Radiance Oxygenating Serum (Discontinued)

$65 - 1 fl. oz.
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This serum is a classic example of cosmetics double-talk because it claims to provide oxygen to skin, while also supplying antioxidants. Given that these two actions are diametrically opposed, how can anyone’s skin possibly benefit? The answer is it can’t, and it may actually make matters worse. Although this water-based serum doesn’t contain pure oxygen, it contains 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.

Peter Thomas Roth’s theory and claim is that by increasing the oxygen content of this serum users will be giving skin a potent dose of oxygen with each application. If that’s their claim, then one must surmise that no one at the company has taken note of any of the research indicating that oxygen isn’t going to help your skin resist wrinkles or look younger. Exposing skin to more oxygen than it is already will simply generate more free-radical damage (Sources: International Journal of Cosmetic Science, October 2008, pages 313–322; and Human and Experimental Toxicology, February 2002, pages 61–62).

In contrast, applying antioxidants to skin (and consuming them as part of a healthy diet) is supposed to reduce the very damage oxygen exposure causes. See what we mean about opposite actions? Even if increasing the oxygen that is delivered to skin was somehow beneficial, this serum would not be recommended because it contains the irritating menthol derivative menthyl lactate along with peppermint extract. Without question, neither of those ingredients are helpful for skin, regardless of age or concern.

This potent radiance boosting complex of oxygen combined with effective brighteners and anti-oxidants leaves skin looking smoother, brighter and years younger. Fiflow carries oxygen to the skin helping to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles and enhances cell renewal for a more luminous, healthy looking complexion. Symwhite, Gigawhite and glucosamine, potent tyrosinase inhibitors along with botanical brighteners, bearberry, mulberry, licorice and vitamin C help to even skin tone and help to reduce UV induced skin pigmentation.

Water, Cyclopentasiloxane, Perfluorohexane, Butylene Glycol, Isostearyl Neopentanoate, Ethylperfluoroisobutyl Ether, Ethyl Perfluorobutyl Ether, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Glyceryl Stearate, PEG-100 Stearate, Glycerin, Cetearyl Alcohol, Nylon-12, Ascorbyl Glucoside (Vitamin C), Sodium PCA, Aluminum Starch Octenylsuccinate, Sodium Silicoaluminate, Ethoxydiglycol, Menthyl Lactate, C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate, Malva Sylvestris (Mallow) Extract, Mentha Piperita (Peppermint) Leaf Extract, Primula Veris Extract, Alchemilla Vulgaris Extract, Veronica Officinalis Extract, Melissa Officinalis Leaf Extract, Achillea Millefolium Extract, Arctostaphylos Uva Uris Leaf Extract, Morus Alba Leaf Extract, Glycyrrhiza Glabra (Licorice) Root Extract, Tocopheryl Acetate (Vitamin E), Ceteareth-20, Phenylethyl Resorcinol, Phenyl Trimethicone, Hydroxyethyl Acrylate/Sodium Acryloyldimethyl Taurate Copolymer, Squalane, Polysorbate 60, Acetyl Glucosamine, Phytic Acid, Perfluoroperhydrophenanthrene, Perfluorodecalin, Perfluorodimethylcyclohexane, Boron Nitride, Dipropylene Glycol, Methyldihydrojasmonate, Ambrettolide, Propylene Glycol, Diazolidinyl Urea, Methylparaben, Propylparaben, Mica, Titanium Dioxide

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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Paula Begoun is the best-selling author of 20 books on skin care and makeup. She is known worldwide as the Cosmetics Cop and creator of Paula's Choice. Paula's expertise has led to hundreds of appearances on national and international television including:

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