creme serum

Consider yourself lucky if you haven’t been snowed in, frozen out, or sleeping in airports over the past month. The Polar Vortex has the majority of the country out cold—and from what we hear, has left their skin parched and chapped. Below, some food for thaw. HOLLY SIEGEL

THE DREAM CREAM
Caudalie Premier Cru la Crème Riche features the same active ingredients as the brand’s popular Premier Cru la Crème, with the addition of three deeply nourishing plant waxes: jojoba, mimosa, and sunflower. The buttery texture will soften your winter skin for up to 24 hours while providing benefits for fine lines, wrinkles, dark spots, and dullness. Plus, a little goes a long way, and the scent—derived from rose petals infused in an oak barrel—will give you a taste of springtime.

THE OVERNIGHT DELIGHT
Boscia Tsubaki Deep Hydration Sleeping Mask softens while you slumber. Using a blend of tsubaki (camellia) oil, rice bran oil, wakame (Japanese sea kelp), and the protein-rich amino acid serine, it seals in moisture while protecting against free radicals and reducing visible redness. Go ahead: hydrate while you hibernate.

THE BRIGHT EYE
GLAMGLOW BRIGHTMUD Eye Treatment is a tap-on, wipe-off eye mask that hydrates the eye area and helps absorb toxins—perfect after a late night at the airport or just to get rid of that bleary-eyed cold-weather look.

THE SOFTENING SERUM
During this time of year, those with oily or blemish-prone skin often have trouble finding a product to hydrate dry-winter skin without breaking them out. And ignoring the problem can actually lead to more oil production. Kate Somerville Quench Oil Free Hydrating Face Serum delivers antiaging and moisturizing benefits without clogging pores.

THE LIP LOCK
Dry lips are one of the most chronic winter-skin problems. Fresh Sugar Advanced Therapy Lip Treatment keeps them soft for up to 24 hours thanks to the natural humectants in sugar and other key ingredients such as vitamins C and E. You’ll be lip gloss-ready in no time.

SHOP SKINCARE AT SEPHORA ▸

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Caudalie / Premier Cru La Creme Riche
$158.00

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Caudalie / Premier Cru The Cream
$158.00

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Boscia / Tsubaki Deep Hydration Sleeping Mask
$34.00

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GLAMGLOW / BRIGHTMUD™ Eye Treatment
$69.00

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Kate Somerville / Quench Oil Free Hydrating Face Serum
$65.00

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Fresh / Sugar Advanced Therapy Lip Treatment
$25.00

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Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair Eye Synchronized Complex II: Eye Serum and Gel-Creme Review

If you’re a fan of the bestselling Advanced Night Repair serums like me (I’ve used them on and off for 10 years), you’ll know what makes the range so effective is the extremely basic concept that good antioxidants and anti-inflammatories neutralizes a lot of environmental aggressors to prevent damage, and allows the skin to repair itself better as well. 

Around this very simple concept, the line has been expanded and updated over the years to include an intensive serum, a whitening serum, as well as an eye cream.

It was the very first high-end serum I’d invested in and probably my longest-used. (I still have a bottle now.) The very first Advanced Night Repair eye cream I tried 8 years ago soon after it launched gave me rashes around my eyes. Something in it just wasn’t agreeing with my skin even though I’d used the serum for quite a while by then. 

So when I was invited to try their latest-generation ANR Eye range, I admit I was more than a little nervous. 

What you should know:

  1. There are 2 products; a updated gel-creme with a silky texture similar to the previous versions, and a new lightweight serum that can be worn under other eye creams.
  2. The 2 products are NOT MEANT TO BE LAYERED. They are alternatives for people who like different textures. 
  3. The gel-creme I find is better for people who have normal to slightly-oily/dry skin around the eyes. It’s got non-greasy hydration (silicones and jojoba etc) and a silky light texture that works fine under makeup, but it won’t give you intense hydration.
  4. The serum on the other hand, is good for people who have either extremely dry or extremely oily eye skin. That’s because it’s very light and will not cause any milia on clog-prone skin, and also can be layered under a heavier eye cream so you can top-up the hydration level. 
  5. Both products are silicone-based, so if you have known problems with large amounts of silicone, then you might want to avoid these.
  6. The product works by including a whole slew of antioxidants like wheatgerm extract, echinacea purpurea, as well as anti-inflammatory ingredients like barley, chamomile, bifidus ferment, Scutellaria baicalensis extract, poria cocos or “fu ling” extract, etc.

My experience:

I’ve used these in turn for almost a month now, and they  definitely feel very fresh and light; no milia or clogs caused at all, and no rashes thank goodness. And I like being able to layer other products over it.

Both have a soothing feel on the skin but the serum has less ingredients and also no caffeine to drain water from the skin, so if you have puffy eyes and bags, you might want to go for the gel-creme instead of the serum. (Unless you are layering it under another eye cream which does.)

I personally prefer the serum because I like the flexibility of using a product that leaves no residue, or layering something over it for more moisturization, especially since I have a lot of other products I’m using or trying.

Do I feel a major difference? To be honest no. That’s not how antioxidants work, and these aren’t caffeine-laden formulations like Origins No Puffery that will drain puffy lids very quickly. I’d recommend this if you need preventive care more than you need a quick fix or corrective care for advanced damage.

USAGE:

The entire ANR range is meant to be used at night, to work with your skin’s natural rhythms and supplement your skin’s natural regeneration while you sleep.

But I’ll just tell you straight-out that I use these in the day as well.

There hasn’t been any independent research to indicate certain products only work better at night, unless it has ingredients that are inhibited or deactivated by sun exposure. And it’s proven that antioxidants are fantastic to have in your skin before exposure to sun and pollutants as they are on-hand to prevent damage, so all-day protection is the best protection.

Also, do take note that many of the ingredients here tend to lose effectiveness quickly so it makes sense to store your containers in a cool, dark, dry place to extend shelf life.