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.



Hyaluronic acid.


Sounds a bit scary doesn’t it? Especially when you consider putting it on your face; however L’Oreal claim it’s ‘For skin that looks as if it’s reborn’. I don’t know how true that is, and to be honest, I had NHS glasses and a bowl cut at 12 so I don’t relish the idea of getting out the family album to try and do a comparison. Instead of a haunting trip down memory lane, I decided to go down the good old fashioned route of research, and here’s what I learnt.

What is hyaluronic acid?

In its purest form, hyaluronic acid is a thick fluid carbohydrate, which is present in all of us….mostly in our eyes and joints. In actual fact, hyaluronic acid is used as a medical treatment for osteoarthritis.

Why is it in my cream?

Hyaluronic acid is a very thick or ‘viscous’ fluid. Because of that it can act like a cushion or ‘plumper’…and we all know that the secret to younger looking skin is smooth wrinkle free ‘plump’ skin. It also is though to stimulate collagen growth in the skin, and act as an antioxidant when included in face creams.

What else is it used for?

Hyaluronic acid is also used in cosmetic fillers such as restylane and Juvederm, injected directly into the skin.

Does it really work though?

Well. I’m no scientist, but after lots and lots of research…i’m afraid to say that so far as working as an anti ageing cream…..the jury is still out on hyaluronic acid. Most research says that hyaluronic acid,  cannot be absorbed into the skin due to its viscuous consistency and therefore simply sits on top and is washed or brushed away during the day.

So it sounds a bit pointless….

Aha. All is not lost. Now for the exciting part. Hyaluronic acid isn’t a complete case of Emperors New Clothes. It’s a bit complicated, so grab yourself a cuppa and a quiet two minutes and you’ll be whooping for joy in no time. Maybe don’t do that out loud though….unless you’re alone and the curtains are closed. Here goes…

Hyaluronic acid is naturally present in all of us but is broken down by our skins interaction with damaging UV rays and other naughty stuff present in day to day life, it triggers the growth of another enzyme known as hyaluronidase, which breaks down our natural stores of hyaluronic acid. So….the best cream to use is something that stops the growth of hyaluronidase, to give your hyaluronic acid levels a little kick. Now luckily for you, I’ve found out the name of one little hyaluronic acid booster, and….surprisingly its a natural sea kelp based nutrient known as ‘phytessence wakame’ and is widely used by the Japanese…who funnily enough are known for their youthful looks.

The good news is, phytessence wakame isn’t a thousand dollars a gram and can actually be found in most seaweed based products available from your local asian superstore and even in the seaweed sheets known simply as ‘wakame’…hey, they even use it in the production of sushi.

So put down that hyaluronic acid cream and make a booking at Yo!Sushi. You’ll be back in your 12 year old skin in no time…or you can simply click on the link below which will take you to a plethora of wakame products starting from as little as £1.30.


If you found this article interesting….please let your friends know, and if you have any questions about the hyaluronic acid, or a suggestion for a further post, just drop me a comment below or send me an email to whatsinthatstuff@gmail.com

Enjoy your salmon skin rolls!