If you read my previous posts you probably know that one of my ride or die, swear by, products is the Estée Lauder Advanced Night Repair Synchronized Recovery Complex II Serum. This is a serum your are meant to use at night (but you can use it during the day too) before your moisturiser, to give your skin extra nutrients and some anti-ageing help.
For me, it’s almost like skin medicine. After a month of daily usage (in combination with the Estée Lauder NightWear Plus Anti-Oxidant Night Detox Creme), my pores became noticeably smaller, my skin smoother, healthier and younger looking. I also use this if I burn myself while cooking etc. Thanks to the hyaluronic acid and other great ingredients it contains the skin recovers noticeably faster. I also use it on rashes or irritated skin and it calms it down. Obviously, if you have a skin disorder or something you are worried about, consult with a medical doctor first.
If you missed this post check out: A chemist’s favourite beauty products – the Bonds of Beauty 2017 awards!
If you missed this post check out: Estée Lauder Advanced Night Repair Synchronized Recovery Complex II Serum – In Depth Review and Ingredient Analysis
As a result, when I saw the Estée Lauder Advanced Night Repair Intensive Recovery Ampoules I was excited but also sceptical at the same time. These ampoules are marketed specifically for calming the look of stressed skin from environmental damage, lack of sleep, travel, even changes of season or weather. I was excited that this might also be another amazing serum from Estée Lauder but also sceptical as to whether you really need both these ampoules and the Night Repair serum mentioned above.
Do the serum and the ampoules really do different things? Do you need both? And most importantly, are these ampoules worth their massive price tag?
Here’s my chemist’s verdict:
The ampoules have a light brown colour and the oil inside is colourless. Although you might think that a brown ampoule doesn’t sound very attractive, they actually look nice and user friendly.
The texture of the ampoules feels like soft plastic with a slight rubbery feeling to it. Nevertheless, they don’t feel cheap or fragile at all. In fact, they take a bit of force before they release the serum inside.
The texture of the serum inside is what I can only describe as a watery oil. It is thin enough to spread easily like water but at the same time it has a slight oily texture and feeling to it. It’s not as thick as a normal oil but also neither as thin as water. A watery oil!
Although it is an oil overall and it does feel oily on the skin, it gets absorbed quickly and fully and it doesn’t leave an oily residue behind, unless you put too much on. One ampoule can easily cover your face and neck and maybe even your hands a little. If you put the entire ampoule on your face only, it will take longer to absorb and your skin will feel more oily. If you are really dry you can use more on the face and less on the neck and if you are oily you can split half on the face and the other half on the neck etc.
The oil has a very faint oily smell with a slight hint of a floral accent. It is neither pleasant or unpleasant, you probably won’t smell it unless you smell your hands.
One jar of ampoules, 30mL containing 60 ampoules, retails for £87. That’s a difference of £30 from the same size of the Estée Lauder Advanced Night Repair Synchronized Recovery Complex II Serum which is already not exactly cheap.
The price tag is definitely very steep but if you can afford it, it is worth it as the ingredients are excellent. See ingredient analysis below.
If you don’t use them every day, which is a bit much to be honest, then the price tag is much easier to accept as you will only need to buy a jar every now and again.
I actually love the packaging. The jar looks expensive (and it is) and elegant. There is also an element of powerfulness in how the jar looks, the brown-gold colour combinations and even the fact that it contains ampoules. The jar is also heavy!
You might think that it is annoying to use ampoules, why not just put the serum in a bottle with a squeeze dropper? Well, I don’t know the answer for sure, but I would assume that this oil formulation is air sensitive, meaning that it would go off after you open the bottle the first (or a couple) of times. Additionally, there is something extra interesting about using the ampoules, it gives the psychological feeling of using something extra nutritious for the skin and by looking at the ingredients, it is.
Practicality of use – user experience
You are meant to use these in the night before using your night moisturiser. All you need to do is twist open the capsule, dispense the oil in your hands and apply evenly on the face and neck, using your fingers, if you have enough.
I found it very easy to use and even though I thought that the tiny ampoules wouldn’t be enough for the entire face, they really were. I even had enough for the entire neck.
Overall, the ampoules are not only different and exciting to use, but also strangely, they are quite practical. Taking these with on a holiday simply means taking 1-2 capsules in a tiny container. You don’t need to worry about taking a big bottle that will add weight to your bags or even leak all over your clothes.
They are definitely travel friendly and easy to use and I love that, especially since one of the best ways to use them is on stressed skin after travelling, during your holiday or after being exposed to the sun.
