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Is Nerium a toxin, snake oil, or an anti-aging marvel?

NeriumAD is a topical cream (sold by multi level marketing) that claims to be a “true breakthrough in anti-aging skincare.” The efficacy (and hopefully safety) studies quoted by the manufacturer were conducted by ST&T Research and have not been submitted to any peer-review publication listed in PubMed. Keep in mind that I use the term study loosely, because when something isn’t published and you can’t read it yourself you are really in a danger zone. A poorly done study is a dangerous thing and an unpublished study that no one can access is about as good as saying, “My mom’s friend’s cousin said it’s good and helped lots of people.”

However, the actual effectiveness of NeriumAD isn’t really a concern to me. People do all kinds of things that they think helps their wrinkles and as long as the products are safe and a doctor isn’t promoting something worthless as a safe, effective treatment then who am I to get involved in cosmetics?

Nerium_oleander_flowers_leavesExcept Nerium Oleander (oleander), the plant that the company claims is the source for its “patent-pending age-defying active ingredientNAE-8 is toxic. Not toxic in a poison ivy kind of way, but toxic in a stop-your-heart-and-be-the-cause-of-death-for-people-and-livestock-alike kind of way. Poisoning from oleander is a particularly common toxicological emergency in South Asian countries. My neighborhood is filled with oleander and the first thing I did when I moved in was tell my kids about the dangers.

All parts of oleander are poisonous, the roots, the bark, the leaves, and the flowers. Smoke from burning the plant is toxic. There are two cases of indirect oleander toxicity from eating snails! The snails were contaminated by oleander through regular garden contact and then adsorbed the plant juice via their own slime. (My first reaction was “gross” and my second was “nature is freaky” and my third was “wow.”) All craziness aside, how much oleander juice can snails really absorb? (i.e. even a very little bit of oleander is very dangerous).

The product “monograph” from NeriumAD says, “The Nerium Oleander plant has been used for centuries by traditional herbal practitioners, but due to various components of the plant it has also been associated with negative stories.” Well, that’s a master class in white washing. Yes, oleander has been used for years, and lots of people got sick. Some died. Some still do. People have also used it for years in suicide attempts. It is not safe. In the 90s someone tried to get a supplement with Nerium Oleander passed by the FDA and they were denied because they submitted no safety evidence and, to quote the FDA,

FDA has carefully considered the information in your submission, and the agency has significant concerns about the evidence on which you rely to support your conclusion that a dietary supplement containing N. oleander, when used under the conditions recommended or suggested in the labeling of your product, will reasonably be expected to be safe. N oleander is well-known to be a poisonous plant. All parts of the oleander plant are poisonous to man and animals and serious adverse effects are associated with ingestion, inhalation, and contact of mucus membranes with oleander or oleander extracts. Adverse effects include, among other things, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, diarrhea, cardiovascular symptoms, and peripheral neuritis. The most serious effects that are associated with exposure to oleander result from the cardiotonic actions of the cardiac glycosides in oleander. The main cardiac glycosides are oleandrin, folinerin, digitoxigenin, and oleandringen.

Oh, and the “negative stories” alluded to in the NeriumAD monograph? Well, those are on Medline and in reputable journals of toxicology, cardiology, and emergency medicine detailing the toxicity of the plant and how to recognize and treat oleander poisoning.

So where does that leave us?

NeriumAD is made from a highly poisonous plant and there is zero safety data. It is possible like many supplements and unregulated products that NeriumAD contains no active ingredients and then of course it would probably be safe.

It is possible that the makers of NeriumAD have found some unique way to neutralize the cardiotoxic oleandrin, folinerin, digitoxigenin, and oleandringen and still retain some other “anti-aging” benefit of an extract. Without published studies it is not possible to know. Believing the company hype about safety is a massive leap of faith considering they dismisses the cardiotoxicty as “negative stories.”

However, it is also possible that NeriumAD contains a cardiac toxin and maybe it’s relatively safe for a healthy woman who weighs 100 lbs or more to apply to her face (again, without studies, who knows), but what if that woman had a heart problem that would make her even more vulnerable to the cardiotoxicty? Or what if her 2-year-old smeared it all over her body or ate it? Two weeks ago I had some kind of cardiac event (probably just from a common virus) that slowed my heart rate to the high 30s/low 40s for a few days and caused an arrhythmia. What if I had been a regular user of NeriumAD? Would I have been more vulnerable? Remember, two people became ill from eating snails who absorbed oleander sap/juice/or whatever snails absorb through their slime. It doesn’t take much. What if someone accidentally used it as toothpaste (about 1% of calls to poison control centers are from people who accidentally used noon-oral care products for brushing) or as a lubricant for sex? (people do this, they grab random creams and liquids, sometimes because it’s dark and sometimes because they are just desperate for lube, and sometimes because they want to experiment).

To promote a skin product that purports to be an extract of a potentially lethal substance without safety data while advertising that it is somehow safe because it was used by “herbal practitioners” and dismissing a wealth of data on poisonings as “negative stories” is so ludicrous it’s beyond belief.

If NeriumAD is safe then publishing the safety data should be no hardship at all. Then again, maybe they don’t need safety data because it’s all glycerin, aloe, and brown rice powder.

Without studies you don’t really know anything at all.

*Update, May 27, 2014*

Given the amount of pure vitriol and personal attacks from Nerium supporters comments will be very closely curated and flagged as spam and IP addresses blocked for any comments that are hate based. A personal attack on me is not a counter argument to safety concerns. In fact, ad hominem attacks typically mean the exact opposite.

I find it hard to believe that personal attacks on me are coming from users of the product who love it. To the people that sell Nerium, if there is safety data publish it in a dermatology journal. Otherwise, go spam elsewhere.

 

 

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Discussion

92 thoughts on “Is Nerium a toxin, snake oil, or an anti-aging marvel?

  1. Do Your Research!

    This is a letter from Dennis Knocke, CEO of Nerium Skincare

    “I just returned from our annual visit to the North American Congress of Clinical Toxicology (NACCT) meeting in Las Vegas. As usual, we exhibited and shared product safety information and provided NeriumAD Age-Defying Treatment product samples to the attending MD, PhD, Phar.D., FDA, FBI Toxicologist/Pharmacologist and Poison Control Center Directors, etc.

    We were able to organize a NeriumAD Safety Panel Presentation/Discussion at the meeting. The panelists included five independent MD, Pediatric MD, PhD, Phar.D., and professors of Pharmacology and Toxicology, one a former Medical Officer for the Food and Drug Administration. Needless to say, it was a very distinguished panel with the ability and credibility to speak to safety; and recognizable individuals to the members of the North American Congress of Clinical Toxicology. The presentation/discussion included the review of Dr. Newman’s research and ST&T clinical data, a review of the data base of the American Association of Poison Control Centers as it relates to Nerium oleander, comments about the confusion associated with the generic term “oleander,” comments about what is credible information on the Internet and myths about Nerium oleander, toxicity of NeriumAD as it relates to children, comparison to other safe products that contain toxic compounds, and the final consensus on the safety of NeriumAD. The conclusion of the panel was that NeriumAD was safe. I will share an overview of the presentations, discussion, and comments of this panel.

