Lauder's relatively new Advanced Night Repair Synchronized Recovery Complex was replaced by this version, which has the exact same name except for the designation of "II" at the end, lest users of the former serum get confused. What's confusing to us is why they changed this product at all, given how similar the "II" version is to what preceded it. Formulary changes were minor, with only two ingredients (propanediol, which aids penetration, and hydrolyzed algin, which is a thickener) added and a handful removed. From our perspective, Lauder missed an opportunity to make a good serum considerably better!
Among the ingredients not present in the latest version of Advanced Night Repair Synchronized Recovery Complex are retinyl palmitate, lecithin, the intriguing plant extract Arabidopsis thaliana, a gel-like thickener, Green 5 (a dye), and a couple of preservatives, including methylparaben (which, despite media reports is perfectly safe for skin). Otherwise, despite different claims, this re-launch isn't a quantum leap ahead of the previous formula; in fact, if you routinely use the previous product, we doubt you'll notice any difference with the "II" version. And if you're wondering whether you should finally try Advanced Night Repair, wonder no more: This is a good serum though not among the best out there, and certainly not for what Lauder is charging.
Lauder claims that this version of Advanced Night Repair somehow stirs a "natural nighttime purification process" that's "vital" to getting and keeping younger skin. That sounds compelling, but the truth is that skin cannot tell time. With one exception (sunscreen actives) the ingredients that benefit aging skin the most are needed around the clock. Examples would be antioxidants and repairing agents, both ingredient categories Lauder uses in this serum as well as lots of others they (and the brands they own) sell. Despite claims of exclusive technology, this serum doesn't have the nighttime edge for aging skin. And what, exactly, is being "purified"? That makes it sound as though aging skin is somehow aligned with impure (read: dirty) skin, which is inaccurate. Skin is attempting to repair itself every second of each day—there's no research proving nighttime is the right time for anti-aging benefits.
Just as with the previous version of this serum the "II" formula contains tripeptide-32 and a friendly type of bacteria known as lactobacillus. Like many other peptides, tripeptide-32 has theoretical cell-communicating ability. It's theoretical because getting a peptide to reach its target site within the skin is difficult due to the presence of enzymes in skin that work to break down the peptide before it has a chance to work as claimed. However, tripeptide-32 appears to have a protective effect against proteins that damage cells, though there is no research proving it works when applied in small amounts to intact human skin (Sources: Neuroscience Letters, Volume 419, 2007, pages 247-252; and Folia Pharmacologica Japonica, Volume 129, 2007, page 18P). Still, it's a step in the right direction and clearly shows Lauder put some thought into the formula.
Lactobacillus ferment has multiple health benefits when consumed orally, but there is no research proving its merit for topical application on skin (Source: www.naturaldatabase.com). All told, this fragrance-free serum is suitable for all skin types, and leaves a slightly tacky finish on skin, but it's not a must-have anti-aging product or shining example of the best Lauder has to offer for signs of aging.
- Contains a good mix of vitamin- and plant-based antioxidants.
- For the major promotional push this is getting, the formula isn't an impressive revamp.
- Maintains a somewhat tacky finish rather than the silky-smooth finish today's best serums have.
- The claims surrounding nighttime purification are odd.
Address key signs of visible aging with exclusive ChronoluxCB™ Technology for more comprehensive and precise nighttime care. The advanced serum promotes a natural nighttime purification process vital to younger-looking skin. The formula has been tested and proven to reduce lines and wrinkles, smooth, hydrate and strengthen skin and give you a younger, radiant more translucent glow. Proven effective for every ethnicity.
Water, Bifida Ferment Lysate, Methyl Gluceth-20, PEG-75, Bis-PEG-18 Methyl Ether Dimethyl Silane, Butylene Glycol, Propanediol, Cola Acuminata (Kola) Seed Extract, Hydrolyzed Algin, Pantethine, Caffeine, Lectithin, Tripeptide-32, Ethylhexylglycerin,Sodium RNA, Bisabolol, Glycereth-26, Squalane, Sodium Hyaluronate, Oleth-3 Phosphate, Caprylyl Glycol, Lactobacillus Ferment, Oleth-3, Oleth-5, Anthemis Nobilis (Chamomile), Yeast Extract, Choleth-24, Hydrogenated Lecithin, Ceteth-24, Tocopheryl Acetate, Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate, Mexylene Glycol, Carbonmer, Triethanolamine, Trisodium EDTA, BHT, Xanthan Gum, Phenoxyethanol, Red 4, Yellow 5.
