Cold Plasma Sub-D is an anti-aging skin care product advertised on TV and promoted by Dr. Perricone. Read our Sub-D reviews from editors and readers.
About Sub D
Cold Plasma Sub-D is advertised as a “revolutionary treatment formulated to address the signs of an aging jawline, chin and neck.” It was developed by well-known anti-aging expert Dr. Nicholas Perricone. The official website is subd.com which was first registered back in 2001. 30-minute infomercials for the product have been been running for several years and have recently been spotted on such channels as Lifetime on weekend mornings and overnight. Customers can contact the company at 800-567-0287, via email at [email protected], or on the product’s official Facebook page.
How much does Sub D cost?
Sub-D is sold in stores and in “kits” from the official website.
- Basic Kit includes Cold Plasma Sub-D and Face Lift Treatment – $49.95 per month
- Deluxe Kit includes Cold Plasma Sub-D, Face Lift Treatment, Eye Lift, Finishing Moisturizer, and Evening Repair – $79.95 per month
- In stores: You can find Sub-D in stores such as ULTA for about $135.
- QVC: Sub-D is featured on some online retail websites such as QVC for about $135 plus $3 shipping.
Beware of Auto Ship
Regardless which kit you purchase, if you purchase online you will be enrolled in an auto-ship program, which means you will be sent a three month supply and automatically billed for it 30 days after your first order. The fine print states:
Approximately 30 days after your first order is shipped, and then approximately every 3 months thereafter, you will be sent a new 90 day supply of Cold Plasma Sub-D ®. For each 90 day supply sent to you, you will be charged three monthly payments of $79.95 plus $3.99 for shipping and handling, which will conveniently be charged to the card you provide today unless you call to cancel.
Depending on which kit you ordered, you’ll be billed the following:
- Basic Kit: $167.70 ($49.95 + $5.95 shipping per month, for a three month supply)
- Deluxe Kit: $266.70 ($79.95 + $8.95 shipping per month, for a three month supply)
Cold Plasma Sub-D Claims
- Visible tightening of sagging, loose skin
- Improvement for double chin, jawline, and neck areas
- 60-day money back guarantee
The screenshot below was taken in November 2013. As of July 2015, the website has not changed since this screen capture was taken.
About Dr. Perricone
Nicholas Perricone is a dermatologist and nutritionist who has published nearly a dozen popular books on weight loss and anti-aging. His radical approach to dermatology promotes an anti-inflammatory diet, supplements, and anti-aging topical treatments. Quackwatch has an extensive – and rather negative – review of Perricone’s approach, stating, “He makes lots of money by convincing patients and consumers, but he hasn’t succeeded in convincing critical thinkers, doctors, scientists, or anyone who wants to see hard evidence.”
Our Sub-D Review
The first impression we had of Sub-D upon opening the packaging was that the smell may not be for everyone. We believe that some customers may never get to fully try Sub-D because the smell alone would drive them away long before they a full evaluation could be achieved. “A fishy-lemon scent reminiscent of old cat food mixed with Lemon Pledge” is the description one of our testers used to describe the odor of Sub-D. Our testers agreed the scent was generally “unpleasant.” The smell may be an obstacle for those who won’t want to smear such a scent all over their faces twice a day. The official website even addresses the scent, stating, “Our commitment to formulation integrity and maximum effectiveness means that sometimes the scents cannot be masked, but should dissipate after application.”
For those who can get past the odor, it will then be a question of whether or not the product actually works, and if it can meet expectations based on the advertising. Sub-D can cause a rash, especially in those people with sensitive skin.
In a two-month trial in late 2013, our testers reported little difference in appearance. One tester thought her skin “felt” improved, although she could not describe any visible difference. Another tester gave up after a week due to the odor. Both testers felt that the product did a good job of moisturizing the skin, but that is certainly not Sub-D’s primary selling point.
Other Sub-D Reviews
As of this July 2015 update, the commenters on Sephora rank it about 4 out of 5 stars. At ULTA it’s 3.6 out of 5 stars, while on Amazon it’s 2.8 out of 5 stars. Most reviews are either 1 star – claiming it stinks and doesn’t work, or 5 stars – claiming it works as advertised. Very few reviews reside in the middle, which suggests that your experience will likely be overwhelmingly positive or negative.
Fake Before and After Photos?
One point we encountered online was the accusation that it would be easy to fake before and after neck photos. It is claimed that this can be achieved by simply tilting the head back slightly to tighten the skin on the neck. One of our staff members helped us create fake before and after photos, achieved by tightening the muscles in that area of the neck and changing the tilt of the head slightly.
While we aren’t accusing the marketers behind Sub-D of posting fake before and after photos, we are merely suggesting that it is possible to make slight alterations in angle and expression to achieve what appear to be dramatic results. Before-and-after photos should always be taken with a grain of salt.
Alternatives to Sub-D
While Sub-D bears Dr. Perricone’s name and demands a high premium, there are cheaper alternatives with similar ingredients. A search of skin products containing DMAE and Glycolic Acid yields several options, such as a $35 jar from Skin 911 or the $15 skin toner by Skin Obsession.
The Google Trends graph below shows interest in “Perricone cold plasma” over time. Curiosity concerning the product seems to ebb and flow with peak interest occurring in January of 2010. Another interest peak took place in March of 2014 and two more in 2015.
Considering all of the factors above – cost, auto-ship, our unimpressive tests, and cheaper alternatives with similar ingredients – we were not impressed with Cold Plasma Sub-D. If you want to try it, we suggest picking it up locally to avoid the auto-ship program. Purchasing it at a store may also allow you to smell the product before buying, which will allow you to determine if you can handle the odor or not.
Your Sub-D Reviews
Have you tried Perricone MD Cold Plasma Sub-D? Let us hear from you in the comments below.
Aqua (Water), Glycolic Acid, L-Tyrosine, Dimethyl MEA (DMAE), Isopropyl Palmitate, Acetyl Carnitine HCl, Arginine, Cetearyl Alcohol, Glyceryl Stearate, PEG-100 Stearate, Phosphatidylcholine, Thioctic Acid (Alpha-Lipoic Acid), Rosa Moschata (Rosehip) Seed Oil, Vaccinium Macrocarpon (Cranberry) Seed Oil, Ceteareth-20, Caffeine, Dimethicone, BHT, Saccaromyces Ferment, Magnesium Aspartate, Zinc Gluconate, Phenoxyethanol, Rhodiola Rosea Root Extract, Caprylyl Glycol, Phytic Acid, Carnosine, Disodium EDTA, Elaeis Guineensis (Palm) Oil, Astaxanthin, Copper Gluconate, Tocotrienols, Sorbic Acid, Parfum (Fragrance), Limonene, Tocopherol, Sodium Hyaluronate, Linalool, Alanyl Glutamine.
- Perricone Anti-inflammation Diet (PEERtrainer)
Updated July 14, 2015
First published November 2013