    Since you are aware of Dr. Newman’s and ST&T’s research, I will start with commentary pertaining to toxic plants, where one panelist (a director from one of the Poison Control Centers, who has studied the National Poison Control Center database of all reports from plant-based poison incidents) commented specifically about Nerium oleander. He shared that the term “oleander” needs to be put in a generic term. There is Nerium oleander (used in NeriumAD), which is often mistaken for a different plant called Thevetia peruviana (referred to as yellow oleander), This yellow-flowered plant is responsible for a large number of toxic reports and is often confused as oleander in a generic sense. So when you hear “Nerium oleander,” you may confuse it with a plant that has a much more poisonous, toxic reputation, when it actually is not poisonous. This toxicologist’s word of advice was to not believe everything you read on the Internet relating to plants, particularly relating to Nerium oleander.

    He referenced a number of myths that circulate about Nerium oleander and have been referenced on the Internet. He referred to these examples as strictly myths. He shared his research on a rather large database that contains case studies of plant poisonings from the American Association of Poison Control Centers. He shared the unintentional and intentional data and put the data in perspective. In about 2.3 million plant exposures over the last 25 years, there have been only 43 deaths due to plant ingestion in the United States. None of them have involved Nerium oleander, and there are absolutely no fatalities associated.

    A summary of the comments of another Pediatric MD at a prominent children’s hospital and Professor of Toxicology and Pharmacology are as follows. The amount of oleander in the entire container of NeriumAD is a non-toxic dose, even to children. He went on to estimate that a one-year-old child could ingest the entire contents of 400 bottles of NeriumAD and it would still remain a non-toxic dose of NeriumAD. In addition, he commented that in all his years of experience, young children do not ingest significant volumes of creams and ointments. He shared that in his 40 years of private practice and experience with his associated Poison Control Center, he is not aware of even one death of a child by ingestion of creams or ointments, as young children are just not wired to ingest large quantities of these types of substances. He proceeded to comment on the NeriumAD container design and shared that the container presented a daunting challenge for the extraction of significant volumes of cream by adults, let alone young children.

    Another MD, PhD, Medical Pharmacologist and Toxicologist shared a quote from Paracelsus (1493-1541), who said, “All things are poison and nothing is without poison.” However, “the dose makes the poison.” He noted that humans use and consume daily foods which are known to contain trace amounts of natural carcinogens and toxins (apricots, apples, tea, cocoa, coffee, cherries, black pepper, mushrooms, etc.). The risk is relative and it is “the amount consumed” that matters. He presented some examples of food containing toxins, such as potatoes and tomatoes, which contain Gycoalkaloids and Solenines. In addition, almonds, apricots, and cherries contain Cyanogenic Glycosides, castor beans contain Ricin, puffer fish contain Fugu, rhubarb contains xalates, and mushrooms contain Muscarine.

    He also noted that Botox is one of the most toxic chemicals we have, but it has been possible to adjust the dose, allowing it to be used by thousands of individuals. He went on to cover ED50, TD50, LD50, Dose/Response Curve, Therapeutic Index, Margins of Safety, etc. At the end of the day, he commented that, “As a result of the studies, the study design, and data captured, NeriumAD has no evidence of toxicity and no absorption into the systemic circulation.” He concluded that the NeriumAD product is perfectly safe to use.

    Posted by Timbo | February 7, 2014, 6:02 am
    • I’m sure the CEO of a company has no bias at all!

      Botox is an unfair comparison, there are a multitude of published safety studies.

      Publish the safety data if it’s so amazing. End of discussion.

      Posted by Dr. Jen Gunter | February 7, 2014, 6:33 am
      • I’ve learned a lot since I went to University to get my PharmD, and Biochemistry degree. Mostly what I’ve come to find out is the Scientific Method prepared me to conclude is I do not know what I do not know and there is a lot I do not know. Also I’ve learned that being dogmatic is probably going to lead me to a dead end pathway without an open mind willing to learn about what I do not know. Oh, and there is a lot more of what I do not know than what I do know.

        Posted by coachronforrester | May 20, 2014, 11:08 am
      • Something that I am not understanding is why you chose to do a review on JUST Nerium.. You have never used it, and in your review, or whatever this page is, you admit that Nerium may in fact work and that it, in fact, may not be toxic. So why the head on attack when you cannot say with certainty that it is toxic and doesn’t work? I have researched other skin care companies that have negative reviews(in all honesty, they all will, because no product has ever worked for everybody) that include breakouts, allergic type reactions, and little to no results. Have they all been published in a medical journal? I haven’t been able to find them if they have. Have you found them? And if so, please provide links so that I can read them. Just a few I would like to see are Rodan and Fields Anti-aging, Mary Kay Anti aging, and any others that you may have found in your research of skin care companies. If you haven’t found those publications, then why not attack them too? What is your beef with Nerium? I’m just curious, as it makes no sense that you would attack one and not the others that have the same few negative reviews with little proof from those companies that their products work.(If I am to rely only on the negative, then none of them work..)

        Most, if not all of these companies depend on customer satisfaction averages to determine what they will publish as successful results. Most all of them have very happy customers and most all of them are expensive. If a customer is happy with the product they are using, then one would be led to believe it is working. Right?

        I know that you have the right to review anything you want, You also have the right not to. But I would really like to know why you chose to review/attack Nerium only. And I would also like to see any documentation that you may have showing that Nerium is dangerous. I’m not talking about breakouts and simple allergic reactions. We have all had those using one product or another. I’m talking about life threatening, near death or death cases. Nerium is now three years old and has been in use long enough to cause major damage, if there is a real issue with it’s main ingredient. Surely there is some horrible experience to prove your point? I am researching all anti-aging skin care companies and products and really want to know if you are speaking from true knowledge or medical opinion. Thank You for your time.

        Posted by ntothat | August 9, 2014, 5:09 pm
      • You obviously did not read the post. If you did you would see all the links to the studies/case reports and understand why that the post is about Nerium because Nerium claims to use a plant that contains a lethal cardiotoxin yet hasn’t been studied.

        Posted by Dr. Jen Gunter | August 12, 2014, 7:13 pm
      • I understand that they claim to be using a plant that is poisonous, but I have not found anything on the net that shows that those that are using it have had life threatening reactions to it. The complaints that I have found against Nerium are the same complaints that I’ve seen for all other skin care products. That is the reason that I requested any documentation that you may have. I have been using Seacret, minerals from the Dead Sea. As much as I like it, it’s thru the roof expensive, thus leading me to look into other products that are less expensive. I’m just looking for answers, and all that I have been able to find are positive and negative feedback from customers on review pages. That seems to be all that I can find on any of them. Oh well, will keep looking. Thank You for your time.

        Posted by ntothat | August 14, 2014, 9:29 pm
    • I find it very suspicious that NOT ONE NAME was given in reference to who all these doctors, professors, etc. were. That’s not very credible.

      Posted by Donna Hagar | June 24, 2014, 6:24 pm
    • Really, Timbo? Are you that gullible? There are no actual names given!! Use. Your. Brain. Haven’t you ever written a research paper? Would you find these credible sources? Come on, man. It’s not that hard.

      Posted by alexis | July 24, 2014, 6:40 pm
    • I do understand that there is no proof of direct cutaneous absorption of Nerium oleander, but I have read studies (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2700576/) where abrasions and open wounds have led to absorption of N. oleander pastes and have resulted in bradycardia and gastrointestinal problems related to inhibition of Na+ K+ ATPase. I would suggest that a warning about potential problems from micro-abrasions from shaving and any open wounds be labelled and, at least, have this information handed down to the individuals who sell the products.

      Posted by jasonbrumley | August 21, 2014, 8:58 am
      • May I ask what the concentration of Oleander was in this paste? Who made the paste? How was it made? This study was on open wounds in the genital areas of men, and I saw no information on the product used. Also, I don’t anyone that puts any product on large open wounds, unless it is medicine to treat said wounds.

