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Straight Blog about Skin Care

How do you determine whether a product really works?

By Arthur Perry MD November 26, 2015 No comments
There are tens of thousands of skin care products in the USA. So many make absolutely ridiculous claims and so many contain ingredients that can't possibly work. But how can you, the consumer, determine whether a product or ingredient is useful...or useless. It's actually nearly impossible, unless you have degrees in both chemistry and medicine. I've spent years looking at ingredients and I do believe that some work...they do what they say they do. But the vast majority of products don't work. They either contain ingredients that are too big to penetrate the skin, or they don't have enough of an active ingredient, or they have ingredients that are destroyed by sunlight....the list goes on. I spend hours reading labels of products. Sometimes I snicker and then I wonder if the clerk thinks there's something wrong with me. When I design my products, I only use ingredients with proven effectiveness. I use enough of the ingredient to make a difference, and I use the types that are biologically active. That's why my slogan is..."with my products, you don't have to read the labels...I do it for you." Have a great Thanksgiving!

New NightThyme is Ready!

By Arthur Perry MD July 8, 2015 No comments

Greetings from Dr. Arthur Perry.  

I've got great news to share with all of you.  Beginning at midnight tonight, we'll be selling the new NightThyme. Here's the good news:  the actual product hasn't changed a bit.  Here's the better news - the pump bottle that was so, so finicky, has been replaced with a glass bottle with a dropper.  I guarantee you won't have issues with this bottle.  

If you've used NightThyme, you know what an incredible product it is.  It combines the real form of Vitamin C, high amounts of Vitamin A, 2 fruit acids in proper concentrations, 5 antioxidants including milk thistle, and 4 skin brighteners.  It's in a serum form because serums leave less useless residue on the skin than creams.  You know that your skin feels smoother the next morning after using NightThyme and that after a month or two, brown spots begin to fade and after several months, you notice less wrinkles.  But...that old pump was driving you crazy.  In the hot weather it could leak or stop working...despite the fact that it was the best and most expensive pump in the world (produced for me in France by Lablabo).  So, I set out to find a better pump.  None would work, because my product contains 20% acid and has a very low pH.  Ultimately, the solution was to package NightThyme in glass with a special type of cap.  I replace the air in the bottle with Nitrogen to preserve the product for as long as possible and refrigerate it from the moment of creation.  The glass is amber, to block light.

When you receive your new NightThyme, don't remove the cap until you are ready to use it for the first time.  Then replace the cap with the glass dropper cap.  I've tested the dropper cap and I know that the product does just fine, without refrigeration, with the dropper in place, for at least 5 months.  If you purchase extra bottles, you'll prolong their life by refrigerating them. 

I am confident that the new bottle will solve the problem of occasional leaks and pump issues.  Of course, glass bottles can break if dropped, so you'll notice that the new carton is a beautiful rigid box that can be dropped from 4 feet without the bottle breaking.  All of these changes cost quite a bit of money and the product cost is almost twice the original cost, but I have decided not to raise the retail price of NightThyme.  My goal is to provide the highest quality products at fair prices.  

I am so excited to offer this new NightThyme to you and welcome your feedback.  If you like my products, please tell your friends.  This is a "grass roots" company that I am trying to grow.

Arthur W. Perry, MD, FACS 

Tags: NightThyme

CleanThyme awarded a patent!

By Arthur W. Perry, MD, FACS February 22, 2015 No comments

I recently received a patent for my CleanThyme soap. "So what" you may say. Let me tell you why this is important.

It is pretty difficult to patent a product, no less a soap. The US patent office only grants patents for unique products - you've got to prove to them that your product is different from everything else on the market. I knew right from the start that CleanThyme was the most unique product that I've created. It is the only soap on the market that has the correct pH - it's acidic like the skin should be - and has no toxic sulfates, no preservatives, no petrolatum, and no dyes. The lather comes from the plant that makes root beer frothy. The bar is held together with edible beeswax. Even the fragrances are naturally occurring aromatherapy agents. They're proven to improve mood and decrease blood pressure. But since lemon oil sets you up for sunburn, I removed the part of lemon oil that does that.

