MMpi 20 Skin Brightening and Pore Refining Serum ($55.00, BathandBodyWorks.com ) is a very solid product. My favorite ingredient in the formulation is Melaclear, a patented ingredient designed to treat hyperpigmentation by Sederma. (A sister product is called Melaslow). Like arbutin and hydroquinone, Melaclear works by inhibiting tyrosinase, the rate-limiting enzyme in melanin production. Although a publicly available, non-company-affiliated study has not compared the efficacy of Melaclear to other hyperpigmentation treatments, my best hypothesis (and this is only a hypothesis!) would be that it has similar effectiveness to arbutin, and is most likely less effective than 4% hydroquinone.
So what’s the problem with MMpi 20 Skin Brightening and Pore Refining Serum? My only issue is with this or any other product that says “pore-refining.” From what I have learned from dermatologists, it is not possible to change the size of your pores (hence, I guess why the product doesn’t say “pore-reducing.”) At any rate, please do not use this or any other product expecting to see a change in the size of your pores. While certain products may clean out your pores to make them appear smaller (try 2% salicyclic acid) and others may use alcohol to inflame the skin cells to make the pores appear smaller by contrast, nothing will actually reduce the size of your pores. Just a side note.
Wexler Daily Defense Anti-Oxidant Tinted Moisturizer SPF 30 also contains other antioxidants (apple extract for one), soy extract, and the Niacyl complex. My only wish for the product was that it contained more photostable forms of sunscreen: while Helioplex (avobenzone and oxybenzone) and Mexoryl SX/XL are touted by this excellent 2007 review for their photostability, it is unknown at this time how the combination of sunscreens in this product compare (i.e., homosalate 8.0%, octinoxate 7.0%, octisalate 6.0%, oxybenzone 6.0%, and titanium dioxide 1.0%). Still, it is undoubtedly true that the product does contain reasonable sun protection.
I’m a huge fan of Dr. Wexler, and I think that these two products are a testament to her knowledge, training, and willingness to incorporate new technology and rarely-used ingredients into effective and original formulations. I give these very high marks! Product Rating (Serum): 8.5/10. (High concentration of proven effective ingredients: 3/3. New formulation or technology: 3/3. Value for the money: 2.5/3. Sunscreen: 0/1.) Product Rating (Moisturizer): 9.0/10. (High concentration of proven effective ingredients: 3/3. New formulation or technology: 3/3. Value for the money: 3/3. Sunscreen: 1/1).
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