Peter Thomas Roth
FIRMx GFX Growth Factor Neuropeptide Serum
1 fl. oz. for $150
Category:Skin Care > Serums > Serums
Last Updated:10.01.2012
Jar Packaging:False
Tested on animals:Yes
This serum is supposed to activate youth, whatever that means. It could mean almost anything; it’s another cosmetic claim that’s wide open to interpretation and, therefore, skirts around any legal issue. Roth makes this sound like the must-have product if you’re concerned about sagging skin, but didn’t anyone at the company notice how many other products they sell that make the same claim? Is FirmX the real deal and the others not as good? The others cost less, so the “expensive is better” logic, faulty as it is, seems to be at play here, just as with most lines (i.e., this one costs the most, so it must really work … and on and on).

Aside from marketing nonsense, it turns out this is a very intriguing serum to consider, though not for the reasons Roth wants you to believe. The company claims it contains 52% growth factor, but the bulk of the formula is standard cosmetic ingredients, so 52% isn’t possible from an actual content point of view.

Moreover, none of the ingredients in this product qualify as growth factors, at least not directly. Some peptides function as growth factors and peptides play a role in the formation and activity of various growth factors, but there is no research proving any of the peptides in this serum influence growth factors that contribute to youthfulness. The only research on the peptides in this product was performed by the companies that sell them for use in skin-care products (and again, what about all of the other peptides Roth includes in their anti-aging products?). Despite that information, it’s possible that the peptides in this product function as cell-communicating ingredients. They definitely have value as water-binding agents, and that, combined with the antioxidants and other intriguing ingredients in this serum, are why it received the rating it did. I don’t agree with most of the claims and the price is ridiculous, but this will help improve skin and allow it to repair itself, just not to the extent where you should cancel that consultation for cosmetic surgery.

Note: This product is only available on QVC. A more widely available, similar Peter Thomas Roth product is called FirmX Growth Factor Extreme Neuropeptide Serum, and is reviewed separately.
Firmx contains 52% Growth Factor NeuroComplex. It is a youth activating serum that helps improve the appearance of facial contour definition, skin resilience, texture, firmness & fine lines. Firmx leaves skin with a well defined more youthful & contoured appearance.
Water, Glycerin, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Butylene Glycol, Squalane, Cyclopentasiloxane, Dimethicone, Silica, Dimethiconol, Sodium PCA, Urea, Ethylhexyl Cocoate, Quercus Suber Bark Extract, Hydrolyzed Oats, Hexapeptide-10, Myristoyl Octapeptide-1, Palmitoyl Hexapeptide-19, Acetyl Hexapeptide-25, Acetyl Dipeptide-1 Cetyl Ester, Retinyl Palmitate, Tocopheryl Acetate, Ascorbyl Palmitate, Arginine, Phospholipids, Glutamylamidoethyl Indole, Pyroglutamylamidoethyl Indole, Dimethylmethoxy Chromanyl Palmitate, PEG-10 Dimethicone, Polysorbate 40, Isohexadecane, Ammonium Polyacryloyldimethyl Taurate, Dmpa/Isophthalic Acid/Smdi Copolymer, Nylon-12, Polysilicone-11, Sodium Acrylate/Sodium Acryloyldimethyl Taurate Copolymer, Isohexadecane, Polysorbate 80, Trehalose, Polyquaternium-51, Sodium Hyaluronate, Triacetin, Acrylates Copolymer, Dextran, Carbomer, Dipropylene Glycol, Laureth-3, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Propylene Glycol, Caprylyl Glycol, Diazolidinyl Urea, Methylparaben, Propylparaben, Mica
Brand Overview

Peter Thomas Roth At-A-Glance

Strengths: Provides complete ingredient lists on Web site; most products are fragrance-free; very good AHA products; wide selection of water-soluble cleansers and scrubs; some excellent sunscreens, benzoyl peroxide products, and many antioxidant-rich formulas.

Weaknesses: Expensive; mostly lackluster toners; mostly boring to potentially irritating masks; no BHA products that do not include at least one needless irritant; jar packaging.

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.

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