Wednesday, February 13th, 2008

Estee Lauder Re-Nutriv Ultimate Youth Creme ($250.00) is a product I recently received to test. I want to put it plain that I did not purchase this product, so there is no confusion. I am by no means on an unlimited cosmetic budget, so for me to test a cream of this standard is a real treat, but I always desperately hope not to love it, and secretly desire it to fall flat on its face. Why? Because a face cream for $250.00 is not friendly to my budget. I preface this review with so much attention to the price because I now face a huge dilemma: there is something about this cream that has performed a small miracle on my face in the past three weeks of continuous use.

What it’s supposed to do: Resveratrate is the trademarked ingredient dubbed “The Youth Molecule” by Estee Lauder. It “is a more potent, stable, and time released form of Resveratrol.” This product is meant to extend the skin’s youthfulness so that time “stands still.” According to Estee Lauder, the skin will increase in its clarity, tone, and fine dry lines will be plumped by the moisturizer. There is science clearly involved, and they talk about “longevity genes” that regulate the lifespan of skin’s epidermal cells.

What it actually does: Based on testing it for three weeks as both a day and night moisturizer (and let me be honest, there were a few times I misplaced it, so I substituted, but generally speaking, I used this pretty religiously). After one week, I noticed something very impossible happening–my acne was vanishing. Now, this is not an acne-preventing product, it is an anti-aging product geared towards women in their late 20s and older. My diet hadn’t undergone any real change, water intake didn’t increase, and I hadn’t added any other products to my daily facial regimen.

I have never suffered from severe acne, but I get enough that it can be annoying, and there is always one that’s far too noticeable for my liking. Since using the Youth Creme, almost all of my noticeable acne has disappeared. I am not 100% clear-faced, but in my eyes, this is about as close as I could ever get. My skin looks much improved because of the blemishes being gone, but it is also more even and healthy looking. Every time I see my Mom, no matter what, she mentions how pale and sickly I look–but she didn’t say that when I saw her last week (first time since using the Youth Creme). She asked if I did something different with my makeup, because I looked healthier. Application is easy, as you don’t need much to cover the entire face, and it feels lightweight, but it still moisturizers quite well (despite wintry patches of skin). I also love that it dries quickly! There is no strong, overpowering scent, either – it kind of reminds me of a very subtle organic, maybe a touch of oatmeal scent that you can only distinguish if you put your nose in the jar. So to me, it’s nearly fragrance-free once it’s on my face.

So as I said, I face a serious dilemma: how am I going to be able to afford this in the future? I would like to note that the jar still seems mostly full, despite using it twice a day for three weeks. It gives me hope that I can stretch the jar over four to six months.

Do I recommend this product? I do and I don’t. I recommend it because it worked well for me, and the acne-miracle it worked for me would make it worth the price (how much money do I spend each month on products that only work minimally?) as the product jar should last me multiple months. I don’t, because I fear for your poor wallet if you fall in love with it as I have! You know that whole saying, “You can’t miss what you never had?” Exactly. So basically, I do recommend this product, but know that you may find yourself addicted!

Available now at and Estee Lauder locations.

Have you encountered a similar dilemma before? What product led to your downfall? Did you become a loyal re-purchaser or have you been hunting for a less expensive alternative?

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36 thoughts on “Estee Lauder – Re-Nutriv Ultimate Youth Creme Review

  1. Tekoa

    What an obscene price. I refuse to believe the ingredients are worth that much. You should be ashamed Estee Lauder! Tisk tisk.

    • Sometimes what I do is think about their regular prices, and how much above they are to what I’d consider a “normal” price point (which is generally MAC prices). So Estee Lauder is usually 30% more, and this cream IS priced as more expensive than even La Mer. In my mind, if MAC were to make the same product, they’d charge $150-175 a pop.

      I have to say that having my acne go away is worth that much, though (because prescriptions may cost as much in the long run, and I have NEVER had luck with them).

    • relly

      maybe you guys cannot afford estee lauder ‘coz my antie using nutriv lifting and she is very very happy

  2. I’d be afraid to try anything that expensive, just in case I ended up loving it! But if I could find a product that got rid of all my wrinkles, and kept them away, I’d pay $250, since that’s cheaper than Botox!

    Was there a product you were using that you stopped using when you started using the Re-Nutriv? Most products contain pore-clogging ingredients that can cause cosmetic acne. Otherwise, there are lots of (cheaper) alternatives to get rid of acne. I used to have pretty severe acne, and have totally gotten rid of mine by figuring out which products to use, and eliminate.

    • Hey Jeni! That’s pretty much my stance on super high end products, lol!

      No, not really. Honestly, nothing changed except the addition of Re-Nutriv to my routine. I’ve tried so many acne products and systems without luck!

      • Yeah I know what you mean about acne! When I had moderate/severe acne, I tried everything, and went to 5 Dermatologists! After several years, I finally found a system that worked for me, and learned what products to avoid, etc. is how I got rid of my acne. Now I want to find out what ingredients are in the Re-Nutriv, just out of curiousity.

  3. Carrie

    I’m kind of stuck in that situation now with a $50 moisturizer. That is a lot for me, but I love it, and will keep using it until I find something that works as well for me!

    • I totally understand where you are coming from! I used to use Olay’s Complete ($15), then I fell in love with Estee Lauder’s DayWear ($36, I think). This is a bit more of a jump, LOL.

  4. kelly j

    Please don’t tell me this is one of those products made with human placental tissue from poor women in India.

