Guerlain Super Aqua-Serum Light Wrinkle Plumper
Guerlain Super Aqua-Serum Light Wrinkle Plumper ($165.00 for 1.6 fl. oz.) is supposed to hydrate skin while minimizing the appearance of wrinkles. According to Guerlain, after 30 hours, 72% hydration and 27% reduction in wrinkles were apparent. It is also supposed to be a lighter version (in terms of texture) of their Super Aqua-Serum, so it is more suitable for normal to combination skin types.
In the late spring and summer, my skin tends to be closer to normal than normal-to-dry (just as in the winter, it is drier rather than normal), so I reached for this when I needed something in the evening. I liked it a lot, and a lot of what I loved came from two things: 1) the fine lines around my eyes (which are, at present, my “major” signs of aging) look softer the next morning after using this on a consistent basis, and 2) the texture is incredibly lightweight and thin but not watery or runny. The texture is thin, like a lotion, and absorbs very quickly (within a minute of applying).
It is actually very hydrating–so hydrating that I really didn’t need to use a moisturizer afterwards, but you may find you can stretch a bottle further by using and applying it as a serum (so less, or only on some areas) and following up with moisturizer. I also tried it as more of as-needed product for near fine lines, around my nose, and the tops of my cheeks (all areas I tend to be a bit drier), and it worked nicely as a spot hydrator. It doesn’t top my go-to for dry spots, but Guerlain’s has a nicer texture and faster absorption (and will work better under makeup). It has a floral fragrance–not the strongest I’ve come across, but it’s not light; it’s on par with Guerlain’s skincare range in general and strong enough that there is a lingering scent even after it has absorbed.
The benefits last about as long as you keep using the product, but it’s not correcting signs of aging, just camouflaging them by “plumping” the lines so they look less visible. It worked well for me, and it did all the things it was supposed to, and it did them with a really lovely, quick-absorbing texture while still delivering great hydration. That being said, a good smoothing primer (usually something with silicones in it) can also work well for smoothing out fine lines–at least for a few hours (as compared with a day or so with this). While I liked it, I’m not sure it’s the one and will continue to see what else is out there before committing to this price point. (I’m also not very bothered by the fine lines I do have, so naturally, I’m less inclined to pay a lot to minimize something I don’t notice often.)
Ole Henriksen Truth Serum Collagen Booster
Ole Henriksen Truth Serum Collagen Booster ($48.00 for 1.0 oz.) is described as “a high-potency vitamin C complex that prevents and corrects signs of aging while promoting brightness.” It contains 10% vitamin C. This is supposed to firm, smooth, feel weightless, absorb quickly, and provide “instant and long-term hydration.”
I had enough trouble with the packaging that was enough to make me hesitant to repurchase this in the future, even if it turned out to be a really good product. It’s great that it’s packaged in a glass bottle with a pump dispenser, and it is slim and travel-friendly from a size perspective (but it’s glass, so it’s much more fragile).
The problem was with the pump–it pumps out far more product (I’d say almost twice the amount) than you really need. I always ended up having so much excess that I was still looking for places to apply it after my face and neck (and I don’t think my neck needs any brightening serums right now).
UPDATED @ 6/9/2012: The folks at Ole Henriksen sent me a replacement bottle after reading this review, and I absolutely wanted to update this post to update you on my packaging woes. The bottle I have now is infinitely better! A full pump is certainly too much for me, but you can easily control how much you pump out. I was able to go a quarter, halfway, or three-quarters of the way. I’m really glad they fixed the packaging problem, and it was actually a problem and not a feature! (e.g. Benefit Stay Don’t Stray didn’t really acknowledge it as a problem and tried to “teach” us how to tap the pump with a video even) It’s also really awesome to see a brand keeping tabs on what is being said about their product range.
It’s just a product where a little goes a long way, particularly because of how easily spreadable the liquid is. It’s very water-like, so it just slides and covers well without needing gobs of it. I often had the product harden in the pump as well, which meant that when I went to pump it, not only did I get too much, but it flew to parts unknown (OK, the counter top, my eye once, but you get the picture!). I went through a 1 oz. bottle in about three weeks of morning-only usage.
The Truth Serum smells like orange citrus, not overly sweet but definitively orange-like, so it’s pleasant, subtle, and doesn’t linger for long. Like the brand promises, it also absorbs incredibly quickly (that’s probably my favorite characteristic). I saw some brightening and evening out of my skin tone. I know some people have recommended using this alone, as both a serum and a moisturizer, but Ole Henriksen suggests applying face/eye cream after this (per the brand’s website). If you have oilier skin, you could more likely get away with it as a two-in-one product. My more normal-to-dry skin needed this plus a regular moisturizer.
With vitamin C products, you have to watch for whether it includes a stabilized form of vitamin C, which this does in the forms of sodium ascorbyl phosphate and calcium ascorbate. Sodium hylauronate is an excellent hydrator, which is likely one of the reasons that those who need less hydration can get away with using this alone. The product has a lot of excellent, good-for-your-skin ingredients, and the best part is that they’re listed in the beginning of the ingredient’s list–not the end!
For me, I did not have powerful enough results to merit $48 every three weeks, but brightening can be difficult to “see” and gauge, especially when after only three weeks (but I had no more!). It gets a lot of rave reviews (and a friend’s raves is what made me want to try it myself!), though, and with the strength of the ingredient list, I’d still say it’s worth checking out.
Water (Aqua), Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate, Calcium Ascorbate, Sorbitol, Glycerin, Tocopheryl Acetate, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Fruit Extract, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Euphrasia Officinalis Extract, Rosa Canina Fruit Extract, Citrus Grandis (Grapefruit) Seed Extract, Oleth-20, Hydroxyethylcellulose, PEG-12 Dimethicone, Benzophenone-4, Sodium Hyaluronate, Thioctic Acid, Phenoxyethanol, Citric Acid, Caprylyl Glycol, Hexylene Glycol, Limonene, Linalool, Citral, Fragrance (Parfum), Yellow 6
Renee Rouleau Skin Drink
Renee Rouleau Skin Drink
There is something to be said about trying a multitude of products from a variety of brands, because it gives you a better appreciation for the qualities that make products great, good, just okay, and skippable. I originally reviewed Renee Rouleau’s Skin Drink ($33.50 for 0.50 oz.) back in 2008, but I’m reviewing it again here today after recently testing it. Skin Drink is a serum with hyaluronic acid, which is supposed to hydrate the skin. This is actually a product I keep in my carry-on for flying, because I find it so lightweight, refreshing, and effective in a short period that it works well for traveling. It also includes allantoin, which is a botanical extract with supposed calming properties.
It feels like a cross between water and a gel; it’s nowhere near as thick as a gel, but it’s not quite like water. I use two pumps for my face, and depending on how dry my skin is, I might use it in the morning or evening. I use it before and after traveling, and I find that my skin reacts much less to changes in climate since adding this to my travel routine. The serum smoothes across the skin easily and absorbs instantly–no greasiness, burning or stinging sensations. It’s gentle and soothing, and it helps my skin get through winter when a moisturizer I’m testing out isn’t cutting it.