Plexaderm is a “revitalizing, anti-aging skin cream” marketed by the company Sheer Science. It is seen frequently on shopping channels and in commercials. However, strong science should always be based on evidence.
Therefore, I wrote this Plexaderm review independently to investigate the company’s claims and put them to the test rigorously. We’ll take a look at whether the marketing matches reality and draw some conclusions on whether the product is worth the money or not. Let’s get started.
What Is Plexaderm?
First, let’s take a look at what’s really inside the petite 5ml bottle of Plexaderm Rapid Reduction Cream Plus. I won’t use this opportunity to restate what you already know from the commercials. Instead, we’ll explore the science and draw some evidence-based conclusions.
The ingredients list is an ideal place to start:
- Water (Aqua)
- Sodium Silicate is used as a buffering agent and pH adjuster in many cosmetics. This is because its alkalinity helps to keep the overall pH of Plexaderm close to neutral. The Cosmetic Ingredient Review (CIR) panel of the USA recognized the “irritation potential” of this ingredient but deemed it generally safe for use in cosmetic products (source).
- Magnesium Aluminum Silicate is used as a thickener in skincare creams. It is a potential weak irritant of the skin and/or eyes but is considered safe by the CIR in cosmetic formulations (source).
- Cellulose Gum is a natural ingredient derived from plant matter. It is also used widely in cosmetics as a thickening agent and it has some other useful properties. It is considered safe by the CIR (source).
- Acetyl Hexapeptide-8 is used as a skin-restoring ingredient in cosmetics and it possesses water-binding properties. It is mildly effective but doesn’t penetrate deeply enough to address the underlying causes of wrinkles (source).
- Yellow 5 & Red 40 are colorants and both are deemed safe for use in cosmetics by the FDA (source).
- Phenoxyethanol is a commonly used synthetic preservative in skincare products. It is considered safe but may occasionally cause irritation in people with sensitive skin (source).
- Ethylhexylglycerin works in tandem with phenoxyethanol but also has skin-softening properties in its own right. Although generally safe in cosmetics, it has been known to trigger allergies in susceptible individuals (source).
Update: Plexaderm recently reformulated the Rapid Reduction product and rebranded it from a “cream” to a “serum”. This new formula is similar to the old one but incorporates some additional ingredients: Propylene Glycol (a common hydrating agent), Hydrolyzed Rice Protein (to increase moisture retention), and Soluble Collagen (a hydrating and smoothing agent).back to menu ↑
Putting Plexaderm To The Test: Does It Work?
One of the goals of the RightHealth.com team in this review is to compare real customer experiences with the bold claims made by Plexaderm in its widely-seen commercials.
In these slickly-produced marketing commercials Plexaderm’s representatives extol the “scientific technology” behind their skincare line. This common sales formula attempts to woo customers into parting with their money using supposed scientific evidence. Here is a typical example:
Scripted interviews like this one are used as a more “natural” alternative to direct sales pitches. They are effective because they weave bold marketing claims into a seemingly casual conversation. This helps prevent the kind of “ad-blindness” that causes viewers to switch off when they realize they are being sold something.
The interviewer also poses as an independent third-party and so her positive reactions are intended to elicit the same reaction in viewers. This is particularly effective when the interviewer is representative of the product’s core target audience — middle-aged females.
References to “clinical studies” are peppered into Plexaderm’s marketing material. However, the only study described on the company’s website is one involving just 43 subjects. The description of this trial points out that the “entire protocol [of the study]” was reviewed and approved by none other than Sheer Science. This is the same Sheer Science that sells Plexaderm. For obvious reasons, this calls into question the credibility of any findings.
Indeed, the very first testimonial on the product’s website comes from Mike S. AKA the chief financial officer of Sheer Science. This is problematic because it is not immediately apparent to casual customers that Sheer Science is the same company selling and marketing Plexaderm.
But before we write-off the product entirely, let’s take some time to review the claims one-by-one:
Reduces Visible Signs of Wrinkles
According to Plexaderm, a “shale mineral” flattens the skin and visibly reduces under-eye bags. This is a reference to silicate minerals obtained from shale clay. We mentioned this ingredient earlier but it’s worth returning to — magnesium aluminum silicate.
It is the key thickening agent (along with cellulose gum) in Plexaderm. In theory, its application can even out and reduce the appearance of wrinkles. Water-binding ingredients in Plexaderm then serve to attract and retain moisture in a targeted area.
