Cover Feature

Peter Thomas Roth: The Man, The Brand and the Future of Skincare

Photo courtesy of Peter Thomas Roth

For Peter Thomas Roth, skincare is more than just the future; it has also been a huge part of his family’s past. Roth was born to Hungarian immigrant parents, and his father’s parents owned and operated two spa resorts in Hungary over 100 years ago, which led Roth to grow up around traditional Hungarian skincare practices. Roth then started his now-famous eponymous skincare label in 1993 for a simple reason: his own struggles with acne, fine lines and wrinkles left him seeking his own skincare solutions.


“It’ll be 30 years ago next year, [I started], I did it as a hobby,” Roth said. “It was just a hobby, it wasn’t much more than that, just putting together 20 products, half for acne, half for wrinkles, and we decided on the packaging and everything, and it just took off. Slowly but surely, it keeps moving forward. It blossomed every year.”


While Peter Thomas Roth (PTR) has grown immensely and risen to great popularity over the past 29 years, Roth himself still has a very hands-on approach to the company’s day-to-day responsibilities.


“I’m always working on what new products are coming out,” Roth said. “We own our own lab in New Jersey, so whatever products are coming out for the following year we’re tweaking and making better, thinking about ideas for the year after that and putting together presentations. Anything you visually see, from PTR, I was involved with in some way or another. Then I’m just dealing with the general supply chains, and all those issues.”


In addition to his own website and beauty giants Ulta and Sephora, Roth also distributes his products through QVC television network, which has kept Roth busy with Skype-in television appearances.


“Part of my week is I can do one to five QVC Skype-in sessions a week, so I’m always squeezing that in,” Roth said. “So in my home I made into my little QVC studio.”


When Roth and his team are working on new products, their main focus is to ensure that they are using the most cutting-edge ingredients on the market to give consumers the greatest benefits possible.


“We always use the newest, hottest ingredient at the highest level possible,” Roth said. “So, retinol is very strong, we have a niacinamide that’s very strong, hyaluronic acid that’s super strong; we have several franchises and they’re all concentrated super strong. We have a lot of superhero products.”


Because the Peter Thomas Roth team dedicates themselves to perfecting their formulas, the results can be truly amazing. The brand’s Instant FIRMx Eye Temporary Eye Tightener has even recently gone viral on TikTok in a video with over 42 million views for its incredible results, making it the number-one-selling eye treatment in the U.S.A. (per NPD).


“Putting aside acne, (that’s a whole other shelf), moisturization, fine lines, wrinkles and uneven skin tone, that’s kind of where all the products kind of gear to,” Roth said. “Then I mix up a lot of ingredients into nice cocktails to make the products very effective and to help them work. Meanwhile, almost everything is unscented, I don’t really like scent, and I try to make it light. Even the super hydrating one, while it’s very heavy-duty it doesn’t make you feel like you have heavy, greasy cream on your face.”


While the company makes a variety of products for many different skin concerns, what does Roth’s personal daily skincare routine look like?


“First I wash my face every day with [our] Anti-Aging Cleanser, which is orange,” Roth said. “If I need moisturization I use the Water Drench moisturizer because it’s light as a cloud. I personally enjoy the Skin to Die For primer because it totally mattifies me and blurs out my face, which I like. And I dip a little in a lot of other things, I have a lot of masks, eye patches, retinol. I use a lot, sometimes it’s like 10 to 15 products a day.”


With the holiday season in full swing, Peter Thomas Roth products also make perfect gifts for both skincare gurus and skincare novices alike.


“We have all these great gift boxes at Sephora and Ulta, and Instant FIRMx Eye is the best gift, everyone wants it,” Roth shared.


Peter Thomas Roth also has several new products entering the market next year. Two of these exciting new releases are coming soon in January of 2023. These include Instant FIRMx No-Filter Primer, which tightens, firms and blurs fine lines, wrinkles and pores, and Water Drench Rich Cloud Cream, a new rich formula of the original lightweight (up to 72 hours of hydration) Water Drench Hyaluronic Cloud Cream, which provides up to 120 hours of enhanced moisture and helps improve your skin’s moisture barrier.


“For January we are launching Instant FIRMx No-Filter Primer, which is for your entire face, which is brand new and gives you that tightening feeling, but is not as strong, it’s more like a primer, which is going to be super hot and a big deal in January,” Roth said.

“Then Water Drench moisturizer, we’re bringing out a rich formula called Water Drench Rich, which is richer than the current one, those are our two big January launches,” Roth continued.

With Peter Thomas Roth typically launching around 6 products per year, there is also sure to be even more cutting-edge skincare products for skincare gurus everywhere to look forward to in 2023.