You know the saying, “Work smarter, not harder”? That’s the kind of attitude I have toward skin care. I, like the rest of us overworked millennials trying to maintain a semblance of work-life balance, don’t have time to spare on 15-step beauty routines and hour-long treatments. My beauty routine better be fast or else I’m simply not doing it. Seriously—if it requires an extra step, waiting around for product to develop, or worse, a separate device?! It ain’t happening. As a frustrated math teacher once told me: KISS—Keep it simple, stupid.
In the spirit of cutting corners, I recently replaced my multi-step skin-care routine with Peter Thomas Roth’s new 5-in-1 moisturizer which streamlines five steps into one, very simple cream. The Ultimate Solution 5 Multitasking Moisturizer ($75) firms, brightens, exfoliates, smoothes, and hydrates in one fell swoop which—at least for lazy gals like me—is a dream come true. The best part? It actually works. So much so that it’s the only product I’ve used on my face besides cleanser for the past two weeks.
Apparently, I’m not the only one who wants to shorten their beauty routines. Founder Peter Thomas Roth explains that nowadays, most people want to shrink their skin-care regimens down to something that takes minutes, if not seconds. “Some people just want a quick skin-care routine,” Roth says. While technically a moisturizer, each jar of the Ultimate Solution 5 Multitasking Moisturizer is formulated to skip any extraneous serums and toners all together. “Clean skin is all you need,” Roth says. “Simply apply twice daily after cleansing and use continuously to see the best results… All you need to add is an eye cream and sunblock.”
The secret behind its formidable, multi-tasking powers lies in its complex formulation which is chock-full of derm-approved ingredients. There’s a lot in this cream. But, let’s follow the KISS method and break it down, benefit by benefit:
- Firms: Roth explains a key ingredient is the brand’s proprietary Firma-Cell 5 Complex, which is a blend of peptides (aka, the building blocks of proteins in skin, like collagen and elastin) carefully chosen to improve the look of firmness, fine lines, and wrinkles. True to its name, there are five different anti-aging peptides total to give users a youthful glow.
- Brightens: Vitamin C is a key brightener in this moisturizer, but there’s also lactic acid and maleic acid, which are two types of alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) found in many exfoliants. These plant-based acids slough away the outermost layer of skin to reveal bright, healthy skin underneath.
- Exfoliates: There’s also a blend of beta hydroxy acids, or BHAs, which provide additional chemical exfoliation to rejuvenate skin. As New York dermatologist and fellow skin-care founder, Dennis Gross, MD, previously explained to us, the difference lies in how deep BHAs absorb into skin. “Like AHA, BHA has an exfoliating effect,” said Dr. Gross. “But it penetrates deeper to remove dead skin cells and unclog pores, and because of this, BHA can help your other products absorb better.”
- Moisturizes: Of course, this moisturizer moisturizes. A burst of beloved hydrating ingredients like hyaluronic acid, avocado oil, coconut oil, and collagen quench skin for hours on end, and give it a bit of “bounce” in the process.
- Soothes: Finally, Roth says the soothing ingredients that temper redness inflammation and redness come from ingredients like echinacea, or coneflower, as well as green and white tea extracts. Together, these help balance the skin and get it back to its happy place.
Since I’ve been using Peter Thomas Roth’s 5-in-1 moisturizer, I’ve been nothing short of impressed. For two weeks, I’ve used it just like Roth suggested I do: morning and night, after I cleanse, with nothing else on my skin. And for the most part, it’s done it’s job. Its hydration is definitely the biggest benefit—I find that I don’t need to reapply throughout the day, and that a few dabs on my face and neck actually last for hours on end.
My face feels firmer, too. It’s not Botox-level taut, but it feels healthy and bouncy, especially in areas that tend to sag like my cheeks and chin. More importantly, though, it gives me time to spare. In the time I can cleanse, exfoliate, tone, dab a serum on, dab another serum on, and moisturize, I can just cleanse, moisturize and go. Work smarter, not harder, indeed.