Youth Code Texture Perfector Serum Concentrate
This water-based serum beckons you to "reveal your ideal skin quality", a claim that is wide open to interpretation! They go on to promise velvety-smooth skin along with refinement of pores, uneven texture, and fine lines. Sounds great, and the flashy pink and white packaging is striking, but here's the truth: The claims being made for this serum apply to any that contains the amount of silicone this fragranced serum does. L'Oreal also added the mineral pigment mica for a brightening effect, which is nice, but not unique to this product.
As with most serums from L'Oreal, this formula is short on anti-aging ingredients. It does contain a form of jasmonic acid known as sodium tetrahydrojasomonate, which has some research showing it can increase hyaluronic acid production in a skin model, but that's about as exciting as it gets (Source: Experimental Dermatology, May 2012, pages 398–400). L'Oreal has published research concerning this ingredient, too, though the results revealed, surprise, that it's a good anti-aging ingredient, which is true for lots of ingredients (Source: Journal of the European Academy of Dermatology, May 2013, ePublication).
Note: This L'Oreal serum is nearly identical to Lancome Visionnaire LR 2412 4% Advanced Skin Corrector, which costs three times as much. Neither is recommended but it certainly proves that expensive doesn't mean better! Just like with Visionnaire, the amount of alcohol is cause for concern. With the Youth Code serum, the medicinal smell of alcohol is apparent as you apply, and you may feel a stinging sensation as this dries. See More Info to learn why a high amount of alcohol in skin care is a problem.
- Makes skin feel silky.
- Cosmetic pigment mica helps to brighten skin.
- Lacks a proven range of anti-aging ingredients.
- Contains a high amount of alcohol, which is a skin irritant.
- Highly fragranced, which is also irritating on a daily basis.
Alcohol in skin care: Alcohol in skin-care products causes dryness and free-radical damage, and impairs the skin's ability to heal. The irritation it causes damages healthy collagen production and can stimulate oil production at the base of the pore, making oily skin worse (Sources: Biochimica et Biophysica Acta, May 2012, pages 1,410–1,419; Alcoholism, Clinical and Experimental Research, January 2011, pages 83–90; "Skin Care—From the Inside Out and Outside In," Tufts Daily, April 1, 2002; eMedicine Journal, May 8, 2002, volume 3, number 5, www.emedicine.com; Cutis, February 2001, pages 25–27; Contact Dermatitis, January 1996, pages 12–16; and http://pubs.niaaa.nih.gov/publications/arh27-4/277-284.htm).
High Amount of Fragrance: Daily use of products that are strongly fragranced, 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).
Scientifically developed for all skin tones and types, Youth Code Texture Perfector Serum helps to improve overall skin tone over time.
L'Oreal Paris At-A-Glance
Strengths: Budget-friendly prices; good makeup removers; wide assortment of self-tanning options; one of the best, most comprehensive makeup collections at the drugstore, with superb options in almost every category; the mascaras are a tough act to follow.
Weaknesses: Jar packaging hinders some of the skincare formulas; many of their skincare formulas contain problematic amounts of fragrance and/or other irritants; exaggerated anti-aging claims.
L'Oreal's extensive makeup collection retains its stature as one of the better selections at the drugstore, though they have stiff competition from Revlon and, in some cases, sister company Maybelline New York. In recent years L'Oreal has made significant strides with foundation shades, powder textures, concealers, and, of course, superlative mascaras that rarely fail to impress. Their lipsticks are excellent and you will find many L'Oreal makeup products have a Lancome counterpart, and that the differences are minorif there are any at all.
L'Oreal's displays in many drugstores reflect better-organized products and shade categories (though testers are still scarce). Given the number of lipsticks they sell, it only makes sense to put them in color families so consumers have a better shopping experience. Their True Match products are also sensibly laid out, but the rest of the foundations aren't as organized, likely due to the smaller selection of shades. Speaking of foundations, L'Oreal has made further strides by offering more that provide sufficient UVA protection. Revlon still has the edge for consistently launching impressive foundations with sunscreen, but at least L'Oreal is (finally) catching up.
The bottom line is that every category of L'Oreals makeup has some winning (and in some cases, benchmark-setting) products.
Unfortunately, despite the brands enormous presence in the beauty industry, L'Oreal's moisturizers and treatment products are a nearly all unremarkable and repetitive. When it comes to moisturizers or serums, just about anything from Dove, Olay, Neutrogena, or Aveeno is preferred. L'Oreal does well with most of their cleansers, along with scrubs and self-tanning products, but given the widespread availability and financial resources of this line, they could be doing so much more. The good news is their makeup has made major strides and now ranks as the best overall color collection at the drugstoreimagine the results if their skin care followed suit.
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.