Years of research by a highly trained dermatologist make all the difference when choosing your skin care.

When you stand in the cosmetics department of a major department store, it’s extremely likely you’ll hear salespeople – all dressed in spotless coats and looking very professional – make promises to customers about the effects they’ll see if they only purchase a particular high-end skin cream. While the benefits they suggest sound outstanding, the reality is that most of those promises are hollow. So says both Dr. Carla Retief of BuffRX and the compounding pharmacist who has helped her to create her line. Because BuffRX’s results can be demonstrated, over the short and long term.

For a product to really do the job, and make a lasting impact on your face – ridding you of fine lines, sun damage, irritation and so on – it needs to include enough powerful, proven ingredients to act on your skin. They ought to be at their freshest, and frankly, to get real results you may absolutely need prescription strength treatments like retinoids.

In the end, when you’re buying products from a department store counter, in spite of all their lovely bottles and flashy claims of efficacy, what you buy is often so diluted the active ingredients are of little use. Add to that reality the fact that once the ingredients are well past their prime – and that happens when products spend months on a shelf – they begin to lose their effectiveness. And all those pretty clear bottles work against you, since sunlight through the glass or plastic breaks down the formula’s active ingredients.

Likewise, Retief stresses the need for fresh ingredients – and the most exciting factor of the BuffRX line is perhaps her new signature Buff Bar, where the formulas are custom mixed while you wait – to make sure they’re at peak performance levels. Besides freshness, Retief’s years of determined study mean those fresh components are the ones you need, that get proven results. Sometimes, those require a prescription strength application, and therein lies the advantage of purchasing your skincare from an established dermatologist. It’s rare to find all those things together in one product – let alone a whole line.

The combination of those things – freshness, proven and prescription strength ingredients – is what makes Dr. Carla Retief’s line, BuffRX, far more than hope in a jar. If your goal is to spend money on dreams, by all means pick up the prettiest package you find in the department store, but if you crave visible results, then you need more than just promises.

Retief, an experienced dermatologist, first developed her line in conjunction with a
Nashville based compounding pharmacist while she was working in a Palm Beach
clinic, and continued her work with him after she moved her practice to the

Nashville area. Raised in rural Tennessee, with a grandmother who practiced old fashioned medicine – making poultices and using traditional herbal remedies as often as going to a doctor for illness – Retief has spent her entire career not only learning about and keeping records of the strongest, latest and most effective pharmaceutical treatments available, but also by exploring the potential of those traditional natural remedies.

With the example gleaned from her upbringing, over the years, as student, intern and practicing physician, she kept detailed notes on the effects of natural, historic, often organic family cures and solutions patients and friends told her about that showed promise where more accepted physician remedies didn’t entirely meet the patients’ needs. When opportunity presented itself, she tried these ingredients, carefully noting where something clearly had real value in a product.

The result is a line, prescription and not, that balances the fresh, natural ingredients with proven pharmaceuticals.

Among the ingredients that make these products so powerful and effective are retinol and retinoic acid (retinol is a milder form), Vitamins C, D and E, creatine, tretinoin (reduces fine lines), glycolic acid, ellagic acid (reduces inflammation from sun damage, sun spots and other pigmentation) and hydroquinone.

The use of hydroquinone is a great example of Retief’s commitment to research. While many high end brands eschew the use of the skin bleaching agent, Retief sites the actual studies that underline the fact that there is a single study among a great many suggesting an extremely tiny number of users, have had a negative reaction. That one study gets singled out among a large number of others that tell us the product is quite safe for the vast majority.

Looking at the research, she can make sure the proper ingredient legitimately gets used with the proper skin type and coloration to prevent a negative response. Hydroquinone used properly with consideration to pigmentation produces wonderful results.

Among her list of thoroughly proven and tested natural ingredients you’ll find olive and avocado oils, rosehip oil, chamomile (a proven anti-inflammatory), nettle extract (with a high concentration of Vitamin E), butcher’s broom, yeast extract, gota kula (for a variety of issues, from minor burns to stretch marks), and green and white tea (powerful antioxidants).

Retief’s commitment to making sure her products are effective sets a standard for the industry. There are a plethora of studies out there, and she understands the need to follow through beyond surface reading to find the best components for every individual and skin type.

