May 20, 2013
Said to be the “lightning-in-a-tube ‘youth tonic’,” LifeCell South Beach Skincare is attracting a lot of attention with its celebrity endorsements and advertising.
According to claims, “Lines and wrinkles virtually disappear within seconds. . .take years off your skin in just 17 seconds.”
Sounds too good to be true?
I thought so too.
Rather than falling for the convincing before and after photos, I took a closer look at the ingredients to determine its true wrinkle-fighting potential.
What’s Inside LifeCell?
LifeCell features the following key ingredients:
Dithiolane-3-Pentanic Acid (D3PA). Also known as alpha lipoic acid, this compound is a precursor to nitric acid which dilates capillaries to increase blood flow in the skin. The increased circulation increases nutrients available to skin cells.
Furthermore, D3PA acts as an antioxidant. It eliminates toxins and harmful chemicals known as free-radicals. 
Ubiquinone. Commonly known as coenzyme Q10, this ingredient strips the body of harmful environmental toxins. Then, it aids in the regeneration of vitamin E which promotes healing and repair.
According to studies, coq10 “is capable of improving the antioxidant capacity of stratum corneum and decreasing the amount of oxidative damage in non-stressed skin after topical application.” 
Deanol. Deanol is more commonly known as DMAE. This ingredient boosts acetylcholine production, which is a neurotransmitter that promotes brain function. Despite speculation, scientists are still unclear how DMAE firms the skin. Some suspect it stabilizes membranes while others think it reduces lipofuscin deposits.
More research is needed to verify its effects.
Acetyl-Hexapeptide-3. Also known as argireline, acetyl hexapeptide-3 is an anti-wrinkle peptide which inhibits the reactions that cause muscles to contract. While double-blind, placebo-controlled studies have not been published, some researchers believe this peptide offers results similar to Botox. 
Ascorbyl Palmitate. Ascorbyl palmitate is an ester from ascorbic acid and palmitic acid. It is a vitamin C variant that exhibits antioxidant effects.
Recent studies show ascorbyl palmitate decreases free radical formation triggered by UV rays. 
While the ingredients have some potential to improve skin health, I’m not entirely impressed with the formula. Some ingredients lack necessary clinical research, and I’m not convinced LifeCell will take years off your skin.
Though the scientific names are used, many ingredients in LifeCell are commonly found in similar anti-aging products.
Additionally, the official website fails to specify if there are additional ingredients in the formula. Some anti-wrinkle creams contain fragrances or parabens (preservatives) known to irritate or potentially damage healthy skin.
Will It Irritate Your Skin?
From the ingredients listed on the site, I assume LifeCell is safe to apply to your skin on a regular basis. When used appropriately, there should be no skin irritation, redness, or inflammation.
Consumer reviews report LifeCell does not cause severe or long-lasting negative side effects, even if you have sensitive skin.
Oddly enough, one user at Amazon.com mentioned a “slightly unpleasant distinctive ‘burning skin’ smell” which faded with time, but it is unknown if this is a regular side effect or an anomaly.
What Consumers Are Saying
LifeCell reviews are fairly mixed. Some users love their results while others did not.
“After 8 weeks of use I have noticed improvement – my skin seems clearer/more radiant and there has been some definite reduction in the redness that plagues me at the outside corners of my eyes. I recently tested the product on my 20 year old daughter by applying it to one half of her face. Within 2 minutes her miniscule wrinkles very obviously vanished, so the product IS effective – just not quickly on old skin.” – Me Lady, Amazon.com
“I faithfully applied the cream twice a day every day, but I saw no changes. I even tried just doing one side of my face so I could compare the two…no difference. The write ups say that there may be a tingling feeling and a tightening feeling, but I didn’t feel either. I wish I had, then at least I would have felt like it was doing something. As time went on I used a little bit more each time (to try to get some result), but you can only put on so much before your skin takes on a yellowish cast…not good.” – Kimberly Sue Dooly, Amazon.com
Out of 67 customer reviews posted at Amazon.com, the average rating score for LifeCell was 3 out of 5 stars. Not exactly impressive for the price. . .
One of LifeCell’s greatest disadvantages is the price. Although the ingredients are commonly found in other wrinkle-fighting products, the LifeCell retail price is too high for some consumers to pay: $189 per bottle.