        Posted by ntothat | August 21, 2014, 9:42 pm
  2. Also note that NONE of these experts, nor their supposedly reputable medical facilities are NAMED, (therefore, who can say there was really any meeting at all? Who will be accountable, for their so-called comments?), except for the 500+ year old expert Paracelsus. Prove it! with factual, verifiable names, not ‘story-telling’.

    Posted by thinkaboutlt@yahoo.com | February 23, 2014, 9:07 am
  3. They always found witches during the Salem Witch Hunts. Even if they weren’t really witches. You have plenty of evidence that suggests NeriumAD is perfectly fine, but you keep looking for something negative, that just isn’t there. It’s like an Athiest and a Christian trying to battle it out. Oh, and NeriumAD extract is Patented as an Antioxidant. So apparently the government let’s them patents poison as an antioxidant. LMAO

    Posted by Collin | March 5, 2014, 5:44 pm
    • A patent does not equal safety. The government lets you patent just about anything. Gun mechanisms could be patented. Tobacco processing could be patented. Your argument, such as it is, doesn’t hold.
      And I’m assuming you’ve read the latest research that anti oxidants can be bad in medicinal doses?

      Posted by Dr. Jen Gunter | March 6, 2014, 7:56 am
      • I apologize for the extensive errors/typos, I am typing left handed due to a broken arm, and the keys on this screen are tiny!

        Posted by Courtney | August 8, 2014, 6:42 pm
  4. Find me one case of someone being harmed by the NeriumAD product or it’s proprietary ingredient. You can’t. You can conjecture all you want, but that’s all it is. I noticed you did not comment on the Doctors and their findings of Nerium to NOT be poisonous video. Or their myth-busting report that NO one has died from Nerium Oleander poisoning as you fear-mongering Salem witch hunters will suggest or want people to believe. The extract was being used by Dr. Robert Newman from MD Anderson. How about skincare product formulator, Don Smothers and his findings about NeriumAD? He’s formulated over 40,000 skincare products and he has nothing but Positive things to say about Nerium. I wish people would do a little more research (like the ones who actually formulated the Nerium product) instead of basing their opinion of the product from “old-wives-tales” and pure conjecture.

    Posted by Collin | March 9, 2014, 2:06 pm
    • Collin,

      I typically only allow links to reputable sources of medial information, not to people who have a vested financial interest in product.

      Posted by Dr. Jen Gunter | March 10, 2014, 8:57 pm
    • Actually, my sister had a horrible reaction to Nerium as she used it on her face. She stopped using it. Face cleared. Used it again the following month with the same red, fiery, massive breakout. She stopped using it altogether. Face is fine. Here’s the kicker, though. She is one of their distributors and just “earned” her Lexus. Go figure.

      Posted by Kathy | May 1, 2014, 10:27 pm
      • Hi Kathy, I would not argue that any product is 100% harmless for all people. People have latex allergies, peanut allergies, shellfish allergies…Etc. Anyone could have an allergic reaction to something. You could have an allergic reaction to aloe, that does not mean that overall the product is not safe. Once again I will use the example of aloe, this is considered safe to be used in lotions and sun screens, this does not mean that certain individuals may not have a reaction to it.

        Posted by Courtney | August 8, 2014, 6:39 pm
    • Keep burying your head in the sand! Start using your brain and you will find many people who have had terrible reactions to this so called “safe” product. How about the people who have broken out in cyst type sores on their face? How about the woman who was using Nerium every single day and while jogging suffered a heart attach and passed away? How about the people who post on the nerium facebook wall and ask why they are breaking out and “your” people use the excuse that they have impurities and to just keep using the product. If your breaking out using anything new the right thing to say is STOP using it! All these Nerium reps are just thinking of dollar signs and nothing else. This company has a cult like group and ANYONE with a differing opinion is slammed by the neriumites….pretty pitiful~

      Posted by curlygirl | June 25, 2014, 12:49 pm
      • IF you will read the dermatology review on Retin A – The product that Dr. Gunter says that she uses, you will find that they include the same type initial issues in some. They even say to expect it and that patience is the key. So your claim that. Here it is in their words:

        “Side effects?

        As with most creams, some individuals may undergo some side effects. Pay attention your skin. Some people may have very sensitive skin and therefore cannot tolerate Retin-A Creams. The most common side effects include irritated, peeling, and dry sensitive skin. Sun sensitivity is common with Retin-A use so be sure to use a sunscreen during the day.

        To the tried and true users, Retin-A Creams are a miracle product. Some may battle with the initial dryness and peeling skin- but with continued application and persistence, the miracle of Retin-A will prevail. The key is patience. Rome was not built in a day, just as your acne cannot be cleared in a night. As with most great experiences, it will be worth the wait.”

        As I stated in my initial comment on this page, “NO product is for everyone. To attack one company, when all others have had the same issues, makes me wonder why only Nerium is being attacked on this page.

        Posted by ntothat | August 11, 2014, 11:42 am
      • The point of the post is that Nerium claims to use a product that has a known cardiotoxin, yet has no published safety studies. It’s not about Retin-A, which has been studied.

        Posted by Dr. Jen Gunter | August 12, 2014, 7:08 pm
  5. So if it had a beautiful study then you would believe it?

    “It is simply no longer possible to believe much of the clinical research that is published, or to rely on the judgment of trusted physicians or authoritative medical guidelines. I take no pleasure in this conclusion, which I reached slowly and reluctantly over my two decades as an editor of The New England Journal of Medicine.” – See more at: http://thedailysmug.blogspot.com/2013/12/nejm-editor-no-longer-possible-to.html#.dpuf

    Posted by steventothemax | March 10, 2014, 8:32 pm
    • I take it you sell Nerium, hence your interest in my post.

      There are plenty of bad studies in medicine, many of which have drawn my ire. If you had taken the time to read a few of my posts instead of just trolling on behalf of Nerium you would know what I think of poorly done research.

      However, the facts stand that Nerium claims to be made with an extract from a poisonous plant yet there is no published safety data. It’s no different than saying I have a cream made from poison ivy extract, but hey, just believe me that it’s safe!

      I suspect the lack of data means that there is no Nerium Oleander in the product, but again, without data it’s hard to know. If it as great as the multi level marketers claim then if it doesn’t contain Nerium Oleander extract no one will care.

      And BTW, saying that some studies are bad is a poor debating technique (general a sign that your argument has serious flaws) and a dismal attempt to distract yourself from requesting safety data on a product that claims to be made from a poison.

      Posted by Dr. Jen Gunter | March 10, 2014, 8:54 pm
      • Yes I sell Nerium. Just like you hate network marketing. So may’be everything we both say about the subject is useless.

        You claim to do research yet you don’t even mention that there are two types of Oleander. Yellow (seriously toxic) and Nerium which has never had a documented poisoning. If it is Nerium Oleander in your neighborhood you gave your children the wrong information before looking at the proper research. Seems like their might be a pattern.

        You should probably start by watching http://www.neriumsafety.com

        As a doctor you also know that something can be “thoroughly” studied for safety, but when many people in the general public take it then some serious issues arise. Yet the company has sold over $400 million dollars without anyone suing them for damages from such a toxic product.

        Since your probably took basic biochemistry before 1994 I would suggest that you go back and study up on oligosacharides. You will find these non-toxic sugars (present in both Aloe and Nerium Oleander) have stunning immunomodulatory benefits. But of course you already knew that since they are present in breast milk.

