This 5-piece kit contains products from the Roth line that are also available (and reviewed) separately. Here is what the kit contains, followed by our general comments:
Beta Hydroxy Acid 2% Acne Wash lists 2% salicylic acid as an active ingredient, but this is rinsed from the skin before it can have an effect. This is otherwise a very simple fragrance-free cleanser for all skin types except very dry; the Blemish Buffing Beads is a very basic scrub whose cinnamon bark content isn’t going to do your skin any favors. Overall, it is a problematic formula that fights against itself, putting your skin in the boxing ring as well; the AHA/BHA Acne Clearing Gel contains 2% salicylic acid in the correct pH range for exfoliation to occur, but the amount of alcohol makes this too potentially drying and irritating for acne-prone skin, not to mention irritation will stimulate more oil production at the base of your pores. The Max Anti-Shine Mattifying Gel is merely a blend of silicones and a dry-finish solvent. It produces a matte finish, although without absorbent ingredients that offer more absorbency, don't expect shine-free longevity. Last up is Acne Spot and Area Treatment, which lists 5% sulfur as its active ingredient. Although sulfur is a potent disinfectant, it is very drying and irritating for most skin types. For that reason, it is not preferred to benzoyl peroxide or even tea tree oil. The pH of 3.1 serves only to make the sulfur more irritating, but it does allow the blend of glycolic and salicylic acids to exfoliate. On balance, Acne Buster Kit is a bust for your skin. There are better ways to manage and improve acne-prone skin without causing dryness, flaking, and irritation that will likely make matters worse.
Maximum strength levels of sulfur and salicylic acid, plus mega-doses of glycolic acid, help loosen sebum, deep clean pores, eliminate whiteheads and blackheads, diminish wrinkles and fine lines and stimulate cellular turnover. Balancing ingredients, such as Trikenol™, aloe vera, willow bark and pro vitamin B5, work to minimize inflammation, irritation, bacteria and scarring. Your skin will look clearer, smoother, brighter—completely transformed.
BETA HYDROXY ACID 2% ACNE WASH Active Ingrediens: Salicylic Acid 2% ; Inactive Ingredients: Water , Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Propylene Glycol, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Lauryl Glucoside, Panthenol (Pro Vitamin B5), Allantoin, Methylparaben, Quaternium-15. BLEMISH BUFFING BEADS Active: Salicylic Acid (1%) Other Ingredients: Water, Hydrogenated Jojoba Oil, Sodium C14-16 Olefin Sulfonate, Carbomer, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Disodium Cocoamphodipropionate, Glycolic Acid, Arginine, Cinnamomum Zeylancum Bark Extract, Allantoin, Disodium EDTA, Sarcosine, Capryloyl Glycine, Propylene Glycol, BHA, BHT, Diazolidinyl Urea, Methylparaben, Propylparaben ,Yellow 5, Fragrance AHA/BHA CLEARING GEL Active Ingredients: Salicylic Acid 2%; Inactive Ingredients: Water, Alcohol Denat., Glycolic Acid, Glycerin, Arginine, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Ammonium Hydroxide, Propylene Glycol, Diazolidinyl Urea, Methylparaben, Propylparaben. MAX ANTI-SHINE MATTIFYING GEL Dimethicone, Cyclopentasiloxane, Cyclomethicone, Isododecane, Polysilicone-11, Butylene Glycol, Silica, Polyethylene, Water, Laureth-4 ACNE SPOT AND AREA TREATMENT Active Ingredient : Sulfur 5% ; Inactive Ingredients: Water, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Sodium Silicoaluminate, Zea Mays (Corn) Starch, Glycolic Acid, Salicylic Acid, Cetyl Alcohol, Ceteareth-20, Polyacrylamide, Glycyrrhiza Glabra (Licorice) Root Extract, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Fruit Extract, Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Seed Extract, Morus Alba (Mulberry) Leaf Extract, Arctostaphylos UVA Ursi Leaf Extract, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Flower/Leaf/ Stem Extract, Echinacea Angustifolia Extract, Epilobium Angustifolium Flower/Leaf/Stem Extract, Salix Alba (Willow) Bark Extract, Tocopheryl Acetate (Vitamin E), Leptospermone, Isoleptospermone, Flavesone, Methylpropanediol, Polysorbate 80, Arginine, Panthenol (Pro Vitamin B5), Butylene Glycol, Allantoin, Glyceryl Stearate, PEG-100 Stearate, Zinc Oxide (Cl 77947), Bisabolol, Magnesium Aluminum Silicate, Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate (Vitamin C), Dipotassium Glycyrrhizate, C13-14 Isoparaffin, Laureth-7, Hydrogenated Lecithin
Unique in the world of spa and salon specialty lines, Peter Thomas Roth is a large but straightforward line with mostly uncomplicated formulations that, for the most part, are quite good and state-of-the-art. Unlike many product lines, most of the acne, AHA, BHA, sunscreen, and moisturizing products contain what they should to be effective and helpful for skin.
A novel aspect of this line is that there are few (if any) nonsense ingredients. Roth products conspicuously lack the exotic, potentially irritating, sensitizing, and often unnecessary plant extracts and the irritating, fragrant plant oils that show up in most pricey skin-care lines, especially spa lines. Many of these products don't have fragrance, and they lack the long lists of ingredients that are often unnecessarily complicated. Even more impressive are the well-formulated cleansers, sunscreens, AHA products, and skin lighteners. The moisturizers have improved somewhat, and most are now packaged so that the light- and air-sensitive ingredients remain stable. In fact, Roth's packaging deserves special mention because it is exceptionally utilitarian and gender-friendly. No pretty pink bottles, sexy curved jars, or bejeweled caps—all of which reinforce the clinical nature of Peter Thomas Roth. Overall, this line should be admired for its simplicity and, for the most part, for its well-thought-out formulations.
After all that glowing praise there are a few embarrassing missteps to avoid, such as products that contain hydrogen peroxide, which can cause free-radical damage and hurt skin; irritating acne products that contain sulfur; unimpressive masks (odd for a spa-oriented line); and a bumper crop of products claiming to affect expression lines and wrinkles in a manner similar to cosmetic corrective procedures.
For more information about Peter Thomas Roth, call (800) PTR-SKIN or visit www.peterthomasroth.com.