I'm always on the lookout for the latest, greatest new innovations to keep my skin looking its best. Skin care is a constantly evolving arena that is a melee of chemistry, technology, medicine, and not a little psychology. What we think of as the gold standard now could easily shrink into obscurity overnight with one key discovery. It's those advancements that I live for, so when I was given the opportunity to attend a web conference with Beverly Hills dermatologist Dr. Ronald Moy to discuss his line, DNA EGF Renewal, I jumped at the chance. Along with sharing lots of valuable knowledge, he also graciously sent along some products for me to try, so read on to see what I thought!
Former president of the American Academy of Dermatology, Dr. Moy's line is based on 25 years of research that he believes holds the key to preventing and reversing the impact of time and environment on the skin. His line includes well known anti-aging favorites like peptides and alpha hydroxy acids, but focuses on two specific facets:
- DNA Repair Enzymes: A combination of three marine and botanically sourced enzymes that, according to Dr. Moy "intensify the skin’s ability to repair and defend cellular DNA by stimulating the recognition and elimination of damaged DNA." Moy's own published study shows that these enzymes do indeed enhance repair of DNA caused by UV exposure, which, of course, shows on the skin in everything from dull skin to brown spots to wrinkles.
- Epidermal Growth Factor (EGF): A cell-communicating peptide that works by accelerating the growth of healthy skin cells. Unlike other products on the market that use a form of EGF derived from E. coli bacteria, the EGFs in Moy's line are bio-engineered from barley. While bacterial EGF is known to degrade and lose potency rather quickly, Moy claims barley based EGF is stable, and will not will not lose potency with exposure to UV light or normal room temperatures. It should be said that the science behind EGFs is still in the discovery phase, and is not without controversy. Because EGFs stimulate the growth of skin cells, the worry is that long-term use of EGFs could cause skin cells to over-produce. Unchecked cell proliferation can mean not-so-great things (yaknow, cancer) which is definitely something to keep in mind.
Experimental nature notwithstanding, the proof is in the pudding, as they say. The price point of the DNA EGF Renewal line is not for the faint of heart, with the key repair products ringing in at well over $100 each. So how do they perform? I was sent several products from the line- today I'll start of by featuring DNA EGF's daily cleanser.
Renewal Foaming Cleanser 6.7oz for $28
They say:This gentle, foaming formula provides an innovative, non-irritating version of glycolic acid for gentle exfoliating action coupled with a naturally-derived, sulfate-free cleansing agent to remove dead skin cells and reveal clean, vibrant skin.
I was skeptical when I first learned about this product. I've long been in the camp that believed that repair ingredients in cleanser were essentially a waste- rarely is the product on the skin long enough to actually have an effect. When I asked Dr. Moy his view on this he told me that glycolic acid works very quickly, so the cleanser only needs to remain on the skin for a minute or so to get full benefits of the alpha hyrdoxy acid. Since you really need to be cleansing for at least that long to effectively remove makeup, this was welcome news. FYI, always a skeptic, I did do some research to corroborate Dr. Moy's claims that AHAs can work within a limited time period and found plenty of support, including Dr. Leslie Baumann, the author the best-selling cosmetic dermatology textbook in the world.
Right off the bat, I'm going to tell you- the scent of this cleanser is..ah...and acquired taste (or smell, as the case may be). My first impression was bitter, acrid, chemically stink. I was not a fan. Oddly, after using the cleanser for a week or so, I began to like the scent and realized it actually reminds me of green apples. There's no artificial fragrance in the cleanser, so I'm guessing the formula's inclusion of grapefruit, orange and tangerine oils are what give it such a distinct odor. A citrusy smell might actually have been a more appealing choice, but since citrus oils can irritate skin, I really would have preferred to see them left out entirely. Sorry to get so hung up on a smell, but this one was so off-putting at first that I really think it could be a deal breaker for some people!
As far as actual performance of Renewal Foaming Cleanser, I couldn't ask for anything more. The sulfate-free formula isn't as high-sudsing as most face washes, but don't let that trick you into thinking it's not working. This cleanser is one of the very few lathering cleansers that I've used that completely removed all of my makeup but also left my skin soft and comfortable- not at all dry and tight.
The low concentration of glycolic acid (3.5%) also made this a great fit for my dry, sensitive skin. Though I've seen experts say that such a low level of glycolic acid is ineffective, I know from experience that on my skin, higher levels tend to cause excess dryness and irritation. Renewal cleanser did a great job of keeping my typically flaky skin smooth and glowing, yet I saw absolutely no irritation.
Though the scent of DNA EGF Renewal cleanser caught me off-guard at first, my only real critique about this product is the price. At $28, it's not exactly a steal, but if, like me, you have a hard time finding a cleanser that effectively removes makeup without stripping your skin, and want gentle exfoliation to boot, this would be a welcome addition to your skin routine.