One of my biggest pet peeves in the skincare industry is when companies use fallacies of logic in their marketing. The following are some hypothetical examples:
“Four out of five subjects thought their skin looked younger.”
“Hyaluronic acid, the same ingredient in injectable fillers, helps smooth out wrinkles.”
“In vitro tests show that the stem-cells from this rare apple will make you look younger.”
First off, let’s take a moment to debunk this quack “science.” In the first example, which four out five subjects are they talking about? The company may have used 100 subjects, and handpicked the examples to use in their marketing. Additionally, many subjects will see an improvement, because that’s what they want to see. Then there’s human nature at play- human nature is to please others- so of course, the subjects want to please those conducting the test.
In the second example, “hyaluronic acid” is a great example of a cosmetics industry buzzword. True, injectable fillers, such as Juviderm, contain hyaluronic acid to stimulate collagen and fill wrinkles. But, these fillers are injected. While some studies have shown a bit of success with the hydrolyzed form, the hyaluronic acid molecule is too large to penetrate the skin. It does hold many times its weight in water, so it’s excellent as a surface moisturizer (Sanderson, 2015). But, beware the companies that claim their product is like “Botox in a bottle.” If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
Lastly, we’ve got more buzzwords here with “in vitro” and “stem cells.” At first, the claim sounded pretty impressive, huh? Well, when you take a look at what it actually means, you’ll end up shaking your head. In vitro testing basically uses a petri dish to perform a test. As for stem cells from a rare apple? Plant stem cells do not provide the same benefits of human stem cells. Duh! Plant stem cells have been shown to have antioxidant activity (Linder, 2011). But, seriously, what in the world do plant stem cells in a petri dish have to do with what goes on in my skin…?!?!? Instead, how about showing in vivo studies, so we know how the ingredients work on human skin?
So, after debunking some of the common fallacies used by many other companies, how does Somme Institute measure up? Let’s just say it’s truly a joy when I get to add another company to my very small list of those that use legitimate science to back up their products. It was refreshing to actually be presented with real research. Somme Institute was transparent enough that they sent me a presentation that included the methodology used. If you’re unfamiliar with research protocols, believe me, that’s a huge deal.
Now, think back to my first example I listed at the beginning- about how four out of five test subjects thought their skin looked younger. It’s important to note that Somme Institute’s results are NOT based on consumer feedback! Instead, they are based on legitimate clinical research.
Somme Institute used randomized, double-blind, placebo controlled research in developing their skincare products. Additionally, the results were statistically significant (Somme Institute, n.d.). That’s a big deal, too. Some companies will base their results off of a very small number of positive results that are not statistically significant, meaning it’s likely the results could just be a fluke.
Somme Institute’s research was conducted over the course of eight years, using FDA drug-like guidelines. In Phase I, the initial testing, they tested hundreds of delivery systems and raw materials. In Phase II, they developed “a matrix of potent, stable, re-engineered vitamins encapsulated within peptides for trans-epidermal delivery MDT5” (Somme Institute, n.d.).
Somme Institute tracked thousands of test subjects using medical-grade UV photography to show surface and sub-surface skin conditions. The use of the double-patented MDT5 showed huge improvement in all skin types, in both surface and sub-surface conditions (Somme Institute, n.d.).
Again, for scientific research to be considered successful, the results must be statistically significant. Upon his review of the research and results, Boston University School of Medicine’s Michael Holick, M.D., Ph.D., found that MDT5 was significantly more effective than placebo creams. There was 60% success in improving sun damage, 64% in improving fine lines, wrinkles, and laxity, 76% improvement in skin tone, and a 77% reduction in acne and blemishes (Somme Institute, n.d.).
Finally, peer review is a major factor in academic and scientific research. Somme Institute’s research was reviewed, and validated, by some industry heavy-weights, such as: Albert Kligman, M.D., Ph.D. (the “father” of Retin-A), Professor of Dermatology, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine; Aaron B. Lerner, M.D., Professor Emeritus, Dermatology, Yale University; Lynne M. Haven, M.D., Dermatologist, Clinical Associate Professor of Dermatology, New York University; and Ethan A. Lerner, M.D., Ph.D., Associate Professor of Dermatology, Harvard Medical School (Somme Institute, n.d.).
As I had already been using stellar, scientifically-backed skincare on my face, I made sure to use the Somme Institute regimen on my neck and chest, as directed, (even on my hands!) in order to be absolutely sure of my results. Thanks to proven ingredients such as glycolic acid, Vitamin C, retinyl palmitate, and the company’s MDT5, there was a definite improvement in the texture of my skin within the ten days I have been using the regimen. My skin is smoother and softer- even makeup colors go on so much easier when I swatch them on my hands. (Seriously, when you take care of your face, start using the products on your hands, too- makes a huge difference!)
I haven’t really noticed a lot of difference in hyperpigmentation, but it’s only been ten days. I don’t have much of a problem on my face anymore, but I do elsewhere. With the impressive ingredients, I’m confident that with time, there will absolutely be improvement.
I do feel the need to stress the importance of sun protection, which is included with the Mobile Kit I tested. When using a system with such potent ingredients, your skin becomes hyperexfoliated and is more susceptible to sun damage. You don’t want to incur more problems, and undo all the good you did with the products!
Overall, this is a fantastic system. If you’re looking for quality skincare backed by solid research, Somme Institute is a superb company to consider.
Somme Institute products are available at SpaceNK, Nordstrom, Dermstore.com, and SommeInstitute.com.
Linder, J. (2011). Stem cell technology and the skin. The Dermatologist, 19(3). Retrieved January 14, 2016, from www.the-dermatologist.com.
Sanderson, J. (2015). Hyaluronic acid: Yes, size does matter! Bare Faced Truth. Retrieved January 14, 2016, from www.barefacedtruth.com.
Somme Institute (n.d.). Somme Institute: The Highly Recommended Brand. Somme Institute.
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