From its humble but attention-getting beginning in 1946, Estee Lauder has grown to become a multibillion-dollar company whose products are sold all over the world and advertised in just about every fashion and women's lifestyle magazine you can think of. Their product assortment is mind-boggling and would be much more frustrating to wade through if their tester units weren't so well-organized and their salespeople so well-trained. (Although most of what they talk about is claim-driven and not worth paying much attention to, they do know their way around the huge assembly of products.)
We suppose the biggest compliment We can pay to the venerable Estee Lauder line is that their state-of-the-art moisturizers and serums have had a hand in redefining how we evaluate products. They (and some Lauder-owned companies, notably Clinique) are so far ahead of their department-store competition in these two areas that they alone have been consistently raising the bar as new research comes to light. In fact, we are confident telling anyone who asks me where to find the best moisturizers in the department store to sail right past Lancome, Chanel, Clarins, Shiseido, and Elizabeth Arden (among others) and park themselves in front of the Lauder counter (or a Lauder-owned line specializing in skin care such as Clinique—definitely not Origins, but you have to read about Origins to see why). We don't agree with most of the claims Lauder makes for their products and the fragrance is often intrusive, but when it comes to formulary excellence culminating in products that give skin what it needs to function optimally, they are tough to beat.
Despite Lauder's formulary innovations, they're not immune to problem products. Some of their cleansers contain irritating ingredients, jar packaging is prevalent, and their sole product for acne isn't going to help anyone's blemishes improve (actually, Estee Lauder is not the line to shop if managing acne is your concern). The company has also taken a somewhat "if you can't beat 'em, join 'em" approach, much like the many skin-care companies with cosmetic products targeted at women considering cosmetic corrective procedures. Some of the claims (and statistics) about what their skin-care alternatives (to these procedures) can accomplish still stretch the boundaries of what's possible, but most of them have impressive ingredients that benefit skin. They just can't change skin in the same effective way a cosmetic corrective procedure can.
There are more reasons than ever to consider Estee Lauder. Their products (surprisingly) don't address every skin-care need or concern, but few lines in this book received so many Paula's Pick ratings, and congratulations are due for developing products that, claims aside, keep Lauder on the cutting edge of a very competitive industry. And, by the way, all of this praise is coming from the standpoint that Lauder was resolutely unhelpful in sending us any information for this book.
For more information about Estee Lauder, call (877) 311-3883 or visit www.esteelauder.com.
Estee Lauder Makeup
Although Estee Lauder has made some impressive strides with its skin-care formulations, their makeup collection has become a frustrating mixed bag. We were genuinely surprised at how many average makeup items have recently appeared. Of course, there have also been some improvements, most notably in the foundation, eyeshadow, and lipstick categories. But for such an established, worldwide brand to not have more to extol is almost embarrassing. That attitude of bigger and better things is there in the descriptions, but the products tell a different story.
The most frustrating element by far is the number of foundations with sunscreen that either lack essential UVA-protecting ingredients or carry an SPF rating that is below standard. In contrast, the sunscreens in Lauder's skin-care lineup are almost all top-notch. Even more perplexing is that Lauder's sister company Clinique really has its act together when it comes to foundations with UVA-protecting ingredients, and they feature a lower price point for superior products.
Despite the shortcomings, many women will continue to shop for makeup at their local Lauder counter, and there is still reason to do that—just not with the same blanket sense of confidence you may have had in the past. This is an exhaustive makeup line, with seemingly endless choices. We like that Lauder's makeup tester units are much more user-friendly, particularly for foundations, powders, and concealers. Their sales staff is more enthusiastic and present (often to the point of hovering) than the staff of many competing lines, but also quite helpful and up-to-date on product comings and goings. We feel strongly that you won't be disappointed with any of the Lauder makeup rated Paula's Picks below. Without question, those products are shining examples that prove Lauder has the capability to elevate the current state-of-the-art, raising the bar for their competitors. If only such innovation were evident in the entire line, there would be few reasons to shop elsewhere, save for the prices. As is, and more than ever, it pays to be a savvy consumer when you're about to navigate the cosmetics department.