Dr. Harold Lancer says the fountain of youth can be found in a jar
Don’t let aging get under your skin.
Beverly Hills dermatologist Harold Lancer — whose patients include Victoria Beckham, Kim Kardashian, Ryan Seacrest, Jennifer Lopez and Beyonce— thinks he’s found the fountain of youth: an anti-aging cream made with saffron, sake and Peruvian taro fruit, tannins, antioxidants, peptides and ceramides. Lancer, who has only made about 500 jars of this stuff, claims the product will help skin repair itself from environmental damage.
The price of turning back the clock: $1,000 for 1.7 ounces. Lancer says this is a bargain, thanks to the “rare nature of the ingredients and the chemistry of putting them together—the protein-peptide components, vitamin components, the fact that it’s biomimetic and has an amino acid sequencing that mimics various growth factors.” Because of these unique factors, “it’s impossible to knock this off,” he adds.
But critics aren’t fully convinced. Beverly Hills dermatologist and founder of SKINxFIVE.com Ava Shamban says, “That is a big price tag for a few antioxidants and food extracts. To warrant that price tag there needs to be some real magic in there. It’s possible that some of the peptides are the newer ones, which are a bit more expensive. All the rest of the ingredients, including the ceramides which is a lipid found in the skin, don’t warrant that price tag. However, if the results are magical, cost is not an issue.”
Still others say that the real secret to looking younger is much simpler: “Sun protection and sunscreen is the most important thing that anyone can do to keep their skin looking youthful,” says Dr. Samer Jaber, director of Washington Square Dermatology in NYC.
There’s certainly a market for products that promise youth, even at high price points. According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, there were 14.2 million cosmetic minimally-invasive procedures performed in 2015 — the top 3 being Botox, soft tissue fillers and chemical peels.The national average cost of wrinkle treatment injections is $385, $644 for fillers and $673 for chemical peels.
Lindsay Simon, a 27 year-old social media specialist and blogger @lindsayandlace, is a self-described beauty junkie who spends about $500 a month on her skin. “I follow a skincare routine that involves a multitude of products from La Mer to Odacite and Glossier. When it comes to anti-aging, I like instant gratification—I don’t want to wait weeks or months to see something start working,” says Simon.
Lancer concludes that plumping results and a less sallow and tarnished complexion can be visible after one or two days of use alongside his skincare system. “After 30, 60 or 90 days you’re looking for a more resilient opalescent bounce in your skin,” he says. And depending on how much you use, it’s designed to last one to three months—just enough time for the results to reveal themselves. Given that time frame, Simon says, “If I see someone use it and it works wonders on them, I would consider the investment with the hope that it would cut down on what I spend on other beauty products.”
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