Complete Lift Serum (Discontinued)
1.3 fl. oz. for $18.49
Category:Skin Care > Serums > Serums
Last Updated:08.30.2011
Jar Packaging:No
Tested on animals:Yes
Review Overview

The claims for this product make it sound like nothing short of a face-lift in a bottle. Worried about sagging skin? After reading the claims, you will certainly want to believe your worries are over, and that all you have to do is apply this product. And if you did believe the claims, you’d assume you could cancel your consultation with the plastic surgeon. Well, don’t be fooled, nothing could be further from the truth.

In all seriousness this serum couldn’t be less impressive. The formula is mostly water, starch-based thickener, wheat protein, and a chelating agent, none of which can restore lost elasticity or facial contours that are drooping from the effects of time and sun damage; it isn’t even a very good moisturizer. The starch and wheat protein have a slight tightening effect, but that is temporary and strictly cosmetic (and drying, for that matter). You could bathe day and night in this serum and not see one sagging skin cell spring back to its youthful state. I’m not dismissing serums used for anti-aging benefits, because there are many outstanding formulas that treat skin to a range of truly beneficial ingredients that can help reduce wrinkles and other signs of aging. The issue is that this isn’t one of them—not even close!


Over time, your skin's structure begins to weaken, leading to decreased elasticity, the appearance of sagging skin, and a loss of definition to your facial contours. RoC Complete Lift Serum is clinically proven to increase firmness, improve elasticity, and visibly lift and define facial contours. This smooth, silky fluid glides on easily and absorbs quickly, leaving your skin feeling smooth and velvety. Once absorbed the formula's patented technology, Protient - a high performance tightening agent - works with your skin's surface to help firm and tone skin. Immediately, skin is smoother and firmer, with even greater results over time.


Water, Hydroxypropyl Starch Phosphate, Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein, Tetrahydroxypropyl Ethylenediamine, Glycerin, Dimethicone, Cyclopentasiloxane, Arachidyl Alcohol, Sclerotium Gum, Caprylyl Glycol, Behenyl Alcohol, Arachidyl Glucoside, Methylparaben, Fragrance, Magnesium Aspartate, Zinc Gluconate, Copper Gluconate, Yellow 5, Red 40, May Also Contain: Citric Acid

Brand Overview

RoC At-A-Glance

Strengths: Some well-packaged products with retinol; all the sunscreens provide sufficient UVA protection.

Weaknesses: Mediocrity reigns supreme—few of the formulas are particularly exciting; antiwrinkle claims tend to go too far; jar packaging.

Originally the brainchild of a French pharmacist, RoC does its best to convince women concerned with wrinkles that using RoC products will erase those pesky lines and, of course, that RoC is the only company that keeps its promises. That doesn't bode well for the other J&J product lines Aveeno and Neutrogenawouldn't that mean they must be lying about the promises they make for their products? Regardless, the promises RoC makes, including all of the same old same old "you will look younger too" rubbish, aren't viable and don't hold up under closer scrutiny. None of what they assure you their products can do is possible beyond a cosmetic extent, and moreover the majority of RoC's U.S.- and Canada-sold formulas are either boring or one-note. They don't even come through with distinctive or interesting moisturizers.

For example, RoC is big on retinol, and includes it in products with and without sunscreen in the United States. Retinol is a cell-communicating ingredient as well as an antioxidant, and its benefits for skin are many (Sources: Archives of Dermatology, May 2007, pages 606–612; Skin Pharmacology and Physiology, March/April 2005, pages 81–87; and Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology, December 2005, pages 237–244). However, for the most part, the amount of retinol in RoC's U.S.-sold products is barely a dusting, and so your skin won't receive much, if any, benefit from it. Ironically, although RoC promotes retinol much more than Neutrogena and Aveeno (all are J&J-owned companies), the latter two lines sell better retinol products! Several of the moisturizers with retinol sold by RoC in Canada also have much better formulations.

Another ingredient RoC has been touting lately is DMAE (dimethyl MEA). This ingredient is described in detail in the reviews below, but suffice it to say that DMAE isn't a panacea for wrinkles or skin that has lost firmness. Lastly, soy is promoted by RoC as an anti-aging powerhouse. Soy has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits for skin, but once again RoC shortchanges the consumer by including barely any of it. And it's probably no surprise that sister company Aveeno (and, to a lesser extent, Neutrogena) offers better (and less expensive) options if soy is what you want to try.

Taken together, isn't it interesting how all of these Johnson & Johnson brands offer similar products to different target audiences? Neutrogena is the all-encompassing line, going after consumers battling acne and wrinkles; Aveeno stresses its "Active Naturals" and plays on its oat heritage; RoC is made to appeal to consumers who want to take a serious, more clinical-minded approach to fighting the signs of aging. None of these lines have all the answers, but all of them have a few worthwhile products. It's just that with RoC, those looking for state-of-the-art options beyond retinol have the fewest choices—and that's a promise made clear by the reviews that follow!

For more information about RoC, call (800) 762-1964 or visit www.rocskincare.com. And for a better selection of state-of-the-art retinol products from RoC, see the reviews for RoC Canada.

About the Experts

The Beautypedia Research Team is dedicated to helping you find the absolute best products for your skin, using research-based criteria to review beauty products from an honest, balanced perspective. Each member of the team was personally trained by Paula Begoun herself.

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