Nerium Age-Defying Night Cream: Does the science support it?
Nerium International is a skin care company that creates products focused on skin wellness and anti-aging. It boasts of exclusive patented ingredients that are unique to its brand and that are clinically proven. Specifically, its flagship product Age-Defying Night Cream with the Nerium AD Formula demonstrates testimonials and supporting before- and after-photos that appears to give dramatic results. Here is what the science reveals about Nerium's Age-Defying Night Cream.
Peptide matrix ( collagen, elastin, glycosaminoglycans): Yes, these protein and extracellular tissue molecules lead to fuller, more supple appearance of skin, decreased wrinkling, and maintaining skin tightness. Elastin firms and peptides with collagen give skin tissue density to combat wrinkle formation.
NA8: Nerium's proprietary compound with plant extracts nerium oleander and aloe. Yes, aloe has anti-inflammatory properties (can treat and prevent texture changes and pigment spots exacerbated by inflammation). The plant nerium oleander is an Apocynaceae species. This species of shrubs is known to have anti-inflammatory and cellular-protective properties that can impact aging in human skin. Some major metabolites of this species are triterpenoids, iridoids, alkaloids and cardenolides, which are known to have "cardioprotective, hepatoprotective, neuroprotective, anti-inflammatory, anticancer and antimalarial" properties (1).
Vitamin E: Yes, it has antioxidant properties which will fight cellular damage due to free radicals. The anti-cancer properties of vitamin E are well-known. Whether it is a better skin antioxidant than vitamin C, commonly used for this role in skin care products, is a question worth considering.
Rice bran oil: high in vitamin E which has antioxidant properties and also is lipid-rich (provides optimal skin hydration).
Castor oil, olus oil, aloe leaf juice: All three focus on skin hydration and moisture retention. Oil based molecules penetrate the skin better and provide hydration needed to help prevent aging and restore skin smoothness. Lipid/oil-rich ingredients will hydrate and also reduce wrinkle formation of the skin by supporting suppleness; helps smoothens texture.
Things to note:
Clinical trials: While Nerium reports clinical trials studying its products, NO specific product-related data is available on their website or in published journals.
Efficacy: Nerium is reporting efficacy of this Night Cream measured through testimonials and images; without data being peer-reviewed, this data may be subjectively interpreted and result in potentially exaggerated claims or results not reproducible in every user and/or not due to use of this product alone.
As a SkinVestment, this is probably one of the best night creams on the non-prescription market given the ingredients and anecdotal images and testimonials. It meets all criteria of being evidence-based in terms of ingredient properties, claims to have been studied in clinical trials, and demonstrates predictable and reliable outcomes in images. But I stress that the clinical data is NOT available and that always raises concerns of exaggerated claims. In addition, the price tag for it is quite hefty and not everyone will be able to afford such a product for continued used. Nerium sells a 30 ml container of this product for $120 ( $1,440 a year). A discounted price of $90 is offered if you subscribe to automatic delivery orders (ADO) and receive the product monthly on a fixed schedule ( $1,080). While this is comparable to other high-end cosmeceuticals, it is an investment on just one product which fulfills only part of the routine needed for good skin care. A suggestion is to give this product a three month trial ( Nerium's 90-Day Challenge) to determine if it truly is ideal for your skin and worth the investment. Or talk to your dermatologist about possibly equally (if not more) effective and potentially more affordable ways to obtain science-based anti-aging results ( examples: lipid-rich moisturizer, retinoids, and vitamin C serum). As I tell my patients, it is about the active ingredients and how they will prevent or reverse aging, not about a specific skin care line of products. There are many good products on the market and this one likely will not dissapoint you.
1) Chan EW, Wong SK, Chan HT3. Apocynaceae species with antiproliferative and/or antiplasmodial properties: a review of ten genera. J Integr Med. 2016 Jul;14(4):269-84. doi: 10.1016/S2095-4964(16)60261-3. Chan EW1, Wong SK2, Chan HT3.
2) Fowler JF Jr1, Woolery-Lloyd H, Waldorf H, Saini R. Innovations in natural ingredients and their use in skin care. J Drugs Dermatol. 2010 Jun;9(6 Suppl):S72-81; quiz s82-3.