Firm Up with Peter Thomas Roth’s Peptide 21™ Collection

Peter Thomas Roth Peptide 21™ Collection (courtesy via brand) is designed to help aging skin firm and tone, while reducing the appearance of wrinkles via peptides.  This is a brand new launch that you can purchase at Sephora and I have all three of the items in the collection.

Skin type/concerns:  Oily, aging, blemish prone, pores, hyper-pigmentation, fine lines and wrinkles. 

I received these products complementary to review and was not paid.  All reviews are my own honest opinion and  I never have been asked to write copy for a brand.  This blog post might contain promo codes, affiliate and referral links, which using my links will help generate a small commission that helps support my blog at no extra cost to you.

Peptides!!  The amazing Stephen @kindofstephen has some nice posts on peptides, proteins & amino acids at his Instagram account and I highly recommend reading his well thought out articles.

View this post on Instagram

Peptides are having their moment in the cosmetic industry, but what are they?⁣⁣ ⁣⁣ Peptides, amino acids, and proteins are all related⁣⁣ ⁣⁣ Let's start with the smallest; the amino acid⁣⁣ ⁣⁣ An amino acid is a carbon that is bonded to an amine, a carboxylic acid, and another group which varies⁣⁣ ⁣⁣ Glycine is the simplest amino acid. It is a carbon bonded to an amine (NH2), a carboxylic acid (COOH), and a hydrogen⁣⁣ ⁣⁣ Alanine is very similar to glycine. It has an amine and carboxylic acid group, but unlike glycine, it is bonded to a methyl group (CH3) instead of a hydrogen⁣⁣ ⁣⁣ Two or more amino acids can be joined together by peptide bonds.⁣⁣ ⁣⁣ The link is formed between one amino acid's carboxylic acid and another amino acid's amine⁣⁣ ⁣⁣ A peptide is a chain of amino acids, linked by peptide bonds⁣⁣ ⁣⁣ Peptides can be named by the number of amino acids that compose them. The smallest peptide, a di-peptide has two amino acids. Tri-peptides have three amino acids, tetra-peptides have four, and so on⁣⁣ ⁣⁣ Oligo-peptide is often used to refer to peptides with less than 20 amino acids and poly-peptides are often used to refer to peptides with more than 20 amino acids⁣⁣ ⁣⁣ Next up, are the proteins⁣⁣ ⁣⁣ Proteins perform many functions; some are structural (like keratin and collagen), some are enzymes, some are antibodies, some are messengers, and some help transport other molecules⁣⁣ ⁣⁣ Proteins are composed of one or more polypeptides and can be attached to other things, like carbohydrates. All proteins are polypeptides, but not all polypeptides are proteins⁣⁣ ⁣⁣ It's confusing, because there's no hard rule that separates them⁣⁣ ⁣⁣ Some distinctions are based on their function, three-dimensional shape, or number of amino acids (for example, more than 50 linked amino acids)⁣⁣ ⁣⁣ Whether or not it is referred to as a polypeptide or protein often depends on the context and researcher⁣⁣ ⁣⁣ Insulin is composed of 51 linked amino acids and is referred to as a protein hormone or a peptide hormone – depending on the author⁣⁣ ⁣⁣ One of the largest proteins in humans, Titin, is 34,350 linked amino acids. It helps create elasticity in muscles⁣⁣ ⁣ Stay tuned for more!

A post shared by Stephen Alain Ko (@kindofstephen) on

View this post on Instagram

The International Nomenclature of Cosmetic Ingredients (INCI) is a set of rules and guidelines for naming cosmetic ingredients. If possible, all names on an ingredient list should follow INCI guidelines.⁣ ⁣ INCI can be confusing because it doesn't follow the naming conventions which are taught in chemistry courses, like IUPAC or IUBMB.⁣ ⁣ Today we're going to continue our look at amino acids, peptides, and proteins. As a refresher, you can look at my previous post, 'Peptides, proteins, and amino acids'.⁣ ⁣ How are these named in INCI?⁣ ⁣ Let's take milk as an example. The INCI name "Milk Protein" means it's the proteins isolated from cow's milk.⁣ ⁣ "Hydrolyzed Milk Protein" means that these proteins have been broken down, but not completely. It is a mixture of proteins, peptides, and amino acids.⁣ ⁣ "Milk Amino Acids" means that the manufacturer was able to show that the proteins have been broken down into individual amino acids.⁣ ⁣ Ingredient names such as "Avena Sativa (Oat) Peptide", which is the peptides isolated from hydrolyzed oat protein – are grandfathered in. If this ingredient name was newer, it would be called Hydrolyzed Avena Sativa (Oat) Protein.⁣ ⁣ In INCI, synthetic peptides made through organic chemistry are named by how many amino acids they contain. A di-peptide contains two amino acids, a tri-peptide contains three amino acids, and this goes up to deca-peptide which contains ten amino acids. ⁣ ⁣ The prefix oligo- means "a few" and describes peptides that consist of 11 to 100 amino acids.⁣ ⁣ The prefix poly- means "many" and describes peptides that consist of 100 or more amino acids.⁣ ⁣ Peptide names are also followed by an arbitrary number. Let's take Dipeptide-7 as an example.⁣ ⁣ Dipeptide-7 means it is a peptide with two amino acids and the arbitrary number 7. The 7 does not inform us about the structure or function of Dipeptide-7. ⁣ ⁣ Dipeptide-7 contains the amino acids Lysine and Threonine. Dipeptide-3 also contains two peptides, but they are Alanine and Arginine.⁣ ⁣ The amino acid composition of peptides, oligopeptides, and polypeptides are found in ingredient monographs and databases like CosIng

A post shared by Stephen Alain Ko (@kindofstephen) on

I have aging, oily skin so it is difficult to find anti-aging products that work with oily skin. Per its name, these products contain 21 peptides and neuropeptides, which are powerful antioxidants, helping to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, firm and tone your skin, making it more resilient and revitalized.  Peptides smooth the texture of your skin, brighten and moisturize.  They support and maintain the production of collagen and elastin, helping repair damage to your skin. This collection is also free from sulfates SLS, SLES, parabens, formaldehydes, phthalates and mineral oil, just to name a few.

The Wrinkle Resist Serum is my favorite!! This contains 73% peptide and neuropeptide complex along with radiance boosting, skin refining and elasticity natto gum and hydrating, moisturizing squalane.  This also has retinyl palmitate (vitamin A), ascorbic acid (vitamin C), tocopheryl acetate (vitamin E), soy and wheat proteins and sodium hyaluronate.  This is a slick, lightweight creamy serum and it has a slightly bitter scent to it.  All of these products in the Peptide 21™ Collection have less than 1% of an artificial fragrance, so this scent is pretty much the ingredients themselves. This initially increases my moisture levels by 60% and decreases my oils by 66%.   At first, this serum feels very greasy on my skin, but I wait a few minutes for it to dry down and absorb, the oiliness disappears.  It has a slightly tacky feeling on my skin but it also has an immediate firming effect. I mean seriously, my skin looks more firm. However, once I apply the Lift & Firm Moisturizer, that sticky residue disappears, but the toning effect remains.  It’s no wonder it is the most expensive item in the line ~ it is the product that has the most immediate results.  I was initially concerned due to the rose flower water in here, but no adverse reactions at this point!   

Description: This serum helps visibly reduce the look of fine lines and wrinkles. Gamma proteins harness the power of Asian natto gum, a breakthrough ingredient that helps improve the look of elasticity, radiance, uneven skin tone, and texture.  

Ingredients: Water, Glycerin, Rosa Centifolia Flower Water, Isopropyl Myristate, Squalane, Mannitol, Butylene Glycol, Natto Gum, Tripeptide-10 Citrulline, Acetyl Octapeptide-3, Palmitoyl Hexapeptide-12, Acetyl Tetrapeptide-11, Acetyl Hexapeptide-8, Acetyl Hexapeptide-1, Palmitoyl Oligopeptide, Acetyl Tetrapeptide-9, Acetyl Tetrapeptide-2, Tripeptide-1, Palmitoyl Tetrapeptide-7, Hexapeptide-11, Dipeptide Diaminobutyroyl Benzylamide Diacetate, Palmitoyl Tripeptide-5, Trifluoroacetyl Tripeptide-2, Palmitoyl Tripeptide-1, Sodium Polyglutamate, Sodium Hyaluronate, Tocopheryl Acetate, Retinyl Palmitate, Ascorbic Acid, Hydrolyzed Soy Protein, Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein, Lecithin, Pseudoalteromonas Ferment Extract, Acrylates Copolymer, Magnesium Chloride, Polysorbate 20, Dimethyl Isosorbide, Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Leuconostoc/Radish Root Ferment Filtrate, Peg-8 Dimethicone, Disodium Phosphate, Carbomer, Dextran, Sodium Lactate, Tetradecyl Aminobutyroylvalylaminobutyric Urea Trifluoroacetate, Xanthan Gum, Triethanolamine, Sodium Phosphate, , Octyldodecanol, Silica, Sodium Propoxyhydroxypropyl Thiosulfate Silica, Sodium Hydroxide, Caprylyl Glycol, Potassium Sorbate, Sodium Benzoate, Phenoxyethanol cosDNA

Lift and Firm Moisturizer is a lovely creamy lotion and I was a bit concerned that it would be too heavy for my skin type.  This also contains the peptide and neuropeptide complex, along with natto gum and hydrating patented Phytofleur™ Cactus, made from glycerin, water and night blooming cactus.  Phtyofleur will help heal, moisturize and soften, rejuvenating your skin. This cream also has a slight tacky feeling, with the same slight bitter scent as the Wrinkle Resist Serum . It does absorbs well, drying down to a very smooth finish and  it acts like a super duper makeup primer too.  This boosted my moisture levels by over 90% and reduced my oil levels by almost 60%.  It doesn’t leave my skin oily, clog my pores or cause breakouts & my skin feels very tight, but in a good way.  There is something in these products that causes that lifting & firming action.

Description: This formula helps improve the look of elasticity, radiance, uneven skin tone, and texture. Phytofleur™ Cactus, Squalane and a Hyaluronic Acid Complex hydrate the skin, while Trehalose helps to protect against future moisture loss.

Ingredients: Water, Glycerin, Dimethicone, Olive Oil Decylesters, Glycereth-26, Squalane, Butylene Glycol, Behenyl Alcohol, Polysilicone-11, Batyl Alcohol, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Hexapeptide-11, Dipeptide Diaminobutyroyl Benzylamide Diacetate, Palmitoyl Tripeptide-5, Tripeptide-10 Citrulline, Acetyl Hexapeptide-1, Acetyl Tetrapeptide-11, Acetyl Hexapeptide-8, Palmitoyl Hexapeptide-12, Acetyl Tetrapeptide-9, Palmitoyl Tetrapeptide-7, Acetyl Tetrapeptide-2, Acetyl Octapeptide-3, Palmitoyl Hexapeptide-19, Trifluoroacetyl Tripeptide-2, Tripeptide-1, Palmitoyl Oligopeptide, Palmitoyl Tripeptide-1, Potassium Hydrolyzed Polygamma-Glutamate, Sodium Polyglutamate, Squalene, Mica (CI 77019), Sodium Hyaluronate, Sorbic Acid, Tocopherol, Cereus Grandiflorus (Cactus) Flower Extract, Pseudoalteromonas Ferment Extract, Leuconostoc/Radish Root Ferment Filtrate, Magnesium Chloride, Phenoxyethanol, Cetyl Alcohol, Stearyl Alcohol, Trehalose, Glyceryl Stearate, Silanetriol Trehalose Ether, Mannitol, Phytosterols, Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Hydrogenated Lecithin, Polyglyceryl-10 Myristate, Polysorbate 20, Dimethyl Isosorbide, Sodium Benzoate, Potassium Sorbate, Caprylyl Glycol, Sodium Hydroxide, Laureth-12, Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein, Lecithin, Disodium Phosphate, Hydrolyzed Soy Protein, Carbomer, Dextran, Ethylhexylglycerin, Sodium Lactate, Tetradecyl Aminobutyroylvalylaminobutyric Urea Trifluoroacetate, Sodium Phosphate, Xanthan Gum, Triethanolamine, Acrylates Copolymer cosDNA

I love my pad products and I am thrilled with the Amino Acid Exfoliating Peel Pads ~ Not only does this have anti-aging peptides, but it contains a 20% exfoliating complex consisting of phytic acid, salicylic acid and sodium lactate ~ I love the inclusion of a BHA  in here, as that is great for oily skin, going into the pores to remove oil and debris. Astringent witch hazel, TONS of citrus extracts and peppermint, along with vitamins A, C and E. This has a quilted side for physical exfoliation & a smooth side to help pat in the essence.

The pads do have a pH level of a 4, so they are a chemical exfoliator as well ~ this product really has a STRONG bitter medical scent to it, which takes some getting used to.  This is not a leave-on product ~ apply the essence onto your skin, leave for several minutes then wash off.  My only complaint is that it is a wash off product ~ I like my pad products to be leave-on, but at least these do not require a special neutralizer.  They work well, smoothing & refreshing my skin, while providing a much needed glow.

Description: These pads are designed to exfoliate skin to prepare it for treatment products, helping them to absorb better. They also help to reveal beautiful, healthier, younger-looking skin.

Ingredients: Water, Butylene Glycol, Sodium Lactate, Phytic Acid, PPG-5-Ceteth-20, Rosa Centifolia Flower Water, Hamamelis Virginiana (Witch Hazel) Water, Salicylic Acid, Threonine, Glutamic Acid, Serine, Aspartic Acid, Arginine, Alanine, Proline, Valine, Histidine, Glycine, Lysine, Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Flower Extract, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Ascorbic Acid, Retinyl Palmitate, Tocopheryl Acetate, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Borago Officinalis Seed Oil, Symphytum Officinale Leaf Extract, Citrus Limon (Lemon) Peel Extract, Citrus Aurantifolia (Lime) Peel Extract, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Fruit Extract, Citrus Tangerina (Tangerine) Peel Extract, Mentha Piperita (Peppermint) Extract, Salvia Officinalis (Sage) Leaf Extract, Zingiber Officinale (Ginger) Root Extract, Phenoxyethanol, Sodium Hydroxide, Aminobutyric Acid, Potassium Sorbate, Sodium Benzoate, Caprylic/- Capric Triglyceride, PEG-8 Dimethicone, Leucine, Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate, Limonene, Benzoic Acid, Tyrosine, Phenylalanine, Isoleucine, Citric Acid, Octyldodecanol, Silica, Sodium Propoxyhydroxypropyl Thiosulfate Silica cosDNA

A word of warning with the serum and moisturizer ~ you shouldn’t USE a lot of these products.  A little goes a long way (cliché, I know)… too much of these products will result in a sticky mess on your face.  The ingredients that smooth and tighten your skin in here must be also causing the slightly tacky feeling.   That being said, they do reduce my oil levels while boosting my hydration/moisture levels, with that lovely firm taunt appearance.

Second word of warning: The serum and moisturizer come in these beautiful heavy glass bottles, but THEY BREAK so easily.  I have tiled bathroom floors and my moisturizer fell victim to my clumsiness & it broke.  As this is expensive stuff, I scooped up the contents and put it in a Tupperware container.  Peter Thomas Roth, please rethink the packaging.  It is way too easy to break.

All in all, these products in the Peptide 21™ Collection are really nice ~ I found they worked nicely with my oily, aging dehydrated skin.  That said, beauty comes at a cost… the price point is steep from $52.00 to $110.00 ~ they aren’t the most expensive skincare items in the Peter Thomas Roth collections, but it is up there.  I am so happy I got a chance to try these and I will continue to use them to see if the firming and  toning results become more permanent. 

Where to Purchase

Sephora carries an extensive line of Peter Thomas Roth, including the Peptide 21™ Collection

[ some products received  complementary for review purposes. contains affiliate links ]

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.