        Posted by steventothemax | March 10, 2014, 9:16 pm
      • Ny quotes on Nerium Oleander are from the FDA and medical journals of toxicology.

        You are banned for misuse of science and spam.

        Posted by Dr. Jen Gunter | March 11, 2014, 7:14 am
      • I’m considering selling Nerium, reading all this, I am quite confused. Dr. Jen, do you use anything at all (anything you eat, touch your skin, inhale) that you have not researched? I mean, have you tried Nerium before or after your “research”? I’m just curious besides this Nerium if you you are scared of the world when you look into things like this?

        Posted by Andrea | July 19, 2014, 3:05 pm
      • I wouldn’t consider using something extracted/made from a known cardiac toxin until it was well tested. That’s kind of the point of the post.

        Posted by Dr. Jen Gunter | July 19, 2014, 3:17 pm
  6. This chain of comments is very interesting. I also found an article written by someone by the name of “Mike Taylor” that purports to be a “blasting” of Nerium AD by someone who is supposedly a licensed esthetician (Rachel A. Sauer, L.E.). Rachel makes several comments against Nerium AD, most of which mirror the comments/concerns expressed herein. For every “licensed esthetician” who condemns or questions the safety/effectiveness of Nerium AD, I can likely show you 2 – 3 other licensed esthetician, medical doctor or naturopathic doctor (all of whom HAVE reviewed the research on their own) who will wholeheartedly support and recommend Nerium AD (and no, not all of them are distributors!). While the research may not have been “published” in anything as prestigious as the New England Journal of Medicine, it IS published and available. By the way, last time I checked, the New England Journal of Medicine is, by its very name, for MEDICINE and medicinal research! Since Nerium AD is NOT a medicine, I wouldn’t think the research would be published therein!

    It is exactly the same situation as when you take the exact same scientific criteria and have it examined and investigated by two different scientists — both of whom start out with two very different points of view and reference — and those two scientists will come up with two entirely different analyses — solely based upon their original point of view!! In other words, if you start out believing that something is no good, you will likely never be convinced otherwise. Likewise for someone who starts out thinking/believing that it might be possible that something is good! There is a very old saying — “A man convinced against his will is of the SAME opinion still!”

    Posted by Josie | April 17, 2014, 1:35 pm
    • A lot of dermatology and cosmetic plastic surgery journals publish articles about skin care products. If a cosmetic dermatologist or plastic surgeons recommends the product they get a big boost.

      However, you can’t claim that doctors read the research and say it is sound. That’s like saying my grandmas’ friend said it was great. That is hearsay and unless the data is available in published form for review by all who are interested it simply does not exist. A poor study is at times worse than no study and that is why peer review exists.

      I am sure many skin care journals would welcome the opportunity to publish safety data on Nerium. If the studies exist and they are sound, why the reluctance to submit them? It makes no sense.

      Posted by Dr. Jen Gunter | May 3, 2014, 8:08 am
      • I find it funny that if someone doesn’t agree with you then they are banned for “spam” … Note- I don’t sell or support nerium, was simply reading your article and noticed the one sided comments.

        Posted by Bailey Meade | July 2, 2014, 8:05 am
      • The banned comments contain personal attacks. Once you do that, you’re flagged as spam. If people have a constructive or even a non offensive other opinion it will get posted. However, I also have a policy re: evidence based medicine and so comments that cross that line typically don’t get posted.

        Posted by Dr. Jen Gunter | July 2, 2014, 8:15 am
      • Would they? This is a competitive world we live in and I would think that if Nerium works as well as most say it does, that it would take away from the products that most Dermatologists make money off of. They ALL sell something for profit, so not seeing where they would welcome a product into their journals that took that money away from them.

        Posted by ntothat | August 9, 2014, 6:17 pm
      • Papers are not turned away from journals based on anything but lack of scientific merit or issues of bias. You Nerium people and your conspiracy theories!

        Posted by Dr. Jen Gunter | August 12, 2014, 7:15 pm
  7. Thank you for your review. It is difficult for anyone to get real honest data about this product from a impartial source, as searching for information on this product through Google is seriously compromised by the number of brand partners who have SEOed their web pages up the ying-yang. As a result, Google’s first page results are so-called review and authority sites by brand partners who have every interest in distracting truth and providing false reviews. For what? To get some extra money. It’s always about the money.

    This is extraordinary frustrating for those of us who just want real data and real results from real people with nothing to gain, or lose. And, as it happens, Google is just full of skin care sites with each one offering the latest scientific breakthrough. It is a game designed to suck in aging baby-boomers, desperately clinging to the last vestiges of youth and one of THE most abused topics on the Internet. Nerium is just one of many, with the incentive being getting rich while retaining youth.

    Nerium claims to be safe and perhaps it is safe enough, although one thing which makes me pause is that “Nerium International” is launching in Canada as Optimera, after adjusting the ingredients slightly to pass through Canadian government standards. My question to Nerium proponents and other Kool-Aid drinkers is, if Nerium is what it claims to be, why did it need to reformulate the product for release in Canada?

    And actually, the safety issue notwithstanding, does it actually work? I can point to dozens of skin care products with before-and-afters. Since Google is flawed in this quest, I choose to look at the reviews at Amazon as one source. The reviews were extreme, with multitude of 5-stars from obvious brand partners to 1-star from disappointed users, with very little in-between.

    Surprised? Neither am I.

    Posted by Cam | April 17, 2014, 5:16 pm
    • Would you not give positive feedback for something that worked for you, and negative for something that didn’t? Common sense would tell you that those extremes would be found with any product, based on who liked it and who didn’t…I don’t know how reliable the reviews on Amazon will be since the company being discussed is an MLM. That would be the last place that I would look, since we don’t know how old the product is or what conditions it has had to withstand before getting put on Amazon. MLM’s don’t sell on Amazon, so beware of feedback for MLM products being sold on there.

      Posted by ntothat | August 9, 2014, 7:01 pm
  8. Typo second paragraph: *extraordinarily* – I need a good editor ;)

    Posted by Cam | April 17, 2014, 5:25 pm
  9. Sounds like every color/type is toxic. Which is not what the CEO himself claimed. I agree with the last statement of this article. “If NeriumAD is safe then publishing the safety data should be no hardship at all. Then again, maybe they don’t need safety data because it’s all glycerin, aloe, and brown rice powder.
    Without studies you don’t really know anything at all”. Exactly. If it isn’t toxic, it’s solely because it lacks the claimed miracle ingredients and you’re using a $100 bottle of Lubriderm. But people are buying and you’re making some money. Very little I’m sure, but still some money.

    Read on:

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3089829/

    Posted by Hmm | April 19, 2014, 1:00 am
  10. I thank you for putting things into perspective. I have done my research into this “product” and whole heartedly agree that it is dangerous. I read the name and said to myself “that sounds familiar!” I’m not a doctor and I live nowhere near where any type of oleander grows but a quick Google search on Nerium popped up the Nerium Oleander.

    I know oleander is poisonous. I only know that after reading White Oleander by Janet Fitch.

    My friend hocks the stuff and the “network marketing” (multi-level marketing). I understand he likes the support but when I told him that the main ingredient is poisonous he scoffed. He said that they “removed all of the poisonous parts.” What you said has just backed up my views on the matter and kept my perspective. Thank you!

    Posted by Victoria | April 29, 2014, 8:36 pm
    • Where did she say that she KNEW it was poisonous? On the contrary, she did not.

      Posted by ntothat | August 9, 2014, 7:04 pm
      • She states it above when she talks about the oleander plant.

