When dermatologist Nicholas Perricone launched his eponymous skin-care line, Perricone MD, in 1997, he had only one goal in mind: taming inflamed skin. Twenty years later, he's still in the ring with inflammation, but now, with an entirely new skin-care collection to help fight it.
A little background on the heritage skin-care brand: In 1999, it found a home on Sephora shelves. And in 2003, the line made its TV debut on QVC. In 2009, the Cold Plasma Cream was born — and quickly became a best-seller. And now, it's adding one more line to its ever-growing résumé: Essential Fx, which includes a new-to-us skin-care ingredient, called vitamin F, discovered by Perricone.
Like us, you're probably wondering, what exactly is vitamin F? Well, here's where things get a little hazy. Technically, there's no such thing as vitamin F. "Vitamin F is another name for essential fatty acids (EFA), like linoleic and alpha linoleic acids," says cosmetic chemist Ginger King. "Some are known as omega 3 or omega 6."
These essential fatty acids are best known for their hydrating and free radical-fighting properties, says King. "They're rich — and have fabulous skin-healing properties," she adds. They're also great for fighting inflammation, says Perricone. "Essential fatty acids act as natural anti-inflammatories," he says. "They're different than other fats, which are used for fuel. Essential fatty acids are used for cell construction and metabolism."
That said, Perricone honed in on the antioxidant-heavy ingredients — and then gave them a name. "Vitamin F is just essential fats, so it's just a misnomer from many decades ago," he says. "But it resonates."
Which brings us to why we're here: Perricone MD has formulated an entire collection, called Essential Fx, made with the elusive vitamin F. The five-piece line, which includes a moisturizer, night cream, eye cream, eyelid serum, and a serum, is formulated with Perricone MD's proprietary vitamin F blend — a mix of flaxseed, chia seed, and macadamia seed oil — to strengthen the skin's moisture barrier and protect it from environmental ickies (i.e. UV rays, pollution, and whatever else is cooking up on the subway platform). Each of the products are also made with acyl-glutathione, which is the brand's proprietary blend of glutathione. The antioxidant, made of amino acids, hydrates and shields skin from free radicals.
Now, for the products. To start, there's the Deep Crease Serum ($179), a silky-yet-lightweight serum made specifically for creases and deep-set lines around the forehead, lips, eyes, and mouth area. Out of the full range, this is by far my favorite. I massage it into just-cleansed skin, directly onto my "11"s. Then I let it sit for a few minutes before following it up with moisturizer. After two months of twice-daily use, my "11"s are still there, but a little less in your face.
Speaking of moisturizers, the Rejuvenating Moisturizer ($98 and $179) is quite nice, too. It's a rich cream, packed with vitamin F to, again, deeply moisturize, plump up skin, and protect against free radicals. There's also the Intensive Overnight Moisturizer, a denser cream meant for nighttime use. Because of its hefty consistency, I like to layer it on thick at night all the way from my hairline to my décolletage.
As for eye creams, there's two in the collection: the Smoothing & Brightening Under-Eye Cream ($122) and the Eyelid Lift Serum. The Smoothing & Brightening Under-Eye Cream ($122), which is more balm-like when compared to traditional eye creams. Perricone compares the texture of the eye cream to that of an eraser — balmy and slightly adhesive. (Just don't use the cream like you would an eraser. This cream is meant to be tapped, not tugged, onto the undereye area.)
Perhaps the most innovative of the bunch is the Eyelid Lift Serum. Never have I seen (or heard of) a product created specifically for just the eyelids. Its featherlight formula is silky in texture and seeps into skin almost immediately on contact to help lift sagging eyelids. I can't lie, though. I was slightly nervous to apply it directly to my lids for the first time. But once I realized the elixir doesn't actually drip into your eyes post-application, I found it to be an easy addition to my skin-care routine.
All of this to say, the new Perricone MD Essential Fx collection is good. My only major qualm with the collection is that it's not exactly cheap. Ranging from $98 to $179 per product, it's definitely a skin-care investment. But if you're willing to put your money on vitamin F, then perhaps Essential Fx is for you.
The new Perricone MD Essential Fx collection, which ranges from $98 to $179, will be available at perriconemd.com beginning August 20.
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