The Good Life: Vanity: Bottled Youth?


Marshall Sager is used to trying on new hats. In 1991, after nearly 25 years in practice as a family physician, he set up shop as a board-certified acupuncturist. Now he’s partnering with a chemist buddy from his days at Pottstown High on another new endeavor — a line of homeotherapeutic products designed to keep your skin looking healthier, younger and glowier — naturally. We were smitten with the products’ mess-free pumps and lab-chic packaging — we’re suckers for labels that give shout-outs to Philly — but we were also skeptical in light of reports that homeopathy is just a load of marketing mush. So we decided to test the products ourselves to see if they’re all (natural) flash — or worth the cash.

ESSENTIAL ARNICA EYE FIRMING GEL
The claim: “Firms, tightens, tones and smooths around your eyes.”
Our verdict: We coulda sworn it lessened our puffy under-eye bags — or at least lightened those dark sleep-deprivation shadows that foundation never really masks ($65; 877-5-SAGERS; drsagers.com).

ULTIMATE FACIAL FIRMING GEL
The claim:
“Firmer, tighter, more youthful complexion.”
Our verdict: Some testers said — hallelujah! — it eliminated red blotches and appeared to shrink pores when used overnight; plus, it felt invisible (instead of greasy or heavy) under makeup. Others described it as drying and tightening ($75).

ORIGINAL OUCHY BOO-BOO GEL
The claim:
“Stops the black and blue!”
Our verdict: The clear gel worked, tingling when we applied it to our shiners and fading our black-and-blues to yellow in a couple of applications ($18.95).

ADVANCED COLLAGEN CREAM
The claim:
“Enriches, nurtures and moisturizes your face.”
Our verdict: It moisturized really well and didn’t have the “wet” feel of water-based lotion. But it didn’t do anything crazy-dramatic, either ($75).

The bottom line: We’re not sure what makes the products do their tricks — but for the cosmetically curious, they’re worth checking out.