When I first started exploring skin care, my go-to resource was Paula’s Choice. Any product I was thought about buying had to be checked against her Beautipedia reviews. I originally bought this serum because it had an excellent review on Paula’s Choice and it was readily available to me through Sephora.

Looking back on it, I realize that Paula’s Choice is a great place to start, but not the be-all and end-all of skin care. I have now bought my own set of cosmetic text books to look up ingredients, plus I have become proficient at looking up said ingredients on PubMed and Google Scholar.  Now, I like to amalgamate information from many sources instead of just trusting one source.  That said, I still love the Paula’s Choice Cosmetic Ingredient Dictionary and use it regularly.

Estee Lauder Perfectionist CP+R Wrinkle Lifting/Firming Serum

Product information:

From the Estee Lauder website:

Our most effective wrinkle-fighting serum ever.

It dramatically reduces the appearance of lines and wrinkles, with exceptional speed. Facial contours appear firmer and more defined.

Breakthrough CPR-75 Technology is proven to double skin’s natural collagen building power.*

(*In vitro testing of CPR-75 Technology after 1 week)


Dimethicone, Water, Polysilicone-11, HDI/Trimethyl Hexyllactone Crosspolymer, Silica, Butylene Glycol, Caprylyl Methicone, Sigesbeckia Orientalis (St. Paul’s Wort) Extract, Salvia Sclarea (Clary) Extract, Coleus Forskohli Rott Extract, Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Flower Extract, PEG-10 Dimethicone, Hydrolyzed Fish (Pisces) Collage, Palmaria Palmata Extract, Glycyrrhiza Glabra (Licorice) Root Extract, Silybum Marianum (Lady’s Thistle) Extract, Hordeum Vulgare (Barley) Extract, Padina Pavonica Thallus Extract, Artemia Extract, Pantethine, Aglae Extract, Chlorella Vulgaris Extract, Cholesterol, Squalane, Boswellia Serrata Extract, Zea Mays (Corn) Kernel Extract, Glycine Soja (Soybean) Protein, Caffeine, Whey Protein, Linoleic Acid, Lecithin, Fish (Pisces) Collagen, Acetyl Hexapeptide-8 Palmitoyl Oligopeptide, Glycerin, Yeast Extract, Polyquaternium-51, Phytosphingosine, Triticum Vulgare (Wheat) Germ Oil, Decarboxy Carnosine HCL, Polysorbate-40, Pentylene Glycol, Propanediol, Lauryl PEG-9, Polydimethylsiloxethyl Dimethicone, Ethylhexylglycerin, Ammonium Acryloyldimethyl Taurate/VP Copolymer, Sodium PCA, Propylene Glycol Dicaprate, Sodium Chondroitin Sulfate, Sodium Hyaluronate, Isohexadecane, PEG-8, Tocopheryl Acetate, Polysorbate-80, Disodium Distyrylbiphenyl Disulfonate, Laureth-12, Acrylamide/Sodium Acryloyldimethyltaurate Copolymer, Caprylyl Glycol, Aminopropyl Ascorbyl Phosphate, Xanthan Gum, Sodium Beta-Sitosteryl Sulfate, Sodium Chloride, Sodium Hydroxide, Fragrance, Disodium EDTA, BHT, Phenoxyethanol, Mica, Titanium Dioxide

The CosDNA analysis is here.

Ingredient Spotlight

Sigesbeckia Orientalis (St. Paul’s Wort) Extract: A plant extract that may have anti-inflammatory properties.

Salvia Sclarea (Clary) Extract: A plant extract that functions as an antioxidant and an antimicrobial.

Coleus Forskohli Root Extract: A plant extract with skin conditioning and wound healing abilities.

Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Flower Extract: A plant extract that acts as both an antimicrobial and antioxidant.

Palmaria Palmata Extract: Algae extract that acts as an anti-inflammatory and antioxidant.

Glycyrrhiza Glabra (Licorice) Root Extract: Licorice is a potent anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and antimicrobial, and is known to reduce skin hyperpigmentation.

Silybum Marianum (Lady’s Thistle) Extract: A plant extract that functions as an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory.

Hordeum Vulgare (Barley) Extract: A plant extract that functions as an antioxidant

Padina Pavonica Thallus Extract: Algae extract that acts as an anti-inflammatory and antioxidant.

Artemia Extract: Algae extract that acts as an anti-inflammatory and antioxidant.

Chlorella Vulgaris Extract: Algae extract that acts as an anti-inflammatory and antioxidant.

Boswellia Serrata Extract: Also known as Indian frankincense, this plant extract is an antioxidant and may stimulate collagen production in the skin, but can cause irritation for some.

