Dermatologist Review of MD Forte
anonymous Verified Purchaser
MD Forte is a line of skin care products marketed by Allergan, Inc., the manufacturer of Botox Cosmetic. Allergan originally purchased MD Forte from Herald Pharmacal approximately fifteen years ago in a transaction that saw MD Formulations go to MD Beauty (marketers of Bare Escentuals) and Aqua Glycolic end up at Merz Pharmaceuticals. The products at that time were very similar but the rights to market them in the United States were divided into medical (MD Forte), esthetician/spa (MD Formulations) and drugstore (Aqua Glycolic.) Over the ensuing years, each line has evolved and now the product offerings from each brand have diverged significantly. MD Forte has launched many products since becoming part of Allergan.
MD Forte product offerings consist of cleansers, moisturizers, glycolic acid rejuvenation products and sunscreens. I believe that this line offers several great products. The brand also has some issues which this article will address. Generally speaking, however, MD Forte is an excellent line that still has some room for improvement especially in overall presentation and marketing.
The top three stars of MD Forte’s line are Replenish Hydrating Cream, Facial Cleansers II and III and Skin Rejuvenation Eye Cream. Replenish Hydrating Cream was designed by Allergan to help make Avage and Tazorac therapy more tolerable. Avage and Tazorac are Allergan’s prescription retinoid creams. They are great anti-aging and acne products but have a tendency to cause significant scaling and dryness with some potential for irritation. A really effective moisturizer is required to allow for optimal utilization of these retinoids. Replenish Hydrating Cream is a product developed at Allergan to assist in compliance with Avage and Tazorac therapy and it turns out that this moisturizer is versatile beyond its complementary role with retinoids. Replenish is a great moisturizer for virtually every skin type. I have used this product and found it to be very effective and reasonably pleasant. It does feel a bit waxy upon initial touch and application but this perception fades quickly. Facial Cleansers II and III are perennial favorites and are still the glycolic cleansers by which all others are judged. Skin Rejuvenation Eye Cream does a great job under the eyes. Allergan seems to have a knack for making eye creams which is probably only coincidently related to their roots in ophthalmic products. Avage and Tazorac are also great for fine lines under the eyes. Many dermatologists rate them right at the top for topical anti-aging eye contour area treatment.
MD Forte is also known for its variable strength glycolic creams and lotions. These products utilize a form of glycolic acid referred to as ‘glycolic compound.’ Glycolic compound allows for a partially pH adjusted glycolic product that permits the skin to tolerate much higher levels of glycolic acid than non-buffered formulations. MD Forte’s glycolic line is known for its relatively gentle profile and the ultra-potent but reasonably tolerable level III products.
MD Forte has many great products and a parent company with lots of research and development dollars. I believe the line could be made better in several ways. First, the packaging is becoming somewhat dated and is a bit low-end given the product price point. Also, the packaging is not consistent across the line. Packaging has progressed much in recent years and MD Forte does not seem to be keeping up at this time. Also, some of the products are rather ‘old school’ and while still popular are at increasing risk of becoming obsolete in the face of new competition. Specifically, the sunscreens (especially the SPF 15 sunscreen) are not particularly competitive with cutting edge products although they are still effective and somewhat elegant. The older advanced complex moisturizers are, in my opinion, on the verge of being outdated. I’d like to see MD Forte come out with variations on the Replenish product, preferably a product of similar efficacy with a lighter feel. Finally, MD Forte marketing has not been updated in quite some time – the brand now appears due for a renewed marketing push.
In summary, MD Forte is a market leading physician-dispensed glycolic-centered product line that has had great success. While MD Forte seems to be currently suffering from a mild case of corporate ambivalence I expect the line to receive renewed backing and attention. MD Forte is great now and with some attention and luck it should become even better as time goes on.
Review posted 4/3/2006.Add Comment »
Other dermatologist reviews that may interest you: