This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click them and make a purchase, I can earn a small commission. This post is not sponsored, however some of the products mentioned were sent to me from the brand for free in exchange for my honest review.
There are lots of great things about being in your 30s. You’ve got life more figured out. You don’t sweat the small stuff like you did when you were in your teens and early 20s. You have a better sense of who you are, what you want, and how you want to live your life.
The downside? The effects of 30+ years of stress and sun exposure start to rear their ugly heads. Now, I’m not one of those people that freaks out about aging. It’s natural. It happens (if you’re lucky). And I think we’re better off embracing the process rather than trying to fight against it.
That being said, I approach anti-aging skincare with healthy dose of curiosity rather than desperation. Now that I actually have visible lines and such to “correct” I feel like I can properly test out certain products and see if they ACTUALLY do anything. If I happen to look more youthful in the process, great. If not, maybe I can save my readers some of their hard-earned cash.
The most recent anti-aging collection I put to the test was the new Peter Thomas Roth Peptide 21 line. I was sent the whole thing for free through Influenster in exchange for my honest feedback. This line is HELLA expensive, but also touts some amazing claims. Needless to say, I was pretty excited to put it to the test!
What Are Peptides?
So you may currently be wondering, “What’s the big deal with peptides, and why should I care if they’re in my skincare?”. Peptides are protein fragments that have been known to stimulate the production of collagen in the skin when applied topically. As we age, our skin produces less collagen, resulting in lines, wrinkles, and a lack of firmness. Essentially, skincare formulated with peptides can theoretically help to slow the process of aging and keep your skin looking younger, longer.
Peter Thomas Roth’s Peptide 21 line is formulated with a diverse range of 21 different peptides and neuropeptides to effectively treat signs of aging. Neuropeptides, I have learned, interact with neurons in your cells to keep your skin relaxed, specifically minimizing the appearance of expression lines. How that science works I have absolutely no idea, but we’ll run with it for now.
The Peptide 21 formulas are further enhanced with Gamma Proteins derived from Asian Natto Gum (a Japanese food made from fermented soybeans). These Gamma Proteins give the skin radiance, improve uneven tone, and texture.
The Peptide 21 Collection
Okay, so peptides sound pretty awesome. If the claims hold true, I can see why PTR would want to develop a line infused with them. So what exactly IS the Peptide 21 collection? The line contains three products: the Wrinkle Resist Serum, the Lift & Firm Moisturizer, and the Amino Acid Exfoliating Peel Pads, the total cost of which adds up to a mere $240.
(Did I mention this line was hella expensive?)
Now, Peter Thomas Roth is a high-end skincare brand, so the prices on this collection aren’t totally out of line with other products they sell. However, it is certainly one of the most expensive lines they offer.
It does seem, though, that the increase in price is somewhat justified by the potency of the formulas. The ingredients list on all three products is quite impressive, and the packaging and presentation certainly feels quality. The moisturizer and serum are in weighty, light-blocking glass bottles (the peel pads are in a plastic jar) and the overall aesthetic looks very clean and sleek.
So let’s take a closer look at each individual product, and chat a bit about how they’ve worked for me.
Lift & Firm Moisturizer
The Peptide 21 Lift & Firm Moisturizer claims to have a lightweight formula that delivers “intense hydration and leaves skin feeling bouncy, firm, lifted, and younger looking”. It contains 3.4 fl oz of product (100 ml) and retails for $78.
As someone with oily skin, moisturizers are often hit or miss for me. Many of them are too heavy for me to wear under makeup, unless I want to look like a greasy hot mess after a few hours. This formula, though, did live up to its claims of being lightweight, yet intensely hydrating. The texture is also quite unique. The lotion holds its shape when pumped out of the bottle, but feels almost like water when you massage it into the skin.
On its own, it absorbs very quickly into the skin and leaves a very soft, almost matte finish. However, I almost always used this product paired with the accompanying serum, so I feel like that ultimately changed the way things felt.
Wrinkle Resist Serum
Speaking of which, the Peptide 21 Wrinkle Resist Serum is priciest and most potent product of the line. It contains a 73% complex of 21 Peptides and Neuropeptides, along with 2 Gamma Proteins. Each bottle contains 1 fl oz. of product (30 ml) and retails for $110.
One of the first things I noticed about this serum is that the texture feels substantial. I’ve used many a watery serum, and this is not one of them. It does leave the skin slightly tacky, hence my previous comment about the moisturizer, so when I use the two together my skin is relatively dewy.
At the height of the summer when my skin is incredibly oily, this serum is a little much for me to use during the daytime. At night, however, I think it works perfectly fine.
And for those of you who are sensitive to fragrance, both the serum and moisturizer have a very light, pleasant scent to them. It reminds me a bit of the smell of the Fresh Soy Face Cleanser, if you’ve ever used that one before.
Amino Acid Exfoliating Peel Pads
The dark horse of this line (in my humble opinion) is the Peptide 21 Amino Acid Exfoliating Peel Pads. When I first saw these, all I could think of were skin-destroying alcohol-laden toning pads from my teenage years. Fortunately, they are anything but. The Amino Acid Peel Pads are packed full of exfoliating acids, Vitamins A and E, as well as Chamomile and Green Tea. They’re also free of fragrance and alcohol, and are pH balanced.
PTR recommends you start out by using these pads one to three times per week, and can increase up to daily use if your skin can tolerate it. You apply the pad to freshly cleansed skin, leave on for up to three minutes, and rinse off. I did notice a bit of tingling while the peel sat on my skin, but it wasn’t overly intense or uncomfortable.
I was honestly blown away by how my skin looked after even one use of these pads. While I definitely felt that my skin appeared dewy and fresh with just the serum and moisturizer, on the days I used all three products my skin was significantly more plumped and radiant. Having tried many chemical exfoliants in the past, this by far was one of the most effective I’ve used.
Each jar retails for $52 and includes 60 pads. Obviously, how quickly you’ll need to repurchase will be highly dependent on the frequency of use. If you use two pads a week, one jar will last you 30 weeks, or 7-8 months. The jar has a shelf life of two years, so even if you used this as a weekly treatment you wouldn’t have to worry about it expiring before you finish the entire thing.
As much as it pains me, I have to admit that I’ve been nothing short of impressed by this line. With regular use I definitely noticed that my skin looked smoother, more radiant, and more plump. Yes, the price of these products is up there, but if you’re someone that has the budget to invest in high-end skincare, I don’t think you would be disappointed in these products.
If you can’t stomach the price tag of the moisturizer or serum, I feel like the Amino Acid Peel Pads would be an excellent supplement to any skincare regimen. Just remember that chemical exfoliants increase your skin’s sensitivity to the sun, so it’s important to apply SPF on the daily while you’re using them!
If you’ve tried anything from the Peter Thomas Roth Peptide 21 Collection I would love to hear your thoughts! Tell us all about your experience in the comment section down below.