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Product Reviews

Estée Lauder Perfectionist [CP+] Wrinkle Lifting Serum

Estee Lauder Perfectionist [CP+] Wrinkle Lifting Serum: ($55/$80/$135 for 1.0 oz/1.7 oz/3.4 oz)

Positives: There are high amounts of the antioxidants skullcap, black mulberry, and grape extracts. Due to its arbutin and therefore hydroquinone content, the black mulberry extract can theoretically inhibit melanin production, which can result in a more even complexion. However, you aren’t going to get anywhere near the results you’d get with hydroquinone alone. There are also high to moderate amounts of the anti-inflammatories chamomile, corn, licorice, lady’s thistle (which also acts as an antioxidant), and soybean, as well as several epidermal barrier components such as squalane, sodium PCA, glycerin, cholesterol, and linoleic acid. Finally it contains tiny amounts of vitamins E and C, as aminopropyl ascorbyl phosphate, and palmitoyl oligopeptide, the latter which has been shown to increase collegen production in fibroblasts. Whether or not the peptide can actually penetrate from the stratum corneum to the fibroblasts is unknown and dependent on vehicular base among other things. However, like most peptides, it will function as a water-binding agent.

Neutrals: Interspersed between these positive ingredients are ones that have no proven or studied benefits for the skin like St. Paul’s Wort, clary, barley, and fish collagen. Estee Lauder most likely includes them to encourage consumers to think that more beneficial ingredients are included than the amount actually present. It’s just a marketing technique. Thankfully, even with the inclusion these “neutral” ingredients, this product is still excellent.

Negatives: None, as expected from Estee Lauder. There is a tiny amount of fragrance, but probably not enough to cause irritation.

Packaging: This is housed in a semi-opaque bottle with a pump. Just make sure to store it away from sunlight.

Overall: This very silky serum is a fantastic product that I recommend wholeheartedly for all skin types. I’m not saying there aren’t equally good products for less money, but looking at the labyrinth of options out there, this one takes the cake, or at least a part of it! This does contain mineral pigments that cast a soft glow, but nothing as intense as a liquid highlighter.


PS = [[[PIS – 0] x WIC] + [TPS x WPC]] x 100%

PS = [[9.5/10 x 2/3] + [3/3 x 1/3]] x 100%

PS = [19/30 + 3/9] x 100%

PS = [57/90 + 30/90] x 100%

PS = 87/90 x 100%

PS = .967 x 100%

PS = 96.7%

AS = A

Check the Product Review Rubric for a full explanation on how I rate products.


Cyclopentasiloxane, Water, Polysilicone-11, Dimethicone, Hdi/Trimethylol Hexyllactone Crosspolymer, Silica, Butylene Glycol, Yeast Extract, Scutellaria Baicalensis Extract, Morus Nigra (Mulberry) Root Extract, Sigesbeckia Orientalis (St. Paul’s Wort) Extract, Salvia Sclarea (Clary) Extract, Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Fruit Extract, Hordeum Vulgare (Barley) Extract, Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Flower Extract, Triticum Vulgare (Wheat) Germ Extract, Zea Mays (Corn) Kernel Extract, Glycyrrhiza Glabra (Licorice) Root Extract, Narcissus Tazetta Bulb Extract, Boswellia Serrata Extract, Silybum Marianum (Lady’s Thistle) Extract, Fish (Pisces) Collagen, Polysorbate 40, Ethylhexylglycerin, Caffeine, Cholesterol, Hydrolyzed Fish (Pisces) Collagen, Pentylene Glycol, Whey Protein, Pantethine, Creatine, Glycine Soja (Soybean) Protein, Glycerin, Peg-10 Dimethicone, Sodium Pca, Ammonium Acryloyldimethyltaurate/Vp Copolymer, Linoleic Acid, Glyceryl Polymethacrylate, Polyquaternium-51, Squalane, Propylene Glycol Dicaprate, Acetyl Carnitine Hcl, Acetyl Hexapeptide-8, Phytosphingosine, Sodium Hyaluronate, Adenosine Phosphate, Aminopropyl Ascorbyl Phosphate, Peg-8, Disodium Distyrylbiphenyl Disulfonate, Lecithin, Palmitoyl Oligopeptide, Disodium Nadh, Caprylyl Glycol, Decarboxy Carnosine Hcl, Laurdimonium Hydroxypropyl Hydrolyzed Soy Protein, Sodium Beta-Sitosteryl Sulfate, Fragrance, Sodium Chondroitin Sulfate, Tocopheryl Acetate, Hexylene Glycol, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Sodium Chloride, Xanthan Gum, Disodium Edta, Phenoxyethanol, Titanium Dioxide, Mica.

