Monday, 28 March 2011

Estee Lauder Re-Nutriv Ultimate Youth Creme Review

As a scientist, a large percentage of my time is spent reading journal articles for work and, being a bit of a nerd, I also enjoy reading scientific articles in the media for fun. So, I thought I was fairly on the ball as to what hot new research that was being conducted. Yet, somehow I had missed what was going on in the beauty industry. I always thought that research conducted within the beauty industry was a bit fluffy - that they would just survey 10 women, ask them if they thought that their skin looked better, fewer wrinkles etc and that was the extent of it. Estee Lauder Re-Nutriv Ultimate Youth Creme is the beauty product that really opened my eyes to just how seriously the beauty industry takes it's research.

The Claims
Estee Lauder Re-Nutriv Ultimate Youth Creme contains Resveratrate otherwise named “The Youth Molecule” by Estee Lauder. According to the company, this product is meant to extend the skin’s youthfulness so that time “stands still”. The skin will increase in its clarity, tone, and fine dry lines will be plumped by the moisturiser.

The Research Explained
Background to the research: Studies in mice and other organisms have shown that reducing calorie intake causes an increased life expectancy or longevity. Scientists have then found that it is the gene SIRT-1 that gets activated to cause this longevity. Genes are a bit like powerpoints, they don't really do anything until they get switched on, or activated. Often the hardest part of research is not discovering a gene but finding out what turns it on or off. When SIRT-1 gets activated, it increases the cells natural defenses and the repairing functions meaning that the cell is better at protecting itself from damage and if damage does occur it has more time to repair itself - this in turn allows the cell to live for longer.  Once it was discovered that SIRT-1 was responsible for longevity, scientists at Estee Lauder and two other labs worked together to find out how they could activate SIRT-1 in skin cells to make them live longer. This research took over 8 years to complete.

The research: The star ingredient of the Ultimate Youth Creme is Resveratrate. Resveratrate has been shown to activate SIRT-1. Scientists grew some skin cells in a dish (this type of experiment is called a cell culture) and then put some Resveratrate into the dish to see what would happen to the cells. The result was that survival rate of the skin cells doubled (ie after a certain amount of time there were twice as many cells alive in the dish that has Resveratrate than in the dish that didn't have Resveratrate) and that the skin cells had 6 times more protection from environmental factors.
Resveratrate works on the epidermal cells in the top layer of the skin. You may want to refer back to my blog, Understanding the skin, for a more detailed diagram of the layers of the skin but briefly, there are 5 layers of epidermal cells that divide and move their way up through the skin. Often skincare routines promote a product that speeds up cell turnover for a fresher looking complexion. However, each cell only has a limited number of times that it can divide. In the DNA of each cell is a telomere, which is a bit like a gate keeper - when a cell divides to make another cell the telomere makes sure that this new cell is identical to the original one. But each time a division occurs a little bit of the telomere snaps off. Eventually, after so many cell divisions, the telomere gets completely used up, meaning that the original cell can no longer divide and so it dies, causing thinning of the epidermis. So, because Resveratrate increases the cells natural defenses and the repairing functions it actually slows down cell turnover. Which, as Estee Lauder puts it, causes time to "stand still".
My Review
I have managed to get my hands on a few deluxe sized samples (7ml) of the Ultimate Youth Creme and so have been using this as a night cream. I think it would be most effective if it were used day and night; however, as it is so expensive and it doesn't contain a SPF I decided to save it just for a night cream. I am finding that the 7ml samples are lasting me over a month being used as a night cream so a 50ml pot would last over 6 months.

I have to say that it is honestly the most beautiful moisturiser I have ever tried. My skin felt satin soft after applying it, it has never felt like that before. I just wanted to keep stroking it! It absorbed easily, was not in the slightest bit greasy and a little bit went a long way, hence why my sample lasted so long. It had light reflecting particles in it that gave my skin a real luminosity (which is fantastic if you are planning on using it as a day cream as well). It plumped out the fine lines, and the lines that are beyond plumping were well disguised by the light reflecting particles. When I'd get up in the morning my skin looks so good after using this - so fresh, hydrated and honestly quite radiant.

It is lightly fragranced, which I found to be very pleasant, and I don't think the fragrance would be strong enough to offend anyone. The only thing I didn't like about this was the container it came in. As you can see from the pic it comes in a jar. Now, while there is something quite satesfying about sticking your finger in a tub of moisturiser and taking a big gloop I do worry about potential contamination. And at $AU410 for 50ml you do not want this to become contaminated. I would much prefer it to come in an airless pump pack, for both contamination reasons and it would make it much easier to ration out exactly how much cream you use.

This is such a beautiful moisturiser that I think that this cream would be ideal for anyone. However, the best age group to start using this cream would be those in their late 20's, or early 30's (or even 40's if you are blessed with a youthful appearance) who are only just starting to show the first signs of ageing. This cream would then slow down the ageing process.

When I was researching this article I discovered that the Ultimate Youth range has been discontinued which is quite disappointing. I debated not posting this article but I have a bit of a sentimental attachment to the Ultimate Youth range as it was the first beauty range that blew me away with the scientific research. I decided to post it anyway, and have also contacted Estee Lauder to find out why it was discontinued and to see if there is an equivalent range out there. I'll post my findings once I get a reply.