Ahhh, yes… yet another pricey skin care product on the market claiming to get proven results on those pesky aging issues that trouble you most.
At first glance, Rodan and Fields looks pretty much like many other similar products, so you’re ready to simply dismiss it. Until… you find out it was developed by the two Stanford-trained dermatologists behind the skin care powerhouse known as Proactiv.
Now the claims are starting to sound promising. And so, with renewed hope, you open your wallet and purchase one (or several) high-end products from this skin care line.
But… is it worth the investment, or is it just another miracle skin care mirage?
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In 1984, two Stanford Med School students, Katie Rodan and Kathy Fields, met during a summer job at a cardiovascular research lab in Los Angeles. By 1995, the two had gone on to combine knowledge and know-how to create the mega-success we now today as Proactiv, and in 2002, the high-end line of these skin care products was born.
While these products was purchased by Estee Lauder Companies in 2003, the business was still operated somewhat unconventionally, relying mainly on direct selling through independent representatives/consultants. Today, both Proactiv and R and F are available, with the latter being the more expensive of the two lines.
Product and claims
According to their website, there are 6 main categories of products (those listed in Redefine, Reverse, Unblemish, and Soothe are sold as sets)
- Redefine –
We are all aging all the time, but what that looks like is up to you. Decide today how you are going to look tomorrow with our REDEFINE Regimen.
REDEFINE is a comprehensive skincare regimen that layers cosmetic ingredients and proven peptide technology to help defend against and reduce the visible signs of aging for noticeably firmer, smoother, flawless-looking skin.
The REDEFINE Regimen features four full-size products: Daily Cleansing Mask, Pore Minimizing Toner, Triple Defense Treatment SPF 30, and Overnight Restorative Cream.
- Reverse –
Clean the slate and see a brighter future for your skin. Exposure to the sun and the environment can leave you with less-than-youthful skin. Erase the appearance of premature aging, including brown spots, dullness and discoloration with REVERSE.
REVERSE Regimen exfoliates, visibly brightens, reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles and defends against sun exposure for a long-term solution for a radiant complexion.
The REVERSE Regimen features four full-size products: Deep Exfoliating Wash; Intensive Brightening Toner; Dual Active Brightening Complex; and Broad Spectrum SPF 50+ Sunscreen.
- Unblemish –
Breakouts? Unpredictable? Unreasonable? Unfair? Take control with our UNBLEMISH Regimen. Clinically proven to combat the entire acne cycle, this sophisticated regimen helps unclog pores, clears acne blemishes and calms your complexion to keep pimples, blackheads and post-acne marks from making an unwelcome appearance on your face—and in your life.
Since many acne sufferers have post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH), the remnant red/brown marks following a healed blemish, we offer UNBLEMISH Spot Fading Toner. However, if you are one of the lucky few who does not experience PIH, use our UNBLEMISH Clarifying Toner as an alternative.
The UNBLEMISH Regimen features four full-size products: Acne Treatment Sulfur Wash; Spot Fading Toner OR Clarifying Toner; Dual Intensive Acne Treatment; and Oil Control Lotion SPF 20.
- Soothe –
Where do you turn when your face can’t take it anymore? Calm the flush-blush reaction of a hyper-sensitive complexion with SOOTHE. Clinically proven to reduce redness and irritation in as little as 5 minutes, SOOTHE shields against the biological and environmental aggressors that can trigger inflammation, helps fortify skin’s natural moisture barrier, calms visible redness, and reduces irritation so that you can take comfort in having a healthy-looking complexion every day.
The SOOTHE Regimen features 4 full-size products: Gentle Cream Wash; Sensitive Skin Treatment; Moisture Replenishing Cream; and Mineral Sunscreen SPF 30.
- Essentials –
ESSENTIALS Broad Spectrum SPF 30 Body Sunscreen
ESSENTIALS Daily Body Moisturizer
ESSENTIALS Foaming Sunless Tan
ESSENTIALS Gauze Pads
ESSENTIALS Lip Shield Broad Spectrum SPF 25 (Two-Pack)
MAXIMUM D3® Vitamin D Supplement
- Enhancements –
ENHANCEMENTS Body Micro-Dermabrasion
ENHANCEMENTS Lip Micro-Dermabrasion
ENHANCEMENTS Micro-Dermabrasion Paste
ENHANCEMENTS Mineral Peptides Broad Spectrum SPF 20
ENHANCEMENTS Mineral Peptides Broad Spectrum SPF 20 with Brush
ENHANCEMENTS Mineral Peptides Brush
There are also dozens of additional products available in the Redefine, Reverse, Unblemish, and Soothe categories… everything from makeup-removing cloths, to a very pricey MACRO Exfoliator (and necessary replacement parts), to cooling gel capsules.
Ingredients are readily available in the description of each product, as found on the website. Most are water-based, and none use overtly toxic or hazardous chemicals (as you would rightly hope from a line developed by dermatologists), though there are several products with ingredients known to cause irritation in some skin types (such as sulfur and an oil from the plant Perilla Ocymoides, which is known to cause contact dermatitis).
Application and regimen recommendations
Each product application and regimen recommendation varies, but all are clearly listed on the website and blog. Most involve a daily morning/evening routine.
Many reviews we found for Rodan and Fields products were positive overall, though not necessarily stellar, especially considering the high-end price tag.
The skin-lightening products containing hydroquinone seemed to perform well, and consumers liked the fragrance-free options. Other than that though, there were no “miracle cures” to aging or skin problems that appeared.
In fact, many of the products drew strong comparisons to the less-expensive line of Proactiv products, which made some consumers feel as if they were simply sold lesser items at a higher price-point in different packaging. So, product-performance-wise, the skincare line was found to be average. Here is a video we found on YouTube, it’s actually from the official product channel:
- Developed by highly-schooled dermatologists known for Proactiv
- Fragrance-free options
- Wide product line that can be tailored to specific skin care needs/concerns
- Certain products, such as the skin-lighteners, do seem to produce results
- High price point
- Some product ingredients have been known to cause irritation
- Many consumer reviews were neutral on the effectiveness of the products
The overall impression of this anti aging line was pretty lack-luster. There were no huge warning bells that went off… nor were there any miraculous “wonder products” that stood out.
The line, while stemming from promising beginnings, does not seem to merit the inflated price tag. You might be tempted to try one or two Rodan and Fields products, but we would venture to guess that the results would not send you running to your nearest consultant for more. Similar (or slightly better) results can still be found in other lines of equal (or even lesser) price points.