Does their Lift & Firm Cream really work?


I have mixed feelings about dermatologist brands. On the plus, there’s some reassurance that the brand knows what they’re actually doing. On the other hand, I’ve also seen brands use this as an excuse for high prices and making exaggerated claims.

So where exactly does Miami MD fall under? After browsing their website and actually testing their products for 5+ weeks, I’m ready to share my honest thoughts.

Miami MD Background

This skincare line was by Harvard educated dermatologist Dr. S.  Manjula Jegasothy, who also runs a skincare clinic specializing in Botox, fillers, and lasers. Miami MD skincare products are formulated as an alternative to things like Botox, to achieve “firmer, younger looking skin without risky surgery or painful injections”.

Miami MD Ingredients

The brand claims to use “quality natural ingredients”, but what does that mean exactly? Taking a look at their actual ingredient list, you actually don’t see many botanical extracts or oils at all, but instead a surprising amount of more conventional ingredients, especially peptides:

  • Palmitoyl Tripeptide-5 aka Syn-Coll. Manufacturer studies found that it helped reduce the appearance of wrinkles, improve skin firmness, and minimize the appearance of pores.
  • Acetyl Hexapeptide-8 aka Argireline. The manufacturer claims it’s Botox in a jar with a 10% Argireline solution decreasing eye wrinkle depth by 17% in just 15 days. An independent study confirmed the wrinkle decreasing benefits plus its ability to increase moisture levels on the skin,1 but to say it’s as effective as Botox would still be a stretch.
  • Trifluoroacetyl Tripeptide-2 aka Progeline. Once again, we’re going off of manufacturer claims here, and this one claims to reverse cell age to that of a 20-year old, with 2% Progeline that can lift skin by 10% in 56 days and improve skin firmness by 20% in 28 days.
  • Palmitoyl Tripeptide-1 and Palmitoyl Tetrapeptide-7, aka Matrixyl 3000. Manufacturer found that that applying 3% of this duo for 2 months not only improves the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, but also skin texture, elasticity, and tone! But by themselves, 
    Palmitoyl Tripeptide-1 can actually signal the production of collagen, while Palmitoyl Tetrapeptide-7 can decrease inflammation and collagen degradation.2

We’re also seeing the holy trinity of barrier health ingredients:

  • Ceramides, which make up 50% of the lipids on our skin, is crucial for keeping our skin moisturized and our barrier healthy.3
  • Cholesterol, bad for our heart health but great for the skin, it’s another important component of our skin barrier.4
  • Fatty acid rich oils like Jojoba, Sweet Almond, and Sunflower Seed.
    • Jojoba Oil is the most similar to the natural sebum our skin makes.
    • Sweet Almond Oil contains antioxidants like vitamin e and b.
    • Sunflower Seed Oil can help speed up skin barrier recovery and is acne-skin friendly.5
    • All offer skin moisturizing and softening benefits.6
Miami MD Skincare ReviewMiami MD Skincare ReviewPin

Some other notable ingredients:

  • Kojic Acid helps prevent pigmentation from by suppressing melanin production and has antioxidant properties that can protect the skin against UV damage.7
  • Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate is a form of vitamin c, and because it’s oil-soluble, it actually absorbs 3x better than ascorbic acid and deeper into the skin. It offers antioxidant protection, collagen production increase, and brightening benefits.8,9
  • Tocopherol and Tocopheryl Acetate are both forms of vitamin e, an antioxidant that works in synergy with vitamin c and provides some emollient benefits as well.

While many of the peptides used lack independent peer-reviewed studies, there’s nothing overly froufrou about their ingredient selection, which is always a promising sign.

Miami MD Dark Spot Corrector Review

Key Ingredients: 
Kojic Acid, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Shea Butter, Phyllanthus Emblica Fruit Extract

Texture & Finish:
Feels less like a serum and more like a medium weight cream. Can be difficult to blend if your skin isn’t completely dry. Leaves a velvet finish.

Price & Size:
$69 for 30ml from Miami MD

Miami MD Dark Spot Corrector ReviewMiami MD Dark Spot Corrector ReviewPin

I have mixed thoughts about this one, so let’s talk about what I didn’t like first, which is the texture. It’s not elegant, nor is it pleasant to use. Luckily it doesn’t pill nor is it uncomfortable, it just doesn’t blend well and feels thicker than necessary.

Miami MD Dark Spot Corrector TextureMiami MD Dark Spot Corrector TexturePin
It was so difficult to rub in that I had to increase my usual texture shots collage to include an extra photo

Now let’s talk about the positives, and that’s the results. After 4 weeks of use, I noticed that my dark spots were slightly less prominent. The fading was not significant by any means, but there were minor improvements.

Then my dark spots became more noticeable after my Greece trip (too much sun oops), so I used this again religiously for a week and saw that the spots lightened back to their original state. To be fair I probably would’ve achieved the same results with other brightening serums, it would’ve just taken longer, but it’s great to see that the Miami MD Dark Spot Corrector works so quickly.