The problem here is the distinction between “reducing the visible signs of wrinkles” and actually “reducing wrinkles”. Plexaderm may have a modest effect on the former but does nothing to achieve the latter. At best, the product merely partially covers up wrinkles for a few hours.
Indeed, neither magnesium aluminum silicate nor the water-binding agent acetyl hexapeptide-8 is capable of penetrating the deeper layers of the skin. This means they are incapable of meaningfully impacting any of the underlying causes of wrinkles and skin aging.
Reduces Under-eye Bags
Under-eye bags are a common sign of skin aging caused by a loss of elasticity in the thin surrounding skin. Puffiness and dark circles are also common targets of cosmetic products. However, they are not always a result of aging alone. Genetics, lack of sleep, and fluid retention are all possible causes.
Plexaderm may help to temporarily cover-up some skin issues in the eye area, but it has no ability to penetrate the skin or address the underlying causes of eye bags and dark circles. It is unlikely to be any help in reducing puffiness.
Much like make-up, Plexaderm offers a way to partially cover signs of skin aging for a short period of time.
Reduces Signs of Aging
Skin aging is an unavoidable consequence of growing older. Genetics, sun damage, lifestyle choices, and other factors play a role too. Although some cosmetic procedures and products act to partially reverse signs of aging, Plexaderm merely covers up wrinkles for a short period of time. Thus, it does nothing to permanently reduce or delay signs of skin aging.
What Can and Can’t Plexaderm Do?
Plexaderm appears to begin working on visible signs of aging about 15 minutes after application. Some users report increased smoothness in the under-eye and forehead areas. The product may also slightly soften and enhance the skin to the touch.
However, the results are modest and temporary. Other solutions offer a more lasting approach to skincare at a fraction of the cost. Preventative measures include wearing sunscreen and following a healthy lifestyle. If skin aging is already significant then other cosmetic approaches offer better value for money.
Is Plexaderm Worth It?
The short answer is: no.
The goal of any independent review should be to investigate the facts, form a full picture, and develop an honest, evidence-based opinion.
While we do not believe Plexaderm is a scam (they openly admit results are temporary at best), there are better eye creams on the market offering superior value for money. A preventative approach to skin aging involves leading a healthy lifestyle and avoiding sun damage.
However, if you choose to incorporate an anti-aging skin cream, you will be better off opting for one containing hyaluronic acid, Vitamin C, retinol, or alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs). These alternatives can all be purchased for less than Plexaderm (which costs a staggering $59.95 per 5ml bottle) and offer longer-lasting results.
In addition, cosmetic procedures like dermal fillers can work to alleviate wrinkles and signs of aging. This kind of approach is not for everyone. However, it can be an effective and suitable option for those determined to tackle skin aging.
What Do Customers Say?
Reviews from customers of Plexaderm paint a mixed picture. Although many positive testimonials are featured on the company’s website and commercials, there is a slew of disappointed buyers on other websites.
On Amazon.com, Plexaderm scores 2.7/5. 45% of the 773 customer reviews are rated 1 star (the lowest possible). In contrast, 30% of the customer reviews are 5 stars (the highest possible). The vast majority of these reviews come from “verified purchasers”.
A purchaser named Gail complains that Plexaderm is over-hyped and expensive. She also reports difficulties applying makeup, using moisturizer, and even smiling when using the product. Many other individuals complain that the bottle arrived either empty or with a broken pump-delivery system. Other complaints focus on the product’s lack of effectiveness and skin irritation.
On the other hand, there are some positive reviews praising the company’s customer service and the product itself. A purchaser named Fernando claims that his eye bags were reduced dramatically for six hours. Another user reported looking younger and better rested after applying the serum.
At HSN.com, Plexaderm is rated 2.2/5. Meanwhile, the company is listed on the Better Business Bureau (BBB) as “True Earth Health Products” — a name that was used either prior to or alongside “Sheer Science”. There are 16 complaints in total, the majority of which are marked answered or resolved.
Plexaderm’s customer service team appear to be proactive in the community and they do offer a money-back guarantee.
So far we’ve evaluated the science behind Plexaderm, weighed up its value for money, and analyzed feedback from actual customers. Before reaching our bottom line and final rating score for the product we’ll cover some important information for those readers who are already using it or still wish to buy it.
