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  • Stella Lee

Review - Estée Lauder Advanced Time Zone SPF 15

I am coming to the very last bit of my Estée Lauder Advanced Time Zone Age Reversing Line/Wrinkle Creme SPF 15 (Normal/Combination). This is the usual day cream that I have been using for the past 9 months. I have finished almost 60 mL. Initially I wasn't planning to write a review on this moisturiser (there are a lot of reviews already available). But come to think of it, it is actually my favourite Estée Lauder moisturiser so far.


From the Estée Lauder website:

Look younger in just 5 days. Help rewind the visible signs of ageing.

Tested and proven: Skin looks dramatically smoother, fresher, less lined—fast. Our revolutionary Tri-HA Cell Signaling Complex™ helps skin boost its natural production of line-plumping hyaluronic acid by 182% in just 3 days.* Actively helps skin boost its natural support structure to dramatically reduce the look of lines and wrinkles. Women say their skin looks younger, more beautiful. You will too. The Normal/Combination skin creme is lightweight, silky, refreshing. The Dry Skin creme is luxuriously emollient and velvety smooth. *In vitro testing of Tri-HA Cell Signaling Complex™ ingredient.

As much as I like this moisturiser, I am not convinced that these are my experiences. I certainly didn't feel I look younger in 5 days (although, it is fair to say that I didn't feel I looked any older while I was using it), and I also didn't feel that my lines and wrinkles (I have a lot of these on my neck) were "dramatically" reduced. I think lines have been softened, but to say that they are "dramatically" reduced is being too dramatic.

And then there's the claim that the "revolutionary Tri-HA Cell Signaling Complex" helps skin boost production of hyaluronic acid - as supported by in-vitro testing. In vitro testing is, of course, very different from what actually happens when a product is applied on human skin. Generally speaking, in vitro studies involve testing something on a single layer of cell that is submerged in aqueous culture medium. As such, accessibility (the ability for the test molecules to make contact with the cells) is generally not a problem in in vitro studies. The concentration of test molecules can also be present in a MUCH higher concentration which can sometimes trigger cells to react in a way that is not physiologically possible in vivo. Of course, I have not seen any data of this particular study, so I can't comment on it one way or the other. But for the reasons above, I always disregard claims based on in vitro studies.

On the other hand, I agree that the moisturiser is lightweight and silky.

My experience

What I like

Extravagant claims aside, I actually think this is a very good moisturiser. It stands out from all the other Estée Lauder moisturisers that I have tried because it is not heavily fragranced. Its consistency is perfect for normal skin - it is light, easy to apply evenly; it gets absorbed rather quickly, allowing makeup to go on top; yet, it is rich enough for my skin to feel comfortable all day. I haven't had any problem with product piling with this moisturiser, nor do I have any breakout and congestion from using this cream.

This moisturiser is jam packed with a lot of plant extracts, antioxidants other moisturising factors. Although I can't say that I "looked younger in just 5 days", I can say my skin is in great condition while I am using it. My skin feels soft and supple, lines are softened. It is most likely the combined results of many other products that I am also using at the moment, but the fact that my skin managed to look decent throughout the whole time when my bub needed a feed every 3 hours (including overnight) tells me that my skin likes this cream a lot. Usually my skin condition dives when I am stressed and sleep deprived.

I also like that this moisturiser has SPF 15. I use it every morning whether I plan to go out or not, so I don't need to worry about applying another sunscreen if I need to do unplanned short trips like going to the post office or supermarket.

What I don't like

I usually don't like paying a lot of money for products which has a high amount of silicone. Silicone is a "filler" ingredient which makes the skin looks and feels smoother without benefiting the skin in the long run. Dimethicone (silicone) is the second ingredient in the list.

From what I've gathered, the 30 mL version of this cream has been discontinued (at least in Australia), which is a real shame. The 50 mL is expensive ($110 for 50 mL , cf. $65 for 30 mL). I am not sure if I want to spend that much money on a cream that is packaged in a jar. Product that is packaged in a jar will get oxidised quicker because of the constant opening of its lid. I don't always mind jar packaging, but to have it in a bigger size (50 mL) means I will have the content in an "opened" state a lot longer (it will take me more than 6 months to use up 50 mL). I would rather buy 2 x 30 mL so I have a fresh batch when the other one is finished - sadly this option is no longer available.

Night cream

Although I have the Advanced Time Zone night cream as well I haven't been using them together. I like to test things out separately. I may review it when I have finished it, but given that I only have 15 mL it's probably going to be a shorter review.

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