Derm AOX Intense Anti-Wrinkle Radiance Serum
1 fl. oz. for $59.95
Last Updated:04.06.2015
Jar Packaging:No
Tested on animals:Yes
Review Overview

Although this water-based serum contains some intriguing anti-aging ingredients, such as antioxidants, it cannot slow the aging process as claimed. No skin-care product can truly stop the clock, but lots of them can help your skin function in a younger, healthier manner.

Overall this serum falls into the same trap many others do, which is spotlighting one or two ingredients as being the best when research doesn’t show that to be the case. This time the ingredients du jour are carnosine and pycnogenol, an antioxidant derived from a species of pine tree. Both have value for skin, but neither is the end all, be all when it comes to anti-aging. Carnosine is composed of amino acids and, when it comes to wrinkles, it is believed to help reduce glycation in skin. Glycation involves the bonding of a sugar molecule with a protein (such as collagen) or fat. When glycation occurs in our skin, the by-products it generates can weaken or destroy collagen, leading to more wrinkles. There is in vitro research showing that carnosine, when introduced to cells that generate collagen, can help mitigate the damaging effects of glycation (Sources: Journal de la Societe de Biologie, volume 201, 2007, pages 185–188; and Pathologie-biologie, September 2006, pages 396–404) due to its antioxidant action, but that would be true of any potent antioxidant that shows up in skin-care products. Given that half of the beneficial ingredients in this serum are listed after the preservative, this doesn’t end up being one of the better serums available.


Age prevention and correction. Slows the skin aging process. Smoothes wrinkles and restores radiance. Formulated Carnosine, a molecule stemming from diabetes research, to inhibit the glycation process and help maintain skin suppleness. Also formulated with Pycnogenol, one of the world's most powerful antioxidants², to neutralize free radicals + Vitamin E and Vitamin C, to help restore skin structure, smooth skin texture and increase radiance.


Water, Glycerin, PEG-20, Mis-PEG-18 Methyl Ether Dimethyl Silane, Vinyl Dimethicone/Methicone Silsesquioxane Crosspolymer, Limanthes Alba Seed Oil/Meadowfoam Seed Oil, Carnosine, Ascorbic Acid, Octyldodecanol, Tocopherol, Sodium Styrene/MA Copolymer, Sodium Hydroxide, Sodium Hyaluronate, Phenoxyethanol, Ammonium Polyacryldimethyl Taurate, Pinus Pinaster Extract, Pinus Pinaster Bark/Bud Extract, Xanthan Gum, Pentasodium Ethylenediamine Tetramethylene Phosphate, Caprylyl Glycol, Capryloyl Salicylic Acid, Carbomer, Disodium EDTA, Fragrance

Brand Overview

La Roche-Posay At-A-Glance

Strengths: A few good cleansers; anti-aging formulas tend to be stably packaged to get the most out of the air/light-sensitive ingredients; many fragrance-free options; a unique lip moisturizer; some praiseworthy specialty products.

Weaknesses: Some problematic, overly irritating exfoliants; several ho-hum moisturizers and sunscreens; ineffective skin-lighteners; disappointing toner.

L'Oreal-owned La Roche-Posay has a pharmaceutical lineage based in France, and the company speaks of their thermal spring water as the cornerstone of their commitment to dermatological skin care. Sound familiar? L'Oreal-owned Biotherm makes similar claims for the water in their products, yet their marketing niche is spas, while La Roche-Posay caters to doctors and consumers interested in effective, no-frills skin care. Regardless of the source of their water, or how many minerals there may be in it, or the other benefits they assert it has, water is water and skin can't tell the difference. Even if the water were somehow "special," it takes a lot more than water to create and maintain healthy skin. This is something La Roche-Posay is aware of, because they do offer a fairly broad range of products to address the various needs of skin.

Their thermal spring water is said to be a rich source of selenium. Selenium is a nonmetallic element that has potent antioxidant ability. However, almost all of the research surrounding its benefits pertains to dietary or supplemental consumption, not to topical application. According to the research, selenium is absorbed into skin and helpful when applied topically only when applied as l-selenomethionine (Source: Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology, July 2004, pages 149–155). It is unknown whether the water La Roche-Posay uses contains this form of selenium, but we wouldn't bank on it for a unique benefit.

For a dermatologist-oriented line like La Roche-Posay, most of the products are surprisingly devoid of state-of-the-art or other interesting ingredients. There are some standout products, such as those with retinol and stabilized vitamin C; however, most of them are one-note options that offer the help of their promoted ingredient but don't commingle it with anything else of value to skin. It's ironic that although there's not a jar package to be found in this line, most of the moisturizers lack light- or air-sensitive ingredients, so jar packaging actually wouldn't be a problem. In fact, most of the moisturizers are downright monotonous. For the money, these products will leave your skin wanting more.

If you steer your way to the well-formulated products La Roche-Posay offers, you will find some first-rate options. They're not as varied as what many other lines offer, but for a pragmatic, no-frills approach to serious skin care, they'll do just fine. In fact, among all of the L'Oreal-owned skin-care lines, La Roche-Posay comes closest to successfully competing with the best of the best. It's up to you to decide if "close" is good enough. However, if you need to avoid fragrance and a range of potentially irritating plant extracts prevalent in the products of many brands, this line may suit your skin to a T.

Note: La Roche-Posay is categorized as a brand that tests on animals because its products are sold in China. Although La Roche-Posay does not conduct animal testing for its products sold elsewhere, the Chinese government requires imported cosmetics be tested on animals, so foreign companies retailing there must comply. This requirement is why some brands state that they don’t test on animals “unless required by law.” Animal rights organizations consider cosmetic companies retailed in China to be brands that test on animals, and so does the Paula’s Choice Research Team.

For more information about La Roche-Posay, owned by L'Oreal, call (888) 577-5226 or visit www.laroche-posay.com.

About the Experts

The new Beautypedia Team proudly and unequivocally maintains the commitment to help you find the best products possible for your skin. We do this by relentlessly pursuing and relying on published scientific research so you will have unbiased information on what works and what doesn't-and the sneaky ways you could be making your skin worse, not better!

The Beautypedia Team reviews all products using the same research, criteria, and objectivity, whether the product being reviewed is from Paula's Choice or another brand.

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585623-IIS1 v1.0.0.411 8/30/2015 1:23:59 PM