        “All parts of oleander are poisonous”

        Your reply to my comment states to me that you did not read the posting and you have not done any independent research on the subject.

        Posted by Victoria | August 21, 2014, 4:07 pm
  11. You may be a doctor, but I seriously question your motives and your lack of information about Nerium AD! and the the connection to the patented NAE-8 Extract. Do you know what is the level of Nerium Oleander in each bottle? Do you know of any cases where people have been hospitalized due to the use of Nerium AD! and the oleander? Do you know anything in regards to the extensive clinical studies done by Dr. Newmann and the Nerium Biotech Lab? Do you know how many human deaths there have been in history from anyone coming in contact directly with the Nerium Oleander plant?

    There is so much fear mongering for no valid reason. Documentation beats speculation; go back and see all the clinicals and then make the correct judgment. What is worse you banned people that effectively counter prove your arguments. LOL! Hope mine stays.

    By the way doctor, did you know that water can also poison you. Here is your research: http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/strange-but-true-drinking-too-much-water-can-kill/. Quickly everyone stop drinkin water!… LMAO! what a joke.

    Posted by Ricky M | May 1, 2014, 2:16 pm
    • Oh my you Nerium sales people are hilarious (and poor readers and even worse students of science).

      I can’t know about the “extensive clinical studies” because they are not published. If it isn’t published, it doesn’t exist. How can you question my lack of information about the product when there are no safety studies! That’s the point of my post!

      If you really read the piece that you responded to you would see numerous links to articles about deaths and injury related the Oleander.

      Anything can kill you, that is true. But water is not poisonous, it is inappropriate use of water that kills you. Oleander is a cardiac poison, so there is no appropriate use. So your water is dangerous analogy is poorly constructed and not applicable.

      If you make a product that you claim contains a plant extract known to be cardiotoxic it is on you to prove that it is safe, not me. If you have the studies and the product is safe, publishing them should be a breeze! So what’s the fuss? Get them published. Otherwise, the lack of publication leads one to conclude that A) there are no studies that would ever be accepted in a peer reviewed journal (and that’s a pretty low bar, because you just really have to be able to click the “return” button enough times to get someone to accept an article these days) B) Nerium doesn’t contain any oleander and so showing that might affect sales as the very product name is derived from the plant.

      My post is not fear mongering at all. It states the clinical data on oleander toxicity (the plant that your product claims to be made from), the dangers of even very minute exposures, and the fact that there is no published safety data. If I made a skin product from poison ivy people would want proof that it didn’t cause a rash, the only difference is many people are unaware of how toxic oleander really is.

      Posted by Dr. Jen Gunter | May 3, 2014, 8:00 am
      • People are unaware of the toxicity of oleander because it’s a pretty name. These are very deep people that back this product, obviously.

        Posted by alexis | July 24, 2014, 6:27 pm
  12. RE: Nerium AD = I’m curious about it’s safety and effectiveness. Having worked for a handful of years in a major medical school research environment, my experience tells me that doctors and researchers usually don’t put their names on things that could be harmful, but publish research to share information to gain clarity and to prevent further disease and improve medical treatment and protocols, etc. I just watched http://www.neriumsafety.com/ and it strikes me that these doctors and researchers wouldn’t put their reputations on the line and agree to make a video to be seen my millions only to give inaccurate or misleading information, because they could be held accountable for giving false information, and being accused of malpractice is something doctors don’t take kindly to. Dr. Jen, while I appreciate your intention to seek the truth, I’m not clear on why you can’t find published findings or what they would tell you, that these doctors aren’t saying. Is it possible that because it’s a skin care product and because the extraction method is patented, that it wouldn’t be published in a medical journal? Do major cosmetic firms publish their findings? MD Anderson in Texas is a highly respected cancer center. Many of these doctors in this video work there and/or have had highly respected positions in public health in various parts of the country. In order for it to have a patent, product study information would have to be published somewhere. So to condemn this product seems extreme, and yet to accept any product without listening for it’s legitimacy is also foolish. At some point, we the individual need to weigh the pros and cons and seek out answers and decide for ourselves.

    Posted by Patricia S | May 5, 2014, 7:24 am
    • Thank you for pointing out that doing a video about a product is advertising and publishing a paper (not done) is science. Any researcher or physician would know the difference.

      BTW MD Anderson has said time and time again that they have nothing to do with Nerium. They have not given it their stamp of approval nor did they develop it.

      Again, if you claim that your product is made from a plant that is cardiotoxic then you have to prove that it isn’t. Promotional videos don’t count! If you want to put a product that claims to be made from a cardiotoxic plant on your face, have at it!

      Promoting a skin care product that does not require FDA approval is not the practice of medicine, so your cry of a false malpractice claim doesn’t wash. It might be a good idea to look up the definitions of research, advertising, malpractice before you try and discuss them. Also, it’s a good idea to look up the fact that a patent has nothing to do with publishing. Every pharmaceutical in the US was once patented and required publications to get approval! If the safety data exists, as you claim, it should be easy to publish somewhere, the recipe isn’t required you know. Really. Failure to publish means A) said safety studies do not exist B) said safety studies do exist but do not show what the makers want it to C) said safety studies exist but someone is too lazy to submit them.

      Posted by Dr. Jen Gunter | May 12, 2014, 9:05 pm
  13. Thanks for the information, Dr. Jen. You seem to be an extremely intelligent, informed (and patient – yikes!) woman. After several months of use, I recently cancelled my recurring order of Nerium night cream (it wasn’t working, anyway). A friend who sells another beauty line, with which I’ve been very pleased, mentioned the concerns with the ingredients in Nerium, Several other friends sell Nerium, so I wanted to be prepared for when they try to twist my arm to go back to it. Your blog here has been very useful.

    Posted by Heather M. | May 21, 2014, 9:45 am
    • I am a week into a trial of using this product (at a friend’s invitation), both the night and day cream regimen. A skeptic by nature, I’ve taken many pre-treatment photos without makeup, in the midday light of Southern California (blue sky, no direct sun etc..). I shall use the product as prescribed and take photos in 4 weeks time trying to replicate the same time of day/light conditions for comparison. If I find significant results, great, but I’m a hard one to convince so I have my roommate in on this to keep us both honest. The toxicity doesn’t concern me, but I’m of scientific mind, wholeheartedly agree that if a company makes a claim that scientific studies have been conducted, then they should involve enough subjects to be able to infer the results to a given ‘population’. There should be more than a single study, It should be designed and carried out by those without a vested interest, it should be a double blind study, results should be published for other interested parties to critique the scientific method used, attempt to replicate it exactly and compare their results with someone else’s. If a company is convinced that it’s product is as good as they claim it to be, they should welcome input from the scientific community based upon THE PUBLISHED RESULTS (without which there’s no ‘proof’ other than here say that research was carried out, or that it was scientific in nature). Too many respondents on this site are using inappropriate emotion, are not educated in the practice of research, and have deficient debating skills. Whether you are selling the product or not, shouldn’t you have the curiosity to question everything about it? It will stand the test ..if it is what it purports to be, but personal testimony is not science. Placebo sugar pills have cured amazing conditions in those who believe, so use it and believe ..or not. A significant percentage us desire the scientifically produced facts for our academic satisfaction. Just as some believe in a God we can’t universally prove to exist, others are in denial, or sit on the fence until presented with something undeniable, giving us no option but to believe that God exists. The two parties will rarely agree and the world needs both the emotional and the pragmatic perspectives, but Dr Jens statement is that she cannot find that elusive holy grail for the scientist…a scientifically published research paper on the safety of NeriumAD.