Glycine Soja (Soybean) Protein:  A plant extract that acts as an anti-inflammatory and antioxidant.

Triticum Vulgare (Wheat) Germ Oil: A plant oil that acts as an emollient and skin-conditioning agent.

Estee Lauder Perfectionist CP+R Wrinkle Lifting/Firming Serum


This serum comes packaged in a square clear purple container with a gold pump. The serum itself is white and creamy, and glides smoothly across the skin. One pump dispenses a pea-sized amount, which is all that’s needed to cover my entire face. I have been using this serum for approximately six weeks. I typically used this twice daily: after my vitamin C serum in the morning and after my retinol or AHA in the evening.

This serum is lovely to use. Aside from all the beneficial ingredients, it has enough silicones to glide across the skin and make the skin feel silky to the touch. It wore well under makeup and didn’t cause any piling when incorporated into the rest of my routine.

Estee Lauder Perfectionist CP+R Wrinkle Lifting/Firming Serum

The product claims are as follows:

Instantly, lines and wrinkles are plumped and smoothed. Skin feels smooth, looks fresher, younger.

In 1 week, a new level of skin perfection and clarity emerge.

In just 4 weeks, skin looks redensified and reclaims a youthful firmness and suppleness. 96% showed a significant reduction in the look of lines and wrinkles.

So we have two broad categories of claims here: instant and long term. Instantly, there are moisturizing ingredients in this formula to plump skin, albeit this effect is temporary. In addition, the silicones and polymers in this formula will fill shallow wrinkles and temporarily optically blur them. As for the long term, I have some shallow fine lines across my forehead that I watched like a hawk while I was testing this product. I was eager to see if they would have a significant reduction, like promised in this serum’s advertisement. Spoiler alert: I saw no difference. I have a sneaking feeling that wrinkles are beyond the ability of this cream to repair. However, the formula is jam packed with antioxidants and anti-inflammatories that may function to keep more lines from appearing and lines already present from getting worse.


I love this serum. It has tons of skin beneficial ingredients and enough of a silicone slip to leave skin silky soft. It never did anything major to help the look of my wrinkles, with the exception its of moisturizers and polymers temporarily plumping my skin. In all honestly, though, I know that it’s beyond the mere power of a cream to fill in wrinkles, so the fact I didn’t have improvement in my forehead lines wasn’t a surprise.  Still, I feel that the inclusion of so many skin beneficial ingredients  outweighs this issue.  Would I repurchase this serum? Absolutely yes!


  • oodles of skin beneficial ingredients
  • wears well under makeup
  • leaves skin soft and wrinkles temporarily plumped
  • no long term wrinkle reduction
  • recommended to purchase

Score: 5/5

Where to buy: Sephora



Amaro-Ortiz, A., Yan, B., & D’Orazio, J. A. (2014). Ultraviolet radiation, aging and the skin: prevention of damage by topical cAMP manipulation. Molecules (Basel, Switzerland), 19(5), 6202–6219. http://doi.org/10.3390/molecules19056202

Cosmetic Ingredient Dictionary A – Z: Cosmetics Cop Expert Advice. (n.d.). Retrieved 28 February 2015, from http://www.paulaschoice.com/cosmetic-ingredient-dictionary/

Firuzi, O., Miri, R., Asadollahi, M., Eslami, S., & Jassbi, A. R. (2013). Cytotoxic, Antioxidant and Antimicrobial Activities and Phenolic Contents of Eleven Salvia Species from Iran . Iranian Journal of Pharmaceutical Research : IJPR, 12(4), 801–810.

Hong, Y.-H., Weng, L.-W., Chang, C.-C., Hsu, H.-F., Wang, C.-P., Wang, S.-W., & Houng, J.-Y. (2014). Anti-Inflammatory Effects of Siegesbeckia orientalis Ethanol Extract in In Vitro and In Vivo Models. BioMed Research International2014, 329712. http://doi.org/10.1155/2014/329712

Jain A.K., Dixit, A., Mehta, S.C.  (2012). Wound healing activity of aqueous extracts of leaves and roots of Coleus aromaticus in rats. Acta Pol Pharm.  Nov-Dec;69(6):1119-23.

Michalun, M. V., & Dinardo, J. C. (2015). Milady Skin Care and Cosmetic Ingredients Dictionary (4th ed.). Clifton Park, NY, USA: Cengage Learning.

Winter, R. (2009). A consumer’s dictionary of cosmetic ingredients: complete information about the harmful and desirable ingredients found in cosmetics and cosmeceuticals. United States: Three Rivers Press.


Updated November 19, 2015 for formatting and addition of a where to buy link