FIRMx Growth Factor Extreme Neuropeptide Serum
1 fl. oz. for $150
Last Updated:03.18.2015
Jar Packaging:No
Tested on animals:Yes
Review Overview

This water-based serum (amazing that a product that costs this much is based on the least expensive cosmetic ingredient around) is supposed to activate youth, which it can't, but who knows what "youth activating" really means. It could mean almost anything; it's just another cosmetic claim that's wide open to interpretation and, therefore, skirts around any legal issue and any real benefit. 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 despite the fact the claims are identical). Aside from marketing nonsense, it turns out this is a very intriguing serum, 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, and you wouldn't want it to be because real growth factors can turn on skin cancer cells just as easily as they can turn on healthy skin cells. 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 that 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 his anti-aging products?). Despite that information, it's possible that the peptides in this product function as cell-communicating ingredients. They definitely have potential value, but the reality is the research just isn't there yet. However, when peptides are combined with the antioxidants and other intriguing ingredients in this serum, you get a truly beneficial product. None of the claims come close to being factual or backed up by published research. It is an understatement to say that you don't have to spend this much to get a great product for your skin.


Firmx Straight from the PTR research facility, contains 52% Growth Factor Extreme 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, Capric/Caprylic Triglycerides, Butylene Glycol, Squalane, Cyclopentasiloxane, Dimethicone, Silica, Dimethiconol, Sodium PCA, Urea, Ethylhexyl Cocoate, Hexapeptide 10, Myristoyl Octapeptide 1, Palmitoyl Hexapeptide 19, Acetyl Hexapeptide 25, Quercus Suber Bark Extract, Hydrolyzed Oats, Acetyl Dipeptide 1 Cetyl Ester, Retinyl Palmitate, Tocopheryl Acetate Vitamin E, Ascorbyl Palmitate, Arginine, Phospholipids, Glutamylamidoethyl Indole, Pyroglutamylamidoethyl Indole, Dimethylmethoxy Chromanyl Palmitate, Polysorbate 20, Isohexadecane, Ammonium Polyacryloyldimethyl Taurate, Dmpa/Isophthalic Acid/Smdi Copolymer, Polysilicone 11, Sodium Acrylate/Sodium Acryloyldimethyl Taurate Copolymer, 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

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: Can be pricey; some products contain irritants; jar packaging for several products that contain air and light sensitive ingredients.

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 are fragrance free, and lack the long lists of complicated ingredients—all great qualities for any skincare brand.

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— which reinforces 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, what you should be aware of are the instances of products containing potential irritants (noted in their respective reviews) as well as the products in jar packaging that contain ingredients which are sensitive to air and light.

For more information about Peter Thomas Roth, call (800) PTR-SKIN or visit www.peterthomasroth.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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