Nerium Review: What’s the Hype?

As interest towards more natural beauty products increases, it seems as if there’s a new miraculous beauty plant every day. They’re becoming so common, it’s easy to find yourself thinking, “Another day, another plant extract hyped for its anti-aging properties.” Do you feel us? 

Now, finding exotic plant extracts in skin care products is nothing new. It’s no secret that plants have been utilized for their medicinal properties since the beginnings of recorded time. However, it can become overwhelming to know which ones work and which are scams with their growing popularity. 

That’s what we’re here for. Today, we’re here to share everything you need to know about Nerium Oleander. 

Never heard of it? Well, you’re not alone. Despite it being an extremely common plant, many people don’t know it by name and especially don’t think about it as a beauty product. 

We should warn you – Nerium Oleander is an extremely controversial product in the skin care industry. What’s different about it, you might ask? Oh… well… it happens to be highly toxic. Yes, you read that correctly. And yes, it’s being used in anti-aging skin care products

Is your curiosity peaked yet? 

Ours was. Could there really be skin care benefits to be found in such a deadly plant? Read on and we’ll take a closer look together. 

Product Overview

nerium ad

The Nerium Oleander, most often simply referred to as Oleander, is an evergreen shrub or small tree that thrives in many subtropical and tropical regions of the world. You’ve no doubt seen its lovely flowering blooms at one time or another, whether you’ve realized it or not.

While beautiful to look upon, the toxic designation of the plant comes from ingestion. The cardiac glycosides of the Oleander affect the gastrointestinal system, the heart, and the central nervous system. When consumed in large amounts, the toxins can cause drowsiness, tremors, shaking of the muscles, seizures, collapse, coma, and ultimately death.

Now you may be thinking, “That’s all fine and good, but I wasn’t planning on eating it.” You were planning on smoothing it onto your skin. It should be safe to use the plant extract as long as you don’t consume it, right? 

The truth is, it might not be the case. 

Remember, your skin is your largest organ. Anything you come in contact with can make its way into your bloodstream. Lotions, creams, and serums are no exception. So, you will be ingesting the plant, just in a slightly smaller dose and through a less direct method. 

Additionally, some of the toxins present in Oleander sap can cause skin irritations, eye inflammation, and severe allergic reactions characterized by dermatitis. That means that, not only is the plant not safe to consume, but it’s also not even safe for most people to touch! 

So how in the world can it be safely used in skin care, you ask? That’s where science comes in.

As with so many discoveries, this possible skin care breakthrough came about as a result of research done on a completely different and far-removed topic: cancer. Researchers at the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center were hopeful that the extracts from the Nerium Oleander shrub could slow certain cell growth, or kill certain cells altogether. While tests against cancer cells were inconclusive, some researchers thought that there might be some practical applications for other causes, such as skin care.

With that idea, and the promise of big returns on an exotic new product, some skin care manufacturers jumped into action. Nerium Biotechnology, Inc. is by far the biggest company heralding the new (and very pricey) anti-aging miracle of Oleander. Their line of NeriumAD products have flooded the market.

But can the toxic elements in Nerium Oleander really be harnessed for good in use on the skin? Despite the many trials and claims, we are still not convinced it’s safe. 

NeriumAD product and claims

woman and skin

Because we were so skeptical of the safety and effectiveness of the primary ingredient of these products, we turned to the company’s website for more information. 

According to the NeriumAD website, Nerium’s skincare products are rooted in nature, science, and high-impact ingredients. Our flagship product, NeriumAD Age-Defying Treatment, contains the most effective ingredients available, including our exclusive, patented NAE-8 extract, which has powerful antioxidant properties that help reduce the appearance of many signs of aging. This night cream has higher concentrations of the NAE-8 extract and our proprietary protein blend than any product in the NeriumAD line. These high-impact ingredients help the skin appear youthful and tight. Over one million people have enjoyed the benefits of NeriumAD; it is time for you to experience the Nerium Difference.

The NeriumAD product line is one-of-a-kind, as we are the only company to harness the antioxidant power of the NAE-8 extract, which is derived from the Nerium oleander and aloe vera plants, for high-performance skincare products. Third-party clinical trials show that NeriumAD Age-Defying Treatment provides an average of 30% reduction in the appearance of signs of aging. Over time, NeriumAD dramatically reduces the appearance of:

  • Fine Lines
  • Wrinkles
  • Discoloration
  • Uneven face texture
  • Enlarged pores
  • Aging or loose skin

On the website, they are also advertising a “24 hour Nerium Experience”:

If you want to enhance your results, we have created the ultimate night and day Nerium Experience. With the upcoming addition of NeriumAD Age-Defying Day Cream, your skin can bask in the breakthrough science of NeriumAD 24 hours a day! The NeriumAD day cream includes our exclusive NAE-8 extract, as well as a tripeptide blend, vitamin C complex, and green tea extract, which addresses your signs of aging during the day. It also includes a blend of four highly functioning moisturizers, including hyaluronic acid, to keep skin moisturized and radiant. Our product line works in tandem to nourish your skin and turn back the clock. With this dynamic duo, you will see that the Nerium difference is truly night and day.

