Cold Plasma, one of Perricone’s best-selling products, makes some high claims. Created after five years of research, it contains a powerful cocktail of antioxidant, peptides, and other goodies touted to be capable of correcting the ten most visible signs: wrinkles, enlarged pores, dryness, redness, discolouration, uneven skin tone, impurities, loss of firmness, loss of smoothness, and loss of radiance. But does it really work?
What Perricone Says
A revolutionary anti-aging product represents Dr. Perricone’s most comprehensive research to date and is the result of five years of development. Through Dr. Perricone’s patented delivery system, Cold Plasma offers the skin all it needs for optimal health. Cold Plasma helps correct the ten most visible signs of aging: wrinkles, enlarged pores, dryness, redness, discoloration, uneven skin tone, impurities, loss of firmness, loss of smoothness, and loss of radiance. Whatever your age or skin type, Cold Plasma delivers extraordinary results. A patented, revolutionary delivery system that drives essential nutrients deep into the skin and acts as an ideal base to layer targeted treatments for enhanced results.
Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate and Ascorbyl Palmitate
Vitamin C is one of the most beneficial ingredients used in skincare. Studies have shown that it can fight free radicals, boost collagen production, enhance the effectiveness of sunscreen, brighten skin, and even reduce dark and sun spots. Cold Plasma contains two forms of Vitamin C, Ascorbyl Palmitate and Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate.
Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate penetrates more deeply and is more stable than other forms of Vitamin C. Even so, no form of Vitamin C (or any other antioxidant for that matter) should ever be packaged in a jar. That’s because these ingredients degrade, losing a bit of their effectiveness, whenever they are exposed to light and air.
I know some people who love this moisturizer and, to keep it stable and effective, pour its content in an opaque, air-tight bottle but, at this price point, that shouldn’t be necessary. The brand should take care to package it properly.
Retinyl Palmitate is a combination of retinol (pure Vitamin A) and Palmitic Acid. It is easily absorbed into the skin, where it is converted first into retinol, then retinaldehyde, and finally into retinoic acid. Because it undergoes so many conversions, it is less effective, but gentler, than other forms of Vitamin A.
Like all forms of Vitamin A, retinyl palmitate is an effective antioxidant that can fight the premature signs of aging, such as wrinkles, and dark spots. But it, too, needs to be packaged in an air-tight, opaque tube or bottle to remain stable, and effective for long.
Peptides are very popular at the moment. Cold Plasma contains quite a few. Oligopeptide-17 and Acetyl Hexapeptide-8 are said to fight wrinkles by inhibiting muscle movement; Palmitoyl Oligopeptide stimulates collagen production; and Palmitoyl Tetrapeptide-3 reduces inflammation.
Peptides are a bit controversial because no one knows exactly how they work yet. Their molecules are too big to penetrate skin, but it is suggested they are effective even when left of the surface on the skin, where they signal to skin receptors present there how cells should behave.
Dimethyl MEA (DMAE)
Touted as a “facelift in a jar” for its ability to firm skin, DMAE is quite a controversial ingredient. Why? Because we don’t know how it works exactly nor how safe it is. A 2007 study has found that DMA can damage skin cells, suggesting that it’s as a reaction to this damage that skin thickens.
A later study, performed in 2009, confirmed that DMAE thickens skin, and found that it increase skin’s hydration as well, but didn’t detect any side effects. Further research on DMAE is needed to figure out just how good (or bad) it is for skin.
But there’s another concern. According to Paula Begoun, DMAE, to be effective, must be formulated at a ph of 10, which is highly alkaline (not good for skin) and can cause dryness. Skincare products are formulated at a much more skin-friendly ph (5.5-6.5 range), and, if Cold Plasma is too, then DMAE won’t be able to do much anyway.
Further considerations on the formula
The revolutionary delivery system used by Perricone in Cold Plasma is simply Phosphatidylcholine, which has the ability to help other ingredients better penetrate into the skin. Glycerin, drawing water from the environment into the skin, provides some hydration.
I was less thrilled to see Isopropyl Plamitate on the label. This ingredient, when used in high doses, never fails to break me out. Yet, I know many people who can use it without experiencing any side effects. Still, if you have oily skin, you may want to avoid it, just in case.
Full Ingredient List
Aqua (Water), Glycerin, Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate, Phosphatidylcholine, Isopropyl Palmitate, L-Tyrosine, Butylene Glycol, Glyceryl Stearate, PEG-100 Stearate, Cetearyl Alcohol, Oligopeptide-17, Ceteareth-20, Magnesium Aspartate, Zinc Gluconate, Dimethyl MEA (DMAE), Docosahexaenoic Acid, Ascorbyl Palmitate, Phenoxyethanol, Dimethicone, Caprylyl Glycol, Glycolic Acid, Retinyl Palmitate, Saccaromyces Ferment, Elaeis Guineensis (Palm) Oil, Carbomer, Disodium EDTA, Tocotrienols, Copper Gluconate, Polysorbate 20, Sorbic Acid, Tocopherol, Sodium Hyaluronate, Acetyl Hexapeptide-8, Palmitoyl Oligopeptide, Astaxanthin, Palmitoyl Tetrapeptide-3
You can buy Perricone Cold Plasma at Sephora. A 1oz jar will set you back a whopping $155.00!
The Bottom Line
I would be a lot more impressed with Perricone Cold Plasma if it were packaged in a tube or bottle. The formula is good, but the jar packaging compromises the efficacy of its most beneficial anti-aging ingredients.