FIRMx Peeling Gel
FIRMx Peeling Gel relies on fruit-based enzymes and a novel ingredient known as r-Bacillus licheniformis to peel skin. This ingredient may be a good keratolytic, which is a fancy way of stating that it exfoliates ("peels") keratin, the chief protein in skin, but the only research on this ingredient showing it can do that was on bird feathers (Source: Canadian Journal of Microbiology, March 2005, pages 191–196). So, of course, the next question is: What do bird feathers have to do with our skin? The answer is that the two don't have much in common, so it's a leap of faith to believe that what works to break down feathers will also work to break down dead, dull skin cells!
What about the enzymes this contains? Although those can break up and exfoliate dead skin cells, they are difficult to keep stable in a cosmetic formulation; in fact, in most cases, their activity is reduced simply by virtue of how cosmetics are manufactured. In essence, you'll get more reliable results exfoliating with an AHA or BHA product than with products that depend on enzymes. You can check out our top-rated options on our list of Best Exfoliants.
Otherwise, the manner in which this gel exfoliates is more in line with a topical scrub, only in a weird way. The directions say to apply to skin and then massage in a circular motion to "roll, lift, and sweep away dead cells," and then rinse it off just as you would a scrub. You're directed to leave the concoction on longer for "extra enzymatic action," but, as stated above, assuming those ingredients could remain stable, it's better to leave them on skin rather than rinse them off. In the end, this is more of an overpriced scrub than a state-of-the-art way to peel skin.
- The scrub action will make skin feel smoother.
- Expensive for what amounts to a scrub, not a peel.
- Cannot "decongest pores" as claimed, and the scrub effect isn't the best for use over blemishes.
Multi-action enzymes (pineapple, pomegranate, keratinase) and cellulose effectively peel and help uncover a smooth, fresh, new complexion without drying, irritating or causing undue stress to skin. Removes impurities and decongests clogged pores for a youthful, radiant look.
Peter Thomas Roth At-A-Glance
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.
Even more impressive are the well-formulated cleansers, sunscreens, AHA products, and skin brighteners. 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.
After all that glowing praise, what you should be aware of are the instances of products containing potential irritants (noted in their respective reviews) as well as the products in jar packaging that contain ingredients which are sensitive to air and light.
For more information about Peter Thomas Roth, call (800) PTR-SKIN or visit www.peterthomasroth.com.
About the Experts
The Beautypedia team consists of skin care and makeup experts personally trained by the original Cosmetics Cop and best-selling beauty author, Paula Begoun. We’re fascinated by skin care and makeup products and thrilled when they meet or exceed our expectations, but we’re also disappointed when they fail to perform as claimed, are wildly overpriced, or contain ingredients scientific research has proven can hurt skin.
Our mission has always been to help you find the best products for your skin, no matter your budget or preferences. Beautypedia’s thorough and insightful reviews cut through the hype and provide reliable recommendations for all ages, skin types, and skin tones.