Protect & Perfect Intense Beauty Serum
Boots lauded this product based on the results of a 12-month study they performed. The results were that 70% of the “volunteers” using this product showed a “marked improvement” in the appearance of their sun-damaged skin. That’s hardly surprising, given that this serum contains some ingredients that can help sun-damaged skin look better, just like countless other serums and moisturizers. Regardless, the study claim is bogus because this so-called study wasn’t published or peer-reviewed. We don’t know if it was done double-blind, if the effect of the Boots serum was compared with the effect of other products, or even if the participants were using other products at the same time. For example, if they were using sunscreen during the test period that would have had far more impact than this serum as far as the results go. As is, this “study” is meaningless and poses more questions than answers, but it does make for great marketing headlines that I’m sure the media splashed all over the place.
In short, there is no real evidence that this is the serum everyone with sun-damaged skin needs. Based on the ingredient list, this isn’t anything special for anyone’s skin. It’s remarkably similar to Boots No7 Protect & Perfect Beauty Serum—the very same one that caused a frenzy a few years back because it was said to work as well as tretinoin without the irritation. If that serum (which the company still sells) is so remarkable, why do they need another version with a nearly identical formula? The logical answer is that they want to continue the marketing hype of its progenitor and sell more product using this thinly veiled pseudo-science. Don’t fall for it; this serum pales in comparison to many others, including several from Olay and Neutrogena. The only intense thing about it is the name, not what it does for aging skin.
Note that this serum is sold in Canada as No7 Refine & Rewind Beauty Serum.
Originating in England, Boots is named after founder John Boot, and it already had a worldwide presence before its 2004 pilot launch in the U.S. retail market through select Target and CVS drugstore. (Note: Boots is no longer available at CVS.) Its success in these stores led to a full-scale launch in spring 2007. Boots has been part of England's cosmetic history since 1839, and now over 1,500 freestanding Boots stores dot the British landscape. Of course, history has its place, but Boots, on the basis of their longevity, believes that it offers consumers the best products full of quality ingredients and also at a value price. Although it's true that Boots' price point is lower than many drugstore lines (at least those whose products make similar claims and have the same target audience), their line consists of some impressive options, but also contains some areas that left us wanting for more.
Boots sunscreens tend to be good, but be aware that some have SPF ratings below the benchmark SPF 30+. Although there are dozens of moisturizers available, youll find that many are indistinguishable from one another in terms of their formulas. While there are many great options for sensitive skin among the Boots line, there are much fewer choices for those seeking impressive anti-aging formulas due to the lack of beneficial ingredients.
Boots does feature antioxidants, peptides, and retinyl palmitate (a form of vitamin A not to be confused with pure retinol) in many of its products, but they tend to be present at less than impressive, or jar packaging compromises their benefits to skin due to light & air exposure.
You'll find some great options for cleansers, scrubs, sunless tanners, and treatments for dry, chapped lips, all at fair prices, and that's good news. (There are also quite a few impressive makeup products at surprisingly inexpensive prices.) Check our reviews for the products that shouldn't be missed (as well as the less-than-impressive options).
For more information about Boots, call (866) 752-6687 or visit www.boots.com.
Note: Boots No7 and Botanics brands (only) are sold in Canada at Shoppers Drug Mart stores. In the U.S., most of the lines can be found at Target, Walgreens, and Ulta. As of August 2015, Boots has been acquired by Walgreens.
Strengths: Inexpensive; outstanding options for sensitive skin; good sunscreens; some impressive makeup products.
Weaknesses: Occasional use of jar packaging; some formulas with limited amounts of beneficial ingredients.
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.