      Posted by Juanita | August 24, 2014, 5:16 pm
  14. Dear Nerium Sherry, just in case you come back here your comments were deleted because they were rude and had little to do with the post. Vitriol isn’t allowed. With a name like Nerium Sherry one does have to wonder if you do sell the stuff? Posting anonymously and ranting rudely is so easy, but not allowed here.

    Posted by Dr. Jen Gunter | May 24, 2014, 3:57 pm
  15. Dr. Jen,

    You do a very admirable job of identifying the risks of accepting as truth ANY company’s house created ‘sales pitch’ for a new ‘miracle’ product that is peppered with referrals to totally credible & famous research centres such as MD Anderson. When that link is extremely peripheral (i.e. that Dr Newman worked at MD Anderson and evaluated the potential of oleander as an adjunctive therapeutic contributor for treatment of a specific cancer tumour) – yet put forward to the public to strongly imply that MD Anderson and Dr. Newman had researched and verified Nerium works for dermatological application – specifically on the face – the suspicions and concerns should correctly surface. I had an acquaintance who is now a Nerium executive (in only a few weeks) tell me the company was “better than Apple”, & glibly claimed that there was easy wealth to be made, “a gold mine” etc, all the while claiming “scientifically proven miracle benefits”. I was told I am blind to the opportunity. Just drink the Kool-Aid…

    Over the past decade+ I have presented seminars on various products and technologies (including cancer detection technologies developed with support from MD Anderson and approx. 50 million in NIH funding): and I refer to published studies that demonstrate the efficacy of the product/technology. These studies MUST be published in peer reviewed journals, they must have been undertaken in multiple research centres by clinicians/researchers with NO funding or financial connection to the manufacturer, they must demonstrate reproducible results, they must have a quantifiable focus for measurement (not before & after photos….), must be able to support questions about longitudinal analysis as requested (and ongoing if the product is in early commercialization) and so on. A previous comment stated that a researcher’s bias means they find what they look for; implying that anti-Nerium attacks are all biased. I don’t agree with that oversimplification. If any manufacturer wants to claim value they can skew a study by creating a poor study designed to support their desired result. The construction of such a study may lead to a specific result that may in fact support an argument for/or against the product/technology in question but also raise questions of bias, that in the end prevent that study from being published in a peer reviewed journal and subsequently accessed through PubMed and so on. Before and after photos are NOT an acceptable research study. However, you have clearly explained these realities in your post. The angry retorts seem to mesh the company sales pitch blather (the facts according to Nerium which support the suction of the MLM platform) with confusion over FDA requirements and so on, as if this is an intelligent counter argument to your statements. The bottom line is simple – hey Nerium people, answer the questions asked with facts supported by evidence acceptable to peer reviewed journals & publish that data. As you have asked, send the studies summary, send the links to the published studies, etc.. Why was the application for Nerium AD commercial sale denied by Health Canada for sale in Canada? Why can’t Nerium provide the Optima ingredients list for independent analysis and publish the exact formulation results: i.e. is there Nerium extract of any kind in the bottle? What % of Nerium is in the bottle? And so on.

    I am not a ‘hater’, I would love to see everyone benefit from the “miracle” of Nerium products. I am not paid to promote any products in the Nerium domain and not paid to attack them. The only reason I am posting my thoughts is to establish that the most basic expectation for any such product such as Nerium is that when asked, they can supply the research references to the public that is asked to purchase the product and use it. In fact all such credible research should be a simple click on their website tab. It is a broadly analyzed, understood & accepted fact that MLM’s feed of the new recruits in the down-line and the vast majority of those in the down-line will never make any significant money from the product they represent. Mr. Olson is an acknowledged expert in the creation and implementation of the MLM concept and has had enormous success. That is why he understood how to craft the Nerium compensation program which is so attractive to new recruits. Yes some will get a Lexus and yes some will make a very good income; but they all feed off the down-line and thus they promote wealth under the guise of health. Brand Ambassadors etc ‘howling’ their indignation at anyone who may impede their sales pitch is transparently self-motivated. Miracles are not kept secret from clinical validation; rather they are SUPPORTED by research validation which would only mean that such a product would truly ‘sell itself’. BA’s would not have to push any sale….but that is virtually all they do. Isn’t that obvious??

    Posted by AJ | May 27, 2014, 3:47 pm
    • Thank you AJ for posting this-as a research physiologist I am amazed at the ‘buzz’ around this product and the claims being made without peer reviewed scientific studies. I don’t mind people giving their time and energy to a MLM company, that is their prerogative. However, I do mind that a product is being sold to people without full disclosure of ingredients as you have mentioned above. One would think that a MSDS should be included in the packaging.

      Posted by studioapro | July 23, 2014, 10:12 am
    • Ahmen (and yes, I’m agnostic)

      Posted by Juanita | August 24, 2014, 5:22 pm
  16. There is no point in arguing with Nerium Brand Partners….this is an MLM cult, plain and simple. They are taught to “never talk to negative people” which simply means people asking regular questions. They must “believe and achieve”…they go to rallies, motivational events, etc where they get “whipped into a frenzy” and all critical thinking skills in the brain are completely shut off…I know-I was part of a multilevel marketing cult and understand this mentality. I have also lost 3 friends to the Nerium brainwashing cult.

    Posted by Hannah | June 3, 2014, 1:00 pm
    • So true. They are completely brain washed. Its highly disturbing.

      Posted by alexis | July 24, 2014, 6:21 pm
    • Contrary to your comments, brand partners are not “whipped into a frenzy” and “all critical thinking skills in the brain are completely shut off.” I DO know what you are talking about and have been involved in several of those types of MLM ‘cults.’ Brand partners are also NOT taught not to talk to “negative” people. We are actually taught the exact opposite — to be friendly with EVERYONE, to encourage EVERYONE (even those who have opposing points of view), and to never disparage someone else or other some other product. I totally agree that there are many such “cults” out there and always will be. We do not simply “drink the Kool-Aide!” FYI — totally agree that the ‘science’ that is referred to in the news broadcasts and/or referred to by the doctors therein, is definitely not the type of “science” one would expect to find on these products. I’ve seen some of the scientific studies that were conducted but I’m not a doctor so I’m not in a position to “judge” those reports. However, I have personally met and talked with a naturopathic doctor from Nashville, Tennessee who was extremely skeptical when presented with these products. She did do her own, independent, research. She knew exactly where to look and confirmed to her own satisfaction that the research was genuine and the products were safe. Otherwise, she would NEVER recommend the products to anyone — especially to her own patients and thereby jeopardize her own private practice and reputation. I’ve also met and spoken with licensed estheticians and dermatologists who have done the same thing and have also recommended the product to their clients and patients — again why would they do that and jeopardize their personal/professional reputation and livelihood? Just saying …

      Posted by Josie | August 5, 2014, 9:06 am
  17. There was a well done segment on Nerium done by a CBS affiliate in San Francisco, Feb 2014.
    Thanks for getting out the word on this shady product!

    http://sanfrancisco.cbslocal.com/video/9826195-questions-raised-about-real-science-behind-age-defying-skin-cream/

    Posted by Chris | June 3, 2014, 9:57 pm
  18. The bottom line to me is the fact that there are too many products that are safe and not questionable in anyway. So why would anyone take the risk? Not me. I am too busy trying to get the garbage OUT of my cosmetics. I get amazing results out of rosehip oil, so why bother with a product with a dirty laundry list like Nerium?

