Plexaderm Review: Youth in a Bottle?

Plexaderm Review: Youth in a Bottle?


| |
| |

Plexaderm is a skincare line from a company called Sheer Science. The manufacturer claims that Plexaderm "reduces under eyebags, dark circles and wrinkles from view in minutes."

But does Plexaderm contain research-backed anti-aging ingredients? Is Plexaderm proven to work in clinical studies? Does the brand use any questionable additive ingredients? And how do real customers rate and describe the aesthetic effects of Plexaderm?

In this article we’ll answer all of these questions and more as we analyze the ingredients in some of Plexaderm's most popular products based on clinical studies to give our take on whether or not they're likely to be effective, and whether or not they're healthy.

We'll review Rapid Reduction Serum (eye cream), Reset & Replenish Pads (cleanser and moisturizer), and Daily Moisturizer.

We'll also feature unsponsored customer reviews of the brand, share our concerns about Plexaderm's clinical research, and provide a cost comparison to show which retailer sells Plexaderm products for the best price.

Rapid Reduction Serum Review

Plexaderm Rapid Reduction Serum ingredients

The ingredients in Plexaderm Rapid Reduction Serum are shown above.

This product is used to reduce the apperance of undereye bags and wrinkles.

Soluble collagen should have an anti-aging effect, however it may be less effective than the more commonly-used hydrolyzed collagen.

Soluble collagen is larger than hydrolyzed collagen, which makes it potentially less effective at penetrating the skin barrier.

A medical review published in the Antioxidants journal found that hydrolyzed collagen was effective for improving skin hydration and elasticity when applied topically.

Hexapeptide-8 is a peptide that's clinically shown to reduce the appearance of wrinkles when applied topically, as we documented in our Miami MD reviews article.

While this cream contains some research-backed ingredients, it also contains some inactive ingredients we recommend avoiding.

Phenoxyethanol is a synthetic preservative shown to be toxic to human cells in a 2020 clinical trial.

Ethylhexylglycerin is another synthetic preservative that's clinically shown to enhance the toxic effect of phenoxyethanol. 

Overall, we consider Rapid Reduction Serum somewhat likely to have an anti-aging effect given the inclusion of soluble collagen and hexapeptide-8 as active ingredients.

However, we don't currently recommend this product due to the use of two synthetic preservatives shown to have a synergistically toxic effect in some clinical trials.

Further, we prefer cosmetic formulations using hydrolyzed collagen to formulations using soluble collagen.

Questionable Clinical Claims

Plexaderm questionable clinical claims

The Plexaderm homepage highlights results from a "Clinical Study" at the time of updating this article.

This "Clinical Study" section states: "We tested a group of 43 people."

There is no link or citation to the full study, nor does this study appear to have been published in any peer-reviewed journals.

We urge consumers to entirely disregard claims of clinical efficacy based on studies funded by the brands themselves, especially when the brand fails to even publish the full study including methodology. 

We only consider clinical trials published in peer-reviewed journals to be worth considering when evaluating a brand, because the risk of bias is too high with manufacturer-funded studies.

When we cite clinical trials on Illuminate Health, we're citing clinical trials published in peer-reviewed scientific and medical journals as this is the gold standard of product research.

Real People Try Plexaderm

A YouTube creator named "DBeauty" has a review of Plexaderm Rapid Reduction Serum that includes before-and-after images:

A TikTok creator named Erin did a test of Plexaderm Rapid Reduction Serum by applying it to one eye bag but not the other:

@bunnyfriendhiphop Under eye circles!! It works!! #eyebagsdarkasf #plexaderm #ShowYourGlow #36SecondsOfLightWork ♬ original sound - Erin

How Long Does Plexaderm Last? 

Consumers are often curious about how long Plexaderm lasts, because the use instructions provided by the brand fail to describe how long each tube lasts.

