Last week, I was invited to attend a talk by Joseph A. Lewis, beauty-bizz rock star and the creator of skinceutical brand PRIORI.
First up, there are some things you need to know about Mr. Lewis. For one, he’s the former Co-CEO of some super-important pharmaceutical company in the states and was part of the team that pioneered the use of alpha hydroxy acids in skincare. He’s also the inventor of super-antioxidant Idebenone which is a bio-engineered form of Q-10, just so you know. Aside from protecting your skin from free-radicals, it also helps reduce redness and inflammation, even out skin tone and reduce fine lines.
Anyway, after whipping up Idebenone, he sold it off to Arden who now use it in their Prevage range. He also made an extra-strength version which you’ll find in Prevage MD (the prescription version of Prevage), but he sold that to Allergan, the company that makes Botox.
Anyway, not content with selling his active ingredients off to big beauty houses, Lewis decided to create his own skincare brand, PRIORI. It consists of three main lines, the Advanced AHA range, the Idebenone range and Coffeeberry Perfecting Minerals; a collection of mineral-based foundations that make use of Coffeeberry, one of the strongest natural antioxidants you can get. (And yip, he discovered that too…)
Naturally, the first thing I wanted to ask him (aside from whether he had any eligible sons) was what made his own range of Idebenone skin care different to or better than Prevage. However, according to him, they both make use of the very same active ingredient (Idebenone) in the exact same strength.
‘Well then, why should people buy yours versus theirs?’ I asked. To this, he kinda just shrugged. ‘It’s the same thing… this just gives people a choice’.
Maddening, right? (A part of me thinks he can’t punt one brand over the other due to contractual reasons).
So, I did a little digging myself and this is what I found out:
PRIORI’s Idebenone range is more expensive than Prevage. For example, Prevage’s day cream with SPF30 is R945, while PRIORI Moisturising Facial Cream is R1 387. Now, considering that they’re ‘the same thing’ it would make sense to opt for Arden. However, I took an even closer look…
Arden’s day cream contains an SPF of 30, while PRIORI’s doesn’t. However, the PRIORI cream makes use of AHA (lactic acid) as well as my beloved retinol. Both are used in really good concentrations – not just tossed in at a ridiculously ineffective level as an afterthought.
Clearly there are little differences between the two. When I asked my girlfriends which one they’d pick, some said they’d never use a moisturiser that didn’t contain an SPF, while others weren’t bothered as they’d only wear it at night. Two were sold at the prospect of bonus anti-agers (the retinol and AHA), while another said they’d be swayed by the price. So ja, I guess it really does come down to personal choice.
Now tell me girls, which would you be most keen to try?