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Peter Thomas Roth Laser Free Resurfacer

January 31, 2011 Reviewed by Marta 3 Comments

When Copley wrote about dragon’s blood in 2009, she noted that it was relatively rare in American cosmetics. At long last, it has shown up in Peter Thomas Roth’s Laser Free Resurfacer ($75) and that is what initially got me to take a look at this potion. However, as we shall see, there was some very strange marketing speak that, as always, got my BSometer to register.

But first, Dragon’s blood deserves center stage here. It is a dark red, sappy resin, or latex, dragon’s blood oozes from a particular species of South American tree when its trunk is cut, giving the impression that it is bleeding. When applied topically, the sap dries quickly to form a barrier, much like a second skin. This protective shield helps regenerate the skin and prevents further damage with its anti-bacterial, anti-viral, and antioxidant qualities. Defending the skin against oxidative free radicals, dragon’s blood may ward off genetic alteration within the DNA of the skin cells.

So what about the BS part? The blurb that accompanies Laser Free Resurfacer says: “This serum is also formulated with Phytomoist Qusome™ (10%), Aquafill™ (5%), DRC Qusome™ (4%), plus a blend of Derm SRC™, Chromocare™, Niacinamide PC™ and Alistin® (9.5%).” I set about trying to find out what they were.

The first of these mysterious trademarked names turns out to be nothing more than sodium hyaluronate and it appears a long way down the ingredient list. It certainly seems to be hardworking. It is on double duty in the trademarked Aquafill, which is water, alcohol, glycosphingolipids, hordeum vulgare extract and hyaluronic acid.

The most interesting of them is Chromocare, made by Sederma. It is butylene glycol, water, siegesbeckia orientalis extract (a botanical from Madagascar) and rabdosia rubescens extract (used in Chinese medicine for sore throats. Sederma extracted two molecules from them, darutoside and oridonin. The two together are supposed to protect the skin from the UVB damage that can cause broken veins and redness. Unfortunately, we don’t know how much is used in Laser Free Resurfacer, but Sederma’s clinical trials were at a 3% concentration and, if I have read the research correctly, at only 2% it was outperformed by alpha arbutin.

I am not sure why anyone felt the need to dress up decarboxy carnosine Hci as “Alistin”. Carnosine is an ingredient that has always interested me because it purportedly extends the life of cells, potentially beyond the Hayflick Limit. In researching Alistin, I have finally come to understand how. At the final stage of a cell death, fatty acid hydroperoxides are released. Carnosine (or Alistin) reduces the fatty acid hydroperoxides and stops further oxidative propagation.

While I found that Derm SRC is bamboo, pea extract and Glucosamine Hci, I never did crack the code of DRC Qusome. Anyway, now that I’ve mostly cracked Peter Thomas Roth Laser Free Resurfacer’s code, was it worth it. I’d say this is most definitely worth a try. There are plenty of botanical and other actives with a track record and there aren’t too many fillers or things to dislike as long as you are prepared to overlook a fair amount of silicone, solvents such as the skin irritant Peg- 12 Glyceryl Dimyristate and the usual suspects in the preservative department.

Ingredients in Peter Thomas Roth Laser Free Resurfacer

Water (Aqua), Butylene Glycol, Peg-8 Dimethicone, Peg- 12 Glyceryl Dimyristate, Cyclopentasiloxane, Dimethicone, Glycerin, Isododecane, Bambusa Vulgaris Leaf/Stem Extract, Niacinamide, Decarboxy Carnosine Hci, Ethyl Perfluoroisobutyl Ether, Ethyl Perfluorobutyl Ether, Carbomer, Aluminum Starch Octenylsuccinate, Croton Lechleri (Dragon's Blood) Resin Extract, Siegesbeckia Orientalis Extract, Rabdosia Rubescens Extract, Tremella Fuciformis (Mushroom) Extract, Hordeum Vulgare Extract, Pisum Sativum (Pea) Extract, Angelica Polymorpha Sinensis Root Extract, Lycium Barbarum Fruit Extract, Tocopheryl Acetate (Vitamin E), Retinyl Palmitate (Vitamin A), Ascorbyl Palmitate (Vitamin C), Phospholipids, Acetyl Glucosamine, Glucosamine Hci, Hydroxyproline, Polysilicone-11, Glycosphingolipids, Sodium Hyaluronate, Betaine, Propylene Glycol, Sodium Hydroxide, Hexylene Glycol, Potassium Sorbate, Phenoxyethanol, Caprylyl Glycol, Alcohol, Diazolidinyl Urea, Methylparaben, Propylparaben, Mica, Red 33 (Ci 17200), Brown 1 (Ci 20170), Blue 1 (Ci 42090)

  • September 23, 2013

    by Marta

    Sandra, it would be so helpful if you could point out the spelling mistake in the Lauren Hutton article:
    I can't seem to spot it. And, of course, the "mistakes" here - if you could actually point to something specific I would be more than glad to check it out and rectify it if necessary.

  • September 22, 2013

    by Sandra

    Honestly, I want to believe what I read on a site like TIA. But the thing is, the writing here is poor and I find that it competes with the intent for the reader to trust the site.

    There are so many mistakes in this one article, but also all over the site. You even spell model Lauren Hutton's name incorrectly while using her as an example of how you can age gracefully.

    Some of the "scientific" information you give in this article (and on the site) is actually incorrect, as well.

    Please, clean up your act so that you can provide a truly articulate and cohesive site that breaks down the problems of overhyped marketing. At this rate, you run the risk of being just as dubious as some of the "marketing bs" you're talking about here.

  • April 7, 2011

    by Noel

    Hello all!

    This product has been getting a LOT of attention lately, many many many people raving about the extreme results they are getting. Its so popular here in NYC, that I mentioned this product to 5 non-product junkie individuals, all of whom stated they are currently using it.

    Since I was on a Peter Thomas Roth kick, I had to get this! I had used this product a little over a month, though I'm fully aware that scientifically that is hardly enough time to experience the full benefits of a product, however I should have experienced a little more than I did. This is totally IMO and since I'm an extreme product junkie, to the point that only 2 or 3 products have been able to hold my attention longer than a couple of weeks, I have used many many many products that claim to address uv damage, uneven skintone, dark spots, acne spots etc. I did in fact see brighter looking skin after using this for over a month, but nothing dramatic at all. I can't seem to understand what is justifying the word-of-mouth advertising this product has been generating! Now truth be told, I'm a 33 year old male, with olive skin. I don't have photo-damaged skin but I do get the occasional zit which ALWAYS leaves a spot.

    People with more substantial issues with pigmentation would probably benefit more from this product, but i my experience, there are many other serums that provide much better results that are a fraction of the costs.

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