Monday, May 30, 2016

Estee Lauder Re-Nutriv Ultimate Lift Age-Correcting Collection: May Skincare Review

Disclaimer:  This was a GWP.
For the month of May I used five products from the Re-Nutriv Ultimate Lift Age-Correcting line by Estee Lauder.  This set was a GWP with any $125 Estee Lauder purchase during the Saks Off Fith Avenue 2016 Beauty spring event. While I haven't been particularly impressed with most of the skincare products I've tried from Estee Lauder, I was curious to see how the rather pricey Re-Nutriv line performs.  Let's dive in.
I've got oily skin and have never really enjoyed using creme cleansers, which I associate more with dry skin. Consequently, I wasn't expecting much from this one, but I was pleasantly surprised.  I used it as a second cleanser after my oil-based first cleanse, and it left my skin clean and soft with no noticeable residue left behind. A full-sized version of the Hydrating Creme Cleanser will set you back $60, but it does have some interesting ingredients:
  • Olive Fruit Oil:  contains essential fatty acids, including oleic, palmitic, and linoleic acids. It Phenolic compounds also provide antioxidant benefit. 
  • Glycerin: Humectant and moisturizer 
  • Safflower Seed Oil: contains about 78% of linoleic acid, which is a principal fatty acid which can not be generated by the body.  Helps skin retain moisture.
  • Linoleic Acid: anti-inflammatory,  acne reduction, moisture retention
  • Green Tea Leaf Extract: anti-oxidant, helps stimulate microcirculation
  • Barley Extract:  contains vitamin C, antioxidants, and minerals and helps improve elasticity of skin
  • Squalane: an antioxidant, prevents UV damage and the formation of age spots promotes cell growth and is an antibacterial
  • Sage Leaf Powder:  antioxidant and antibacterial
  • Wheat Germ Extract:  helps support collagen production
The Re-Nutriv Softening Lotion would be used after cleansing as the toner step, although it is thicker than a traditional toner. It is meant to prepare your skin for the products that come after it, and I forewent using a cotton round to apply and instead used my hands to pat it onto my face. Lots of interesting ingredients in this as well, including gold, which you can see in the soft shimmer of the liquid.
  • Acetyl Glucosamine: skin identical/skin repairing, inhibits melanin production
  • Yeast Extract: antioxidant, promotes tissue repair and wound healing
  • Green Tea Leaf Extract: combats free-radicals and reduces inflammation, helps reduce sun damage.
  • Adenosine Phosphate:  cell-communicating ingredient and inflammation modulator.
  • Barley Extract: reduces inflammation
  • Wheat Germ Extract: skin conditioning agent
  • Squalane: an antioxidant, prevents UV damage and the formation of age spots, promotes cell growth and is an antibacterial
  • Linoleic Acid: also known as Vitamin F, an omega-6 fatty acid.  Anti-inflammatory, moisturizer, skin softener, and acne-fighter. Helps other active ingredients penetrate the skin barrier.
  • Sodium Hyaluronate: attracts and binds water to skin, promotes nutrient absorption and micro-circulation.
  • Gold: helps lock in moisture and inhibits the breakdown of elastin, however some people can have an allergic reaction to gold
The softening lotion absorbs quickly and does seem to help other products absorb quickly as well.  This is my favorite of the line, and a full size bottle is $60.  That's more than I want to spend, but I do like it.
On the plus size it lasts quite a while, and I've still got a quarter bottle left of the travel size after a month of use. I could see where the full-sized bottle would last a long time, considering it's 8.4 oz quantity.  Hmm....I could end up talking myself into this with a good GWP to sweeten the deal.
Next in the series is the Re-Nutriv Ultimate Lift Age-Correcting Serum, which is supposed to lift and firm the skin's appearance with 5 times the level of ingredients found in the Re-Nutriv creme.  It has a loooong ingredient list and will set you back a jaw dropping $270.
A little does go a long way, as I found a pea-sized amount was enough to cover my entire face. Could I tell any particular lifting and firming action?  Not really, although the sample size was the smallest of all the products and was only enough for about 2 weeks of use.
  • Laminaria Digitata Extract:  also known as Atlantic kelp, and thought to form a protective moisturizing barrier on the skin
