Despite receiving a gold star for its pure mineral (titanium dioxide and zinc oxide) sun protection, Bronze Instant Mineral SPF 30 fails in too many other areas to get a good rating. This loose bronzing powder is packaged to offer three different levels of bronzing color in one cylindrical tube. With the click of a dial, you control the intensity of color by turning the cap to whichever level (light, medium, or dark) you desire. Sounds great, right? The problem is that you will run out of the color you use the most, leaving the remaining powder to go to waste or forcing you to use a shade that you don’t like as much. While the medium and dark shades do offer a beautiful, caramel glow with a slight hint of shimmer, the light shade is so light that you can barely see it, even on the fairest skin. All shades take several attempts to build color and in the process the brush hairs have a tendency to flake off on to your skin. In addition, there’s lots of “loose powder dust” generated (not the best to breathe) and the bristles of the brush feel a bit scratchy and harsh. Just getting the bronzer to come out through the brush is a task all its own. No matter how you shake it, this is more of a burn than a bronzer.
Active: Titanium Dioxide (15%), Zinc Oxide (10%), Other: Silica, Zea Mays (Corn) Starch, Zinc Stearate, Aluminum Hydroxide, Stearic Acid, Retinyl Palmitate (Vitamin A), Tocopheryl Acetate (Vitamin E), Ascorbyl Palmitate (Vitamin C), Dimethicone, Triethoxycaprylylsilane, Salix Alba (Willow) Bark Extract, Water (Aqua), Butylene Glycol, Maltodextrin, Glycerin, Carbomer, Polysorbate 20, Phenoxyethanol, Methylparaben, Butylparaben, Ethylparaben, Propylparaben, Isobutylparaben, Chlorphenesin, Potassium Sorbate, Tetrasodium Edta. May Contain: Mica, Iron Oxides, Titanium Dioxide, Manganese Violet, Bismuth Oxychloride, Chromium Oxide Greens, Chromium Hydroxide Green.
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.