Advanced Night Repair Synchronized Recovery Complex II
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 cell-communicating ability. 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; we just wish they had chosen more proven peptides, but for certain the one they chose isn't bad.
Lactobacillus ferment has multiple health benefits when consumed orally, but research proving its merit for topical application looks promising, at least for some hydrating and soothing benefits (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.
Estee Lauder At-A-Glance
The history of Estee Lauder goes back to 1946, when the woman who created the brand (and for whom it is named) began selling creams and lotions made by her chemist uncle. From its humble beginnings, 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 available.
The biggest compliment we can pay to the venerable Estee Lauder line is that their moisturizers and serums can largely be described as state-of-the-art. Though 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.
When it comes to makeup, by and large the brand also exceeds expectations. Though there are some under-performing products (you can read more about them in our individual reviews), Lauder has a number of excellent options, most notably its lip colors.
For more information about Estee Lauder, call (877) 311-3883 or visit www.esteelauder.com.
About the Experts
The Beautypedia team consists of skin care and makeup experts personally trained by the original Cosmetics Cop and best-selling beauty author, Paula Begoun. We’re fascinated by skin care and makeup products and thrilled when they meet or exceed our expectations, but we’re also disappointed when they fail to perform as claimed, are wildly overpriced, or contain ingredients scientific research has proven can hurt skin.
Our mission has always been to help you find the best products for your skin, no matter your budget or preferences. Beautypedia’s thorough and insightful reviews cut through the hype and provide reliable recommendations for all ages, skin types, and skin tones.