Let’s face it — Airplane air is oh-so-dehydrating. Your dermis desperately needs lotions and potions to counteract the dry, stale airplane air, so you don’t disembark with your face resembling a wrinkled prune. Visit your local drugstore, and you’ll find great brands to prevent this, ranging from Yes to Carrots to ROC and they will probably cost you $20 or less. Remember, TSA regulations require that any fluids be less than three fluid ounces if you want to stash them in your carry-on.
The newest kid on the block? 7 Days Of Wonder. This upscale product markets itself as “Rotation Skin Therapy,” and is packaged with seven tubes, each weighing in at just .75 fluid ounces – so it’s ideal for travel, stashing in your Samsonite, and easily going through TSA. Each tube, packaged with different coloring for maximum visual marketing appeal, supposedly offers seven different formulations, to be used Monday through Sunday. Monday is labeled as “ReFining,” which supposedly smoothes and resurfaces; Tuesday is “ReVersing” claiming to soften lines and wrinkles; Wednesday is ReFirming, which, the product asserts, lifts and firms – you get the idea. The product’s manufacturers claim the seven different formulations act synergistically, to address 27 symptoms of aging skin. The theory behind the product is that your skin gets too accustomed to the same ingredients, when the same products are used repeatedly. The manufacturer claims that in order to see results in your complexion, you actually need to use a different formula of skincare every day, which 7 Days of Wonder supposedly provides.
The 7 Days of Wonder skincare was created by beauty expert Suzanne Grayson, who has an impressive background. After working at Revlon she was hired by Max Factor, only to be enticed back to Revlon one year later. Ms. Grayson and her team led all product creation, development and marketing activities for cosmetic and skincare products at Revlon, which helped propel the brand to become the market leader. Several years later, with a growing family, Ms. Grayson opted for a consulting career.
On the website for Ms. Grayson’s 7 Days of Wonder, there’s even a point made about late Dr. Albert Kligman, who was the world-renowned dermatologist behind the creation of Retin-A – the gold standard of retinoids. According to the website, Dr. Kligman, in his estimation, believed that “Rotation Skin Therapy” could actually work.
The results? In 12-week clinical trials, the manufacturer of 7 Days of Wonder claims that 84% of users saw “improvement” in overall skin appearance, skin tone, and youthfulness, while 88% saw improvement in texture, hydration, softness and silkiness. Note: The term “clinical trials” is one that is advanced left and right in the skincare marketing industry. Below in this article, I’ll offer an important caveat regarding claims surrounding “clinical trials.”
The packaging? It’s lovely. As mentioned above, the seven tubes all come in different colors, and are displayed in a faux-crocodile silver clutch/case that is elegant and folds back to function as an easel that displays the products. But as a marketing expert, I know all too well that a lot of products sell the “sizzle” and not the “steak.” Cosmetics and skincare companies are notorious for spending tons of money on packaging and advertising – and not on their ingredients. (Witness another new skincare company that makes products and serums containing gold – if you can believe it — encased in fancy, plush packaging, when I suspect, the main ingredient is probably mineral oil.) It is important to bear in mind: 7 Days of Wonder does not contain parabens, petroleum, phthalates, sodium lauryl sulphate, fragrance, colorants, and acids, and it is not tested on animals, and these are all in its favor.
The caveat? The 7 Days of Wonder products make some very large claims as to effectiveness, and finding out if it really works, carries a hefty price tag: The seven serums will cost you a whopping $295 and last just three months.
For some women – those who regularly frequent medi-spas and plastic-surgery offices, and always travel first-class — $295 is a drop in the bucket, and a no-risk proposition. In fact, 7 Days of Wonder says that the $295 is a “good value.” They base this statement on the fact that the seven tubes obviate using a day moisturizer, night moisturizer, eye cream, neck cream and serum, which could, depending on where you shop for these products, cost you upwards of $400 in, say, a department store.
For many women, however, spending $295 on skincare every three months would be unheard of for their budget. These are the women who routinely fly coach when they travel for vacation.
However, there’s also a guarantee/Return policy: If you are not completely satisfied with the results after three months of use, just call 855-FOR-YOUTH and you can receive a full refund. (While this is a very smart return policy, it is more likely premised on the statistical reality that with most retail sales, people do not return products for a full refund. It happens, of course. It’s just that most consumers don’t do this – but the offer to do so, if you really wanted to, is the hook that gets you to buy. After buying, the majority of people keep the product. If they don’t like it, they just won’t buy it again – vs. returning it for a full refund.) The company claims that this 100-day guarantee is the longest in the cosmetic industry.
But does Rotation Skin Therapy really work? To get an expert’s opinion, I asked Dr. Robert Gilman, a board-certified, Boston-based plastic surgeon who had a thriving cosmetic surgery practice in posh Wellesley, Mass., for more than 31 years. Dr. Gilman was just named to the cosmetic and aesthetic surgery faculty at the University of Michigan Medical School. His take? “Seven Days of Wonder is not dissimilar to other products on the market…It’s pretty expensive. You can go to the drugstore and do very well with a cleanser and moisturizer for a lot less money.”
He adds: “The active ingredients all do the same thing and are equivalent to those found in almost all skin treatments.” What are some of the active ingredients in 7 Days of Wonder? With the help of Google – since I am not a dermatologist or a chemist — I was able to ascertain the following, in for example, Monday’s 7 Days of Wonder formulation.
• Butylene Glycol – a petroleum product
• Niacinimide – a form of Vitamin B3
• Isopropyl Isostearate – an emollient
• Caprylic triglyceride – an emollient derived from coconut
• Alpha-Arbutin — a biosynthetic active ingredient that promotes lightening and even skin tone on all skin types
• Sunflower oil unsaponifiables – sunflower seed oil
• Pentylene Glycol — viscous liquid is used as plasticizer and also forms polyesters that are used as emulsifying agents
• Dimethycone – a silicone-based polymer
• Millet seed extract – a skin conditioning agent
• Pichia resveratrol Ferment Extract — promotes firming, reduces visible signs of aging, and has ability to promote the synthesis of collagen.
• and about 30 more ingredients
Importantly, Dr. Gilman also noted that, in the professional world of clinical trials, 12 weeks is an “extremely short, insufficient time period” in which to conduct an effective clinical trial of most any product – particularly skincare products. On a clinical level, Dr. Gilman noted that such trials normally require a much longer period of time to prove efficacy or inefficacy.
And, just in case you’re still interested – and you have the deep pockets necessary to make this purchase — there also exists a 7 Days of Wonder Women’s Health Fund that is dedicated to three areas of vital need: Breast Cancer, Ovarian Cancer, and workplace support and engagement for Recovering Cancer Patients. So by making a purchase, you are also helping these other important causes, which is also a plus in the brand’s favor.
The final word about 7 Days of Wonder is so true with many skincare products. It comes down not only to “Buyer Beware,” but in the end, is based ultimately on your pocketbook and your trust level with skincare “guarantees.”