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Plexaderm Review: Youth in a Bottle?

Plexaderm Review: Youth in a Bottle?

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Read our Editorial Guidelines to learn more about what makes our site the premier resource for online health information.

Read our Editorial Guidelines to learn more about what makes our site the premier resource for online health information.

Plexaderm is a personal care products brand manufactured by Sheer Science, which formulates topical anti-aging products. They claim that their products can reduce fine lines and wrinkles.

In this article we’ll review the ingredients in some of Plexaderm’s most popular products to determine if their products are likely to be effective based on medical research.

Plexaderm Rapid Reduction Serum Review

Rapid Reduction Serum is Plexaderm’s most popular product, with nearly 10,000 reviews on Amazon. They claim the product “works in minutes” to reduce eye bags and smooth fine lines and wrinkles.

The only ingredient in this product that may be effective for improving skin quality is soluble collagen, but this ingredient should only improve moisture content of the skin and not collagen status. 

We haven’t identified any research studies suggesting that topically-applied collagen alone improves wrinkles, and the form that Plexaderm uses (soluble collagen) seems inferior to the more commonly-used form called hydrolyzed collagen. Soluble collagen is much larger in molecular size than hydrolyzed collagen, it may be worse for topical formulations because it doesn’t absorb through the skin as well.

This is why a medical review of collagen for skin recommended hydrolyzed collagen.

This product also contains a preservative called phenoxyethanol which may be a skin and eye irritant based on medical studies, and as such is limited to a maximum concentration of 1% in cosmetic products in the European Union and Japan, both jurisdictions having better consumer protections than the U.S.

Plexaderm doesn’t publish the dosage of either collagen or phenoxyethanol.

Overall, we would not recommend this product and find no medical backing for its effectiveness. Topical collagen may slightly improve some parameters of skin quality, but oral collagen is a much better-studied and cost-effective approach for reducing wrinkles.

We also find their marketing claim of “working in minutes” to be intentionally deceptive and false. Skin damage like wrinkles and eye bags may show some improvement with natural treatments like collagen, but the effect generally takes weeks of daily use at a minimum. There is no proof that this product works in minutes to treat any of the stated skin conditions.

Plexaderm Reset and Replenish Pads Review

Plexaderm sells pads to cleanse the skin prior to application of their Rapid Reduction serum. The active ingredient is sodium hyaluronate, which is the sodium salt of hyaluronic acid.

Hyaluronic acid has been shown in medical research to improve skin hydration and elasticity, even at as low a concentration as 0.1% of a formula. The linked study found that low molecular weight hyaluronic acid also caused a significant reduction in wrinkles.

Plexaderm doesn’t publish the molecular weight or concentration of sodium hyaluronate in their formula, so we can’t determine whether it’s likely to be effective.

This product also contains the preservative phenoxyethanol that we referenced in the previous review.

We don’t recommend this product because without the published dosage and size of sodium hyaluronate we can’t determine its efficacy.

We also think that the benefits of a throwaway wipe would be miniscule even if it was well-formulated. A wrinkle cream which remains on the skin would likely have more absorption over time.

We don’t believe this product is actively harmful, just that it’s likely a waste of money. It’s strange that Plexaderm included sodium hyaluronate in their throwaway wipes but not in their under eye serum.

Plexaderm Daily Moisturizer Review

Plexaderm sells a moisturizer product without the unscientific health claims of the serum. This product only claims to moisturize the skin.

The Daily Moisturizer contains sodium hyaluronate, which we already established improves skin hydration.

It also contains an interesting combination of hydrolyzed jojoba esters and glycerin, which should be especially effective. A medical trial found that this combination had synergistic effects, and worked together to improve skin hydration for up to 24 hours.

We do find this product to be effectively formulated for skin moisturization. We don’t recommend it due to the questions over phenoxyethanol concentration, but this is a relatively minor safety issue.

Better Alternatives

We know from medical research that oral collagen supplementation and topical hyaluronic acid use at a low molecular weight are proven to be effective for improving skin quality and reducing wrinkles.

10 grams (g) of daily collagen use has been found in medical studies to be the maximally-effective dose. We recommend taking unflavored collagen powder sourced from grass-fed animals as this is the cheapest and safest version. Many collagen products contain natural flavoring agents with questionable chemicals. Vital Protein is a brand that makes unflavored collagen powder that we use. We have no affiliation with this company and make no money for recommending them.

For a topical hyaluronic acid product, we have identified a brand called PCA Skin that manufactures a Hyaluronic Acid Boosting Serum. Their hyaluronic acid is low molecular weight, and this product has been proven in one medical study to be effective for improving skin quality, though the improvement to wrinkles was relatively small. Again, we have no affiliation with this brand.

PCA Skin’s serum contains phenoxyethanol as well.

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We don’t recommend any Plexaderm products although their daily moisturizer is relatively well formulated. 

All of the Plexaderm products have at least one effective ingredient for skincare improvement, but the company fails to publish relevant information like the dosage of their active ingredients and the molecular weight of the hyaluronic acid they use. This information is critical to assessing whether the products are likely to be effective or not.

We recommend oral collagen supplementation at 10 g daily and have identified an alternate brand of hyaluronic acid called PCA Skin Hyaluronic Acid Boosting Serum which is better formulated and more likely to be effective than Plexaderm’s serum.

We hope that in the future more cosmetics manufacturers include dosage of their active ingredients and preservatives so consumers and researchers can make informed decisions about efficacy and safety of the formulations.

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