About John

The Triple Helixian is an unbiased science and research-based site that attempts to clarify and elucidate questions about skin care, while aspiring to be the most thorough and complete source of information.


10 thoughts on “Estée Lauder Perfectionist [CP+] Wrinkle Lifting Serum

  1. Would this be suitable for someone who’s in mid 20? As a start into using serums? What’d you recommend?

    Posted by Cendana K (@blushfully) | January 15, 2012, 11:38 pm
    • Of course this can be appropriate for you. Skin care is mostly about preventative maintenance, meaning that skins of differing ages all need the same things! Don’t ever believe the idea that your skin will get used to a certain type of ingredient if used consistently. Of course there are exceptions to this rule, like hydroquinone, but most ingredients like antioxidants do follow this rule. I’ll be doing a future post about this idea.

      I’d recommend picking up a generous sample and seeing if you like the texture and if it breaks you out, etc.

      Posted by John | January 16, 2012, 3:33 pm
  2. Wondering how this compares to Idealist. These products are such a mystery to me.

    Posted by Tammy | November 27, 2011, 8:43 pm
  3. How would one use this in a skincare routine? Serums are a mystery to me.

    Posted by Dottie Graves | November 26, 2011, 2:23 pm
    • Well serums typically employ silicone vehicular bases, which give them that silky texture. Silicones are great because they inhibit oxidation of sensitive ingredients and provide a breathable but water impermeable surface. There in lies its negativity. Because it’s impermeable, most products that you apply on top of it will just sit there and not penetrate into your skin. Any penetration will be nil at best. So if I used this product, I would apply it as my night-time moisturizer; it would be the last thing I apply. If you still have more questions about this, feel free to ask me through email, comment, Facebook, or Twitter! I’m here for you guys!

      Thanks for writing!

      Posted by John | November 26, 2011, 4:49 pm
      • Thank you so much; that really helps.

        I wonder if the impermeability means I could use this for daytime under minimal makeup, say a dusting of a powder blush, if I so chose. I don’t wear foundation or concealer, and I live in the UK where sunlight is pretty minimal, so I tend to skip SPF-based moisturisers (haven’t found one yet that doesn’t make my skin break out). At most I use a tiny bit of blush to give my cheeks some colour, but if that reacts with this product, then I would skip either the blush or the product.

        I do have dry skin, and I’ve noticed over the past year or so that my skintone is becoming uneven (noticeably darker around eyes and chin). I’ll be 30 this year, and lines and wrinkles are starting to appear – I’m not best pleased about that! Something that would act as a moisturiser and even out my skin would be great for me, plus fighting lines and wrinkles would be great. It looks like this is an option that might be worth my consideration, if I understood the post correctly. However you also say your post, “I’m not saying there aren’t equally good products for less money”.

        Can you give me a few other ideas to consider that are on par? Thanks so much! I really love your blog and can’t wait for more product reviews.

        Posted by Dottie Graves | November 28, 2011, 3:37 am
        • Hey Dottie,

          The texture of this can definitely be used as a primer/moisturizer under makeup due to its high silicone content, which gives this a very slippery and silky feel. However, I wouldn’t recommend this product as your sole moisturizer since it doesn’t have many emollients and occlusive agents. Try working it into your routine as see how you like it and how your skin reacts.

          Now, I would still recommend that you try to use sunscreen, either chemical or physical, because although there isn’t much direct sun light, UVA but not UVB rays are present almost as strongly as they are on a sunny summer day. And UVA rays are the more dangerous kind since they penetrate more deeply into the skin.

          Finally, some serums (moisturizers that employ silicone bases) that are on par include the Estee Lauder Nutritious Vita-Mineral Radiance Serum which is $40/oz, as well as the Beauticontrol Regeneration Overnight Retinol Recovery Serum. The Skin Balancing and Skin Recovery serums from Paula’s Choice are just as good as well. The one I use from PC, the RESIST one that I use (in my opinion,) is definitely a step above all of them. But you did ask for “on par” ones xD.

          Thanks for reading and commenting! I hope this information can help you.

          Posted by John | November 28, 2011, 9:35 am
      • I already own this–should I apply it over my Retin-A at night? Will it help moisturize my flaky cheeks?

        Posted by AwwRITE | August 23, 2012, 11:11 am

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