Renergie French Lift
When we saw the ads (and then the accompanying video) for this facial moisturizer, we thought "They have to be kidding, what a joke!" but, sadly, Lancome is serious about what they say about their Renergie French Lift. And of course, the model in the video has skin that's not even close to sagging, which is not the customer this product is being advertised to!
Apparently, the French have a special facial massage technique (labeled the French Lifting Technique) that can retighten sagging skin. See More Info to find out why that's not possible, but getting back to the product: Housed at the top of the container is a removable plastic disc about the size of a pressed powder compact. This flexible disc is the tool you're supposed to use to massage key facial zones using short, upwards flicking motions for about 30–45 seconds.
Following this massage, you apply the moisturizer with outward motions. After four weeks, you're supposed to see lifted, tightened, sculpted skin. Sigh…this might be funny if so many people didn't believe it and waste their money on such nonsense (we mean really, why not just hang your head upside down for a few minutes every day, according to Lancome's theory, that should work, too).
In fact, all of the massaging and extra pulling at skin will end up having the opposite effect of what you want, because tugging and moving skin too much causes elastin fibers to weaken and break down, which is a contributing factor to sagging, not lifting skin! Believe us, plastic surgeons are not doing fewer face-lifts because Lancome and the French have figured out how to avoid going under the knife!
As for the moisturizer, it's a basic formula that's similar to many others Lancome sells, and, like many of those, it's also packaged in a jar. That means the tiny amount of light- and air-sensitive ingredient this contains (including a dusting of the called-out antioxidant resveratrol) will begin breaking down from first use. See More Info for details about this packaging issue, and why it makes sense to avoid anti-aging products housed in jars.
This moisturizer does contain a novel plant extract known as Cyathea medullaris leaf. Derived from a type of fern, this extract doesn't have any published research pertaining to its benefit for skin, but there is a study showing it to be a natural polymer capable of impacting how a product feels and moves, at least in the lab (Source: Biomacromolecules, November 2007, pages 3,414–3,421). That's interesting and can make for a more unusual moisturizer texture or perhaps lead to a feeling of tightness but the effect is temporary and certainly not unique to this fern-based ingredient.
- Capable of moisturizing dry skin.
- Leaves a dewy-looking glow on skin.
- An exceptionally basic formula that's nearly identical to dozens of others Lancome sells.
- Cannot lift or retighten skin as claimed.
- Ridiculously overpriced.
- Jar packaging won't keep the tiny amount of intriguing ingredients stable once opened, including the antioxidant resveratrol, present in a tiny amount.
- The facial massage disk is a silly extra that absolutely will not lift or tighten any "facial zones"; in fact, this kind of pulling at skin can actually risk reducing skin's elasticity.
Why Jar Packaging is a Problem: The fact that this product is packaged in a jar means the beneficial ingredients won't remain stable once it is opened. All plant extracts, vitamins, antioxidants, and most 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 present a hygiene issue because even if you wash your hands or use a spatula to remove the product, you're introducing bacteria that causes further breakdown of key ingredients (Sources: Free Radical Biology and Medicine, September 2007, pages 818-829; Ageing Research Reviews, December 2007, pages 271-288; Dermatologic Therapy, September-October 2007, pages 314-321; International Journal of Pharmaceutics, June 12, 2005, pages 197-203; Pharmaceutical Development and Technology, January 2002, pages 1-32; International Society for Horticultural Science, www.actahort.org/members/showpdf?booknrarnr=778_5; and www.beautypackaging.com/articles/2007/03/airless-packaging.php).
Why Products Claiming to Lift Sagging Skin Cannot Work: Many skin-care products claim they can firm and lift skin, but none of them work, at least not to the extent claimed. A face-lift-in-a-bottle isn't possible, but with the right mix of products, you will see firmer skin that has a more lifted appearance—and that's exciting! To gain these youthful benefits, you must protect your skin from any and all sun damage every day, use an AHA (glycolic acid or lactic acid) or BHA (salicylic acid) exfoliant, and use products that have a wide range of antioxidants and skin-repairing ingredients.
Remember, no single product can do it all; it's the combination of products that has extensive research showing it can significantly improve many of the signs of aging, such as firming skin, reducing wrinkles and brown spots, and eliminating dullness. You'll find them on our list of Best Anti-Aging/Anti-Wrinkle Products.
Visibly retighten facial zones overnight. Inspired by the precise French Lifting Techniques, Lancome introduces Renergie French Lift: a retightening night moisturizer enriched with the Resveroside complex, paired with an innovative massage disk. In just 4 weeks, visibly retighten facial zones: cheekbones appear lifted, forehead is smoothed, jawline and neck look redefined.