Miami MD Age-Defying Lift & Firm Cream Review

Key Ingredients:
Progeline, Matrixyl 3000, Argireline, Syn-Coll, Ceramides, Cholesterol, Jojoba Oil, Sweet Almond Oil

Texture & Finish:
Feels like a gel-cream but not quite as emollient. Blends easily into the skin and leaves a velvet finish. Layers well under makeup.

Price & Size:
$69 for 50ml from Miami MD

Miami MD Age-Defying Lift & Firm Cream ReviewMiami MD Age-Defying Lift & Firm Cream ReviewPin

I liked this one a lot more than I thought I would. The texture is elegant and despite feeling so light, it moisturized my dry skin just fine through the night. I can see it working for all skin types except super dry skin.

Now this cream claims to “restore thin, saggy skin”, which isn’t an issue for me (yet), so I was mainly looking to see how well it worked against my fine lines. I removed all other anti-aging products from my routine and relied on the Miami MD face cream alone, and once again, it delivered beyond my expectations.

I had some more noticeable fine lines around my nasolabial fold, and after using this product for 4+ weeks, I noticed the lines were lighter. Not completely gone, but definitely less obvious. I also saw less lines around the eyes. I imagine the results would be even more pronounced if I could pair this with an anti-aging serum!

Miami MD Age-Defying Lift & Firm Cream textureMiami MD Age-Defying Lift & Firm Cream texturePin

Going back to the product claims, specifically its name “Lift & Firm Cream”, my two cents is that no topical skincare is going to lift and firm your skin as well as in-office treatments or at-home devices. If they could, who’d be getting Botox anymore? But this is no doubt still a lovely moisturizer that work well against minor signs of aging.

Final Thoughts on Miami MD

As a consumer and someone who wants an effective and enjoyable skincare routine, the brand has room for improvement. You can also only buy directly from them, and there’s no free shipping unless you buy in bulk. But they do have a 60 day money back guarantee return policy, even for opened products, you’d just be responsible for return shipping.

As for the skin care products themselves, they’re about as sterile as you can get. No fluff, no fun, using these was almost like a chore to me. But I can’t deny that their formulas have delivered the results I expect to see from anti-aging and brightening products with comparable claims. So for me, the efficacy is there.

While I won’t be purchasing these products myself to use, they did make a positive difference in my skin, and would be suitable for anyone looking for results without the fluff. Between the two I tested, I personally recommend the Miami MD Age Defying Lift and Firm Cream over the Dark Spot Corrector.

Article Sources

To keep my content accurate and trustworthy, I rely on peer-reviewed studies, articles from reputable academic institutions, and quotes from certified healthcare professionals to back my claims.

  1. B. Clares, et al. Evaluation of the Anti-Wrinkle Efficacy of Cosmetic Formulations with an Anti-Aging Peptide (Argireline®). , 2017, 

  2. Silke Schagen. “Topical Peptide Treatments with Effective Anti-Aging Results.” Cosmetics, vol. 4, no. 2, Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute, May 2017, pp. 16–16,

  3. Meckfessel, Matthew H., and Staci Brandt. “The Structure, Function, and Importance of Ceramides in Skin and Their Use as Therapeutic Agents in Skin-Care Products.” Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, vol. 71, no. 1, Elsevier BV, July 2014, pp. 177–84, 

  4. Jeroen van Smeden, and Joke A. Bouwstra. “Stratum Corneum Lipids: Their Role for the Skin Barrier Function in Healthy Subjects and Atopic Dermatitis Patients.” Current Problems in Dermatology, Jan. 2016, pp. 8–26, 

  5. Leslie Baumann, MD, Cosmetic Dermatology, 2nd edition, Natural Oils, 274

  6. Vaughn, Alexandra R., et al. “Natural Oils for Skin-Barrier Repair: Ancient Compounds Now Backed by Modern Science.” American Journal of Clinical Dermatology, vol. 19, no. 1, Adis, Springer Healthcare, July 2017, pp. 103–17,

  7. Saeedi, Majid, et al. “Kojic Acid Applications in Cosmetic and Pharmaceutical Preparations.” Biomedicine & Pharmacotherapy, vol. 110, Elsevier BV, Feb. 2019, pp. 582–93, 

  8. Stamford, Patrick J. “Stability, Transdermal Penetration, and Cutaneous Effects of Ascorbic Acid and Its Derivatives.” Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology, vol. 11, no. 4, Wiley-Blackwell, Nov. 2012, pp. 310–17,

  9. Kelm, Ryan C., et al. “Effective Lightening of Facial Melasma during the Summer with a Dual Regimen: A Prospective, Open‐Label, Evaluator‐Blinded Study.” Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology, vol. 19, no. 12, Wiley-Blackwell, Oct. 2020, pp. 3251–57, 

This post is sponsored by Miami MD but all opinions are 100% honest and my own. This post contains affiliate links, and each purchase helps cover the
cost of running this blog at no extra cost to you! Full disclosure

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