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La Vie Céleste Eclairage Restorative Serum Review

is a Solution for:
Age Spots, Combination Skin, Hyperpigmentation, Large Pores, Sagging Skin
La Vie Céleste Éclairage Restorative Serum 1 oz
February 28, 2013 Reviewed by Marta 14 Comments
TRU Rating
A botanical serum for that youthful glow


Lightens dark spots without hydroquinone


May not smooth out wrinkles

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.

  • January 25, 2016

    by Elisa

    Hi Sue,

    La Vie Celeste is a completely vegan brand, no animal products or testing. You can read more here:

    Also, you can find them listed as a cruelty-free company here:

  • January 25, 2016

    by Sue

    Can you please advise if this product contains any animal ingredients or is tested on animals?

  • January 16, 2015

    by Teri

    Hi Annie & Everyone Else...Happy New Year! Wanted to let everyone know that moving forward, we have replaced the dropper with a fabulous pump dispenser. I don't have an updated photo yet, but rest assured the application is so much easier now! I didn't go with an air pump because those can sometimes cause problems. I think you will be happy with this one! Best...Teri/LVC

  • January 17, 2014

    by Annie

    Thanks Terri for replying to my comment and explaining why you chose to use the bottle and dropper. Thanks for the tip of squeezing the dropper more. I will try that

  • January 17, 2014

    by Teri

    Hi Annie...Very happy that the serum is not irritating your sensitive skin. In regards to the application, I have not heard of any feedback until now indicating that the dropper is difficult to use. And while the serum may be a bit thicker than some watery type serums, if you give it a good squeeze, the serum should dispense very easily. I chose this packaging because the black/violet "Miron" glass really does a great job of preserving the product. Air pumps can be problematic at times, so I decided not to go that way. I hope that you find dispensing it a bit easier in the future. And also, as is the case with almost all serum droppers, once the dropper ceases to pick up any product, take the dropper out and pour some in the palm of your hand...sometimes a quarter of a bottle can be sitting at the bottom....we don't want to waste any of it:). I hope you start to see some positive results soon! Best, Teri

  • December 15, 2013

    by Annie

    I have only just started using this so it's too early to say what the benefits, if any, will be on my skin. I have sensitive skin and it is certainly not reacting to this serum which is good. I have given it four stars though because of the packaging. The serum comes in a bottle with with one of those small droppers. As the serum is thicker than liquid I feel an air pump would be better. I look forward to seeing how my skin is after a few weeks of application.

  • October 14, 2013

    by Marta

    (5 out of 5)

    Caprooyl tetrapeptide-3 (also known as ChroNoline), Kim. It is a peptide that may help reverse and prevent sagging skin

  • October 14, 2013

    by Kim

    (3 out of 5)

    Hi! I just ordered this, mainly for help with sagging skin. However, I can't find another reference on this helping anyone with that problem. It mainly says everywhere that it is for skin brightening and smaller pores. I don't need that. Did I just waste a C note? Thanks in advance for your reply.

  • March 1, 2013

    by teri Dourmashkin

    Thanks so much for your feedback is my pleasure! Can't wait until you try the serum sometime down the road!

  • March 1, 2013

    by Laura

    Oh wow, I love LVC products and would love to try this. I'll have to wait for a sale! Thanks for making such wonderful products, Teri!

  • February 28, 2013

    by Debra

    Thanks so much for your responses! I'll probably give it a try and see what I think!

  • February 28, 2013

    by Teri Dourmashkin

    Hi glad you are enjoying the LVC products. I agree with Marta in that the Chronoline may help,but of course I couldn't guarantee that it could significantly help deep lines vs reducing the appearance of fine lines & wrinkles. So many of us have found that this serum does noticeably smoothen the skin as well as adding additional hydration. So, in that regard, it can really help to impart a more youthful look. There are so many amazing antioxidants/botanicals that work synergistically to give a more youthful and brighter complexion. Hope this helps.

  • February 28, 2013

    by Marta

    Hi Debra, the Chronoline may help. But I would say the emphasis of this serum is skin brightening - unless Teri wants to weigh in on this.

  • February 28, 2013

    by Debra

    I'm in my late 50's and a user & big fan of LVC products. I'm wondering what, if anything, this new product does for deep forehead lines?

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