A deep cleanser that also hydrates is surprisingly hard to find (most are gel based, not creamy, and leave your skin feeling squeaky clean but tight). Now celebrity dermatologist Fredric Brandt, MD, has created a cleanser he hopes will be everything to everybody: It removes grime and heavy makeup (including mascara) but leaves the skin soft. It seems he succeeded, because one tester asked if the product would be available to buy by the case! Nearly all the testers commented on how well it cleansed ("It melted away my makeup"), how good their skin felt afterward ("Didn’t even need moisturizer") and how surprisingly light this formula was.
This rich everyday cream is part of Bobbi Brown’s new Hydrating Skincare collection; other products include a "tonic" (aka toner), a gel cream for oily skin, an eye cream and a night cream. Each of the products is infused with a mineral water blend, said to help make the skin firmer, more even in tone and less sensitive. Testers were quite taken with the cream, and many praised the texture, ease of absorption and longevity of the moisturizing. "This lasts a long time; several hours later my skin still felt smooth," wrote one. Others liked how well it worked for daytime, despite being as rich as a night cream. "This hydrated without leaving an unflattering shine, and my makeup worked well on top," said one panelist.
The results of this product almost seemed secondary to the pleasure that testers got from rolling the metal-ball tip (loaded with eye cream) around their eyes: "Oh my, it felt good-very cooling," said one. Several noticed a slight reduction in puffiness and said the skin around the eyes looked smoother. Two warned that overusing the product can cause a buildup that flakes off later, and several said you must be sure to squeeze the tube as you’re rolling, or the metal ball won’t be adequately moistened and may end up tugging at your skin.
Perhaps the promise of the name had something to do with it, but readers loved this serum, singling it out for more praise than nearly any other skin product tested. "A real surprise, since this is a brand I’d never even heard of before," said one tester. The almost-watery serum claims to hydrate, plump up fine lines, make the skin look more even and add luminosity to the complexion. And readers didn’t find those claims overstated. "The first day I tried this product, a coworker asked me what I was using-that my skin looked so dewy and refreshed. A week later, I saw my hairstylist, and he said I looked very well rested. I think this product gave me a face-lift!" said a panelist. "The lines around my mouth were less noticeable after I used this for a few days," said another. One tester also commented on how concentrated the product is: "A little goes a very long way." The only suggestion? "I love that this product does almost everything. Now how about some SPF?"
Clarins Vital Light Night Revitalizing Anti-Aging Comfort Cream
Many antiaging products aim to smooth wrinkles, improve firmness and even skin tone. But few address the lack of "glow" often experienced by women over 30. So Clarins set out to create a product that not only minimizes wrinkles but also brings back the glow we take for granted at 20. Using a mix of botanicals, this night cream (there is also a day version) is said to help you wake up to a rosy complexion. Alas, no testers boasted of increased rosiness (maybe we notice this only when we lack it?), but most raved about how soft their skin felt. "I love this product. It feels a bit greasy at first, but in the morning my skin was so smooth. I will definitely buy it when it hits shelves . . . and in the meantime, can you send me some more samples?" asked one tester.
Developed as an at-home alternative to lasers, this serum is supposed to help smooth wrinkles as well as even out tone, delivering results that nearly rival those you’d get at a doctor’s office. All our testers said they liked the light texture, and a number saw results after just four weeks of use (the company says you’ll see significant results after three months). "I used this primarily on my forehead, where my wrinkles are deepest, and I have noticed a softening of the lines," says one. Another commented, "After three weeks, I’m noticing a slight fading of my dark spots." A third got perhaps the most powerful payoff: "This reduced the appearance of brown spots after just one week. Now, at three weeks, the difference is so pronounced, several family members have even noticed."
Nora Ephron is not the only one with a wardrobe full of turtlenecks. Readers couldn’t wait to try this product, many saying neck wrinkles are the one problem they just can’t seem to improve at home. And for most, the pudding-like cream delivered. "Texture of the product was smooth and very rich. I noticed a definite smoothing of the lines on my neck. And it’s the only thing I’ve found that keeps my skin moist in dry Arizona, where I live," said one tester. Another gushed, "Forget like-I love this stuff. It really works. It made those deep grooves in my neck less pronounced and the whole area look less crepey. I’d buy this in a heartbeat and tell all my friends about it." Some balked a bit at the price-"Kind of steep for some-thing I can only use on my neck," said one, though another pointed out, "It’s still cheaper than a neck lift."
Dr. Weil for Origins Mega-Mushroom Skin Relief Serum
Created for sensitive skin (or inflammatory conditions like rosacea), this serum from Origins and holistic health guru Andrew Weil, MD, uses all-natural ingredients to soothe red skin. Readers, for the most part, raved about the results. "I have sensitive skin that reddens easily, and this reduced the unwanted color after just one application," said a tester. Another used the serum on bug bites and swore they too looked less red and swollen. The only characteristic on which readers didn’t agree: scent. Some loved it ("Clean and fresh"), while others found it unpleasantly earthy. "I liked the feel. But the scent didn’t agree with me at all," said one.
This lightweight eye product uses leaves from Bay Cedar trees to stimulate an enzyme in the skin that aids in wrinkle prevention. Studies conducted by Chanel showed a 33 percent decrease in fine lines after three months and a 53 percent reduction after six months. Our testers had just one month to test the eye cream, but most were so encouraged by what they saw, they vowed to keep using it. "After nearly four weeks of using this product, the fine lines around my eyes were all but gone, the dark circles seemed lighter, and there was less puffiness. The difference was dramatic enough that the facialist I go to commented on how much better my eyes looked and wanted to know what I’d been using," said one tester.
Shiseido Future Solution Lx Eye and Lip Contour Regenerating Cream
Who doesn’t love a two-in-one? This antiager works hard: It targets lines around the mouth as well as those around the eyes and contains light-diffusing particles, so both areas (eyes and mouth) look better instantly-almost as though they’re being viewed through a soft-focus lens. Some testers liked the product so much, they were tempted to use it elsewhere. "This cream is extra special. It’s rich and velvety, which made me want to use it all over my face," said one. Others found that it finally helped with unresolved skin issues. "Of all the products I’ve tested, this was my favorite," said another. "I was particularly pleased with the way my lips looked fuller. I have a problem with creases around my mouth, and this really seemed to plump out those lines and make them far less obvious."