"My question to the cosmetic industry and its lobbyists is have all the ingredients in your products you make claims about had major studies done at all? Who did these studies? Because simply saying “organic” ingredients are safe automatically and don’t need to be studied is incorrect – and not enough! There’s a huge misconception that “organic” and “safe” are the same thing.
Ingredients like hydroquinone are organic, so what now? What matters to
consumers is proven safety and making the product fit the particular consumer,
not one size fits all."

Since each product can be customized to each customer, if a specific ingredient causes problems, it can be left out, and special needs can be accounted for. A great example is the adding of calming agents to formulas that otherwise cause irritation.

The Buff Bars make the experience highly personal – you can watch your product being made, you know the ingredients are fresh, and formulas are tweaked to the individual’s needs.

To this point, Retief has relied solely on grassroots marketing and word of mouth, selling her products directly through her office. The creation of the BuffBar means many of these products can be made for you and sold at the best retailers in future.

If you’re new to the program, Retief and her staff can assess your skin’s needs, and recommend at regime that will keep you looking fantastic, with results visible within a few weeks in many cases.

Among the most popular products in the BuffRX line:

Hydrating Lip and Eye Balm – Simple and easy, with beautiful results – this formula has just six ingredients. Use on your eyelids and to keep lips hydrated day and night, this product is a genuine lifesaver when it comes to keeping lips from looking dry and chapped.

Clarifying Glycolic Wash – Removes impurities, refines pores and laves your skin soft, smooth and balanced. Perfect for any skin type.

Anti-Aging Plus Cream – A physician strength cream that’s the most potent of our age reversing creams, with retinoic acid and hydroquinone in high concentrations. Improves pigmentation, texture and fine lines.

Renewal Cream – A physician strength anti-aging product with retinoic acid, CoQ10 and creatine, the most powerful, proven combination of anti-oxidants out there. It produces energy in the skin, which in turn leads to photoprotection and stabilization of collagen and elastic tissue. Dill extract stimulates elastic tissue production.

Gentle Renewal Cream – Another physician strength product, it contains the same strong ingredients as the Anti-Aging and Renewal creams, but with soothing ingredients to benefit those with super sensitive skin.

Calming Wash – This gentle wash uses sulfa and other calming ingredients to remove inflammation from your face, and prevent breakouts. Perfect for acne or rosacea patients with sensitive skin.

Calming Serum – A must for acne, rosacea, and even dandruff, it combines physician strength ingredients with pore penetrating power, getting the medicine where it belongs to safely eradicate redness, irritation, and breakouts.

Uniquely You Serum and Uniquely You Oil – The line’s base facial serum with added custom ingredients to formulate a unique Serum to provide the skincare ingredients needed to correct your skin issues. It’s compounded in the office for you by our trained skincare specialists. As with all BuffRX products, the additives are fresh and potent. The oil uses the same concept as the serum delivered in an oil.

Skin Rehab - This take-home peel packed with powerful, concentrated ingredients is geared to get rid of pigmentation issues quickly. Apply for 3-5 days every two or three weeks to improve photo-damage dramatically and give your skin an extra glow without having to hide while you recover.

Reverse Eye Cream - This maximizes hydration and helps reduce fine lines using powerful anti-oxidants, hydrating botanicals and seaweed extract.

Magic Milk – A cleanser perfect for those who wear oil-based or mineral make-up and those with dry skin. It removes dirt, grime, and make-up without stripping your skin. Recommended for nightly use to remove make-up and hydrating for those with dry skin.

HydraGlo Serum - HydraGlo, one of the line’s best-selling products, contains maximum strength vitamin C along with clinically proven, potent hydrating and calming botanicals and antioxidants. As an added bonus, HydraGlo leaves skin looking beautifully sun-kissed in the dead of winter.

Coffeebean Cream – A moisturizer packed with anti-aging ingredients, as well as coffeeberry, a powerful, clinically proven anti-oxidant. Strong ingredients reduce redness and inflammation and preserve the elasticity in skin. Coffeebean Cream increases radiance and hydrates the skin without being greasy.

There are many other products in the line, readily selected to meet the customer’s individual skincare needs. BuffRX compared favorably with other product lines in price, but the difference in its impact on your skin is quickly evident when you look in the mirror. It’s a great value, because when you mix the freshest of ingredients with proven track records, and use a true prescription strength where it’s needed, you get real, observable results in your skin – not just another reason to hope for them.