This serum claims to reduce enlarged pores as it minimizes wrinkles by plumping the skin. Some of that plumping may result from the high amount of fennel seed extract, a plant that's a known skin irritant and photosensitizer, which means it can make skin more sensitive to the effects of sunlight (Sources: Journal of Medicinal Foods, September 2011, pages 986–1001; and www.naturaldatabase.com). Irritation is not good skin care because it can cause collagen to break down and potentially stimulate more oil production.
This product also contains numerous other plant extracts and, although none of them have a special ability to shrink pores, each provides antioxidant benefits, so it's a shame we cannot recommend this serum because of the amount of fennel and its irritant potential. See More Info for why irritation is a problem for skin.
This does have a silky texture, but its finish is a bit tacky, so it's not quite as elegant as many other serums. Overall, despite some very good anti-aging ingredients, this serum isn't the best way to reduce the size of pores while smoothing wrinkles. A well-formulated BHA exfoliant will go a lot further toward addressing both concerns, and you can follow with an anti-aging serum loaded with antioxidants and skin-repairing ingredients, sans irritants. See our list of Best BHA Exfoliants for our top picks!
- Lightweight yet hydrating formula helps moisturize dry skin.
- Contains several plant-based antioxidants and some intriguing water-binding agents.
- High amount of fennel seed extract puts skin at risk of irritation.
- Cannot reduce enlarged pores.
- Price is out of line for what you get.
Daily use of products that contain a high amount of fragrance, whether the fragrant ingredients are synthetic or natural, causes chronic irritation that can damage healthy collagen production, lead to or worsen dryness, and impair your skin's ability to heal. Fragrance-free is the best way to go for all skin types. If fragrance in your skin-care products is important to you, it should be a very low amount to minimize the risk to your skin (Sources: Inflammation Research, December 2008, pages 558–563; Skin Pharmacology and Physiology, June 2008, pages 124–135, and November-December 2000, pages 358–371; Journal of Investigative Dermatology, April 2008, pages 15–19; Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology, March 2008, pages 78–82; Mechanisms of Ageing and Development, January 2007, pages 92–105; and British Journal of Dermatology, December 2005, pages S13–S22).
Helps strengthen the skin's natural support network to minimize the appearance of wrinkles and effectively diminish the look of enlarged pores for skin that looks full and plump. Its silky texture is instantly absorbed into skin, leaving it velvety soft.
Water\Aqua\Eau, Propanediol, Glycerin, Butylene Glycol, Foeniculum Vulgare (Fennel) Seed Extract, Ginkgo Biloba Leaf Extract, Pyrus Malus (Apple) Fruit Extract, Polygonum Cuspidatum Root Extract, Scutellaria Baicalensis Root Extract, Laminaria Saccharina Extract, Hibiscus Sabdariffa Flower Extract, Anogeissus Leiocarpus Bark Extract, Cucumis Sativus (Cucumber) Fruit Extract, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Sigesbeckia Orientalis (St. Paul's Wort) Extract, Centella Asiatica (Hydrocotyl) Extract, Ethylhexyl Palmitate, Acetyl Hexapeptide-8, Caffeine, Biotin, Isostearyl Alcohol, Butylene Glycol Cocoate, Betaine, Tocopheryl Acetate, Acetyl Glucosamine, Carbomer, Ethylhexylglycerin, Saccharomyces Ferment Filtrate, Sodium Benzoate, Sodium Hyaluronate, Lecithin, Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate, Potassium Sorbate, Fragrance (Parfum), Citric Acid, Sodium Hydroxide, Silica Dimethyl Silylate, Ethylcellulose, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Sodium Citrate, Tetrasodium EDTA, Phenoxyethanol.
From its beginnings as a spa line developed for French aestheticians in the late 1950s, Darphin's core belief is that beauty comes from inner balance and harmony of the body, mind, and soul. This vision was truly new decades ago, and while it sounds great as an image-enhancing philosophy, it never translated, either back then or now, into progressive products that will make a significant difference in the appearance of your skin. In fact, among all of the skin-care lines espousing natural ingredients and botanical extracts, Darphin is the least impressive, with inadequate, dated formulations. Close competitor (and forerunner) Clarins at least includes several daytime moisturizers with sunscreen and also offers a complete collection of sunscreens for the body. Not so with Darphin, whose sunscreen selection is limited at best. Apparently, inner balance involves putting your skin at risk for wrinkles, discolorations, sagging, and, potentially, cancer.
Estee Lauder acquired Darphin in 2003, but that investment has resulted in little improvement or change to this line, options that are desperately needed. Almost without exception, Darphin products are vastly overpriced for what you get. Many of them contain problematic ingredients or plants whose benefit for skin is unknown or merely anecdotal.
As you might expect, most of the anti-aging claims Darphin makes for its products stem from the exotic to commonplace plants and plant extracts they contain. Although it's appealing to think that familiar substances such as ginseng, sandalwood, and corn can firm skin and improve the signs of aging, they do no such thing. Adhering to Darphin's skin-care routines (all of which involve multiple products, most with redundant formulas) would leave skin vulnerable to sun damage, and the many fragrance components found in products throughout the line increase the chance that skin will suffer a phototoxic reaction when exposed to sunlight. Considering the premium prices of these products, that's a lot of potential for a literal and figurative burn!
For more information about Darphin Paris, owned by Estee Lauder, call (866) 880-4559 or visit www.darphhin.com.