I have been using Luzern Laboratories Force de Vie Crème Nuit ($175) for about eight weeks. But before I tell you my thoughts on the product, here is a little about me: I am 52 years old with combination-sensitive skin that behaves unpredictably. I have regular minor breakouts, redness and an oily t-zone. As for my numerous aging complaints, I would say my biggest issues are a sagging neck and frown lines. For the past ten years, I've been using various anti-aging serums and creams. To review a new product, I try it on half of my face for about 4 weeks so there is a control side for comparison, then continue using on my entire face and neck.
Force de Vie Crème Nuit uses retinol, peptides and a lipid barrier repair complex to firm, brighten and protect the skin while you sleep. It’s for normal and dry skin types and is intended for nighttime use. I use it at the end of my nightly routine, after serums and lighter creams, and it blends in nicely with all of those. Because I have sensitive skin, I avoid using this with any other Retin-A or retinol products to avoid dry skin or irritation.
Now for the details: This night cream uses many organic ingredients and none of the Toxic 12* ingredients. I am familiar with some of the active ingredients and have seen success with many of them, including retinol, in the past. I find retinol to be very effective at targeting fine lines and some pigmentation, but it doesn't necessarily help reduce the redness in my skin. Next is hyaluronic acid. This really does improve moisture, which helps to decrease the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Finally, ceramides and milk lipids boost the epidermal barrier and create firmer skin, which reduces the appearance of wrinkles and crepiness.
Other ingredients that I am not familiar with include seven extracts from Swiss Alpine certified organic plants and vitamin C to help overall skin tone and target age spots. I think this cream has helped some, but I have more issues with redness than age spots. The ingredient boerhavia diffusa (a tropical flowering plant) root extract is also listed as an aid to minimizing age spots. Caprooyl tetrapeptide, a growth factor, increases collagen, laminin and fibronectin while helping to reinforce skin's structure.
Overall, I saw an improvement in my skin's texture and suppleness, but not necessarily decreased redness or breakouts. I agree with Luzern Laboratories in that this cream refines skin texture, reduces the appearance of lines, smooths and firms skin. An interesting detour: I stopped using this for about two weeks because I was having issues with dry skin, probably due to freezing temperatures and the low humidity in my house. I thought the retinol in this cream might not be good for the dryness, but I think that I was mistaken. Since I stopped using the cream, my skin became less even in texture and the redness seemed worse. I’m back to using it and hope that I didn't make a huge mistake suspending it!
This pleasant-smelling (slightly citrusy), rich cream comes in a jar, so you can use every last bit. It is expensive, but a very little goes a long way — I expect this jar will last a total of at least six months. If you are looking for a strong night cream that serves multiple functions, especially if retinol has worked for you before, this is a great choice.
*The Toxic 12, as I understand, are: (1) Benzoyl Peroxide; (2) DEA (Diethanolamine), MEA (Monoethanolamine), & TEA (Triethanolamine); (3) Dioxin -- often contained in antibacterial ingredients like triclosan, emulsifiers, PEGs and ethoxylated cleansers like Sodium Laureth Sulfate; (4) DMDM Hydantoin & Urea (Imidazolidinyl); (5) FD&C Color & Pigments; (6) Parabens: (Methyl, Butyl, Ethyl, Propyl); (7) PEG (Polyethylene glycol); (8) Phthalates; (9) Propylene Glycol (PG) and Butylene Glycol; (10) Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) and Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES); (11) Sunscreen chemicals: avobenzone, benzphenone, ethoxycinnamate, PABA; (12) Triclosan, a synthetic “antibacterial” ingredient.