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Rick Rhoads, Pharm.D. Pharmacist & Creator of BioRenew Skincare


Nerium Oleander Leaf in Skin Care

Is Nerium a scientific breakthrough, extremely toxic, or complete marketing scheme?

Is Nerium AD toxic skin care? I’ll discuss if applying Nerium Oleander to your skin can be harmful. 

A friend recently asked about Nerium after an MLM rep approached her. She was concerned about the controversy of applying Nerium Oleander to her skin because of possible toxicity. I did some research on Nerium AD. I’ve uncovered gimmicks before, but with this product I was surprised what I discovered

The toxicity of actual Nerium Oleander is no joke

The key ingredient in Nerium AD is NAE-8™ which is supposedly oleander extract. Nerium claims that Oleander extract contains beneficial ingredients for your skin.

The problem is that every part of the Oleander plant is highly toxic. It contains Oleandrin, which is a cardiac glycoside. This is a fancy name for a certain type of drug that can stop your heart in very small doses. It happens to be the chemical in the plant that has a pharmaceutical affect.

There are several reports in scientific journals of the harmful affect of Oleander after ingestion and application to the skin.

According to the American Cancer Society, “There have been numerous reports of poisoning and death from ingestion of oleander, oleander leaf tea, and its extracts.”

After my research, I am left wondering if this product actually works. More importantly, I am wondering if I want it to. It is not just your heart that Oleander can affect.

Nerium says there is no problem with toxicity

Nerium did substantial independent safety testing with ST&T laboratories. Subjects applied the cream to their skin and subsequently a blood test was performed. At no time during the study, was oleandrin found in their blood work. This is rather odd to me because even small amounts of Oleander can pass through the skin and become harmful. In fairness, it seems to be a well designed and conclusive study.

I truly don’t believe Nerium AD is toxic. The studies seem conclusive and the downside of harming someone is too great. However, this is not the end of the story.

To take it one step further, an analysis from a medical doctor concluded that a child could swallow 400 bottles of Nerium AD and not get toxic levels of Oleander. This is where my suspicion turned into high gear – and possibly yours should too.

Does NAE-8 even contain Oleander?

I’m not sure Nerium AD contains Oleander at all. I can hear the MLM reps shouting now. “Rick, didn’t you read about their Oleander farms and strict quality control standards at every phase of production?”

There is no doubt that Nerium Biotechnology is affiliated with or owns Oleander farms. They have performed a significant amount of research on Oleander for cancer treatment. My question is whether the Nerium AD skin care actually contains detectable amounts of Oleander.

Why do I suspect a marketing gimmick?

Gimmicks are EVERYWHERE in skin care. Claiming to have a secret miracle ingredient causes instant intrigue. It attempts to separate you from the other skin care brands. It creates mystery. This is perfect for multi-level marketing because it’s an easy story to share. Once the mystery deepens into controversy you have instant visibility.

Besides the need for a marketing gimmick, there is no research for Oleandrin and skin care. All of the true research is for cancer therapy. When you dig below the surface, their “scientific” statements are mostly smoke and mirrors. They flash credentials but never say anything at all.

Lets’ do the math

Don’t just take my opinion; let’s put this hypothesis to the test by analyzing their statement.

If a one-year-old child ingested the full contents of 400 bottles of NeriumAD product, the child would still only reach a non-toxic dose of NeriumAD”

  • 400 bottles of Nerium AD x 30ml = 12000 ml (approximately)
  • Pure Nerium Oleander contains at about 0.4% Oleandrin.
  • As little as 1 gram (approximately 1 leaf) can be lethal to a child.
  • 1 gram / 12000 ml = 0.00008 gm/ml = 0.008%

This might seem like a lot of numbers and calculations. What this means is that even if Nerium AD skin care contained 0.008% Nerium Oleander and 0.000002% Oleandrin, ingesting 400 bottles would still be toxic to a child.

If this is true, it is ludicrous to base the entire scientific foundation of your product on something that is essentially undetectable. Skin care gimmicks are based on marketing stories rather than science.

Will it work?

It is hard to refute all the stories from Nerium MLM sales people. There are plenty online testimonials. This is not uncommon with an MLM product.

Also, they performed a study of the clinical results of Nerium AD products. The before and after photos on their website are impressive. The consumer will have to decide whether these legitimately reflect the results for actual users. It is very unlikely it had anything to do with Oleander extract or Oleandrin.

The other ingredients are less than stellar. What is absent from these formulas is high concentrations of active ingredients. For the Nerium AD night cream, the highlights are glycosaminoglycans and natural oils. These will moisturize and enhance the protective skin barrier. Ingredients like rice bran oil and castor oil are good but hardly breakthrough anti aging science.

My final take is that it is probably not harmful and might have minor benefits based on the emollients and glycosaminoglycans. A cheap bottle of Olay Regenerist is a better non-professional formula at half the cost…and without the gimmicks.
That’s my take. What’s yours?

