Tested on animals:Yes
This is a very good moisturizer for dry to very dry skin, but the price and packaging are a problem. Also on the edge of ludicrous are the claims, but more on that in a moment.
Formula-wise, this earns praise for including proven emollients along with several antioxidants, some cell-communicating ingredients, and a nice mix of skin-identical ingredients. Note that the state-of-the-art ingredients in this moisturizer also are found in many others moisturizers (including others from Lauder) that don’t come with Re-Nutriv’s high blood pressure–inducing price tag.
As exciting as the formula is, the jar packaging is a problem, and a big disappointment given the price. The jar packaging means that most of the beneficial ingredients won’t remain stable once you begin using this moisturizer. All plant extracts, vitamins, antioxidants, and other state-of-the-art ingredients break down in the presence of air, so once a jar is opened and lets the air in, these important ingredients begin to deteriorate. Jars also are unsanitary because you’re dipping your fingers into them with each use, adding bacteria, which further deteriorate the beneficial ingredients.
Turning to the claims, they’re indeed spellbinding, but you have to wonder: If this is Lauder’s “ultimate” answer to aging skin (they promote it as being the most amazing formula ever), then what are all of their other antiwrinkle/lifting/firming products for? Is Re-Nutriv the real deal, and the other, less expensive products and the products from other Lauder lines such as La Mer or Clinique just a waste of money?
You may be impressed that this moisturizer contains gold. Yes, gold is luxurious and expensive, and a hallmark of the Re-Nutriv line—but it doesn’t have any benefits for your skin. In fact, applied topically, gold can cause contact dermatitis (Sources: Inflammation and Allergy Drug Targets, September 2008, pages 145–162; Dermatologic Therapy, volume 17, 2004, pages 321–327; and Cutis, May 2000, pages 323–326). That means this serum stands a fairly good chance of being problematic, potentially hurting your skin’s healing process, and hindering healthy collagen production.
You’re also getting a lot of shine with this moisturizer, but a shiny finish isn’t skin care, it’s just shine, the same you get from a luminescent foundation or powder, and it’s not enough of a light show to make anyone think you’re looking younger.
What about this being able to lift your skin? Sorry, not possible. We wish that weren’t the case, but it’s true. The multiple factors that lead to sagging (e.g., sun damage, bone loss, fat pads shifting, muscle movement, gravity) simply cannot be addressed by any skin-care product, regardless of price tag or claim.
Lauder’s claim of your skin looking “more lifted” implies you’ll get the results you’re looking for, but the way the claim is worded it doesn’t actually state that any lifting is taking place. Making skin look “more lifted” doesn’t mean your skin will actually be lifted. Even if it were lifted, where would the excess skin go? Not surprisingly, no one at the Lauder counter had a plausible answer to this question!