Although there is a 30 day trial period available at LifeCellSkin.com, users should read the fine print before whipping out their credit card.
According to the terms and conditions, you will be responsible for the shipping and handling charges. If you don’t cancel your order and return your trial bottle (even if it’s empty) within 30 days from the shipping date, you will be automatically “enrolled in the LifeCell VIP Discount Club.”
Approximately 30 days from your trial period and every 60- days after, you will be shipped a new 2 month supply of LifeCell for $149.00 per tube.
Canceling your order may prove difficult, as many consumers complained about poor customer service and extra credit card charges.
Linda at Amazon.com wrote:
“I ordered a trial of Life Cell face Cream directly from the company. You were only to be charged shipping and then after 30 days be charged the $189.00. If I did not like it I was supposed to be able to cancel before the 30 days so I would not be charged the $189.00. Life Cell put a pre-authorization hold of $189.00 on my checking account! They DID NOT remove the pre-authorization therefore they took $189.00 out of my checking account! This caused me to have 4 charges overdraw on my account (and the fees)! Being right after Christmas, I did not have a surplus of funds in my account. (My bank said, even if they do not cancel the pre-auth/hold, it stays on my account for 10 days. PLUS – I have overdraft fees now on 4 items!)’
‘Please WARN consumers of this! Life Cell WILL take the $189.00 out of your account! Even after numerous phone calls to them!”
Is There a Guarantee?
LifeCell manufacturers offer a 30 day guarantee as part of the 30 day trial. To receive a refund, you must contact customer care within 30 days to receive a return merchandise authorization (RMA) number. Then, you must return the unused product (even if it’s empty) with the RMA number on the outside of the package.
The guarantee does not cover shipping and handling charges.
Who Makes LifeCell?
LifeCell is owned by South Beach Skin Care Inc., a Florida-based company.
According to the Better Business Bureau, South Beach Skin Care received an F rating on a scale of A+ to F. In the last 3 years, 73 complaints were filed with the better business bureau, several of which were unresolved.
The BBB warns, “Our file contains a pattern of complaints from consumers alleging unauthorized payments for $189.00 are automatically debited after consumers participate in South Beach Skin Care, Inc’s “free trial” offer. Consumers claim that South Beach Skin Care, Inc. continues to bill their accounts monthly. Consumers also state South Beach Skin Care, Inc. requests that consumers return the “free sample” before cancelling their accounts.”
Not exactly reassuring, is it?
Should You Try LifeCell?
LifeCell has a few good ingredients for improving overall skin health and several users have enjoyed amazing results while using the product.
Yet despite this, I don’t feel comfortable recommending the product. There is not enough information about the ingredients to know if the formula is safe for sensitive skin. The price tag is high and the auto-ship program is deceiving. And, the manufacturers have a poor reputation when it comes to customer service.
With so many strikes against it, I don’t think LifeCell is worth the 30 day offer. If you want to buy LifeCell, I suggest going through additional distributors such as Amazon.com to avoid the auto ship program.
 Bast, A. and Haenen, G. R. M. M. (2003), Lipoic acid: A multifunctional antioxidant. BioFactors, 17: 207–213. doi: 10.1002/biof.5520170120 Available from: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/biof.5520170120/abstract
 Vinson, Joe. Sunil Anamandla. “Comparative Topical Absorption and Antioxidant Effectiveness of Two Forms of Coenzyme Q10 after a Single Dose and after Long-Term Supplementation in the Skin of Young and Middle-Aged Subjects.” IFSCC Magazine Vol. 8, no 4. 2005. Available from: http://omicron-pharma.com/pdfs/CoQ10-Vinson_skin.pdf
 Blanes-Mira C, Clemente J, Jodas G, Gil A, Fernández-Ballester G, Ponsati B, Gutierrez L, Pérez-Payá E, Ferrer-Montiel A. “A synthetic hexapeptide (Argireline) with antiwrinkle activity.” Int J Cosmet Sci. 2002 Oct;24(5):303-10. doi: 10.1046/j.1467-2494.2002.00153.x. Available from: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18498523
 Jurkovic P, Sentjurc M, Gasperlin M, Kristl J, Pecar S. “Skin protection against ultraviolet induced free radicals with ascorbyl palmitate in microemulsions.” Eur J Pharm Biopharm. 2003 Jul;56(1):59-66. Available from: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12837482