Plexaderm's Rapid Reduction Cream is sold in a box of 15 to 18 resealable tubes. Each tube contains 0.5 milliliters (mL) of product.

0.5 mL is equivalent to around 0.1 teaspoons. 

Plexaderm instructs to only use an amount "about half the size of a pea" which we would estimate to be around 0.15 mL. 

This means that we would estimate each resealable tube to last four uses, which should make Rapid Reduction Serum last for around 70 days.

This brings the price of the product under $1 per day which is quite reasonable. 

We urge Plexaderm to publish official information on how long each tube lasts.

Reset and Replenish Pads Review

Plexaderm Reset & Replenish Pads ingredients

Plexaderm Reset and Replenish pads are used to cleanse the skin prior to application of Rapid Reduction Serum.

Sodium hyaluronate is the core active ingredient, and is a sodium salt of hyaluronic acid.

Hyaluronic acid has been shown in clinical research to improve skin hydration and elasticity, even at as low a concentration as 0.1% of a formula.

The above-linked clinical trial found that low molecular weight hyaluronic acid also caused a significant reduction in wrinkles.

Phenoxyethanol is included, and we explained why we recommend avoiding this ingredient in our review of Rapid Reduction Serum above.

Sodium benzoate is another synthetic preservative which may have a skin-sensitizing effect in some individuals as we documented in our review of Frownies.

Overall, we consider Reset and Replenish Pads somewhat likely to have an anti-aging effect, but we don't currently recommend this product due to the inclusion of phenoxyethanol and sodium benzoate.

We consider this formulation to be slightly healthier than Rapid Reduction Serum, because we can't find any evidence of a negative synergistic effect between phenoxyethanol and sodium benzoate.

Daily Moisturizer Review

Plexaderm Daily Moisturizer ingredients

The ingredients in Plexaderm Plex-Perfect Daily Moisturizer are shown above.

This product contains a large number of active ingredients we consider likely to be effective for hydrating the skin.

Glycerin, hydrolyzed jojoba esters, cucumber fruit extract and beeswax are all naturally-derived ingredients that are shown in clinical studies to improve skin hydration.

clinical trial published in the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology found that the combination of hydrolyzed jojoba esters and glycerin had a synergistic effect and significantly increased skin moisturization for at least 24 hours.

The reseachers described this combination as having "unique moisturizing potential."

Sodium hyaluronate improves skin hydration and reduces wrinkles, as we documented previously in this article.

Ceramide NP is clinically shown to support skin barrier repair, as we documented in our CeraVe Vitamin C Serum reviews article.

This formulation contains the same two synthetic preservatives as in Rapid Reduction Serum.

Phenoxyethanol and ethylhexylglycerin may have a negative synergistic effect.

We consider Plex-Perfect Daily Moisturizer likely to be effective for moisturizing the skin and reducing wrinkles due to its many research-backed active ingredients. This is the best-formulated Plexaderm product in our opinion.

However, we don't currently recommend this moisturizer due to the inclusion of phenoxyethanol and ethylhexylglycerin.

Our Clean Skincare Picks

There are skincare products containing ingredients shown in clinical trials to be effective for reducing wrinkles and improving skin quality.

Annie Mak Vitamin C Serum is our top anti-aging serum.

It contains hyaluronic acid which was described as a "skin-rejuvenating biomedicine" in a medical review due to its ability to reduce wrinkles and signs of facial aging.

HYDRAGLOW by CLEARSTEM is our top moisturizer pick.

It features bakuchiol as an active ingredient which was described in a 2014 clinical trial as "clinically proven to have anti-aging effects."

Bulletproof Collagen Powder is our top skin supplement.

Collagen supplementation was shown in a medical review published in the Journal of Drugs in Dermatology to reduce visible signs of skin aging as well as improve skin elasticity and skin hydration.

All of the products recommended in this section are entirely free of ingredients that we consider to be unhealthy or unsafe.