It's one thing to make a scientifically perfect product. It's another thing to make a product that the public likes to use.  With CleanThyme, I hit a home run - it's a perfect product that cleans your skin without stripping it of your important natural oils.  It "performs" well with just the right balance of "slip" created with glycerin and oatmeal'll love the tons of lather.  On top of that, it smells good enough to eat.

Traditional soap is one of the most toxic skin care products. It messes up the pH balance of your skin and allows bacteria to proliferate. The SLS in most soap destroys the barrier function of the skin, allowing toxins to penetrate and creating irritation and a syndrome of rough, oily, slightly red and swollen skin. Many of you have that and have always thought that that's how your skin always is. I addressed each and every problem with traditional soap and created CleanThyme.  

Now, you might be wondering why I made a bar soap, instead of a liquid soap, which looks so much fancier.  The simple fact is that bar soaps do not require preservatives.  And 14% of you are allergic to preservatives.  

Try my soap and many of you will see a difference in the appearance of your skin within a few days. (You've also got to start using an SLS free shampoo).

Now you can understand why the US Patent Office has decided that my CleanThyme is unique enough to warrant a patent. The only problem with CleanThyme? You'll never be able to use your old soap again.

Preservatives in skin care

By Arthur W. Perry, MD, FACS June 24, 2014 No comments
Preservatives are one of those things we don't want, but we can't live without. That's because we are surrounded by germs. They're everywhere - on our skin, on the table, on the floor, on your pet, in the garden. Bacteria, viruses, and fungi live (usually) in harmony with us. And they serve a useful purpose in the environment, helping organic matter decay. Anytime there is water, there will be bacteria. Just look at that piece of cheese way back in your refrigerator to see bacteria in action. The warmer and wetter it is, the more bacteria. That's why food grows bacteria. Refrigeration stalls the growth of bacteria and a so do preservatives. If you want something with water to stay fresh for more than a few days, it must have preservatives. That's why all cosmetics contain preservatives. The trick is to choose the safest ones. My CleanThyme does not contain preservatives because it's a solid. And the thyme and lemon naturally kill germs. My other products do require preservatives, but I purposely stay away from parabens and triclosan, notorious for their "endocrine disruption". In fact Minnesota just banned triclosan. I wish I did not have to use any preservatives at all, but then the products would not be able to sold commercially. So, I use the safest of all preservatives.

Pricing in skin care

By Arthur W. Perry, MD, FACS January 2, 2014 5 comments

You might call me an "outsider" in the skin care industry (not like those Washington outsiders who have been in government for 30 years!).  I'm a doctor.  A real doctor - I see patients in my 2 offices, do procedures, and perform surgery.  But I have a strong interest in skin care and love designing products that really do work.  My attitude  is that I have an obligation to create honest, fairly priced products.  When you purchase from a doctor, your expectations are different than when you purchase from a nameless, faceless, giant corporation.  You expect that a doctor will personally create products that are safe and effective...and fairly priced.  

When I go to stores and look at all those skin care product advertisements, I often cringe.  That's because so many products are not honest.  The ingredients are often unproven.  Or there isn't a high enough concentration to make a difference.  Or the active ingredients are unusable by the body...or the molecules are too high to penetrate the skin.  The list goes on.  

And then there's the pricing.  I know precisely what various companies pay for raw ingredients.  And I wonder how companies can charge hundreds of dollars for products that cost them just a few dollars.  And when those products are sold by physicians, I am embarrassed for my profession.

My products actually work.  They have the appropriate active ingredients.  In the right concentrations and in the correct form.  Interestingly, many industry analysts and buyers for large retail outlets have told me that my prices are too low - they say that people will have "more respect" for my products if they cost more!  I abhor that type of thinking.  Ripping people off is not my idea of a fair business practice that any company, no less one run by a doctor should do.

So, my friends, fans, and customers...My products will enter 2014 staying true to my mission.  Honest.  Effective.  Fairly priced.  Happy New Year!

