PRODUCTS I LOVE : DR. JART V7 ANTIOXIDANT SERUM + PRIMING MOISTURIZER
I’ve long been a fan of Dr. Jart’s products. I love their cool artsy vibe mixed in with serious skincare science. It reminds me of Kiehl’s in its unabashed quirkiness. Walk into any Kiehl’s store in the world and you’re struck by the sight of a full-sized skeleton. How does that have anything to do with skin care? The straight up answer is, of course, “nothing, nothing at all!” But like people, brands can have complex personalities. And as the oddest of quirks, they’re often inexplicable. In fact, during my eight years at Kiehl’s, it was never all that easy to explain why the skeleton, nicknamed Mr. Bones, was there. But I tried — and the result was one of the most bizarre bits of copy I’ve ever written. Here’s the text I crafted for signage that hangs around Mr. Bones’ neck to this day:
Meet “Mr. Bones”
With our roots at the original “Kiehl Pharmacy”— located at the corner of 13th Street and 3rd Avenue in New York City for more than 150 years — Kiehl’s Since 1851 has long and rich scientific traditions in chemistry, pharmacology and medical research—as well a profound respect for the medical community. It is in this spirit that we present the accompanying skeleton, “Mr. Bones”. While Mr. Bones is an “anatomically correct” replica of a human skeletal system, he is not comprised of actual human bones (much to his chagrin).
Damn that’s good!
Fast forward about a decade to my initial discovery of Dr. Jart — “skincare powered by science, inspired by art.” Dr. Jart’s world-famous Ceramidin Liquid was the first serious K-Beauty product I ever tried. I came across it around the time of my trip to Seoul in 2013. To this day, I’m not 100% sure what that product is — it’s that unique. Is it it a toner? Is it a moisturizer? Is it a serum?! I guess that’s why Jart called it a liquid. It was easier to just say that. But its left-of-center weirdness is characteristically Dr. Jart. That carries through to so many of the brand’s products. Look at those creepy cool baby faces on the front of the Lover Rubber Masks — and the baby face lids on top of the Shake & Shot masks.
I know people who don’t want to try them because they’re too freaked out. Come on, it’s not that over the top. I’m always on the verge of responding, “Don’t be such a baby!” But I refrain. Sometimes people stand in their own way and you just gotta let them be stupid.
At the heart of the Skincarma philosophy, there are two important, essential product categories — sunscreen and antioxidants. Dr. Jart’s new V7 collection is all about seven essential vitamins that offer both antioxidant protection from free radical damage and skin replenishment. Much like taking your daily vitamins helps to fortify the body’s defenses and maintain overall health, the two V7 products are intended to strengthen skin’s defenses and enhance skin health. Both formulas are antioxidant powerhouses!
The Dr. Jart V7 collection has been available in Asian markets for a while now — but the V7 Antioxidant Serum and Priming Moisturizer are the first V7 branded products available in the U.S. market. In fact, they were formulated exclusively for Sephora and U.S. customers.
Both V7 Antioxidant Serum and Priming Moisturizer contain Dr. Jart’s proprietary V7 Multi-Vitamin Complex, a blend of seven vitamins including B3, B5, C, E, F, H and K3 — to help restore and maintain skin health and promote brighter, healthier looking skin.
First I have to say that the most interesting thing about the V7 Antioxidant Serum is not actually the formula. It’s the packaging — and specifically the pump dropper. I know that sounds nuts. (Remember, sometimes you just gotta let people be stupid!) As with Dr. Jart’s Peptidin serums, you twist the top of the dropper to find that this genius component draws out the perfect dose of serum. No pumping needed!
Thank you for humoring me. Back to the Antioxidant Serum itself. Again, it’s infused with Dr. Jart’s proprietary V7 Multi-Vitamin Complex that promotes healthy skin. But there are numerous antioxidant botanical extracts and oils, too. In fact, the second ingredient is Olea Europaea (Olive) Fruit Oil! You can’t get better than that. The fourth ingredient is Camellia Japonica Seed Oil, common to Asian beauty formulas. Camellia oil is a potent, nutrient-rich antioxidant and a terrific emollient that contains multiple fatty acids that help retain and enhance moisture in the skin. There are also couple of humectants, including Glycerin and Sodium Hyaluronate — the salt form of Hyaluronic Acid that’s more skin-compatible.
By my count there are a total of 17 botanicals in the formula — nearly half of the 35 or so ingredients and many of them potent antioxidants. The V7 Antioxidant Serum is not perfect, though. There’s one drawback for me as it also has a relatively high amount of alcohol in it. Why formulators continue to include drying, damaging alcohol is beyond me. There are several acceptable alternatives for solubilizing ingredients to enhance penetration. Among them Dimethyl Isosorbide, which can be used to enhance the delivery of active ingredients into the skin for significantly better penetration and performance than damaging alcohol!
The texture is what you’d expect — a thin, silky serum that penetrates almost instantly without any stickiness. Because of that, it’s easily layered. The one caveat I would make is that the V7 Antioxidant Serum is not a replacement for a potent, well-formulated Vitamin C serum. While its electric orange packaging gives the impression that it’s loaded with skin-brightening, tone-evening, antioxidant Vitamin C, Ascorbic Acid — the purest form of Vitamin C — is the very last ingredient in the INCI. Boo!
