Teri Dourmashkin, the founder of La Vie Céleste is a perfectionist. Her products are the result of many months of creation, recreation and tweaking until she gets the look, feel and results that she wants. La Vie Céleste has just launched what I predict will become Teri’s flagship product and it has been more than a year in the making: La Vie Céleste Éclairage Restorative Serum ($98.50 in the shop).
The very fact that this is a serum (and a brightening one at that) deserves a drumroll. So many of us love La Vie Céleste’s thoughtful formulations. The recently launched mineral makeup range is already a big hit with her fans. But I think we’ve all been secretly a little frustrated that her skincare stopped at creams – packed with peptides and antioxidant botanicals, as well as the signature alpha-lipoic acid, they are all great. But they aren’t a serum.
Of course, Teri wasn’t going to launch her serum until she was completely satisfied with it. The goal was to create what I think remains one of topical skincare’s hardest challenges, brightening and reducing dark spots, whilst being kind to sensitive skin and eschewing nasties such as hydroquinone.
Éclairage Restorative Serum is the result of an iterative process that went on for most of 2012. I can tell you because Teri shared ingredients lists, rewrites of ingredients lists, prototype serums and reversioned prototype serums. One of Truth In Aging’s readers, Kate, even reviewed an earlier version back in October. La Vie Céleste Brightening Serum, as it was then called, wasn’t quite ready for prime time and was subjected to more tweaking.
Although I haven’t used this final, final version, I can say that my experience with Éclairage Restorative Serum was extremely positive and it lived up to its mission of brightening, taking down a freckle or two and even firming. This is due to one of La Vie Celeste’s favorite ingredients, caprooyl tetrapeptide-3 (also known as ChroNoline) and a peptide that may help reverse and prevent sagging skin. A couple of my other favorite ingredients are here as well, the free radical blockers milk thistle and ferulic acid.
Dominating the ingredients are skin brighteners with, most notably, alpha arbutin, a tyrosinase blocker, and bearberry leaf extract, which is a source of arbutin and has properties that can protect the skin from sunlight, and B-White, a combination of amino acids derived from a growth factor (TGF-b). The result is a peptide called oligopeptide-68. The peptide binds to the TGF-b receptor in skin cells to inhibit the enzymes involved in skin pigmentation. Tetrahydrocurcumin, derived from the Indian spice turmeric, also has skin lightening abilities, as well as being a powerful antioxidant.
One unusual ingredient is lilac leaf cell culture. This is supposed to be a powerful anti-inflammatory and helpful in the treatment of acne and sebum related disorders. Another is turnera aphrodisiaca, a plant that has been researched for its anxiety reducing activity (less well proven are its effects on the libido). And there’s Chinese Knotweed, which a Hong King study concluded was a more powerful antioxidant than vitamin E.
There’s a ton of other ingredients – all of them natural, all of them chosen with meticulous care. As always with La Vie Céleste, there’s nothing nasty, harsh or chemical. Éclairage Restorative Serum has been well worth the wait
Read my interview with LVC founder, Teri Dourmashkin.