You may also be interested in BioRenew which is formulated for women in menopause


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Activated Firming Plasma

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About the Author: Rick Rhoads, Pharm.D. is a compounding pharmacist and creator of BioRenew Skincare. To get a free sample of advanced anti aging skin care, send us a request here!


The ABC’s of Skincare During and After Menopause

by Amy Colo, Licensed Esthetician

Are you dealing with aging skin and menopause at the same time? Most people don’t associate menopause with their skin, but declining hormones can wreak havoc on your appearance.

Hot flashes AND skin aging?!

The most common result of hormonal skin aging is loss of collagen, which causes wrinkles and sagging skin. Your face will appear dry and dull looking.

I often hear from women that “I’ve always had good skin until recently.”

For women in menopause, many products aren’t good enough

I’m sure you have seen all types of exotic ingredients on the television. It’s a shame that most of these ingredients make for good commercials but they don’t work any better than cheap lotions. When it comes to skin care that gives true results for women in menopause, let’s go back to the basics…the ABC’s.

The most basic ingredients can be the best… if strong enough

Vitamin A (Retinoids):

Retinol is a form of vitamin A and is proven to reduce fine lines and wrinkles. Retinol works by speeding up the cell turnover in the skin. It is important to know how to use retinol products properly. You can read more about essential tips for apply retinoids correctly.

Vitamin B3 (Niacinamide):

Vitamin B3 is clinically proven to be effective in reducing the appearance of sun damage (hyperpigmentation and brown spots). It is a strong antioxidant and age reversing agent.

Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid):

Vitamin C plays a critical role in skin care. As we age the amount of natural vitamin C in our bodies decreases. Vitamin C aids in the production of collagen, brings back radiance to the skin and reduces sun damage. Only highly concentrated preparations (10% or more) deliver enough vitamin C to the cells to be topically effective at changing your appearance. Applying Vitamin C to the skin can be 20 times more effective than taking it orally. You can read more about how Vitamin C can brighten you skin and reverse the appearance of sun damage.

(Hint:  look for Vitamin C in several forms – Ascorbic Acid, Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate, Ascorbyl Palmitate, and Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate).

Learn more about our top skin care products that were uniquely created for women in menopause.

Still not sure where to go from here? Leave us a comment or call us.

About the Author: Amy Colo is a licensed esthetician and skin care consultant at BioRenew Skincare. She specializes skin care for women facing the changes of menopause head on. You can contact her at Amy@BioRenewSkinCare.com or (619) 238-9507


Topical retinoids truly are superstar anti-aging products, but ONLY when used correctly. They are considered the best skin care treatments because they have so many benefits. Clinical studies point to numerous skin effects:

  • boosting collagen
  • reducing wrinkles
  • lightening age spot
  • clearing acne

Retinoids have stood the test of time so use them correctly

Ingredients like Retin-A and Retinol are tried and true, unlike so many other fads in skin care. Dr. Albert Kligman made it extremely popular in the 70’s and it has remained so for decades. The Rx version (tretinoin) was discovered to have a complex way of communicating with cells to promote younger skin and get rid of older skin. (Scientifically, this is called influencing the development, differentiation, proliferation, and apoptosis of skin cells.)

The point is that there is real science behind retinoid products, so it matters whether you use them the right way.

If you want results with topical retinoids, these tips can’t be ignored.

1. Apply a pea size amount.

More doesn’t mean better and will likely result in just worse side effects.

2. Know which form of retinoid you are using.

Not all types of retinoids are effective.The prescription only products are tretinoin and adapalene. They work extremely well but must be prescribed by your doctor. If you are using a non-prescription cream, the most effective form is retinol. Beware of many ineffective topical non-rx retinoids such as retinyl palmitate and beta-carotene.

3. Applying at night is best.

Retinoids can be broken down easily in sunlight, which make it a good product to be used in your night regimen. There is also some evidence that it might increase sun sensitivity. Be sure to wear sunscreen.

4. Mild redness doesn’t mean you have to stop.

Most doctors will recommend that you try to get through the redness phase, because the benefits are right around the corner. Mild redness will usually resolve on it’s own. Many people miss out on the anti-aging benefits of retinol and Retin-A because they stop using it too soon.

Retinoid skin creams are too effective for anyone who is serious about skin care to pass up. Choose a good formula and use it the right way to see amazing changes in the appearance of your skin.

You may also be interested in BioRenew, formulated for women in menopause


Tone and Glow Corrective Therapy

Tone and Glow Corrective Therapy

Concentrated Evening Repair

Concentrated Evening Repair

Activated Firming Plasma

Activated Firming Plasma

About the Author: Rick Rhoads, Pharm.D. is a compounding pharmacist and creator of BioRenew Skincare. To get a free sample of advanced anti aging skin care, send us a request here!

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