Try the 24-hour Nerium Experience and look ten years younger, just like the NeriumAD customers in our Results Gallery.

Application and regimen recommendations

The hardest part of most skin care regimens is getting in the habit. After that, it comes down to finding the routine that works best with your schedule. One of the benefits of this product is that it’s extremely straightforward. 

All you have to do is apply it twice a day after watching your face. Anyone can do that! 

According to the NeriumAD website, the specific process looks like this:

After cleansing your face thoroughly, immediately apply a thin layer of product to face and neck. We recommend using 4-5 pumps. Our research has shown that more is not always better. Apply to slightly damp skin for optimal absorption. The product will feel similar to a masque, so it is normal for your skin to feel a bit tighter than it would with a typical face cream. Rinse your face the morning following usage, and then apply moisturizer. If your skin is very dry, we recommend using a moisturizer more than once a day. It can even be used in conjunction with NeriumAD at night.

NeriumAD can also be used on other areas of the skin such as neck, décolletage, arms, hands, elbows, and knees. If any skin irritation occurs, we recommend reducing the amount of pumps used. The soft tissue area around the eyes is always a very sensitive region, so we do not recommend using NeriumAD on the soft tissue area around your eye.

So what does this mean for you?

So, it’s an easy process with popular products that contain a potentially toxic primary ingredient. How do you decide if it’s worth it to try? 

woman showing skin

Again, we turned to the source for the full scoop. On the NeriumAD website, there is a lengthy bit of information on “Reactions” and “Analyzing Issues” that might occur with their product. We’ve copied it here for you to create your own opinion first. Then, we’ll share our thoughts.  

Skin is an amazing organ and does its best to adjust to all types of circumstances in life, including changes without irritation. As such, for every cosmetic product introduced to the market, there is a subset of the population that may experience minor irritation (redness, itching, breakouts, etc.) with one or more of the product ingredients. This may be a temporary issue that will resolve itself once your skin acclimates to the product; however, if the irritation persists, discontinue use of any new product and seek medical advice.

Sensitivity

NeriumAD is designed to work with all skin types, but it is impossible to identify all possible interactions between a cosmetic product like NeriumAD and various skin types. You may already be aware of sensitivities your skin has to certain cosmetic ingredients, so please read the label carefully to ensure none of the high-quality ingredients used in NeriumAD are among those to which your skin is sensitive.

Multiple Products

If you are currently taking or using any other drugs or cosmetics in conjunction with NeriumAD, they may be increasing your skin’s sensitivity to or reacting with NeriumAD. You may want to test a small area with both products to see if there is a reaction to the combination.

Condition

Assess what condition your skin was in prior to using NeriumAD. If your skin was already dry or irritated, it is important that you are using a moisturizer 1-2 times a day in conjunction with NeriumAD. We also do not recommend using NeriumAD on skin with medical conditions such as acne, eczema, psoriasis, rosacea, or any other dermatologist-treated conditions.

New Product Phase-In

Every time a new product is introduced to the skin, you may encounter a reaction. Your skin must become accustomed to a product and how it interacts with your skin. Please give your skin time to adjust to NeriumAD if you initially have any signs of irritation. If you have mild irritation we recommend allowing 2-3 weeks for your skin to acclimate. If you have a severe reaction we recommend you stop the use of the product and seek medical advice.

Reviews

beautiful woman

Every review you find on the official website is raving. People seem to absolutely love these products and experience incredible results. 

However, reviews found on sites other than the NeriumAD web page are almost unanimously negative. And more in-depth reviews found are downright scathing. In fact, on one doctor’s blog, she writes,

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 dismiss the cardiotoxicty as “negative stories.”

Other consumer reviews complain of not only the consistency of the product, but the rash and sensitivity it caused with only a few uses. One such consumer claims to have stuck with the product for over two weeks, when the rash did begin to clear… however, after the rash faded, she noted absolutely no change in her pores, skin texture, evenness, or wrinkles. The only people we found who seemed to be pleased with NeriumAD were either those on the NeriumAD website, or those found to be connected as a consultant/individual representative for selling the product.

Overall

As with any product, there are positives and negatives. For this system, we see the following:

Pros:

  • 30 day money back guarantee
  • Preferred Customer Program (with multiple orders on NeriumAD website)

Cons:

  • Very pricey, at the high-end of the skincare product spectrum
  • No clinical trials to show/prove any effectiveness
  • Linked with troubling and dangerous side-effects
  • All parts of the Nerium Oleander plant are known to be toxic

We may not be scientists here, but then again, it doesn’t take a scientist to know that NeriumAD, or any product utilizing the Nerium Oleander plant, is risky. Not just on your wallet, but on your skin. Best case scenario, there is no documented scientific data showing NeriumAD to produce any significant results on skin problems or signs of aging skin. Worst case scenario, you could end up with a highly dangerous reaction to the toxins ever-present in the plant extract.

Seems like your best bet would be to steer clear of this product and any choosing to experiment with such an uncertain key ingredient.