  5. highmaintenancegirl

    I ‘ve been using it for two weeks now, haven ‘t experienced anything spectacular so far and at $250 a jar needless to say I expect exceptional results. to me this feels more like a long-term preventive treatment than anti-aging luxurious moisturizer, a serum version of this cream would have been a much better idea. It leaves me large pores and at the end of the day my makeup looks horribly caky on the skin, it ‘s just not moisturizing enough for my dry skin, not only I can see it but my skin feels so dry. now the eyes, there ‘s no eye version of this cream so I ‘ve been using it around my eyes but really had to stop doing that after on day two, it burnt my eyelids like acid. I ‘m sire it ‘s great for acne prone skins but this is not for me, thanks goodness I ‘ve been using samples. eventually I ‘m glad this cosmetic craze extragance won ‘t ruin me.

    • Thanks for sharing your review! I really appreciated it, because it’s so good to hear other people’s experiences. It is so odd that it causes your lids to burn! I suppose your eye lids may be more sensitive then.

  6. D.A

    samples, also full size,
    far less the retail cost

  7. Lisa

    I used to be a Proactive user for about one year. It wasn’t too expensive for me at that time since my acne problem was costing me more and giving me less results than Proactiv, but now that my acne has pretty much cleared up , my and mom and I have noticed that it caused my pores to enlarge. Could you offer me any home exfoliating or peel treatment that could shrink my pores? they make me so unhappy :(

    • Hi Lisa, you might want to try looking into a higher end skincare line like Dermalogica, Skinceuticals, Dr. Murad, because they will offer higher grade products for exfoliation/peel. Just for exfoliation, you can always use anything with jojoba beads or minor abrasives.

  8. Doubious consumer

    I was very skeptical of the claims and review of this cream. I read the negative comments after I spent the outrageous $250 and was really scared I just got ripped off and flushed my money down the toilet. Let me tell you that THIS CREAM IS A MIRACLE!!! I have been a Proactiv user for many years and still suffered acne flare-ups while using it. Furthermore,while it did decrease the overall acne, I ended up with dry, dull skin as well as the increased appearance of fine lines and wrinkles as well as an overall “aging” look. This is primarily why I bought this cream.

    I have been using the Youth cream every single night for the past 2 weeks. I have seen not only decreased acne but a VISIBLE decrease in the fine lines. My skin glows and I have been getting compliments regularly about how much younger and well rested I look. I now strongly believe that while the cream is expensive I do think it’s worth the money and I’ll buy it again when I need to.

    I want to point out that you don’t need to use much and at the rate I am going, I feel that this cream will certainly last 6-8 months.

  9. Colette

    Hi Christine

    I would agree that is definitely a miracle cream . I have used most well know brands of creams can be a sucker for adverts . When I started to use it i started to notice myself that my skin look a lot healthier and glowing . But then people started to comment on how well my skin looked – did I do something etc .

    It is pricey but it is definitely worth it – of all the cream I have tried this is definetly a winner

    • Hi Colette! I am so glad that it is working so well for you!

      • anonymous

        renutriv is the only EL stuff I don’t buy into, mostly because all it is is them putting the ingredients from the serums into the moisturizer & jumping the price. but buying them separately you get more for your money because you get more product total and it lasts longer (you don’t use as much ANR as moisturizer). so I’d stay with your daywear and just add on the toner & idealist underneath and the ANR at night, you should get the same results. (I find using their toner makes idealist/serum go further & those make the moisturizer go further, so the whole system does net savings) but def shop for it during set/gwp time because you can end up paying less than olay regimen.

  10. suzana

    Hiya..i am very interested to try out this cream. I am hesitating a bit though as i am unsure if its alright for my age. I am 25 so pls pls lemme know that if its alright to use this on my skin. thank you

  11. Working for me.

    I know it’s alittle late from when these posts started, but I just wanted to add that I too have bad Acne in my 30’s and started using the original Re-Nutiv cream light. It is different from the Youth Cream, however, it’s starting price it $85.00 for 1.8oz. I cleared up my skin, and gave it a good healthy glow. This might help with the whole price issue. Still alot, but better then 250, and still remaining in the same product line.

  12. How do I add this to my RSS reader? Sorry I’m a newbie :(

  13. Nata

    I am 23. Its alright for my age?

  14. Margaret

    I have purchased this product & was overwhelmed at the cost. But it really does work! I am in my late 40’s with good, clear but ageing skin. This product has made me look much younger. I love it! But.. yes it is expensive but it isn’t an injectible that needs to be replaced every 3 months either!

  15. anonymous

    christine, just as an fyi, I have never tried the renutriv collection but I have used estee lauder pretty religiously for 2 decades & I suspect if you used their regular regimen you’d have the same results (I do whenever I return to it). skin perfecting toner, idealist (day), advanced night repair (night), daywear hydrationist or timezone moisturizer AM & PM

    watch the major retailers & you’ll usually find a set like or and purchase during a gift with purchase period when you get additional pieces. I’ve tried pretty much everything else & none of it (except cleansers, masks, eye cream) were the least bit better in making my skin look good, most weren’t nearly as good. in fact none was even as good. right now I’m just using up stuff to return to EL. (generally Macy’s has the best EL GWP deals for value & min purchase but sometimes, lord & taylor & nordie’s are close)

  16. WomanNYC

    I have been using the Dr Max Powers Scar Serum as a face treatment since I was 33, I am now 41 with the skin of a 25 year old. No wrinkles, no acne, and am told I don’t look my age. Some of this is good genes, but I attribute much of it to my daily routine with the Dr Max Powers Scar Serum. Anti-wrinkle, anti blemish. My pores are barely visible.

  17. Alisha

    do you know if this has been discontinued now or if it has just changed name? cause I can’t find the ultimate youth range anymore… also, could you post the INCI for this? many thanks!

  18. miki

    thank you for this in depth review!!