(I see a lot of you are arriving at this post through web-search, I will really appreciate if you can leave me a comment with feedback.)
I might understand and write about skincare and its importance but to be absolutely honest I am a huge slouch when it comes to my skincare routine! After a long day of work and unending chores all I want to do is hit the bed. More often than I would like to admit, sleep takes priority over skincare. With my slacker attitude in mind I wanted to get my hands on something that guaranteed results, was no – nonsense, quick and potent; so I decided to burn a hole in my pocket and get the famed brown bottle of the Estee Lauder – Advanced Night Repair Synchronized Recovery Complex II.
95 USD = 6200 INR for 50 ml (I got mine from Macy’s USA)
- Claims to reveal a smoother, more radiant, younger look.
- Claims to be tested and proven: Advanced Night Repair dramatically reduces the look of all key signs of aging.
- It maximizes the power of skin’s natural nighttime renewal with the brands ChronoluxCB™ Technology.
- Lines and wrinkles look significantly reduced. More than 75% of women felt their skin looked more youthful in just 4 weeks. Skin feels smoother, hydrated, stronger. 82% felt their skin was immediately hydrated. Skin looks younger, radiant, more even toned. 83% felt their skin looked healthier, fresher, more rested in just 4 weeks.
For this product its important to take a detailed look at the ingredients primarily because of those massive claims and the product’s high price point.
- Water – Distilled water commonly used in cosmetics.
- Bifida Ferment Lysate – a Probiotic present naturally in the gut. Research related to this is relatively new and not much. Some evidence suggests that this Probiotic can be effective strengthening skin barrier resistance. It is also found in several other serums, such as the popular Lancome Advanced Genefique Youth Activating Concentrate.
- Methyl Gluceth-20 – Methyl Glucose Polymer, a derivative of corn sugar and corn starch – a gentle water-retention and skin-conditioning agent.
- PEG-75 – compound of Polyethylene Glycol and Lanolin, an emulsifier and lubricant which gives the skin a soft and smooth appearance.
- Bis-PEG-18 Methyl Ether Dimethyl Silane – water-soluble silicone wax, an emollient and skin-conditioning agent that gives skin a lasting soft and silky feel.
- Butylene Glycol – (1.3-Butanediol) is a small organic alcohol used as solvent and conditioning agent due to its humectant property.
- Propanediol – Propylene Glycol, hydrating and smoothing solvent. It has hydrating properties that leave a smooth, dewy finish
- Cola Acuminata (Kola) Seed Extract – Derived from extract of the Kola Nut, it contains Caffeine and has stimulating, astringent and anti-irritant properties.
- Hydrolyzed Algin – also called Brown Algae is an antioxidant-rich, thickening emollient showing evidence of photo-chemo-prevention and protects from adverse effects of UVB. It is also a humectant and a skin conditioning agent.
- Pantethine – also known as Pantothenic acid or Vitamin B5, there is evidence that this ingredient promotes wound healing, supports collagen synthesis, and has a moisturizing effect by reducing trans-epidermal water loss.
- Caffeine – is an antioxidant with anti-inflammatory properties that can improve skin-redness (but in some cases can be irritating) that can protect from UV radiation and photo-aging of the skin. It’s often included in skincare products with claims that it will improve the look of cellulite or puffy eyes but there isn’t enough conclusive research about this.
- Lecithin – Phospholipid compound found in egg yolks and animal cell membranes, used as an emollient and as a water binding agent.
- Tripeptide-32 – also known as Chronolux™, a cell-communicating polypeptide designed to encourage activation of certain genes normally only active by day (CLOCK-Circadian Locomotor Output Cycles Kaput) and PER1 (Period Homolog 1) to promote cellular longevity, encourage DNA repair, and inhibit environmental cell damage. Although there isn’t a lot of research to back these claims.
- Ethylhexylglycerin – often used as a skin-conditioner and as a preservative or carrier for preservatives. Some evidence of contact allergy in some people.
- Sodium RNA – salt of Ribonucleic acid, which is involved in the coding, regulation and expression of genes. Minor evidence of anti-inflammatory benefits when applied topically.
- Bisabolol – a resin obtained from Chamomile extract – an anti-irritant & reduces inflammation.
- Glycereth-26 – Synthetic Glycerin-based ingredient used as an emollient and thickening agent in cosmetics.
- Squalane – oil that can be derived from plants (typically Olives) or from shark livers, and from sebum. A skin-identical, moisturizing compound with antioxidant and immune-stimulating properties.
- Sodium Hyaluronate – salt form of Hyaluronic acid, Humectant – a skin-identical repairing ingredient that helps increase hydration and reduce moisture loss.
- Oleth-3 Phosphate – Oleths act as surfactants, allowing greasy substance to be washed away easily.
- Caprylyl Glycol – skin-conditioning agent,that may be plant-derived or synthetic, used as part of a preservative blend in cosmetics.
- Lactobacillus Ferment – derived from Lactobacillus, some recent evidence of anti-inflammatory benefits for the skin.
- Oleth-3 & 5– Oleths act as surfactants, allowing greasy substance to be washed away easily
- Anthemis Nobilis (Chamomile) – plant extract that contains anti-inflammatory A-Bisabolol and has antioxidant and skin soothing properties.
