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.

£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.

La Roche Posay Effaclar Duo – beauty hype or marketing tripe?

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A Google search of Boots brand La Roche Posay brings up a bristling plethora of superlatives from the blogosphere. Some are calling it the best cream they’ve ever used, others ‘a miracle’ and some have even ditched their usual 7 cream daily routine for this one tube of £15.00 cream….but why?

A quick read of the marketing blurb refers to 4 active ingredients, so we dug a little deeper to find out…just whats in that stuff?

Ingredient number one….Niacinamide.

Niacinamide is part of Vitamin B3 and can be found in meat, fish, yeast, milk and eggs. It is also used in the treatment of alzheimers, cancer and anxiety.

…but why is it in my face cream?!

Well, in short, niacinamide…or nicotinamide as its otherwise known, works as an anti inflammatory and is particulary effective in treating acne when applied directly to the skin. It also blocks inflammatory iodides which cause or worsen acne. So if you have persistent breakouts, this might be why Effaclar Duo works for you.

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Ingredient number two…Linoleic Acid

Linoleic is derived from the words ‘linon’ for flax and ‘oleic’ which translates roughly as ‘derived from olive oil’. Linoleic acid is part of a group known as essential fatty acids or ‘EFA’s’.

Linoleic acid is added to quick dry oils, and is also the good part of olive oil when it comes to skin care.

…again, why is it in my face cream?

Well, linoleic acid is essential to our bodies but isn’t made naturally by our cells. It is anti inflammatory, so works together with the niacinamide to reduce acne and breakouts. It is also important to cellular repair, and can help facilitate the penetration of other skincare ingredients. Gold star for linoleic acid!

“Ingredient number 3…come on down, what’s your name and where do you come from?”

“My name’s Selenium and I’m from the periodic table of elements”

Selenium or ‘Se’ as it’s known to science geeks, is responsible for tissue elasticity…so you can probably begin to see how this one’s going to work. It’s also connected with reduction of breast cancer and protects the skin from harmful UV rays.

Anything else I need to know?

Yes! Selenium, also prevents cell damage. You can up your daily selenium intake by eating 3-4 brazil nuts per day, or a diet rich in fish, eggs and brown rice.

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Now, the 3 ingredients above probably go some way to proving that La Roche Posay is a bit of a wonder serum however; we’re reserving judgment. Why? Because the fourth ingredient is listed as ‘piroone olamine’ and after extensive research we have not even the slightest clue what this little number is. It could be cyanide for all we know. It probably isn’t. ..but come on La Roche Posay…just what IS ‘piroone olamine’ ?

Until we find out, we suppose we can give Effaclar Duo a very reserved thumbs up…

Do you know what Piroone Olamine is? Are you impressed by a product but want to know why? Comment below or send us an email: whatsinthatstuff@gmail.com