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Keys® Vs. Perricone® – Collagen Skin Builder Shootout

Keys® Reflex ProBiome® Serum and Perricone MD Hypoallergenic Clean Correction Smoothing Restorative Serum are two anti-aging serums that take different approaches to ingredients and formulation. Let’s compare these products in terms of their natural vs. synthetic ingredients and price.


Keys® Reflex ProBiome® is made entirely from natural, organic, and unmodified ingredients[1]. Its key components include:

Organic virgin avocado oil

– Black seed oil

– Organic virgin Tamanu oil

– Shea Butter oil

– Carrot seed oil

– Bergamot essential oil

– Miras organic extract (containing forsythia fruit to provide betulinic acid)

Miras Functional Assembly

Miras is created by blending the fruit, leaves, and roots of the Forsythia plant to create a blend that is very high in Betulinic and Oleanolic .  Betulinic is a naturally occurring pentacyclic triterpenoid which has anti-retroviral and anti-inflammatory properties, as well as a more recently discovered potential as an anticancer agent.  Oleanolic or oleanic is a naturally occurring triterpenoid, widely distributed in food and medicinal plants, related to betulinic.

This carefully curated blend aims to replicate the skin’s natural sebum while delivering beneficial nutrients like tetrapeptides, triglycerides, fatty acids, Betulinic acid, and carotenoids. Keys emphasizes using whole, functional ingredients to maximize skin health and appearance.

In contrast, Perricone MD’s Hypoallergenic Clean Correction Smoothing Restorative Serum does not specify the exact ingredients or whether they are natural or synthetic.[1][3] However, it is formulated to be free from 26 known allergens as well as fragrance, gluten, sulfates, silicones, parabens, formaldehyde, glycols, PEGs, phthalates, BHA, and BHT[2]. This suggests a focus on avoiding potential irritants and using “clean” ingredients, although the naturalness is not explicitly stated.

Perricone lists its ingredients as:

Water/Aqua/Eau, Isononyl Isononanoate, Niacinamide, Polyglyceryl-4 Caprate, Propanediol, Glyceryl Stearate SE, Beta Vulgaris (Beet) Root Extract, Bakuchiol, Hydroxyethyl Acrylate/Sodium Acryloyldimethyl Taurate Copolymer, Brassica Campestris (Rapeseed) Seed Oil, Caprylyl Glycol, 1,2-Hexanediol, Phosphatidylcholine, Glycerin, Panthenol, Lactobacillus/Soybean Ferment Extract, Lycium Chinense Stem Extract, Glycyrrhiza Glabra (Licorice) Root Extract, Polyglyceryl-3 Diisostearate, Cucumis Sativus (Cucumber) Fruit Extract, Potassium Stearate, Citric Acid, Sorbitan Isostearate, Ocimum Sanctum Leaf Extract, Phaseolus Angularis Seed Extract, Lactic Acid, Lysine, Mannose, Sodium Mannose Phosphate, Althaea Officinalis Root Extract, Oryza Sativa (Rice) Bran Water, Xanthan Gum, Copper Sulfate, Proline, Pentylene Glycol, Tocopherol, Ascorbyl Palmitate.


Keys Reflex ProBiome is priced at $26.95 for a 30 ml (1 oz) bottle[1][3]. Perricone MD’s serum is significantly more expensive at $105 for 59ml[2].


Keys Reflex ProBiome is a great option for those looking for a natural and organic anti-aging serum at a reasonable price. It stands out with its clear list of ingredients and focus on skin-friendly nutrients.

Perricone MD’s serum, on the other hand, is more expensive but is designed for sensitive skin as it eliminates common irritants and allergens. However, the lack of ingredient details makes it hard to determine how natural or synthetic the formula is.

Ultimately, the choice between these two serums depends on your priorities regarding natural ingredients and budget. Both aim to improve the appearance of aging skin but take different approaches in their formulation and positioning.


Bob’s Perspective on AI and the Skin Industry

Bob Root, Chemical-Free Skin Health® author and Keys chief scientist

I grew up as a car guy born of a car dad. I joked that he was the builder, and I raced.   That’s because I was expendable. He could always make a spare.  As a car guy, the high school boasting got resolved on Sunday at the drag strip.  The following week was spent making your car even faster.  

I began my working life in the competitive photographic equipment world and migrated to the fledgling computer industry, drawn to underdogs, Namely Apple. Computer magazines were ruthless in their reviews, pitting product against product. Entering the skin business, I wondered why there were never any comparisons in this industry. A PR friend revealed the truth. “Magazines, bloggers, and influencers never want to piss off a would-be advertiser or sponsor.”   

One simple truth is that our customer service gets so many requests to compare Keys® products to those of others claiming similar things. It is tiring to answer these one-on-one requests.

Being a tech guy, I was an early beta tester with OpenAI and  ChatGPT.  About two years ago, I asked ChatGPT to write comparisons for me to new product announcements by others in the industry.  Two things emerged. I saw that ingredients in many products were identical and listed in the same order in these reviews.  This led me to conclude that they were all the same chemical-laden products from the same manufacturer.  Second, they would often feature a natural ingredient like avocado oil, which is followed by an array of chemicals.  Their marketing pushed the one natural ingredient.

Remember that as a tech guy from Silicon Valley, those magazine reviews were painful, but they helped us hone the fine features, benefits, and advantages of our products.  Not having this in the skin business fostered our use of AI to teach our engineering team how our products were better or could be better compared to the chemist-based companies and their products.   

So, we started using these AI comparisons to answer our customer service comparison questions, and respondents said that it was like drinking from a fire hose but appreciated the information.

I thought, why not present these findings to consumers before they ask the questions?

Over the years, we have used ChatGPT Turbo and Claude3 OPUS to write comparisons for us. Shootouts like the one above are directly the results of these AI engine reports. Unlike the paid reviews that flood the skin industry and all the glamor magazines, these reports are our measurement of how we compare. Flawed? Yes, but 100% better than paid bullshit.

We keep iterating, learning, and discovering and will continue to use AI to bring you the best products at a fair price that is all-natural.  To us, AI is not scary but just another tool in a quest for the best.

Take these shootouts as you wish, keeping in mind that they are just another data point in our quest to be the best. 


Keys Founder and Chief Scientist.

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