    Posted by Darla | June 4, 2014, 9:35 am
  19. Reblogged this on Beautiful Botanicals.

    Posted by Darla | June 4, 2014, 9:35 am
  20. Dr. Gunter,
    What are your thoughts on its long term application to the skin? Is it a mild inflammatory response that creates the quick wrinkle reducing results? If it’s inflammation, then long term application to the face will cause more harm than good!

    Posted by Concerned | June 12, 2014, 1:53 pm
  21. Trying to find some objective Nerium information on the product’s not so easy. I guess that’s one of the dangers for consumers with MLM products, you get info from people trying to make money off you or people bitter because they lost money from the company. Thanks for weeding out the crazy and actually helping the consumer Dr Jen!

    Posted by Susan | June 14, 2014, 8:09 am
  22. This is my concern as a consumer when first hearing about Nerium, its safety. Being part of the ‘getting older’ group, a quick fix for a few decades of living is very enticing; however, so is the protection of my vital organs! I need to see and hear more than anecdotal testimonies. Show me the peer-reviewed articles supporting the claims – not interested in making copious amounts of money or earning a Lexus because the true value is in having good health.

    Perhaps some individuals commenting on here are not aware of what is involved in validating claims and providing supporting evidence? This was the initial request. When this is provided (peer-reviewed articles, not white papers), I may take a closer look at purchasing what appears to be an amazing product. Until then, I am remaining an informed consumer instead of an emotional purchaser.

    Posted by Healthy Mama | June 16, 2014, 1:00 pm
  23. I’m just wondering if this article is also in reference to Nerium’s international product, called Optimera. Apparently, according to one of its sellers,
    Nerium, the US product contains oleander extract, but Optimera, the international counterpart, by Nerium uses a SAL-14 extract as their main ingredient. Do you know anything about this international product, and if not, do you know how to go about researching its safety, or lack thereof?

    Posted by Anna | June 17, 2014, 9:09 am
  24. I just wanted to thank you for posting this article. It’s always refreshing to see critical thinking applied, even in spite of those with a vested financial interest in confirmation of their assumptions. All too often it seems that once people have taken their blind leap of faith into a product, a business venture, (or a religion for that matter) they are then so steeped in confirmation bias (and protecting their emotions) that they are unwilling to see the counter evidence or rational argument. This is such a tragedy in our society but I am glad there are people like yourself who are willing to point it out. Thank you!

    No sound evidence and irrational arguments = NO SALE!

    Posted by philodragon | June 24, 2014, 1:27 pm
  25. Dr. Jen do you recommend any face cream or anti wrinkle.

    Posted by Jose gonzalez | July 1, 2014, 10:01 pm
  26. My wife and I almost became brand partners in this product. We are very thankful for your unbiased review and intelligent, well informed arguments. It is very transparent to me that the people who disagree with you can not back up their said of the argument with any fact based documentation to dispute what you are saying. When they read your post the simple reply with anger and childish abbreviations such as LMAO and the like. This does not bode well for their endorsement of the product. Name calling and obvious venom or disdain for others that don’t share their views is also very transparent. Also, there is absolutely no legitimate reason anyone can give to explain why they do not have peer based studies published or anything to prove their claims. Safety issue’s aside, look at the before and after pictures.The colour of the peoples teeth are different and the over all background and lighting is different. How do they put these out and think people won’t notice. Thank you for your article and educated opinions on this subject, you have been very helpful. On a side not, just out of curiosity, I too would also like to know if you have any info on Optimera. I am from Canada and our country has strict safety laws so it seems it may very well be the toxicity of the main ingredient in Nerium that is banned. It is also very suspect that you can have some miracle face cream and change the ingredients to be accepted in another country and the product works just the same.
    Thanks again Dr Gunter

    Posted by B Nicholas | July 4, 2014, 10:28 am
  27. PS, If its not to late…spelling errors…Line two I wrote the word -said- should be -side- and line three the word -the- should be -they-…Thank you :)

    Posted by B Nicholas | July 4, 2014, 10:37 am
  28. On top of the health risks that are highly likely to result from using this product, if it in fact contains oleander, it’s a pyramid scheme! It baffles me how people will spend $80 on a product without doing any research on it. Unless you’re a complete yuppy, common sense should warn you against getting sucked into a “business venture” like this. I’ve noticed that these Nerium pushers are extra defensive too. Facts don’t mean anything to them. If you’re ignorant about the problem, there’s no problem, apparently. I totally agree with your article! Ignore the morons; they’re going to be very sorry when they developed cancer in a few years.

    Posted by alexis | July 24, 2014, 6:18 pm
  29. I tried the product for 5 days this week and my entire neck and face became beet red and burned.

    Posted by Debra Sanders | August 1, 2014, 4:27 pm
  30. Help! I have 3 friends that sell Nerium – I have tried,it- I am very sensitive- it didn’t work for me- most things don’t… Friendship saved, I have another friend that swears by “a new technology that transforms 4000 years of skincare” called.LIVIO – Other than their website – I hadn’t heard of it before. I checked your blog for information on Livio – nothing. He did tell me about the dangers of Nerium – after I told him I wouldn’t try his product. Of course, he gave me free samples. I tried Livio for the first time yesterday – no redness, no swelling, so far.. but I’m no doctor – and I know the reaction can happen after a few days. . Have you heard of this company? or their product? They say their product is safe and patented, that Doctors discovered it – but honestly after reading this page -who can you trust?. I’m trusting a third party -you Dr. Jen – I don’t want to hurt any of my friends feelings.and I also don’t want to jeopardize my skin! I truly appreciate any info.

    Posted by Dana LaRue | August 2, 2014, 12:43 pm
  31. thank you for posting this. I went to work for a company that said they were all about being green and healthy for our clients.. and they were.. UNTIL they found nerium. THEN that’s all they posted about. They got everyone else who worked there selling underneath them. Nerium was on our shelves. The pressure to sell to my clients was always prevalent though it was only discussed a couple of times. In the end.. it’s one of the contributing factors in my decision to leave the company. I would NOT feel safe giving this to my sweet mother.. so I would NEVER sell it to anyone else.

    Posted by k. Howell | August 6, 2014, 4:48 pm
  32. Thank you for posting this. Being a former biochemist, I thought your article was straightforward and fair. If it is a miracle cream, i always wonder why it isn’t hitting the market place.

    Skin has a high level of absorbtion, and you bring up a solid point that while it may be fine for some, what would it do the the vulnerable? Naturally, their website covers safety, but like you said, if like to ready a published study.

    Posted by Amy | August 7, 2014, 9:59 pm
  33. Jen, I’m a guy who has no intention of using Nerium, but as I read your post I had to wonder whether or not you have a financial interest in whatever competition the product may have.

    Posted by Noel A. Taylor | August 10, 2014, 1:45 pm
  34. Thank you for this blog. A friend of ours in the medical field is now selling this after using the product on himself. I am astonished. I asked about FDA approval and received no fact based argument… HE was the proof. A glow similar to that of a Retinal product appeared as well as some fullness. Not enough for me to apply a product that has no clinical safety record. I’ve had great results with products that can be purchased at Dermotology and Plastic surgeon offices. There are clinical safety studies. I happen to have a history of family heart disease and controlled elevated BP. I’d be an idiot to apply something that could be absorbed into my system without knowing the long term effect, just as I choose to dislike statins(for myself)where the pros and cons are equally stated in the papers. It’s all about money. Check out EBay where people who are attempting to recoup their wasted money. The company refuses to take back it’s precious product from dissatisfied customers. There are many reports of burns and rashes that don’t go away. The manufacturer claims NO knowledge of this because they REALLY don’t know! They haven’t the papers because the research has not been done to prove HOW it works and what the Long term results will be. I agree with you Dr, Jen and will leave the brilliant debating to you!

