Ads for this serum show a gorgeous Kate Winslet with perfectly taut, softly airbrushed skin, but we were left wondering why Lancome featured Winslet in this ad. Given her age, she's not experiencing the type of sagging this product is supposed to address. But regardless of Winslet's age or the condition of her skin, the truth is that this pricey serum is another average anti-aging product you can safely ignore—and the claims are too good to be true (see More Info to find out what you can do to help sagging skin).
As usual for Lancome's serums and moisturizers, the texture is nice but the formula itself contains far more of the ordinary than the extraordinary—and for what this costs, you should expect, and get, extraordinary! Actually, this is a brilliant example of expensive absolutely not being better in the world of skin care! For well over $100, you're getting mostly water, glycerin, silicones, alcohol, and wax. This serum contains more artificial dyes than state-of-the-art anti-aging ingredients. Those good-for-skin ingredients, which include vitamins C and E plus hyaluronic acid, are found in numerous other anti-aging products that cost a lot less and offer superior formulas.
Another drawback is the strong fragrance this product has. Several of the ingredients used to create the fragrance actually pose a risk of irritation, so this isn't for sensitive skin. See More Info to learn why daily use of highly fragrant products like this is a bad idea for everyone's skin.
Turning to the claims, you may have noticed that they're carefully worded to remain in the cosmetics realm; for example, Lancome mentions a "cosmetic lifting effect" which could be anything the consumer imagines, and Lancome doesn't have to supply any proof of what that claim really means for your skin. After all, you could get a cosmetic lifting effect with strategically applied Scotch tape, though we wouldn't encourage this approach! We wish skin-care products really could lift sagging skin or shore up facial contours, but it's just not possible. Your skin may feel firmer or tighter from using this product, but that's due to the cosmetic effect of the ingredients, not because any actual tightening or lifting is taking place. And there is a slight cause for concern that the amount of alcohol in this serum may prove irritating. Despite the strong fragrance, we clearly detected a hit of alcohol as this was being applied to test its texture and finish.
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.
Daily use of products that contain a high amount of fragrance, 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).
Imagine your skin feeling firmer and even more lifted day after day. Inspired by the latest lifting procedures, discover the power of a cosmetic lifting effect in a serum with our new Rénergie Lift Multi-Action Reviva-Concentrate™. Reviva-Concentrate™ is a serum for women that want visibly tighter, firmer and more lifted skin. Skin will look re-plumped and facial contours will look more defined. See firmer, plumper skin in just 1 week.
Water/Eau, Glycerin, Dimethicone, Isohexadecane, Alcohol Denat., Dipropylene Glycol, Synthetic Wax, Methyl Methacrylate Crosspolymer, PEG-10 Dimethicone, Dimethicone/PEG-10/15 Crosspolymer, Hydroxyethylpiperazine Ethane Sulfonic Acid, CI 15985 / Yellow 6, CI 19140 / Yellow 5, Saccharomyces/Xylinum/ Black Tea Ferment, Ascorbyl Glucoside, Tocopheryl Acetate, Sodium Acrylates Copolymer, Sodium Polyacrylate, Hydrolyzed Linseed Extract, Hydrolyzed Soy Protein, Hydrolyzed Hyaluronic Acid, Sodium Hydroxide, Sodium Benzoate, Phenoxyethanol, Adenosine, Acetyl Tetrapeptide-9, Ethylhexylglycerin, Polysilicone-8, Nylon-12, Dimethicone/Polyglycerin-3 Crosspolymer, Limonene, Benzyl Alcohol, Linalool, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Alpha-Isomethyl Ionone, Geraniol, Disteardimonium Hectorite, Disodium EDTA, Octadecenedioic Acid, Citronellol, Glutamylamidoethyl Indole, Hexyl Cinnamal, Fragrance.
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. That’s 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 don’t 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.
The Beautypedia and Paula’s Choice Research teams have one mission: To help you find the best products for your skin, whether they’re from Paula’s Choice or another brand. By combining efforts, we’re able to share scientific research and remain committed to the highest standards based on our decades of experience objectively reviewing thousands upon thousands of skincare and makeup formularies in all price ranges.
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