This serum reigns above every other Boots product in terms of reader curiosity due to reports this serum is comparable to tretinoin, the active ingredient in Retin-A and Renova. The research was carried out by scientists at the University of Manchester, with the conclusion that this Boots serum was just as effective at stimulating collagen production as tretinoin, yet costs considerably less. That sounds great until you learn that Boots paid for the research, which means they had a vested interest in making sure the study made their product look great. Also, because the study was done "blind" instead of double-blind, the researchers knew who was getting which treatment. This type of study isn't as reliable as double-blind studies because, especially when money is at stake, there is a natural bias toward making sure the product in question comes out in the best possible light.
"Our studies show" is a major attention-getting technique used in cosmetic advertising and press releases. Studies are great and vital to understanding how skin works and what helps skin work better, but not all studies are created equal and one study is not definitive of anything. Further, a study paid for by the company selling the product is ALWAYS circumspect. It's not that the study may not be valid, but the bias is present from the beginning and that must always be taken into consideration.
More to the point, any legitimate research would include the negative studies as well or compare other products from other lines. No one has even seen a cosmetic company tell you about the studies they did where the product tested didn't work or if other products from other companies worked as well. One more point: comparing a product to tretinoin in a short period of time is just absurd. Tretinoin works over time (there's abundant research about that), it initially makes the skin worse due to the irritation it can cause, such that over time there is no way to know what the results would have been.
Protect & Perfect Beauty Serum is silicone-based and contains a small amount of vitamin C as sodium ascorbyl phosphate (which research has shown is not as effective as ascorbic acid, though it is more stable). A nearly insignificant amount of vitamin A (as retinyl palmitate, not retinol as claimed) and other antioxidants hardly makes this an anti-aging product worth any amount of frenzy. Its vitamin C content and other attributes are not even worth mild enthusiasm when you consider that several companies offer serums that are infinitely more state-of-the-art. And if you're looking for peptides (or hope that the ones used in this Boots serum will spell certain doom for your wrinkles), this isn't the product that will flood your skin with them. In fact, there are more preservatives than peptides in this fragrance-free serum. Despite out dispelling the hype this product generated (and remember, it all began with funding from Boots, and no one else has reproduced the results from their "study"), it can be a good serum-type moisturizer for all skin types, and the silicones make skin feel wonderfully silky.
This product comes in translucent glass packaging that will compromise the stability of the vitamin C and vitamin A unless this is constantly kept away from light.
By the way, there is plenty of substantiated, published research indicating that topically applied vitamin C can stimulate collagen production, but so can a lot of other ingredients (for example any sunscreen comes to mind), but you would need more vitamin C than what is in this Boots serum. (Sources: Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology, June 2006, pages 150-156; Pharmaceutical Development and Technology, November 2006, pages 255-261; Dermatologic Surgery, July 2005, pages 814-817; and Experimental Dermatology, June 2003, pages 237-244).
Keep in mind that one skin care ingredient is never enough for skin just like one type of food (like broccoli) doesn't make for a healthy diet. It is the combination of healthy substances that is truly the best for skin, there isn't one miracle ingredient to be found anywhere.
And by the way, even Boots doesn't believe their own claims or they wouldn't be selling dozens of products making the same promises about getting rid of wrinkles. If the one they launched works what are all the others for?
Reveal younger looking, beautifully refined skin with this powerful blend of caring and skin restoring ingredients. Light and non-greasy, it glides on instantly softening and smoothing your skin. Then, with regular use, it works to renew your complexion, restoring radiance and helping to reduce the appearance of pores, fine lines and wrinkles in just 4 weeks.
Cyclopentasiloxane, Water, Butylene Glycol, Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Cyclohexasiloxane, Glycerin, Dimethicone Copolyol, Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate, Polysorbate 20, Magnesium Sulfate, Phenoxyethanol, Sodium PCA, Retinyl Palmitate, Methylparaben, Propylene Glycol, Lupinus Albus Seed Extract, Carbomer, Butylparaben, Ethylparaben, Tetrasodium EDTA, Propylparaben, Isobutylparaben, Panax Ginseng Root Extract, Morus Alba Leaf Extract, Tocopherol, Palmitoyl Oligopeptide, Sodium Hydroxide, Palmitoyl Tetrapepetide-3
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, you’ll 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.
The Beautypedia and Paula’s Choice Research teams have one mission: To help you find the best products for your skin, whether they’re from Paula’s Choice or another brand. By combining efforts, we’re able to share scientific research and remain committed to the highest standards based on our decades of experience objectively reviewing thousands upon thousands of skincare and makeup formularies in all price ranges.
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