Plant stem cells in skin creams

By Arthur W. Perry, MD, FACS December 12, 2013 6 comments

As you are deluged with advertisements for various skin care products, you might come across those that advertise "plant stem cells".  What the heck are these, you might ask...and why are they in my skin care products?

The companies that say they use these ingredients make all sorts of claims that these provide miraculous changes to the skin.  Here's the truth...

It is impossible to put plant stem cells in skin care products.  Stem cells are living material and if they could be isolated and added to your product, they would certainly die during processing.  But no company is really trying to add live cells...or any cells at all.  

Here's the science behind this scam....

Plants are powerhouses that make all sorts of chemicals to protect themselves from the environment.  Since they can not walk out of the blistering sunshine and find the shade of a neighboring tree, they need to produce their own sunblock.  That's why plants have such deep and rich colors.  Those colors are the sunblocks and antioxidants that protect plants from UV damage.  Plants also have evolved protections against heavy metals that might be in the soil.  

Many of those chemicals are concentrated in the "stem cells" of those plants...(no stem cells are NOT the cells in plant stems, but some companies seem to have forgotten that one, too...).  So, if stem cells are isolated from the remainder of the plant cells and the chemicals they produce are concentrated and collected, this concoction is called the "stem cell extract".  That is what many of these companies allegedly put into their skin care products.

Now, when we look at these extracts, three questions come up...  First - what is the concentration of the extract in the product and second - what is the mix of chemicals in the extract, and third - do those chemicals actually do something for your skin...

Since stem cell extracts are a virtually nebulous concept and since no company will divulge how much of these they actually put into their products, you, the consumer, are left with many questions...and empty wallets if you purchase.

I prefer to use real ingredients with many scientific papers documenting that they actually do real clinical situations.  That means that when you squirt that stuff onto your hands and rub it into your face, you can expect real results.  

I'm all for the advancement of science, but consumers need to beware that fraud lurks on many shelves...even in the fanciest of stores...

(C) 2013 Arthur W. Perry, MD

Winter Skin

By Arthur W. Perry, MD, FACS November 16, 2013 No comments

It's getting cold outside.  I wonder why I live in the Northeast and not in Southern California.  And my skin asks me the same question.  The change of seasons is the time that your skin really begins to suffer.  The low humidity and low temperatures cause drying and cracking, particularly around the mouth and on your hands.  If you let this continue, you'll be miserable right around New Years Eve, when temperatures are at their lowest.  My products can help you fight these winter blues.  My CleanThyme will not irritate your skin and should be used twice a day.  And ths is the time of the year that I recommend my SoftThyme moisturizer.  SoftThyme contains those all important ceramides, which improve the skin's integrity and barrier function.  SoftThyme should be used after washing your face in the morning and after washing your hands.  Don't forget to put a little around your lips and on the outside of your nostrils.  This is particularly important if you develop a cold, since Kleenex can be very abrasive on your skin.  

Niacin in skin products

By Arthur W. Perry, MD, FACS August 1, 2013 2 comments

Vitamin B3 - that's niacinamide - is a wonderful skin care ingredient. When I created my former product, called Dr. Perry's DaySkinR, I was one of the first in the country to include niacinamide. Now, with my DayThymeTM, I kept this as a key ingredient. Here's why...

Niacinamide is a nonirritating skin rejuvenator. It's key function is to bolster the barrier function of the skin. That means it lowers water loss and makes the skin more resistant to things that destroy its barrier - mainly soaps. With niacinamide, the skin looks less red.

Niacinamide also brightens the skin in a way that is very different from most skin brighteners. Along with other brighteners like vitamin C and licorice extract (in my NightThymeTM product), it's the "One-Two Punch" to make the skin look better.

Niacinamide is particularly useful for diabetics, because it is the only substance that can reduce the yellowing of skin that plagues diabetics. This unique function is apparent as early as 4 weeks and peaks at 12 weeks of use.

Niacinamide's benefits continue with improvement of photo aging - texture improves, oil production decreases, pore size decreases and wrinkles are improved as early as 4 weeks, with a 5% improvement at 12 weeks.

Niacinamide is not destroyed by UV light, making it a great ingredient to use in the morning. And as a final bonus, niacinamide reduces irritation caused by vitamin A products.