I also love that they are rubbery/plasticky and not made of glass (as most ampoules) as there is no risk of harming yourself and it’s actually quite fun to twist them open.
Estée Lauder doesn’t mention a specific skin type for this product and by looking at the ingredients there doesn’t seem to be a limitation either.
However, this serum is literally a cocktail of many oils and extracts which means that there are probably hundreds to thousands of molecules in it. The more ingredients the more chance for irritation, if you have sensitive skin. However, a lot of the molecules would be present in very small amounts and would therefore depend, if and how sensitive you actually are. If you are worried, try the serum on the back of your hand first or consult a medical doctor.
The only skin type that Estée Lauder specifically mentions and recommends this product for is stressed skin from environmental damage, lack of sleep, travel, even changes of season or weather.
Here’s what Estée Lauder writes on their website about this product:
“This powerful recovery concentrate calms the look of irritated, stressed skin. Strengthens skin’s barrier to improve its natural resistance against future assaults. Active treatment oil includes ChronoluxAI technology to help reduce visible irritation and helps synchronize the look of skin.
After just one ampoule, 92% of women said their skin felt calmed and soothed the next morning.*
Skin looked more radiant. Reinforce your skin’s nightly renewal, and help recover the luminous look of youth.
Patented until 2033.
*Consumer testing on a total of 567 women with stressed skin.”
I have the Estée Lauder Advanced Night Repair Synchronized Recovery Complex II Serum do I really need to use this serum too?
Well, you never need to use anything however, these ampoules contain completely different ingredients from the Estée Lauder Advanced Night Repair Synchronized Recovery Complex II Serum and therefore, you could use both without any “duplication” of ingredients. In simple terms, the two serums offer different skin goodies and both are beneficial for different reasons. I use the Estée Lauder Advanced Night Repair Synchronized Recovery Complex II Serum on a daily basis and these ampoules when I feel that my skin needs something extra.
My skin feels smoother and less textured, the day after using these ampoules, which for an oily skin type with crater sized pores is amazing. Other than that, I can’t say that I noticed an immediate or visual skin effect but that is true for most skin care products. It doesn’t always mean that they don’t work. Also, because you won’t be using this every day, you cannot expect immediate visual results.
As a chemist, I can tell you that the ingredients are so good that it is almost guaranteed that this serum will, on a molecular level at least, nourish your skin. Remember that skin care, unlike makeup, is not about immediate results but rather about the long term plan of keeping the skin healthy and youthful for as long as possible.
This serum contains only 20 ingredients which is relatively low for a skincare product. However, all 20 ingredients contained offer some benefit to the skin, there aren’t many ingredients just for formulation purposes. This makes this serum more to the point and perhaps more effective.
Below is a list of the ingredient positives and negatives and…there are no negatives. The fact that these ampoules are not exposed to air and are tight sealed means that this formulation requires almost no preservatives or formulation stabilisers. As a result, the chance for ingredient negatives is also lower.
These ampoules contain a very good, highly nutritional for the skin cocktail. The ingredients are truly impressive. Let you skin feast!
- Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride – Replenishes and conditions the skin. Enhances the delivery of vitamins and other ingredients.
- Squalane – A moisturiser, source of replenishing fatty acids and anti-oxidants. Creates a barrier between the skin and the environment, keeping the moisture in and also conditions the skin.
- Aleurites Moluccana (Kukui) Seed Oil – A really good skin conditioner and anti-oxidant.
- Prunus Armeniaca (Apricot) Kernel Oil – A skin conditioner and moisturiser that can also smooth out blemishes, wrinkles, fine lines, and other symptoms of maturing skin
- Bisabolol – A skin conditioner from chamomile that can sooth and enhance the appearance of dry or damaged skin, by reducing flaking and restoring suppleness to the skin. It is perceived to have healing properties but also anti-irritant, anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial properties. It can enhance the absorption of other molecules.
- Garcinia Mangostana Peel Extract – A skin conditioner and anti-oxidant with some anti-bacterial properties.
- Salicornia Herbacea Extract – A skin conditioner, anti-oxidant and skin whitener.
- Magnolia Officinalis Bark Extract – A skin conditioner with anti-ageing and anti-flammatory properties.
- Salvia Hispanica Seed Extract – A skin conditioner and moisturiser. It can enhance the absorption of other molecules.
- Anthemis Nobilis (Chamomile) Flower Extract – A very good skin conditioner, anti-oxidant, anti-microbial, skin soother and absorption enhancer. The primary component of this extract is bisabolol, see benefits above.
- Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Extract – A skin conditioner, anti-oxidant, anti-microbial extract with skin calming effects.
- Coffea Arabica (Coffee) Seed Extract – A very good skin conditioner and anti-oxidant that can help restore skin and contribute to a healthier, smoother look and feel.
- Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil – A skin conditioner high in vitamin E. It can improve skin hydration and provide anti-oxidant protection. It can also reinforce the skin’s protective barrier, reducing moisture loss. It is also rich in other nutrients (calcium, iron, magnesium, zinc and vitamins A, K and E etc) and can be used against inflammation and skin irritations.
- Camelina Sativa Seed Oil – A skin conditioner and anti-oxidant that contains vitamin E and can contribute to skin elasticity, moisture and protection.
- Vaccinium Myrtillus Seed Oil – A skin conditioner and anti-oxidant with anti-flammatory effects. This oil is high in vitamin C and can help improve the skin’s appearance after sun damage.
- Tocopheryl Acetate – A more stable form of vitamin E. A hero anti-oxidant molecule. A skin conditioner that also enhances the ability of sunscreens. Can help with inflammation. Check out: Vitamins C & E – Do they work in skin care?
- Cholesterol – A good skin conditioner and replenishing compound that can help maintain the skin’s healthy feel and appearance. Our skin naturally contains cholesterol, it works by strengthening the outer structure of the skin and protecting it from dehydration.
- Linoleic Acid – A very good skin soother, anti-oxidant, skin restorer and skin conditioner. Deficiency in this ingredient can cause many effects including slower wound healing. It is also used as an anti-inflammatory compound, for acne reduction, and moisture retention.
- Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate – A hero compound, stable form of vitamin C. Can increase collagen production keeping the skin healthy and younger looking, reduce melanin production giving a brighter skin appearance and can even repair the effects of UV-exposure. This specific form of Vitamin C even has the ability to stimulate production of moisturising compounds in the skin.
- BHT – An anti-oxidant and preservative. This compound is there mostly for formulation purposes.
Ingredients that can cause irritation to some:
This is actually really case specific, as different people have different sensitivities and allergies. Just because a compound has been reported by some to cause sensitivity, it doesn’t mean you will have an issue. “Sensitizer” compounds being present is not a negative in my opinion, as this is the case with pretty much everything out there and funnily enough I’ve seen products that are targeted specifically for sensitive skin, containing some compounds that have been reported by some, or are known to be, sensitizers.
If you have sensitive skin or you are prone to skin sensitisation and unwanted reactions, try a little bit of this at the back of your hand first and consult a medical doctor if you are concerned.
With that being said, the following compounds present in this serum have been either proven or claimed by some to be sensitizers, irritants, allergens etc: Magnolia Officinalis Bark Extract, Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Extract, Tocopheryl Acetate, Cholesterol.
Full list of ingredients:
Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Squalane, Aleurites Moluccana (Kukui) Seed Oil, Prunus Armeniaca (Apricot) Kernel Oil, Bisabolol, Garcinia Mangostana Peel Extract, Salicornia Herbacea Extract, Magnolia Officinalis Bark Extract, Salvia Hispanica Seed Extract, Anthemis Nobilis (Chamomile) Flower Extract, Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Extract, Coffea Arabica (Coffee) Seed Extract, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Camelina Sativa Seed Oil, Vaccinium Myrtillus Seed Oil, Tocopheryl Acetate, Cholesterol, Linoleic Acid, Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate, Bht.
I highly recommend these ampoules as an in-depth nourishing solution when your skin needs some extra love from ageing, environmental damage, lack of sleep, travel, seasonal changes etc. I wouldn’t use them every day (the oil can actually feel quite heavy if used often), I’d refer to the Estée Lauder Advanced Night Repair Synchronized Recovery Complex II Serum for that. However, I always have some ampoules with me when I’m travelling or expose my skin to the sun.
The high price tag also makes these ampoules more of a treatment than an every day use product. However, if you don’t use them daily the price tag is slightly “less painful” as you only need to buy them every so often (there is no M label so I assume they last for a while, as long as you don’t twist them open). You could use them once a week, or when your skin is stressed or just when you feel like it! No matter when you use them, your skin will thank you for it.
Beauty is a very personal thing, we all have different skin, requirements and biological build which can influence things. What worked for me might not work for you and vice versa. Have you ever tried these products? Did they work for you? Let me know your experiences below!
I am not affiliated with any company or brand. These are my views and experiences.
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