A closer look at PRIORI’s Idebenone Skincare Superceuticals

Last week, I was invited to attend a talk by Joseph A. Lewis, beauty-bizz rock star and the creator of skinceutical brand PRIORI.

If you're a freak for AHA like me, you owe your face to this guy.

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…)

PRIORI's Idebenone range

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.

Double hmm…

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?

Love, love



Posted by

Editor of South African beauty blog Lipgloss is my Life.

5 thoughts on “A closer look at PRIORI’s Idebenone Skincare Superceuticals

  1. I am sooooo glad I cane across this, because Im currently trying to decide between the two brands. I did hear Prevage had less Idebenone form a beautician – but who knows. My decision is to stick with Priori – why would you go elsewhere than the creators product himself?! SPF is an issue for me, due to redness and broken capillaries – so to combat this i will also search now for an effective daily SPF protector that is light in weight and wont be to too heavy under my make up. Do you have any suggestions? PS – Once I begin my new skin regime I will let you know how I go, after maybe 6 – 10 weeks time! God I just love spending christmas money!!! xx Nicky

    1. Hi Nicky! Ja, I’d stick with Priori over Prevage due to the retinol in the latter, but to be honest, I’m not all that excited about either creams as I’m not convinced that Idebenone is the best antioxidant money can buy. (In a nutshell: it was tested to work better than only a couple of antioxidants, not all of them, and may well be weaker on its own when put up against a ‘cocktail’ of several antioxidants. Also, dermatologists advise you use a mix of antioxidants, not just one, as they all protect against different agressors). Anyway, when I want a plain old moisturiser with just a decent SPF, my go to is Neutrogena daily moisturiser with SPF 15. I love that it doesn’t aggravate my very oily skin. X x x

  2. OOPs – Im back! With a question …. If i use “Retrive” cream, aka Retinol prescription only cream in the evening, would it be all too much if i also used the Priori day cream which also contains retinol?

    1. I shouldn’t think so. The retinol in Priori’s cream isn’t all that concentrated. If, however, you do notice some sensitivity, try using the prescription retinol only every other day until your skin gets used to it. If you end up having to drop one of them, give Priori the boot. Retinol, if you can tolerate it, is amazing in regards to what it can do for your skin.

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