So now you have it - and you understand why I included this wonderful vitamin in my skin care....

Your soap is poisoning you

By Arthur W. Perry, MD, FACS July 6, 2013 1 comments

The average American poisons their skin twice a day...every day.  I'll bet you do, too.  But you don't know you're doing it.

When you wash your face, chances are good that the soap that smells so good is actually harming your skin.  Here's why.  No matter what soap companies tell you, all soap is artificial.  It has to be, because soap is the result of a chemical reaction between fat and lye.  Chemists call the reaction "saponification" and chances are pretty good that you heard about that in 10th grade and forgot it by 11th!  The soap reaction requires that the end product, that's the soap, is alkaline.  OK, your eyes are glazing over....but just for a minute remember that lemon juice is acidic, baking soda is alkaline, and water is right in the middle.  Your skin should be acidic, at a pH of 5.5.  But when you soap it up with those alkaline suds, the pH rises.  That rise makes your skin a playground for all sorts of bacteria and yeast, which have a hard time surviving at the normal acidity of the skin.  For 3 hours, those germs frolic and your skin becomes inflamed trying to restore its pH.  While the pH is off, your barrier is weakened, allowing other toxins to enter the body.

You might think that's enough, but add to that the usual cast of toxic characters that reside in your soap (like sulfates, preservatives, parabens, and other toxins), and you've got quite an assault on your skin.

When I designed my CleanThyme soap, the first thing I wanted was the correct pH.  That wasn't the hard part.  The hard part was making my soap perform nicely so that you would want to use it.  Acidic soap doesn't froth well without adding sulfates or other toxic substances called surfactants.  Sulfates are terrible irritants to the skin and also weaken the skin barrier.  Combined with the wrong pH, that's a pretty nasty "1-2 punch".  And in some people, it's a knockout, creating slightly red, slightly swollen, oily skin.  Skin that is doing everything possible to fight those toxins.  Do you think that's enough?  Add in toxic preservatives like parabens, and a  whole lot of toxins that if I named, you would stop reading this...

All those toxic chemicals make your soap feel and smell nice.  But I won't use them. Here's where science meets art...and a little cooking.  So, to create froth, I used the stuff that makes root beer foamy.  And I added glycerin for just the right amount of slip, oatmeal to give it body, and I held the bar together with beeswax, not petrolatum like most other bar soaps.  But no one would buy any soap wtihout fragrance, and despite the fact that I am very anti-fragrance, I had to use it in my soap.  So, I combined lemon oil without irritants, lavender oil and thyme oil and came up with an irresistible smell.

In the end, I hit a home run with my CleanThyme.  Yes, I'm biased, but I believe it is the best soap in the world. Once you try it, you won't be able to use your old toxic stuff again.

NightThyme skin care

By Arthur W. Perry MD, FACS June 28, 2013 1 comments

Night is a great time (thyme?) to rejuvenate your skin.  Why?  Because the two most studied skin care ingredients are most effective at night.  That's because vitamins A and C are destroyed by the ultraviolet light of the sun.  So when you step outside your house in the morning, the vitamin C and A levels plummet.  Vitamin C is a direct stimulator of collagen production.  Collagen is the major part of your skin - it is your leather.  And your collagen levels drop 1% per year after age 30.  It's asking a lot to maintain, no less increase, collagen levels.  But vitamin C is proven to do just that...only if it is in a 10% concentration, in the correct form (L-ascorbic acid), and at the correct pH (3.5).  And yes, NightThyme does vitamin C just right...  And vitamin A?  I call it the skin rejuvenator, because it is responsible for keeping the skin looking young.  Unlike vitamin C, vitamin A works in just about any form.  So I chose the least irritating form of vitamin A - called retinyl propionate.  It is converted into the active form within your skin.  

Apply NightThyme after washing your face - give it a few minutes to dry before going to sleep. I like the tingling feeling because I know that means it has the right ingredients at the right pH.   In the morning, you can actually taste the vitamin C as it washes off of your face in the shower.  But don't try and sip it...enjoy your vitamin C in your orange juice at breakfast...