Where to buy it
Plexaderm is primarily distributed online. To the best of our knowledge, the product is not widely available in stores. The list below contains our research regarding confirmed retailers and prices accurate at the time of publishing.
- Official website ($59.95 for 1 bottle / $119.90 for 3 bottles)
- Amazon.com ($64.95 for 1 bottle)
- eBay (price varies)
- QVC ($79.96 for 2 bottles)
It does not appear that Plexaderm products are currently available from Walmart, CVS, or Walgreens.
To minimize the risk of purchasing a counterfeit or defective product it is prudent to purchase directly from the manufacturer.
The official website offers a satisfaction promise that includes a 30-day money-back guarantee. Although purchases made through Amazon may be subject to different rules on returns, it appears that product sold there also comes with a 30-day return window.
However, Plexaderm purchased directly through the manufacturer’s website can be returned for a full refund used or unused. This only applies to first orders and refunds are processed minus shipping and processing fees.
How much does it cost?
The price of bottles varies according to retailer and quantity purchased. We found the official website to offer the cheapest price on orders of 1 or 3 bottles. Meanwhile, QVC appears to offer the best value for orders of 2 bottles.
At the time of writing, we cannot find any evidence of active coupons, promo codes, or free trials. The official website of Plexaderm claims that a 50% reduction on MSRP is already factored into the list price. Nevertheless, customers in search of a bargain might find periodic or seasonal discounts at certain times of the year.
How do I use it?
If you have chosen to purchase Plexaderm you may be wondering how to apply it for optimal results. As we’ve already seen, the product only works to alleviate wrinkles and skin aging temporarily. This means it is not a suitable replacement for your regular bedtime anti-aging cream. It also shouldn’t be used in place of sunscreen.
Here is a suggested method for applying Plexaderm:
- Cleanse your face and pat dry
- Pump a (very) small quantity of the cream onto the tip of your finger
- Apply evenly to your under-eye area but avoid contact with the eyes
- Wait approximately 15 minutes for the product to “set” on your face
Does it cause problems or side effects?
Plexaderm is very unlikely to cause serious side effects or problems. However, if you have allergies please inspect the label carefully before applying the cream. Even hypoallergenic skin creams can sometimes cause irritation in susceptible individuals.
Naturally, if the product gets into your eye then it may cause some soreness. If this happens to you, rinse the area thoroughly with water.
What other products do Plexaderm offer?
You may be surprised to learn that Sheer Science actually produces and markets a whole line of cosmetics under the Plexaderm brand. What’s rather vexing is that none of these other products are actually available for sale on the main website. Instead, you must call the sales team or visit the Sheer Science website to place an order.
The most widely advertised product and the one seen in many commercials is the Rapid Reduction Cream/Serum. However, the full line consists of:
- Reset and Replenish Pads ($21.95 for 1 bottle)
- Plex Perfect Daily Moisturizer ($39.95 for 1 bottle)
- Hyaluronic Moisturizer ($29.95 for 1 bottle)
- Dark Spot Fade Gel ($24.95 for 1 bottle)
- Peppermint Exfoliating Cleanser ($12.95 for 1 bottle)
- Night Time Collagen Peptide Serum ($19.95 for 1 bottle)
It would be beyond the scope of the current article to review each of these skincare products in turn but we may feature some or all of them in the near future.
Our Verdict & Alternatives
As we’ve already noted, Plexaderm is essentially a very expensive skincare product that temporarily reduces some visible signs of aging. It does not prevent, delay, or reverse signs of skin aging but it may provide some fleeting cosmetic benefits.
If you’re serious about anti-aging skincare then there are several steps you should take:
- Lead a healthy lifestyle and diligently use sunblock
- Avoid using drying or irritating products in your skincare or makeup routine
- Invest in a cheaper anti-aging serum with longer term science-based benefits (e.g. hyaluronic acid (source), Vitamin C (source), retinol (source), or alpha hydroxy acids (source))
Some individuals turn to cosmetic procedures like dermal fillers to obtain more youthful looking skin. However, this is a serious and potentially expensive course of action that isn’t suitable for everyone.
- May reduce signs of skin aging temporarily
- Money back guarantee
- Doesn’t provide a long term solution
- Overpriced in comparison to similar products
- May cause skin irritation in susceptible individuals
- Some customers report issues with defective pump
- Can cause difficulty when applying makeup
We're always delighted to recommend products that blow us away. However, on this occasion, Plexaderm falls well short of the mark.