Tested on animals:Yes
This lightweight moisturizer for normal to slightly dry skin has a tempting name, but it isn’t capable of correcting multiple signs of aging, which includes lifting skin or somehow stopping the eventual toll gravity takes. The formula isn’t an anti-aging powerhouse; instead, it’s a fairly standard moisturizer with grand claims that are not supported by independent published research or based on what we know is and isn’t possible when it comes to controlling the effects of gravity.
Although this moisturizer contains some good antioxidants, they will not remain stable once this product is opened because it is packaged in a jar. Please see More Info for details on why jar packaging is a problem for any anti-aging moisturizer. Talk about a letdown!
RoC claims their Proteint Plus firming technology helps to tighten the skin, but they don’t explain how this technology works or which ingredients make up this “technology". Most likely it is tied to the ingredient tetrahydroxypropyl ethylenediamine (THPE).
RoC’s parent company Johnson & Johnson did a double-blind study that examined topical application of a moisturizer containing 2.5% THPE on 41 women. Not surprisingly, the results showed the skin treated with THPE looked firmer, “more lifted”, and younger compared with skin that received a placebo moisturizer without this ingredient. This may be due to the effect THPE has on surface skin cells: It is believed to modify the cell surface and increase cell tension. In theory, this would “pull” skin cells tighter and result in skin that gets a lift, but the study results showed that after 8 weeks of use, skin treated with THPE was lifted only by 14%. That’s not much of an improvement, and what we don’t know is whether or not THPE’s effect on skin is more detrimental than helpful. After all, causing skin cells to become tense is what most astringent, drying ingredients do, and it’s not the healthiest approach (Source: Journal of Drugs in Dermatology, October 2011, pages 1102–1105).
Using products with high amounts of THPE on a daily basis may not be the best idea if the result of making skin cells tense is irritation. Right now, we don’t know if that’s the case or not, but we do know that irritation hurts skin’s healing process and its ability to look and act younger. Plus, the small sample of only 41 women is not exactly a sweeping assessment of effectiveness.
Ultimately, the unknowns associated with THPE, along with the jar packaging (which won’t keep this ingredient stable even if it does work) and the lack of other state-of-the-art anti-aging ingredients, makes this moisturizer a less desirable option.
Note: There is not enough glycolic acid (an AHA) in this moisturizer for it to work as an exfoliant. In low concentrations like this, it functions as a water-binding agent.
- Lightweight cream texture helps ease minor dryness.
- The lifting and anti-gravity claims stretch what’s possible from skin-care products.
- Jar packaging won’t keep the antioxidants stable and effective during use.
- The “Lifting” ingredient tetrahydroxypropyl ethylenediamine (THPE) doesn’t produce very impressive results, even measured by RoC’s own research.
All plant extracts, vitamins, antioxidants, and other state-of-the-art ingredients break down in the presence of air, so once a jar is opened and lets the air in, these important ingredients begin to deteriorate. Jars also are unsanitary because you’re dipping your fingers into them with each use, adding bacteria, which further deteriorate the beneficial ingredients.
Many skin-care products claim they can firm and lift skin, but none of them work, at least not to the extent claimed. A face-lift-in-a-bottle isn’t possible, but with the right mix of products, you will see firmer skin that has a more lifted appearance—and that’s exciting! To reap these youthful benefits, you must protect your skin from any and all sun damage every day, use an AHA (glycolic acid or lactic acid) or BHA (salicylic acid) exfoliant, and use products that have a wide range of antioxidants and skin-repairing ingredients. This combination of products (remember, one product doesn’t do it all) has extensive research showing how it can significantly improve many of the signs of aging, such as firming skin, reducing wrinkles and brown spots, and eliminating dullness. You’ll find such products on our list of Best Anti-Aging/Anti-Wrinkle Products.