- Yeast Extract – source of beta-glucan, a potent antioxidant. Has been shown to stimulate wound healing, but research to date is limited
- Choleth-24 – oil- and water-soluble emollient and lanolin alternative, used as a thickening agent
- Hydrogenated Lecithin – Hydrogenated form of the skin-restoring ingredient lecithin.
- Ceteth-24 – a surfactant and emulsifier
- Tocopheryl Acetate – aka Vitamin E, a highly potent antioxidant, skin-protective and skin-repairing.
- Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate – aka Octinoxate or Octyl Methoxycinnamate, used as a UVB filter in sunscreen deemed safe up to concentrations of 7.5% but can produce free radicals that can lead to cell death and mutations. Here the concentration is just 0.10% of the formula and likely used to protect the formula itself from UV degradation.
- Hexylene Glycol – solvent, some studies have shown that it is an irritant.
- Carbomer – thickening agent used to create a gel-like texture
- Triethanolamine – Used in cosmetics as a pH balancer and emulsion stabilizer.
- Trisodium EDTA – Chelating agent used to prevent other ingredients from bonding with each other
- BHT – Butylated Hydroxytoluene, a potent antioxidant. Some controversy around toxicity and carcinogenicity when consumed in large doses but deemed safe in low concentrations when applied topically.
- Xanthan Gum – Natural ingredient used as a thickening agent, texture enhancer, and to stabilize emulsions, which is a general term for mixtures of unlike substances such as oil and water.
- Phenoxyethanol – preservative that’s considered one of the least sensitizing for use in formulations.
- Red 4 – is a synthetic dye produced from petroleum; this dye is FDA-approved for use in food, pharmaceuticals and cosmetics.
- Yellow 5 – Yellow 5 is a synthetic pigment also known as Tartrazine.
This serum is packed in a brown plastic bottle (its thick and almost feels like glass). The dark colour of the container is to protect the antioxidant ingredients from degenerating due to light. It has a simple dropper affixed to the lid, which allows you to dispense the contents without touching the rest of the formula.
Texture & Scent:
The consistency of this serum is slightly dense and it is not very runny. So when used on an absolutely dry face I need around 4-5 drops but if I have a slightly damp face (which is the ideal way to use a serum) 3 drops is enough. It has a dull amber colour and has a slight medicinal scent which I noticed is due to the ingredients and not due to any added fragrance.
First Impression (Used for a month):
It is slightly slimy but goes on smooth. The skin absorbs it quickly but I definitely feel a sense of tackiness on the face. If you live in a hot humid climate you will definitely feel the sticky-ness much more. I use this as PM skincare after toning. Ideally it needs to be followed by a moisturizer but that just becomes too much and too heavy during the humid rainy season. But in the winter days I look forward to seeing how it works with a moisturizer on top.
After the sticky feeling passes, I feel that my face is adequately moisturized. I wake up with a very hydrated face and soft facial skin. This is an attribute of the number of skin-conditioning agents it has in its ingredients.
If you have ever spent time in a coastal humid area and know the feeling of waking up with slightly sticky but well moisturized skin – that is exactly how this serum behaves. It brings the humidity to you! The immediate effect is quite surprising and impressive.
This product claims to promote skin radiance and youthfulness. To do that it sports a number of ingredients in the formula that condition the skin and support collagen production. How it works over a longer period of time needs to be tested.
The claim that says it enhance the skin’s ability to repair itself at night by “synchronizing” night-time renewal – initially I thought this was some too-good-to-be-true marketing jargon. But after studying some more on the subject I am motivated to see how the inclusion of Tripeptide-32 (which they refer to as “ChronoluxCB™ claimed to re-activate genes that are normally only active in daylight) will work to promote skin repair as I sleep over time. (If you are interested in reading about this ingredient in detail, check resources here and here)
If you are a skincare ninja and someone who is already using high concentration and strong formulations of Acids you will not be wow-ed. But if you are someone with a relatively simpler skincare routine this will definitely surprise you with its immediate effect.
It will especially benefit those with skin ageing issues through its formulation of ingredients like caffeine, Hydrolyzed Algin and Pantethine and encouraging skin hydration attributed to Sodium Hyaluronate and numerous other skin conditioning agents in the ingredient list. Folks with dry skin will love it!
If you have the budget this might just be worth checking out. Let me know in the comments if you have tried it and what has your experience been?
Update | 8 January 2018
I also tried the Estée Lauder- Advanced Time Zone Age Reversing Line/Wrinkle Creme which has surprised me with the results. Before making a purchase decision you might want to check this post.
Update | 23 March 2018
A lot of people have been inquiring regarding the price, so I have decided to mention it here:
Buying the bigger bottle of 50 ml will cost you 98$ and 30 ml will cost 60$ so buying the bigger size is a slightly better deal. I got mine from the USA so the dollar value but if you were to buy this in India it will cost you significantly more.
I paid 95 USD = 6200 INR for 50 ml and Nykaa retails it for 7900 INR! So if you get a chance to buy this outside of the country while travelling or via friends and family opt for that option. The other advantage of buying it outside is the free samples/ gifts. I got this and it was really helpful.