Dermatologist Review of DDF
anonymous Verified Purchaser
DDF Skin Care was founded in New York City in 1995 by dermatologist Howard D. Sobel, MD. The line began in 1991 as HDS (Dr. Sobel’s initials) Cosmetic Lab with distribution to Dr. Sobel’s office as well as spas and small retailers in the Northeast. Dr. Sobel and his sister, Elaine Linker, expanded product distribution in those pre-social media times by traveling the country giving lectures and workshops about the benefits of esthetic skin care. A newsletter was also published to help promote the brand within the broader context of aesthetic skin care informational awareness. In 1995 HDS Labs, Inc. launched Doctor’s Dermatologic Formula, DDF. DDF demonstrated the concept that an entrepreneurial and aesthetically astute dermatologist with formulating skills and marketing resources could succeed at bringing a whole new wave of cutting edge cosmeceutical products to market. The DDF brand became increasingly popular online and in upscale retail environments during the late 90s. This increased popularity correlated with vastly increased domestic distribution and the promotion of DDF in international markets. DDF’s success did not go unnoticed and a venture investment capital infusion in 2004 helped propel the company’s innovative product line forward. Most recently in 2007, DDF was acquired by Proctor & Gamble. Founders Dr. Sobel and Ms. Linker have been wisely retained by P&G as consultants.
DDF’s mantra is ‘from promises to results’. DDF is a fairly extensive line that is concentrated on several concerns commonly encountered by dermatologists. The brand embraces essentially a four step approach to skin care in each skin concern or treatment category consisting of cleansing, protecting, treating and ‘RxTra’ for extra or special items. The brand is rich in products for acne, sensitive skin, hyperpigmentation and anti-aging. Lower level SPF products are featured prominently in the offering. Somewhat surprisingly, strictly moisturizing products are quite limited. Most DDF products with moisturizing properties also serve at least one additional purpose such as sun protection, anti-aging or skin lightening.
DDF has a nice array of eight acne-focused products that are well thought out and allow for customization of a non-prescription acne program as well as being designed to slip into an overall regimen incorporating some prescription products. The key active ingredients in the regimen are the usual benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid and glycolic acid. The formulations are well thought out, though, including for example a mechanical exfoliant containing benzoyl peroxide. There is also an oil control moisturizer with SPF 15 which is formulated for oily and acne-prone skin. A very nice component of DDF’s acne offering is the DDF Sulfur Therapeutic Mask. A well formulated drying mask with 10% sulfur, this product can actually add just enough extra therapeutic boost in some cases to make a difference in overall acne regimen success.
DDF’s anti-aging offering is somewhat arbitrarily segregated into restorative and preventative categories. These products, generally speaking, incorporate glycolic acid, vitamin C, retinol, peptides, antioxidants and turmeric root extract for their preventative and restorative effects. The formulations are, generally speaking, quite pleasant to apply in terms of application texture and smell, as well as resultant skin look and feel. I was particularly taken by the Wrinkle Resist Plus Pore Minimizer Moisturizing Serum. The two stage airless pump is really creative with the DNA double helix evoking orange central compartment surrounded by the clear serum compartment. The product has a pleasant light and mostly transient fragrance, glides into the skin in a silky smooth fashion and provides a very nice visual and tactile finish to the skin. The formula does in fact at least temporarily diminish the appearance of pores via a pigmented micro-particle skin coating. DDF’s C3 Plus serum is a competent vitamin C serum that should retain stability and thus efficacy long after purchase given the vitamin C protective ambient light and oxygen restricting airless pump container.
DDF branding is quite clinical. The boxes are almost medicinal with white, grey and black constants accented per product class by muted colors. Most of the product information is found on the box rather than the product itself. The boxes are actually a bit arduous to read due to the extensive use of all capital letters. Box quality is good and consistent. Product containers run a spectrum from airless pumps to common pumps to tubes and, presumably for marketing purposes, jars. Container selection is cohesive and tasteful overall. DDF branding is simple overall and entirely consistent across the offering.
DDF is a very well established, high quality, clinically focused prestige product offering that is well suited to several exceptionally common skin concerns as well as daily skin care. The line is extensively distributed via multiple channels both in the USA and abroad. Since 2007 the company has been the recipient of all the benefits associated with ownership by P&G - expertise in marketing, a wealth of domestic and international human resources and capital. These assets, in combination with consultative guidance of DDF’s founders, Dr. Sobel and Ms. Linker, should likely ensure that the DDF brand remains at the forefront of clinically focused prestige skin care brands for the foreseeable future.
Review posted 10/27/2010.Add Comment »
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