    Posted by Kitty | August 12, 2014, 10:12 am
  35. Your having used Retin A is a great rabbit trail, but interesting nonetheless, since there is evidence based medicine to show that it is both teratogenic and fetotoxic. It would appear that birth defects and fetal death are acceptable to you whereas a hypothetical possibility of some minor cardiovascular symptoms are not. Fascinating!

    Posted by Noel | August 12, 2014, 6:31 pm
    • Clearly you are incapable of understanding the difference between using a product that is studied and and using it as it was meant to be used and using an unstudied product.

      Oleander is recognized cardiotoxin, since there are no safety studies you can’t say anything else. BTW most of your other comments were spammed as you appear to be trolling.

      Posted by Dr. Jen Gunter | August 12, 2014, 7:06 pm
    • Another example of unreasoned attack tactics. I haven’t read anything by Dr Jen suggesting the use of Retin-A instead of Nerium. She merely stated what she uses personally. You have incorrectly paraphrased what you read. The debate is about the existence or not of a published scientific research paper on Nerium and it’s safety. Illogical argument does not your point make!

      Posted by Juanita | August 24, 2014, 5:35 pm
      • Where, exactly has anyone stated that Dr. Jen recommended it’s use? She said she used it and inquiring minds researched the product to see how safe it really was, then stated the findings.

        Posted by ntothat | August 25, 2014, 9:32 am
  36. I found this blog after starting Nerium firm. I’ve tried everything there is to try after having my daughter to firm up my skin and nothing has worked. Then I saw a picture of a lady who used the product and had amazing results. I was floored and ready to try, I’ve been using it for about 8-9 days now and have been noticing arrhythmia and weird chest pain at night. I haven’t changed anything else other than using this product. I would be happy to hear from you Dr. Gunter about this, as I am feeling a little nervous about what I’ve done to myself using this product that promised me multiple times it was completely safe.

    Posted by P52611 | August 13, 2014, 9:33 pm
  37. Jesus! I just got here to learn a little more about this Nerium product and it seems there is a war here. People took your article too personal, like if they were really defending something of their own (if you know what i mean).
    So, it seems to me that it’s the same old formula: an exotic plant that’s been used for centuries, a multilevel company involved, no studies open to the public, a lot of before and after photos, and so and so. I think I’ll past.

    P.S. And thanks for making me laught with the glycerin, aloe, and brown rice powder thing!

    Posted by Robert | August 14, 2014, 7:53 pm
  38. I enjoy what you guys tend to be up too. This type of clever work
    and reporting! Keep up the good works guys I’ve incorporated you
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    Posted by best pre workout supplements with creatine | August 17, 2014, 2:03 am
  39. I am looking for an MLM opportunity that I can believe in and stand behind. Recently I reconnected with an old friend and found out she just earned her “sexy Lexy” as I’ve heard it called, her Lexus bonus from Nerium. I saw the vehicle in the parking lot of the restaurant where we ate, was impressed, and came home eager to “google” nerium and find out what all the buzz is about.

    Well, after several clicks, it’s disappointing to learn that it is likely just another snake oil that gullible people are buying. Someone above referred to it as “wealth disguised as health” and I think that’s pretty accurate. It’s sad that a cult like following rallies around a product like this, that that is what it takes to make something like this actually sell. I know all the people who sell it are wild about the product, but folks, Dr. Jen is spot on here. There is no unbiased documentation about the safety of oleander used in this way. Ignoring that fact places belief over science and viola, you have cultish behavior. Sorry, but it’s true.

    And I don’t know what is worse, the thought that the main ingredient in the brand name could be toxic or that maybe said ingredient isn’t even in the product at all – and no one who has jumped on the bandwagon seems to care. Yikes! This is so deceptive I can’t even believe it.

    I’d also like to add that at quick glance of the before and after pics, it was clear that the lighting was different… brighter lights on the before pics which emphasized the wrinkles, darker lighting on the after pics which disguises the wrinkles. Granted, I’ve never tried the product, so I can’t speak to its efficacy. But the pictures did not impress me at all.

    I really do think there is merit in the MLM business model. It’s so simple. And in defense of MLMs, they are NOT a pyramid scheme. A pyramid scheme results when there is nothing that is actually sold. Every business model works like a pyramid in one way or the other. Execs at the top, managers in the middle, grunts at the bottom. It just seems like so many of these “relationship marketing” companies peddle snake oil. Give me a REAL product and I might just jump on board.

    Thanks Dr. Jen for your unwavering commitment to the truth and your no BS approach. You have exposed all the weak arguments and logical fallacies as they have presented themselves.

    I’d also like to ad that this whole thing reminds me of another MLM company peddling snake oil, Monavie, the acai berry drink with all the supposed antioxidants. My brother jumped on that bandwagon and was convinced he’d found life’s great elixir. He died of brain cancer a few years after starting his monavie. I’m not in any way blaming Monavie, just pointing out that it didn’t save him from anything and was likely just very expensive fruit juice.

    Posted by Julee K | August 30, 2014, 1:06 pm
    • Just curious. What did you learn on this site? I mean REALLY learn..I learned that there are no answers here as to whether or not this product works or whether it is, in fact dangerous or not. I have not learned anything that would make me feel comfortable in making a decision about this product, either way. You seem to have seen something that I did not. Please share what that was. Thank You in advance.

      Posted by ntothat | August 30, 2014, 5:18 pm
  40. You are right, I have no proof of anything. I just have been down this road before and have yet to find a product that claims miracles to really produce miracles. Some of the testimonials about this product scare me enough to know I would never try it because there are no unbiased facts out there that assure either safety or that the proprietary ingredient is even present. I see that people get sucked in to the business model based on emotion and excitement about big earnings – which, by the way, I have NOTHING against. I think it’s great if it works for people. It just doesn’t work for me. I can’t be a part of something that is based on emotion and facts that may or may not be true. My opinion is that it is like a cult following of sorts. I have to really believe in something to endorse it and I haven’t yet found a product that I can say I unequivocally believe in. There is SO much snake oil out there. So much money is made on hype and emotion around the hype. In a way I wish I could just get involved anyway – rationality be damned – but, alas, I am not wired that way.

    Posted by Julee K | August 31, 2014, 2:48 pm
    • I understand about the testimonials. There are scary ones for every skin care product out there, but then there are also more very good ones for all of those same companies and their products. I have researched several of them extensively and the scary ones are always from an allergic reaction. Every MLM is going to have negative feedback. Most every business is going to have negative feedback. My advice would be to read the bad, but also look for the good. If your research is thorough, you will give the good information a look too. I have researched Nerium, Mary Kay, Rodan and Fields, Beauty Control, Nu Skin, RetinA and a few others and they all have very positive and very negative. The only two that I could find published journal studies on was RetinA,which was not all positive, and Rodan and Fields Pro-active, which also had it’s issues. i found no published medical studies or FDA approval on any of the skin care products of any of these companies, unless a prescription was involved at some point. There are a lot of great companies out there, so good luck in finding the one that fits you! Have you ever heard of Paycation? It’s a travel agent MLM and I have a few friends that seem to like it.

      Posted by ntothat | August 31, 2014, 3:34 pm

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