This serum’s big claim is that its camu camu ingredient contains thirty times more vitamin C than an orange, as if that’s supposed to be a compelling reason to buy it. First, even if camu camu does have more vitamin C than an orange (more on that in a moment), so what? Kiwi has more vitamin C than an orange, too, as do papaya, bell peppers, and strawberries. The numbers game may seem impressive, but this water-based serum would be more impressive if it contained a form of pure, stabilized vitamin C rather than a plant extract that contains the vitamin. Depending on how the plant extract was cultivated and stored prior to manufacture, who knows how much vitamin C would remain? Interestingly, a study sought to find that out and even under ideal storage conditions the vitamin C content of this fruit degrades over time (Source: Archivos Latinamericanos de Nutricion, December 2000, pages 405–408).
As for camu camu, this shrub bears a fruit whose vitamin C content is higher in the peel than it is in the pulp (fruit) yet Peter Thomas Roth is using the fruit rather than the pulp, which is odd considering their boasts of camu camu being a superior source of vitamin C. The fruit, which has a strong sour taste, can be considered a skin irritant due to the volatile components it contains, including limonene (which can make skin more sun-sensitive) and eucalyptol (Source: www.naturaldatabase.com). Despite this, research has shown that components in camu camu juice can have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefit when consumed (Source: Journal of Cardiology, October 2008, pages 127–132).
This serum’s biggest downfall is its alcohol content. As the third ingredient (followed by a film-forming agent that makes skin feel tight), it poses a serious risk of irritation (see More Info for details). Although this serum contains some good anti-aging ingredients (retinol and vitamin E) you can find those in serums that not only cost less but also offer more elegant, gentler formulas that don’t pose a risk of irritation.
- Contains some good antioxidants and retinol in packaging that keeps these delicate ingredients stable.
- Overpriced for what you get.
- High amount of alcohol is a problem for all skin types.
- High amount of film-forming agent can make skin feel uncomfortably tight.
Alcohol in skin-care products causes dryness and free-radical damage, and impairs the skin’s ability to heal. The irritation it causes damages healthy collagen production and can stimulate oil production at the base of the pore, making oily skin worse (Sources: Biochimica et Biophysica Acta, May 2012, pages 1,410–1,419; Alcoholism, Clinical and Experimental Research, January 2011, pages 83–90; “Skin Care—From the Inside Out and Outside In,” Tufts Daily, April 1, 2002; eMedicine Journal, May 8, 2002, volume 3, number 5, www.emedicine.com; Cutis, February 2001, pages 25–27; Contact Dermatitis, January 1996, pages 12–16; and http://pubs.niaaa.nih.gov/publications/arh27-4/277-284.htm).