Friday, September 5, 2014

"Mini" Skincare Reviews: Nude Skincare Advanced Renewal Serum

[Product was a Sephora GWP.]

I am thinking of doing a mini-series on "minis:" deluxe samples, most of which were purchased as part of sampler sets or received as GWP items. We'll see if I have the persistence to do more than one.

The first one is a serum that I have been using at night, alternating with my Shiseido White Lucent Brightening serum. The full size is $78 (1 oz), which is quite up there. This mini is 5 mL (0.17 oz).

I want to talk about some of the ingredients, but I can't do all of them, because, er, ingredient lists are long. The FDA mandates that as with food, cosmetics ingredients lists "must be declared in descending order of predominance" (source), with a few exceptions. So yes, there is less of whatever is at the end of the list, but since we don't know recipe proportions, I don't think you can immediately write off a product that has an important ingredient toward the end of the list. It's possible that higher concentrations aren't useful (for example, humans can only process so much vitamin C - the rest of it just passes through your system), aren't stable in a solution/phase, or are no longer safe at certain concentration levels. Of course, it is also possible that the company wants to capitalize on some trendy ingredient and throws a dash in at the end to claim that it is present - no one can really say, not without a proper, complicated, chemical analysis.

Heeeeeeeeeey.

No. Focus, Larie.

Nude Skincare Advanced Renewal Serum

ingredients: Water, Bifida Ferment Lysate, Glycerin, Propanediol, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Phenoxyethanol, Oryza Sativa (Rice) Hull Powder, Xanthan Gum, Chondrus Crispus (Carrageenan), Lactose, Potassium Sorbate, Alpha-Glucan Oligosaccharide, Fragrance (Parfum), Whey Protein (Lactis Proteinum), Undaria Pinnatifida Extract, Arginine, Galactaric Acid, Sodium Dehydroacetate, Tocopherol, Lactic Acid, Sodium Benzoate, Sodium Hyaluronate, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Linalool, Limonene.

It's adorable. It's a dropper - you press the center of the cap and it dispenses product. Why can't all samples be this handy? It's meant to "hydrate and firm," and sodium hyaluronate is on the list (a form of hyaluronic acid, which helps skin retain moisture - it binds to water) and glycerin. And oh look, there's water. The interesting thing to me is the bifida ferment lysate - it's a probiotic. I think it's one of those "hot" ingredients that is present in a multitude of anti-aging/repair serums and creams, and while a study has shown that it improves skin sensitivity (source), I don't think there are miracle ingredients. 

Some of the other ingredients in the serum seem to be exfoliating (lactic acid, rice hull powder), which probably helps with skin-brightening. The sunflower seed oil is the source of the omega-9 fatty acids, I think.

Of note: no silicones or too many other fillers. It's a pretty trim list.

(The brand does claim that they don't use any synthetic fragrances, so I don't know what the "fragrance" in the ingredient list is.)

It pains me to say this ($78! So many ice cream cones!), but I do think this has been making a difference. I have a deluxe sample of the Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair to go through after this tiny bottle is gone, so I will hold off on purchasing anything for a while, but I do really like the Nude Skincare Advanced Renewal Serum. Skin is smoother and brighter, and the texture is improved - hydration is key! Trying to analyze each ingredient on an individual basis is a recipe for headaches, I think (plus, what if it's a combination that is the ticket?), so although I think looking for certain ingredients is a good starting place, for me, the only thing to do with an actual product is...test.

What is your go-to nighttime serum? What ingredients do you look for?