The Peter Thomas Roth brand philosophy is simple but impressive – “breakthrough formulas, astonishing results”. With this in mind the geeks couldn’t resist looking into the science behind one of their hottest products. Peter Roth’s passion for skin care is evident and who better to come up with skin care solutions than a man whose interest in this area started as a quest to solve his own personal skin care concerns.

The Claims

Astonishing results are exactly what this treatment mask claims to produce and is what we’re hoping to find. The infusion of 24K Gold and Colloidal Gold is said to help lift and firm the skin and ‘impart an opulent glow’. But gold isn’t the only exciting ingredient in this products formula, with the rest helping to tighten, firm and plump up the skin, re-energising it to reduce the ageing effects of stress. Let’s investigate the ingredients and see if they can live up to these bold claims!

The Science behind the Bottle


Gold is a big feature in this formula with it containing both Ci 77480 (pure 24 karat gold) and colloidal gold. Throughout history gold has been used as a treatment for many skin problems and Cleopatra has even been said to have worn a gold mask every night to keep up her famous youthful look. If it’s good enough for Cleopatra…

There has been a huge hype in the beauty industry over the last few years, with skincare lovers desperate to start wearing more gold…on their face. It has been suggested that gold is able to minimise collagen breakdown and boost elasticity under the skins surface, which in turn will plump and firm the skin to reduce wrinkles. Unfortunately there isn’t a whole lot of supporting evidence for this claim, only anecdotes from women experiencing a ‘gold rush’ after using it.

Another form of gold used in skincare products is “colloidal gold,” which simply means that the gold particles have been reduced in size and suspended in a liquid formula. There is some research to suggest this type of gold could help with rheumatoid arthritis because of assumed anti-inflammatory properties. However, there is very little evidence of this ingredient having a positive effect on our skin and we would definitely like to see more benefits before we can give gold our seal of approval.

Glow Particles

The Geeks think that mica, iron oxides and titanium dioxide are the ingredients that are more likely to leave a sparkling complexion. These ingredients are well known for delivering skin luminosity by simply reflecting light (similar to a highlighter) but again aren’t particularly special and can be found in lots of products. Whilst we love these ingredients in primers, highlighters and daytime moisturisers, these ingredients don’t have any long-term skin benefits and you’re likely to wash the majority off whilst removing this mask.


We’re always excited to see the word caffeine when we’re feeling a little tired or run down and it seems caffeine doesn’t just belong in your kitchen. Over the last few years caffeine has become a star in the beauty world and with good reason too. As a potent antioxidant it protects our skin cells from environmental pollutants and UV damage that would otherwise be a big problem, manifesting as premature ageing of the skin. Caffeine has been shown to increase circulation to allow more oxygen rich blood to reach our cells and to help new cells flourish. This can help to improve complexion by helping to firm the skin to leave you looking radiant.

Hyaluronic Acid and Glycerin

For an anti-ageing mask that’s designed to plump the skin and deliver intense hydration we’re pleased (but not surprised) to see humectants such as hyaluronic acid (sodium hyaluronate) and glycerin on the formula list. They are featured in the top three ingredients so are likely to be present in fairly high concentrations for that hydrating punch to have the desired effect.

Hyaluronic acid has the unique ability to retain water in huge amounts – one molecule alone is able to hold 1000 times its own weight in water! Increasing the content of water in the skin will help to maintain a plump, luminous appearance helping to increase skin tissue volume and elasticity for all round younger looking skin. Who can say no to that?

Backing up hyaluronic acid is glycerin, a second humectant in the formula that is able to further hydrate the skin by increasing the water content of the stratum corneum (outer layer) from the lower layers of the skin to leave it looking and feeling more hydrated. Hydrated skin will help to reduce the look of fine lines and wrinkles and glycerin has the added bonus of improving the skins protective barrier to prevent excess water loss.

The Verdict

The Geeks don’t think we’ve struck gold with this product at all. Although we highly rate caffeine, hylauronic acid and glycerin and these ingredients live up to the firming, plumping and hydrating claims set out by Peter Thomas Roth, they aren’t exactly ground-breaking (you can find them in many other products with smaller price tags!). Without any known benefit of gold and the skin sparkle more likely coming from the more common iron oxides and mica, we won’t be splashing out £55 for this “luxury” product.

You can find Peter Thomas Roth 24K Gold here (UK) or here (USA)

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Glycerin, Water, Sodium Hyaluronate, Caffeine, Olivine Extract, Colloidal Gold, Pentylene Glycol, Carbomer, Sodium Hydroxide, Potassium Sorbate, Sodium Benzoate, Sodium Metabisulfite, Mica, Phenoxyethanol, Gold (Ci 77480), Iron Oxides (Ci 77491), Titanium Dioxide (Ci 77891).