RoC is one of those cosmetic companies that makes me shake my head in disbelief. I still don't understand how it won a Prescriptions Magazine award last year. When I saw its latest anti-aging beauty product in its Complete Lift line (just launched in Europe but not yet in the US), my first thought was how does it get away it. RoC Complete Lift Lifting Face & Neck Roll On (Euro 30) uses – or perhaps I should say hides behind - technology to sell itself to unsuspecting consumers.  This consists of a roller applicator and something more nebulous called “anti-sagging technology”.

RoC has used the roller format before in an eye cream but for some reason the Face & Neck Roll On is described as a breakthrough. I am not really convinced that this kind of applicator is more effective than a finger and I am even less won over by the anti-sagging technology. This is something that RoC calls THPE + Bugrane. I spent some time researching this and I was definitely not on a roll when it came to turning up hard information.

The THPE is tetrahydroxypropyl ethylenediamine, a name so long that it should be sufficient unto itself. But no, it goes by many others and there’s not much information on any of them. It is variously described as a neutralizing agent (used by detergent makers), a chelating agent, and as a skin irritant according to Contact Dermitis. It is also a cross-linking agent and catalyst for use in polyurethane coatings and rigid foams. So what’s it doing in a face cream?

Well, under the name of Quadrol, it turns up as a collagen booster. I found a research study with results indicating that Quadrol promotes in vivo collagen synthesis in mice. It seems to have been around for a while. According to a patent registered in 1988, Quadrol was used to combat bacterial infection, remove degenerated tissue, and promote new tissue growth.

The other component in RoC’s lifting technology, bugrane, is a botanical extract from a plant called ononis spinosa, or more commonly as spiny restharrow. It actually has merits as a skincare ingredient because it is an anti-inflammatory, although it is typically used to treat kidney stones. Although it has some antioxidant properties, tests show that it doesn’t perform as well as other plants.

There’s some glycerin and xylitylglucoside, a wheat-derived humectant that increases the water content of skin. And that is it. There are no other actives in RoC Complete Lift Lifting Face & Neck Roll On. The rest of the ingredients are preservatives (including, I would bet, the tocopherol) and fillers. I won't be holding my breath for it to launch in the US.

Ingredients

Tetrahydroxypropyl ethylenediamine, dimethicone, glycerin, Tetrahydroxypropyl ethylenediamine, nylon-12, dimethicone, crosspolymer, dicaprylyl carbonate, ammonium acryloyldimethyltaurate/VP/copolymer, bisabolol, ononis spinosa root extract, allantoin anhydroxylitol PEG-12 dimethicone, C13-14 isoparaffin, butylene glycol, xylitylglucoside, xyilitol, sclerotium gum, polysorbate 20, laureth-7, polyacrylamide, citric acid, tocopherol, ethylparaben, phenoxyethanol, propylparaben, methylparaben, parfum, aqua