Yves Saint Laurent Youth Liberator: Glycan…or glycan’t?

Last weekend, I took lovely Mother WITS out shopping for her first foray into the world of high end beauty. Our first stop was the YSL counter in Debenhams, where we were almost instantly approached by a fairly persistent  heavily made up counter lady. ‘Here we go’ I thought….I asked which products she would recommend, and her hand moved at the speed of light to the YSL’s Youth Liberator Serum.

YSL_Forever_Youth_Liberatorblog review

IT WAS £90.


I played along, and thought it was worth at least hearing the sales speel. I asked the counter lady if the ingredient referred to on the box as ‘GLYCANS’ was actually Glycolic Acid. No, I was told that these were ‘like little robots that sent messages to the skin to look young again’. Oh right.

Exit stage left.

It did get me thinking…and then researching. So here’s a little post detailing everything I now know about YSL Youth Serum, and its mysterious ingredient ‘glycans’.

SO…what are Glycans then?

‘Glycan’ is actually the name for the sugars found in the tissues in our skin. They are also known as ‘poly saccharides’. Glycans also send messages to the skin to boost collagen production, which is what keeps our skin plump looking and wrinkle free.

SO, if i’ve got them already….why do I need to pay £90 for some more?

Well, as you get older, glycans breakdown and stop communicating with the skin, which has the knock on effect of reducing the production of collagen and increasing the chance of developing wrinkles. YSL claim that the Glycans in their Youth serum will be absorbed by the skin and stimulate the production of collagen.

Is that true though?

Studies into glycan and glycobiology is still in the early stages, and as of 2012 a study of only 600 woman had been undertaken to study the results of using a glycan based cream. It is worth pointing out that YSL employed the services of Professor Peter Seeberger, one of the most eminent scientists in the field of Glycobiology, so it would appear that glycans and aren’t another flash in the pan. Harpers-Bazaar also put the product to a panel test and most users raved about the brilliance of the cream, an opinion that was matched by the BBC programme Horizons when they investigated YSL’s claims, and the image below is pretty exciting!

Before and after the use of YSL Youth Liberator

Before and after the use of YSL Youth Liberator

Prof. Seeberger does however admit that Glycans are a small piece in the very complex arena of anti-ageing skincare, and investigation into whether the use of Glycans in cosmetics will actually provide long term anti ageing effects is in its early stages.

So all in all, we’re pleasantly surprised, and may even consider giving one of cheaper Youth Liberator products a go.

What do you think? Have you tried these products? Comment below and let us know.



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‘It’s got this stuff in it that helps with….’

Ever heard, read or said that before? Chances are, you have…but what if, for just a few minutes we actually sat and thought…’what is that stuff, and why am I putting it on my face / body / hands / etc?!’…because lets be honest, give it a space age name and we’re all there clamoring to immerse ourselves in the next wonder product claiming to give us twelve year old skin or the hair of Cheryl Cole. We throw this stuff on without much regard for what it actually means, whether it will really work and what the long term effects are. So really, that’s a short introduction to the aim of this blog and eventually….video channel.

Now, i’m not here to be the Watchdog of the beauty world – what I want to do is expand my knowledge of the real science behind all these wonder emporiums and their promise of everlasting life, and take you along on that journey with me.

Everything detailed in this blog will be based on my own research and with the aim of giving you all a better understanding of just whats in that stuff….

So without further ado, lets get this show on the road…

If you have anything you’d like me to find out about – maybe there’s a cream that’s worked for others but makes you look like a splotchy Mr Blobby, or some wonder chemical that you’ve heard of but want to find out more about….or maybe it’s just that you’ve found the elixir to everlasting 12 year old skin and would like to find out why so that you can mass reproduce it and sell it to old peoples homes the nationwide. Let me know in the comment box below….or send me an email to whatsinthatstuff@gmail.com.