Photo: Instagram / @lancomeofficial
Beauty giant Lancome carries a massive range of products, from makeup to skincare to cater to different consumers. Among them, the most iconic would be the Advanced Genifque range, which sees celebrities such as Kate Winslet, Penelope Cruz, Lily Collins and Victoria's Secret angel and supermodel Taylor Hill fronting it. The latest face of the brand? Korean actress-singer-model Bae Suzy.
The impressive line-up of famous faces aside, this skincare line is really about repairing and rebalancing your skin. It comprises an eye cream, eye serum, two pre-serums and a hydrogel mask. All of them are formulated with probiotic fractions, which are said to help boost radiance, improve hydration and reduce fine lines. Here's our take on which one works best for what skin type or concern.
Lancome Genifique Youth Activating Concentrate Serum, $130-$220
The anchor product in the Advanced Genifique line, this is a serum that claims to give you more radiant and smoother skin in seven days. I've used two bottles of this and although I didn't see an obvious smoothening effect on my skin after a week, it helped keep my skin hydrated and supple. I like its oil-free and lightweight texture, and how one dropper-ful of the serum spreads easily over my face, with just a little extra to spare for my neck and decollete (I needed another pump if I wanted to envelop my neck and nape sufficiently).
Used over two to three months, I found that my oily-combination skin was less prone to breakouts, and there was this healthy glow to my complexion because my skin always felt moisturised, despite me not using a heavier moisturiser. Since I'm in my early-30s, I don't have an issue with sagging skin. But because my skin was kept supple, it felt firmer and my laugh lines looked less obvious.
Best for: All ages and skin types. I would recommend adding this to your skincare routine once you hit your mid-20s. This works more like a booster, so if you have very dry or mature skin, you shouldn't rely on this to give you that added moisture boost; instead, pair it with a heavier cream moisturiser.
Lancome Advanced Genifique Sensitive Antioxidant Serum with Pure Ferulic Acid & Vitamin E, $120
Launched last year, this works as a 28-day treatment for sensitised skin – skin that feels itchy, tingly, dry or irritated due to changes in climate or the environment, or external stressors such as UV rays and pollutants, or internal ones like stress and fatigue. Besides probiotic fractions, this also has ferulic acid and vitamin E to soothe and boost skin resilience.
I tried this once when I was flew from Singapore to Shanghai for a work trip last year. Due to the difference in climate and air pollution in Shanghai, I experienced some dryness and tingling sensation. As with the Youth Activating Concentrate Serum, this Sensitive counterpart is lightweight and gets absorbed into skin readily. While it helped soothe the tingling sensation, I feel like I had to counteract the dryness with an extra dose of moisturiser. The smell is not the most pleasant, which irritated one of my colleagues who has a very sensitive nose, but I didn't find it was something that affected me as much. You have to discard the bottle after two months, although it's best to finish it within a month after the “activation”.
Best for: People experiencing chrono-sensitivity – or skin-sensitivity flare-ups. Although the brand says that this serum helps people with sensitive skin build better resilience, their researchers recommend using it only during peak periods of sensitivity, which is about one to three times a year, and not long-term like the Youth Activating Concentrate Serum.
Lancome Advanced Genifique Eye Illuminator Youth Activating Concentrate, $120
This eye serum comes with a flexible massage applicator which cools the skin. The serum is said to help reduce the appearance of fine lines and eye bags, while helping the skin around the eye contour appear firmer and more rested.
I like the cooling and energising effect of the applicator on the skin. The serum is also lightweight and easily massaged into skin, and it does help my eye area appear brighter and less tired. With continued use, I found that the skin around my eyes felt more supple, and my fine less appeared diminished too.
Best for: All skin types. I recommend using it on mornings when your eyes look puffy or tired.
Lancome Advanced Genifique Youth Activating Smoothing Eye Cream, $105
This has a more hydrating effect compared to the eye serum. For younger skin, I would recommend using this at night, especially if you sleep in an air-conditioned room or if you tend to feel like your fine lines around your eyes are more obvious due to skin dryness. After a week of using this, the skin around my eyes felt firmer and more supple. It is also said to help diminish the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, dark circles, and signs of dehydration around the eyes, but I found its moisturising effect most obvious.
Best for: All skin types, especially those who have drier skin around the eye area.
Lancome Advanced Genifique Youth Activating Mask, $125 for seven sheets
Using a material that Lancome calls hydrogel, this features a special, heat-sensitive mesh that is said to melt into a fluid to release the active ingredients when it comes into contact with skin. One sheet has the equivalent of the Bifidus extract found in one full 30ml bottle of the Youth Activating Concentrate Serum, which claims to deliver instant results – smoother, and more radiant and hydrated skin.
Instructions on the packaging says you can put it on for 10 minutes to prep your skin for makeup, 20 as a booster to help your skin glow, and 30 to make you appear like you've caught up on your beauty sleep. But I found that regardless how long I left the sheet mask on, my skin was instantly hydrated and felt smoother and firmer. The radiance-boosting effect is also obvious, so I like to use the mask as a pre-party skin prep. But because it feels so comfortable on skin, and soothes my skin and brightens my overall skin tone, I recommend using it as a twice weekly or weekly mask to indulge and rebalance your skin.
Best for: All skin types, especially dull-looking skin. If you have dry skin, leave on the mask for longer for enhanced hydration.