  • Lycium Barbarum Fruit Extract: also known as Goji or wolfberry, with antioxidant and anti-aging properties
  • Pearl Powder: stimulates cell regeneration, inhibits melanin formation.
  • Algae Extract: antioxidant and anti-inflammatory
  • St. Paul's Wort Extract: anti-inflammatory and stimulates wound healing
  • Mimosa Tenuiflora Bark Extract: helps regenerate damaged skin and heal wounds
I could keep going, but you get the picture:  lots of really interesting ingredients with some solid research behind them to support their benefits in skin care.  If I was not such a gadfly when it comes to products and money was not an issue, this could be a worthy skincare investment piece.
The Re-Nutriv Ultimate Lift Age-Correcting Eye Creme is billed as a breakthrough fusion of serum and moisturizer, containing over 50 ingredients that are supposed to deliver profound results.  These results include boosting collagen levels to help eye contours look younger, firmer, and redensified, and reducing the appearance of dark circles, puffiness, and crepiness. Sounds like a miracle in a jar, doesn't it? 
I've yet to find an eye cream that can turn back the hands of time, regardless of marketing claims. This is a good eye cream, and it works well with moisturizing my eye area without causing milia or any type of irritation. It is $140 for half an ounce, which means my sample is worth almost $70.  I'd say if you are interested in this eye cream, keep an eye out for another GWP that features it.  I can see the sample lasting for a good 4-5 months of twice daily use, and if I see a marked improvement in my eye area I will update the review.
  • Shea Butter: moisturizing and antioxidant properties
  • Polygonum Cuspidatum Root Extract: also known as Japanese Knotwood, which is the primary natural source of resveratrol.  Considered to have a number of beneficial effects, including anti-oxidative, anti-inflammatory, and anti-microbial activity.   
  • Boswella Serrata Extract: the source for Indian frankincense, with an anti-inflammatory affect on the skin.  It can also stimulate fibroblasts, which are the cells that make collagen.  Conversely, it may be skin sensitizing for some people.
  • Fuscoporia Obliqua Extract: a mushroom that grows on silver birch trees, it has anti-inflammatory and cell regenerating properties
There are lots of other goodies in here, and if nothing else, I'm happy to see that Estee Lauder really is utilizing heavy hitter ingredients in this line.  I do wonder how stable the ingredients are in the jar packaging, but the marketing lingo includes this blurb, which perhaps helps with the stability of the ingredients?
"Includes Life Re-Newing Molecules, the multi-patented infusion that is the secret strength of Re-Nutriv's power to visibly renew skin at any age."
Last up is the Re-Nutriv Ultimate Lift Age-Correcting Creme ($285), which would be the moisturizer to seal in all this goodness. I used it only at night as I prefer gel moisturizers for daytime use with my oily skin, but I was happy with it as a night cream.  It is not too heavy and even has a somewhat matte finish, so I would consider it as a daytime moisturizer during colder weather. It contains many of the ingredients listed above, so I'll highlight some of the other ones below.
  • Cucumber Fruit Extract: antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties
  • Cladosiphon Okamuranus Extract: found in brown seaweeds and has the ability to regenerate skin cells.  Some studies have found that it has moisturizing effects exceeding that of hyaluronic acid.
  • Tourmaline: thought to trigger a warming effect to increase the production of new collagen and the contraction of fibers, which helps restore the springiness of skin.   
Here is what I know:  the products work well together, I experienced no breakouts or skin irritations, and my skin feels soft, moisturized, and healthy.  I don't have major sagging at this point so it's hard for me to evaluate the lifting claims, but my skin does feel plump and firm after using the Re-Nutriv line. The products feature quality ingredients that do have some research to back up the skin care claims, although the price puts them out of reach for the average consumer.  If you want to spend the money, however, I'd say it definitely has it's appeal.

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