At a glance
My review of Estée Lauder’s cult anti-aging serum, the best-selling Advanced Night Repair Synchronized Recovery Complex II, with a focus on its formula and its star ingredients.
Believe it or not, I only tried the famous Advanced Night Repair Synchronized Recovery Complex II serum by the American brand Estée Lauder very recently!
This serum, which has been the number one selling serum in the world for years, is definitely a true cult skincare product.
It was created almost 40 years ago and is actually supposed to be the very first serum ever designed in the world.
Its formula has evolved quite a bit since its creation, benefiting from the latest technological advances in cosmetics in its newest versions.
It inspired many similar products among the brand’s competitors, but it remains unique to this day because it’s patented (until 2033!).
I know that the Advanced Night Repair serum has many worshippers, and contrary to what you might think, these aren’t necessarily only people with more “mature” skin, despite a very anti-aging product branding.
You can indeed use this serum for many other reasons!
I’ll tell you more about it in my detailed review of this cult skincare product.
Product presentation: Estée Lauder Advanced Night Repair Synchronized Recovery Complex II
For a long time, I had trouble understanding exactly what Estée Lauder Advanced Night Repair (or ANR) serum was.
If I look at Estée Lauder’s communication, I understand that it’s an anti-aging serum. But more specifically, what does it contain to make it effective against the signs of skin aging?
The Estée Lauder brand never really communicated on the formula of the product, nor on the ingredients it contains. Their communication approach about the formula is kind of “old-fashioned”, and it’s funny because I realized that very few companies work like this now.
Having looked at so many formulas under a microscope and checking the ingredients of the products I use, it felt so weird to me, to see a products that had no highlighted ingredients and talked about very abstract concepts like “the powerful ChronoluxCB™ technology”. This ingredient is supposed to “stimulate the natural purification of skin cells and help them to regenerate while you sleep”.
I must admit that nowadays, I need a few more concrete arguments to buy a product. This is clearly the reason why I had never taken the plunge with the ANR until recently (well… that, and its exorbitant price).
But last year, I took an interest in fermented ingredients because I was writing a Focus article on the topic and I realized that the ANR contained a lot of probiotics in its composition.
Even if the fermented ingredients were not part of the original formula, they are now at the heart of the Advanced Night Repair formula, with Bifida Ferment Lysate as the second ingredient in quantity. This ingredient is particularly effective in repairing and soothing the skin!
This small brown vial has indeed been a repairing and regenerating serum since its creation in 1982. As we know that inflammation is an important cause of accelerated skin aging, it’s a great thing!
It’s also one of the first skincare products that used hyaluronic acid in its composition, for a long-lasting moisturizing effect.
During the course of its numerous reformulations, Estée Lauder has also added antioxidant ingredients (including Kola nut, naturally rich in caffeine) to the formula of its best-selling product. The brand claims that its small brown bottle can protect the skin against 90% of the free radicals responsible for premature skin aging.
In 2009, the brand also included in its formula the famous ChronoluxCB technology, which is designed to optimize the skin’s natural night repair mechanism so that it regains all its radiance.
In 2013, the brand combined this technology with catabolism technology, and added a complex of fermented ingredients composed of algae and yeast (Bifida Ferment Lysate), which boosts the skin’s natural cellular regeneration and also its self-repair potential.
With more than 25 existing and registered patents, the serum is now called Advanced Night Repair Synchronized Recovery Complex II.
If I summarize, this ANR serum is therefore effective on:
– skin repair, for soothed skin that is more resistant to environmental aggression that causes it to age faster,
– deep and long-lasting hydration (dehydrated skin generally appears older),
– anti-oxidant (and therefore anti-aging) protection against free radicals that can accelerate premature skin aging.
I decided to use Estée Lauder Advanced Night Repair (or ANR) serum this winter because I thought it would be a good ally for my irritated skin because of retinol (yes, right now, my only criteria to try a new skincare product is: “Is it soothing?” Thank you so much, retinol!).
And also, I’m 40 now, so it seemed legit for me to try this cult favorite skincare product for mature skin ?
Considering the price, I thought that the 30ml format would be enough to get a feel of the product. The bottle lasted me about 3 months, using it every night before my night cream.
The texture is very pleasant, quite lightweight and is absorbed quickly into the skin, without leaving a greasy film (I don’t know why, I was convinced that it would be a very rich product, and it’s really not at all). It’s perfect for my dehydrated combination skin!
I heard and read a lot of reviews of the Advanced Night Repair serum that talked about a “refreshed skin” in the morning.
I can’t really say that this is the result I had, but however, I really appreciated its immediate soothing and moisturizing effect. It was very pleasant!
As for its anti-aging effect, it will be difficult to judge because it’s an anti-oxidant effect, therefore rather preventive and not really visible in the short term. Now I am a fan of anti-oxidant products that I have been using in my skincare routine for ages (so I definitely believe in their long-term effect!).
Value for money:
That’s where I’m a little bit skeptical about this product.
I can’t understand its price. Especially if I just look at the formula and its ingredients.
Obviously, Estée Lauder is a luxury skincare brand and at the time it was created, the Advanced Night Repair serum was unique and revolutionary.
Its formula is also patented (patents are very expensive for a brand) but quite honestly, I think you can find products that give similar results for 1/3 of the price (I’ll have the opportunity to tell more about some of them in the future) (Edit: you can see the reviews of the “dupes” at the end of this one, in the Reviews comparison 😉 ) .
Depending on the distributors, the Advanced Night Repair serum retails between $68 to $200 (the size of the bottle varies between 30 and 75ml).
For me, Estée Lauder Advanced Night Repair (or ANR) serum is a good product, and I enjoyed having it in my routine but I find it quite overrated.