Strengths: Some good cleansers; well-formulated scrubs; foundations with beautiful shades for almost every skin color; great concealers; several outstanding mascaras; the Artliner liquid eyeliners perform well; impressive powder eyeshadows; some fantastic lipsticks and automatic lipliner.
Weaknesses: Expensive for what amounts to mostly mediocre to below-average skincare products; lacking in effective treatments for blemishes or lightening skin discolorations; average toners; moisturizers that are short on including state-of-the-art ingredients; jar packaging; some foundations with sunscreen do not provide complete UVA protection.
French flair, free gifts with purchase, constant magazine ads, and attractive packaging impel women to seek out the Lancome counter. Once you're there, though, unless you're captured by the enticing claims, the skin-care products are resoundingly dull, and we mean really, really dull (the makeup is a different story). With new research and developments in skin care many cosmetics companies typically improve their formulas, even if just in a small way. Thats not the case with Lancome, which tends to raise their prices while producing lackluster, ordinary formulas with little benefit for skin.
Even more shocking is that their most expensive skin-care items tend to be the most disappointing, usually for what they lack rather than for what they contain. It's startling to realize that their priciest moisturizer is remarkably similar to dozens of other Lancome creams priced more reasonably (but still too high when you consider what you're getting for the money). It seems that all it takes to justify the excessive prices is a good story based around a rare ingredient and claims of delivering a younger look. What a shame so many consumers are taken in by this kind of marketing mumbo jumbo.
L'Oreal-owned Lancome, along with L'Oreal's own skin-care products sold at the drugstore, has fallen well behind their competition. For all their lofty claims and beautiful models, many other companies leave them in the dust. Most of the Lauder companies (Clinique, Estee Lauder), along with Dove, and Olay have skin-care formularies that consistently outperform those of Lancome and L'Oreal in terms of what substantiated research has shown is necessary to have healthy, more wrinkle- and age-resistant skin. Lancome claims to understand women, and they certainly know how to entice them with pretty packaging and scientific-sounding claims. It would be far better if they had an intimate understanding of what it really takes for skin to look its best and function optimally.
The biggest improvement Lancome has made is that almost all of their sunscreens now include the right UVA-protecting ingredients. Who knows why it took them so long to get this straightened out (L'Oreal is no stranger to this issue, as they have developed and patented new UVA filters throughout the years), but it is now easier than ever to find a reliable sunscreen from Lancome. Given their prominence and presence in department stores around the world, Lancome isn't easy to ignore. Our suggestion is to look beyond most of the skin care and focus on what they do best: makeup (especially foundations and mascaras).
Note: Unless mentioned otherwise, all Lancome products contain fragrance.
For more information about Lancome, owned by L'Oreal, call (800) 526-2663 or visit www.lancome.com.
L'Oreal-owned Lancome is a stellar, French-bred collection of makeup that remains the best reason to shop this line. Because most of Lancome's skin-care products have problematic elements (be it jar packaging, insufficient sun protection, or dated formulas), it is a relief to find that, for the most part, the colorful side of their business has more than its share of innovative products. We enjoyed the fact that no matter where we shopped, Lancome's counter personnel were friendly, knowledgeable, and helpful. There's a lot to keep track of, and Lancome deserves credit for keeping their salespeople so well informed.
If you're looking for a force to reckon with for foundations, Lancome is a must-see. They continue to offer some of the most elegant, silky formulas anywhere and in a color range that is overwhelmingly neutral, whether your skin is porcelain or ebony. The only troubling aspect is that most of Lancome's foundations with sunscreen do not contain adequate UVA protection or the SPF rating is too low. Lancome obviously knows about the risks with these issues (after all, they market ecamsule, their version of the UVA-protecting ingredient Mexoryl SX, and brag about its UVA range). And considering that, we are not recommending as many of their foundations as we have in previously have. Beyond this major gripe, you will discover that Lancome has a well-deserved reputation for their fantastic mascaras, and that their latest powders and eyeshadows apply with a silkiness that makes them gratifying to work with. The rest of the makeup encompasses many valid choices, but before you commit to Lancome, consider the similar options available for less from sister companies L'Oreal and Maybelline New York. Striking a balance among the best of each of these lines will give you first-class makeup that beautifies without breaking the bank.
Note: Lancome is categorized as a brand that tests on animals because its products are sold in China. Although Lancome does not conduct animal testing for its products sold elsewhere, the Chinese government requires imported cosmetics be tested on animals, so foreign companies retailing there must comply. This requirement is why some brands state that they dont test on animals unless required by law. Animal rights organizations consider cosmetic companies retailed in China to be brands that test on animals, and so does the Beautypedia Research Team.
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.