Tested on animals:Yes
Stating that this is a “laser-free serum” is a bit odd and not the least bit distinctive because serums aren’t lasers. Based on their claims, what the company means, in their words, is that you can “skip the laser". Skipping laser treatments is always an option, but if you’re doing so in favor of products like this and expecting such products to work like lasers, you will be disappointed.
As it turns out, this water-based serum cannot come close to approximating what a laser procedure can do for signs of aging. The formula isn’t terrible, but you’ll still need to keep that appointment with your cosmetic dermatologist! Besides, Laser-Free Resurfacer has its share of controversial ingredients, discussed below.
- Silky texture contains some notable antioxidants and cell-communicating ingredients.
- Fragrance-free formula.
- Expensive when measured against superior options on our Best Serums list.
- The exotic, strangely named plants (dragon’s blood, anyone?) do not have substantiated, published research proving their anti-aging abilities.
- The serum has a sheer, blood-red tint that many will find off-putting.
It seems more cosmetic companies are claiming their serums or moisturizers can work like or approximate the results of laser treatments. Here’s why skin-care products cannot work like a laser to improve signs of aging: lasers use specific colors and calibrated wavelengths of light which, when properly administered (by a trained medical professional) target and break up pigment cells and/or broken blood vessels (capillaries) in the lower layers of your skin. When these specific colors are targeted, the results work from the lower layers of your skin (beyond where cosmetics can reach) to the surface, so you’ll see signs of redness and brown discolorations go away (or at least noticeably fade).
Because laser treatments essentially wound skin in a carefully controlled manner, they stimulate cells in skin that manufacture healthy collagen, which helps improve wrinkles and enhance firmness. Lots of skin-care ingredients can stimulate healthy collagen production (and when skin isn’t being damaged by sunlight and other aggressors it loves making healthy collagen on its own) but the type of collagen stimulation you get from laser treatments is beyond where skin-care ingredients can target. The best solution is to combine a state-of-the-art skin-care routine (which includes daily sun protection) with the appropriate cosmetic corrective procedures, be they laser or dermal fillers.
Dragon’s blood is a naturally red resin extracted from a fruit that is part of the history of Chinese medicine. It has long been used as a coloring agent for pottery and ceramics. Are you sensing that none of this has to do with anti-aging or wrinkles? You’re right, it doesn’t! In fact, we couldn’t come up with a single viable study or other piece of information proving dragon’s blood resin has any benefit for skin, aging or not. It seems to be a gimmicky, novel ingredient but that’s about it. And of course, there’s no association between dragon’s blood and laser treatments!
The two controversial ingredients in this serum are ethyl perfluoroisobuty ether and ethyl perfluorobutyl ether. Both of these ingredients are said to generate oxygen, which isn’t helpful for aging skin (antioxidants are all about protecting skin from oxidative damage). These ingredients are sources of fluorocarbons (chemically inert compounds), which increase the oxygen content in liquids. As an aside, fluorocarbons also are responsible for much of the ozone depletion that occurs in the atmosphere. In all likelihood, these ingredients don’t remain stable in cosmetics and as such cannot generate oxygen on your skin.