade mineral oil.

Mineral oil gets a bad rap because many people believe it is comedogenic (pore-clogging) and is impure.  In addition, mineral oil is derived from petrolatum, a non-renewable source.  However, it is not technically comedogenic.  Mineral oil is an occlusive agent, meaning that it essentially traps water and other ingredients against the skin.  However, so long as you use mineral oil with other non-comedogenic ingredients (or alone), you will be fine.  According to the cosmetic chemist Rebecca James Gadberry, chairman and co-CEO of YG Laboratories, mineral oil on its own is not pore-clogging. On a rating of zero-to-five, with five being highly pore-clogging, Gadberry says that tests of the cosmetic grade of mineral oil usually grant a one or two, depending upon the methodology of the test.

Cosmetic-grade mineral oil is also purified according to FDA standards.  So despite the internet rumors, you are not putting your health at risk from using it.  In fact, you are granting yourself a superior source of moisture:  A study in the journal Dermatitis found that mineral oil was more effective in preventing water loss from the skin than a solution with 15% linoleic acid, a fatty acid known for its hydrating abilities.  Considering mineral oil is the second ingredient to water in St. Ives Facial Moisturizer Timeless Collagen Elastin, this means it’s a superior hydrator.

Bottom Line

I have the utmost respect for Dr. Oz, but I hope that he has a dermatologist who knows formulations inside and out on his show in the future.  Ideas from my end include Dr. Leslie Baumann, M.D.; Dr. Jeannie Downie, M.D.; and Dr. Jeannette Graf, M.D., all of whom regularly speak to the press about products, correctly referencing the scientific research backing their ingredients, formulations, delivery systems, and packaging.

Ingredients in St. Ives Facial Moisturizer Timeless Collagen Elastin
Water (Aqua), Mineral Oil (Paraffinum Liquidum), Propylene Glycol, PEG-100 Stearate, Glyceryl Stearate, Stearic Acid, Phenoxyethanol, Carthamus Tinctorius (Safflower) Seed Oil, Triethanolamine, Carbomer, Dimethicone, Cetyl Alcohol, Disodium EDTA, Fragrance (Parfum), Ethylhexylglycerin, Linalool, Hexyl Cinnamal, Hydrolyzed Elastin, Hydrolyzed Collagen, Coumarin, Geraniol.

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by Nicki Zevola

9 thoughts on “Does Dr. Oz's Favorite Moisturizer Really Work?

  1. Denise says:

    I respectfully disagree with you disagreeing with Oz. He stated it’s his favorite moisturizer. You yourself admit it’s a good moisturizer(hydrator). Because it doesn’t have any anti aging ingredients or actives is really beside the point. We’re talking moisturizer’s here. It’s a good economical moisturizer.
    Also Oz and most pro’s do understand that while spf in products like moisturizers and foundation is a nice extra it’s just that. The vast majority of people of would never use enough of the product to get the proper protection. One should really rely on a dedicated spf if outdoors.

  2. Nicki Zevola says:

    @Denise – Thank you for your respectful response. Well, Dr. Oz did say (though I didn’t quote it properly) that it is his favorite “anti-aging” moisturizer. As a moisturizer, this is fine, but as an “anti-aging” treatment, it is sub-par compared with many on the market. Hope that helps to clarify our point.

  3. Denise says:

    Hate to be super nitpicky I saw that segment it was a five dollar Friday. He gave his top anti aging moisturizer and other products, UNDER $5 dollars. He presented this, a pure cocoa butter stick and witch hazel. It’s a little unfair to call it his favorite moisturizer. This is one of the better things you can do to combat aging under five dollars.
    Point is Dr Oz knows and recommends better.

  4. Adele Evans says:

    As a skin esthetician who has done a lot of post grad training, one of them being in cosmetic chemistry we learnt and it is well known that collagen is too large a molecule so it can’t penetrate the skin. Also if you are stating certain ingredients in a product to do certain things you would want them in the first 5 ingredients in the list as they should be the most active ingredients, not the second to last ingredient and after fragrance!!
    This product will do nothing but hydrate the skin for a short period of time and with the other ingredients in it I would question it being comedogenic to some people.

  5. Teresa says:

    Well I’m 64 years old, all I’ve ever used is the St Ives Apricot Scrub and St Ives Collagen and Elastin Moisturizer. People mistake me for my 40yr old daugther’s sister ALL the time. That says it all for me.

  6. Heather says:

    I’m using it now, due to budget issues. It works very well as a moisturizer and it’s absorbs quickly, not leaving a greasy, shiny appearance. I haven’t used it long enough to see if it diminishes wrinkles and lines. The one inexpensive product that I found to be very effective is no longer available. It was the Nivea Coenzyme Q10. It was under $10 and worked so well. If you can afford it, The Principal Secret line is amazing.

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