Where to Buy Plexaderm for the Best Price

Plexaderm products are sold at a variety of online retailers.

Here's a price breakdown for a one-time purchase of the three products reviewed in this article, at the time of updating this article:

Rapid Reduction Serum

Walmart: $59.95 (free shipping, link)

Brand website: $59.95 (free shipping, link)

Amazon: $59.36 (free shipping, link to official Amazon listing)

Reset and Replenish Pads

EveryMarket: $45.28 (plus shipping, link)

Brand website: $29.95 (free shipping, link)

Amazon: $29.95 (free shipping, link to official Amazon listing)

Plex-Perfect Daily Moisturizer

Brand website: $39.95 (free shipping, link)

Amazon: $39.95 (free shipping, link to official Amazon listing)

Walmart: $19 (free shipping, third-party seller, link)

The retailer with the best price currently varies.

While Walmart's price for Plex-Perfect Daily Moisturizer is a significant cost savings (over 50%), this listing is from a third-party seller, so it may be safer to purchase from the official Amazon listing or from the brand's website.

Real Customers Review Plexaderm

Amazon is a better resource for honest customer reviews than a brand's website in our opinion.

Rapid Reduction Eye Serum is currently the brand's most-reviewed product on Amazon, with over 18,000 reviews and an average review rating of 3.8 out of 5 stars.

The top positive review from a verified purchaser comes from a user named "happykono" who gives the product a 5/5 star rating, and claims it was effective for reducing the appearance of under-eye bags:

"It took at least 80% of the bags and made them disappear. It lasted for 8 to 10 hours. You can feel it working. I put it on in the morning and it last for the day that I'm active. Don't care about the night when asleep. A little fountain of youth that temporary slows down the effects of time."

The top negative review from a verified purchaser is written by a user named "socalsal" who gives the product a 1/5 star rating, and claims it's priced too high:

"This stuff worked ok for the eye bags. My complaint is for almost $60 you get such a tiny amount and I mean very very small amount."

Plexaderm Rapid Reduction Serum currently has an average review rating of 4.3 out of 5 stars on Google.

The manufacturer of Plexaderm responds to all customer complaints on their Better Business Bureau (BBB) page, which is a sign of a high-quality brand.

Pros and Cons of Plexaderm

Here are the pros and cons of Plexaderm in our opinion:

Pros:

  • Rapid Reduction Serum may have fast-acting effect
  • Rapid Reduction Serum may have anti-aging effect
  • Daily Moisturizer should be effective
  • All products we reviewed were fragrance-free
  • All products we reviewed were dye-free
  • Relatively affordable 
  • Brand's website offers free shipping

Cons:

  • Some products contain phenoxyethanol and ethylhexylglycerin
  • Rapid Reduction Serum contains soluble collagen rather than hydrolyzed collagen
  • Brand makes questionable clinical claims
  • Doesn't appear to be tested in clinical trials published in peer-reviewed journals
Stay up-to-date on our research reviews

Conclusion

In this article we reviewed the formulation of three popular Plexaderm products: Rapid Reduction Serum, Reset and Replenish Pads and Plex-Perfect Daily Moisturizer.

We don't currently recommend any of the three products due to the use of questionable synthetic preservatives like phenoxyethanol (and in some cases ethylhexylglycerin which may have a negative synergistic effect with phenoxyethanol).

All three products contained at least one active ingredient that we consider likely to be effective for the stated functional outcome.

Plex-Perfect Daily Moisturizer is the best formulation of the three, because it contains a large number of research-backed active ingredients. If we only considered potential efficacy, we would recommend this product.

Plexaderm's website homepage currently features a large banner highlighting clinical study results, but the full clinical study is not easily accessible to consumers, and this study doesn't appear to be published in any peer-reviewed journals, making its conclusions useless to consumers in our opinion.

At the time of updating this article, Amazon and Walmart have better average prices on Plexaderm products than the brand's website.