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. It’s something you’ve heard (and probably tried) before. Most likely, more than once.
Haven’t we all found ourselves defeated and exhausted from using the right products and doing the right things, but seeing no results?
At first glance, the Rodan and Fields product lines look 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 skincare powerhouse known as Proactiv.
Knowing that science and experience is behind them, the claims are starting to sound promising and potentially true. And so, with renewed hope, you open your wallet and purchase one (or several) high-end products from this skincare line.
But, is it worth the investment? Or is it just another miracle skin care mirage? Read our full Rodan and Fields review for help making an informed decision for yourself.
Table of Contents
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 their extensive knowledge and know-how to create the mega-success we now today as Proactiv. If you don’t remember, Proactiv is a powerful, highly popular acne treatment program. It changed the lives of millions of teenagers and adults struggling to get their breakouts under control.
In 2002, this more comprehensive, high-end line of skin care products was born. While Proactiv is primarily marketed to young people, these luxury products work to take your skin from mostly fine to impressive. More complex than face wash you can buy at a local store, these products come with scientific research and an expectation that your skin will experience magnanimous changes.
In 2003, these products were purchased by Estee Lauder Companies. Even after the sale, the business was still operated somewhat unconventionally. You see, instead of being available in stores, the sales of these skincare systems rely mainly on direct selling through independent representatives/consultants. Known as multi-level or affiliate marketing, these sellers are individuals running businesses out of their homes. They use personal connections to spread the word of these products, instead of more traditional marketing and selling techniques.
Today, both Proactiv and R and F are available for purchase, though through very different methods. Proactiv can be purchased in any big box store, pharmacy, or from large online retailers. R & F must come from an independent consultant. Notably, the latter is the more expensive of the two lines.
Product and Claims
According to their website, there are 6 main categories of products available from this company. You can either purchase a set of products to use as a system or individual products that can be added to your existing regimen. Specifically, those listed in Redefine, Reverse, Unblemish, and Soothe are sold as sets. Essentials and Enhancements come individually.
Let’s look closer at each different category of treatment available from this company.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The essentials line comes full of basic products that everyone needs in their medicine cabinet. These are the tools and creams that create a foundation for the rest of your treatment plan. Nothing fancy or particularly medicinal here. Just everyday skincare necessities.
- 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 products exist to optimize further and, as one might expect, enhance your treatment experience. These are not specific to one condition or trouble area, but instead can be used and enjoyed by anyone, whether they struggle with acne or aging.
- 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.
In addition to the items listed here, there are also dozens of additional products available in the Redefine, Reverse, Unblemish, and Soothe categories. This company sells everything from makeup-removing cloths to a very pricey MACRO Exfoliator (and, of course, it’s costly, yet necessary replacement parts) to cooling gel capsules.
As you can see, this is far from a manufacturer that specializes in one trouble area or one kind of skincare treatment. They make and sell it all. Their goal is to be your one stop shop for any skin issue that might arise.
Because this skincare line treats a wide variety of conditions, the ingredients vary dramatically between products. Full ingredient lists 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 expect to be the case from a skin care line developed by dermatologists.
It’s important to note that, despite generally safe products, there are several products with ingredients known to cause irritation in some skin types. A few examples include sulfur and oil from the plant Perilla Ocymoides, both of which are known to cause contact dermatitis. While this is a fancy way to say skin irritation and we understand that some people experience problems with every product, it still seems that better or different elements could be used to prevent unnecessary inflammation. Especially when products are manufactured by highly trained and experienced scientists and doctors.
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.
Reviews from Around the Web
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:
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.
To review, we put together a summary of our thoughts on the Rodan and Fields anti-aging skincare line. Here you go:
- Developed by highly-schooled dermatologists known for Proactiv
- Fragrance-free options
- A 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 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.
So, while this is not the worst choice around, we still recommend finding a more affordable and effective option.