V7 Priming Moisturizer
Let me get one thing out of the way up front. I don’t wear makeup. And I didn’t test the V7 Priming Moisturizer as a makeup primer. (If you have, please share your impressions with me in the comments!) I’ve been using it in my AM regimen as my primary moisturizer and have grown to really enjoy it. In fact, I actually enjoy the Priming Moisturizer more than its companion serum! It has a super light creamy texture that’s just a tad bit thicker than a lotion — but not heavy like I’d expected. In fact, on the Sephora product page, it’s classified as a “liquid”! But it’s certainly not the true liquid that Ceramidin Liquid is! It’s got a unique, slightly pinkish hue that I assume is intended to enhance the priming benefit that Dr. Jart says “evens out the complexion and blurs the look of pores and imperfections.”
As with the Antioxidant Serum, it’s powered by the V7 Multi-Vitamin Complex. And, too, it’s loaded up with antioxidant botanicals, humectants and replenishing plant oils. Notably, there are a dozen amino acids in the formula which are terrific for promoting skin health.
According to my skincare muse, the OG Paula Begoun:
“In skincare products, amino acids act as water-binding agents, and some have antioxidant properties. Amino acids can be combined with other ingredients that have skin-restorative ability to work in unison to fight signs of aging.”
The V7 Priming Moisturizer has a subtle skin-mattifying effect when you don’t cover over it with makeup. That makes it perfect for this time of year in New York City and elsewhere when everything feels uncomfortable on the skin and you walk around looking like you climbed out of the Hudson River. Let’s just say, it’s perfect timing!
True to Dr. Jart, the new V7 Antioxidant Serum and Priming Moisturizer are just plain cool! Have a look for yourself — and let me know what you think in the comments.
The Ingredient List of the V7 Priming Moisturizer:
Water, Cyclopentasiloxane, Cyclohexasiloxane, Panthenol, Polymethylsilsesquioxane, Vinyl Dimethicone/Methicone Silsesquioxane Crosspolymer, Glycerin, Dimethicone, Diphenylsiloxy Phenyl Trimethicone, PEG-10 Dimethicone, Propanediol, Caprylyl Methicone, Methyl Methacrylate Crosspolymer, Niacinamide, 1,2-Hexanediol, Disteardimonium Hectorite, Solanum Lycopersicum (Tomato) Leaf Cell Culture Extract, Glutathione, Sea Water, Glycine, Serine, Glutamic Acid, Aspartic Acid, Leucine, Alanine, Lysine, Arginine, Tyrosine, Phenylalanine, Proline, Threonine, Valine, Cysteine, Histidine, Isoleucine, Methionine, Magnesium Sulfate, PEG-12 Dimethicone/PPG-20 Crosspolymer, Titanium Dioxide (CI 77891), Coco-Caprylate/Caprate, Sorbitan Sesquioleate, Ethylhexylglycerin, Eclipta Prostrata Extract, Polyhydroxystearic Acid, Adenosine, Alumina, Triethoxycaprylylsilane, Melia Azadirachta Leaf Extract, Tocopheryl Acetate, Linoleic Acid, Urea, Moringa Oleifera Seed Oil, Disodium Phosphate, Oleic Acid, Biotin, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Palmitic Acid, Hydrogenated Lecithin, Polyglyceryl-10 Diisostearate, Stearic Acid, Tocopherol, Citric Acid, Hydroxypropyl Cyclodextrin, Ascorbic Acid, Menadione, Linolenic Acid, Disodium EDTA, Juniperus Virginiana Oil, Cananga Odorata Flower Oil, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Peel Oil, Copaifera Officinalis (Balsam Copaiba) Resin, Pogostemon Cablin Oil, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Oil.
The Ingredient List of the V7 Antioxidant Serum:
Water, Olea Europaea (Olive) Fruit Oil, Coco-Caprylate/Caprate, Camellia Japonica Seed Oil, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Alcohol, Glycerin, Niacinamide, 1,2-Hexanediol, Pentylene Glycol, Sodium Chloride, Hydrogenated Lecithin, Coccinia Indica Fruit Extract, Eclipta Prostrata Extract, Polyglyceryl-10 Stearate, Ethylhexylglycerin, Xanthan Gum, Citrus Reticulata (Tangerine) Peel Extract, Panthenol, Pogostemon Cablin Leaf Extract, Salvia Sclarea (Clary) Oil, Adenosine, Sodium Hyaluronate, Tocopheryl Acetate, Butylene Glycol, Melia Azadirachta Flower Extract, Melia Azadirachta Leaf Extract, Curcuma Longa (Turmeric) Root Extract, Ocimum Sanctum Leaf Extract, Ficus Carica (Fig) Fruit Extract, Ginkgo Biloba Nut Extract, Morus Alba Fruit Extract, Punica Granatum Fruit Extract, Corallina Officinalis Extract, Linoleic Acid, Biotin, Menadione, Ascorbic Acid.