I especially have trouble understanding its price (way too high!). The fact that it’s still the best-selling anti-aging serum in 2019 is also a mystery to me. There are plenty of other anti-aging serums that give the same results for less money!
In short, I’m glad I tried it, but I don’t think I’ll repeat the experience.
ma:nyo Bifida Complex Ampoule
“Bifidalacto Complex (Bifida Ampoule Complex) is a magic anti-aging essence that in 90% consists of Bifidobacteria and Lactobacilli enzymes, Adenosine and Niacinamide.”
– the formula is impeccable, full of good skincare ingredients, almost no filler ingredients!
– the very soothing effect. It’s a perfect serum if you use acids and/or retinol, or if you have a very sensitive skin.
– the effective moisturizing effect,
– the very liquid (but not sticky) texture, quickly absorbed by the skin. It’s perfect for summer!
– it’s fragrance-free, which is ideal for sensitive/sensitized skin.
– the value for money is great!
– the brand uses very few preservatives in its formulas, so you need to use the product fairly quickly after opening (6 months),
– it’s pretty hard to find outside Korea. The brand is not widely distributed online, unfortunately.
Missha Time Revolution Night Repair Probio Ampoule
My detailed review of the Time Revolution Night Repair Probio Ampoule serum from the Korean skincare brand Missha.
– the formula is very rich in good skincare ingredients,
– the effective, long-lasting moisturizing effect,
– the texture is really nice to use and pleasant, comfortable but not sticky,
– the packaging is sleek and elegant.
– I don’t find it as soothing as the brand claims it to be, which is a real shame,
– I don’t quite understand why in its latest reformulation, the brand added essential oils that here, have no other use than a fragrance for the product. I don’t see the point, especially for a product aimed primarily at sensitive skins.
– I can’t help but compare it with the ma:nyo factory serum I reviewed earlier, which is a similar product, and I definitely prefer the ma:nyo serum to this one…
Product Review in detail
Estée Lauder Advanced Night Repair Synchronized Recovery Complex II
"Tested and proven, Advanced Night Repair dramatically reduces the look of all key signs of aging. It maximizes the power of skin's natural nighttime renewal with the brand's exclusive ChronoluxCB™ Technology. It's also formulated with hyaluronic acid, nature's moisture magnet, to help lock in hydration. Lines and wrinkles look significantly reduced."
Good product but way overpriced.
$68 - $200
- the formula is interesting, with good skincare ingredients in high concentration,
- its soothing effect thanks to probiotics,
- its antioxidant effect, always great to have,
- its moisturizing effect thanks to hyaluronic acid,
- it's very easy to find.
- the price is extremely high, and not really justified in my opinion,
- the formula and ingredients are no longer as revolutionary as they once were (very good dupes are available for a much more affordable price),
- some of the product's claims are a bit odd (such as "cell purification", for example, which doesn't really mean anything).
Advanced Night Repair Synchronized Recovery Complex II
from 30 to 75ml.
A brown plastic bottle with a pipette, the cap of which is set with gold metal and the brand name engraved on it. It's simple and above all very easily recognizable.
The formula naturally has a botanical and very fresh scent (it doesn't contain any added fragrance).
A fairly liquid gel, which absorbs quite easily. It's oil free.
– mature skins, or people looking for anti-age prevention,
– sensitive skins,
– suitable for all skin types.
– wrinkles, fine lines,
– loss of firmness,
– too much sun exposure,
I tend to use the Advanced Night Repair Synchronized Recovery Complex II serum rather in the evening, after my essence (or should I say essenceS, yes plural) and before my night cream.
I apply about 1/3 of the pipette and massage it onto the skin of my face and neck. It absorbs relatively quickly, and leaves a very slightly tacky effect that quickly fades once I apply something else over it.
For those who are wondering, I apply it after my acids and/or retinol, and it makes a great ally of these ingredients thanks to its soothing effect.
I won’t lie, it’s not really the “cleanest” serum, so it contains a lot of ingredients that are mainly there to make its texture pleasant. It contains a silicone derivative (which has not caused any problems for my skin). It also has some dyes in its formula. But it also includes good skincare ingredients like:
– probiotics such as Bifida Ferment Lysate and Lactobacillus Ferment, which are soothing and help the skin to maintain its balance (= its microbiome),
– soothing chamomile and bisabolol,
– low molecular weight hyaluronic acid for its moisturizing action,
– emollient squalane,
– Kola nut rich in caffeine, for its antioxidant effect,
– a peptide, tripeptide-32, which has a repairing effect on the skin,
– hydrolized algae and yeast extract for their stimulating effect on cell renewal.
WaterAquaEau , Bifida Ferment Lysate , Methyl Gluceth-20 , Peg-75 , Bis-Peg-18 Methyl Ether Dimethyl Silane , Butylene Glycol , Propanediol , Cola Acuminata (Kola) Seed Extract , Hydrolyzed Algin , Pantethine , Caffeine , Lecithin , Tripeptide-32 , Ethylhexylglycerin , Sodium Rna , Bisabolol , Glycereth-26 , Squalane , Sodium Hyaluronate , Oleth-3 Phosphate , Caprylyl Glycol , Lactobacillus Ferment , Oleth-3 , Oleth-5 , Anthemis Nobilis (Chamomile) , Yeast ExtractFaexExtrait De Levure , Choleth-24 , Hydrogenated Lecithin , Ceteth-24 , Tocopheryl Acetate , Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate , Hexylene Glycol , Carbomer , Triethanolamine , Trisodium Edta , Bht , Xanthan Gum , Phenoxyethanol , Red 4 (Ci 14700) , Yellow 5 (Ci 19140).
Ingredients not included
– mineral oil,
– synthetic perfume,