• Anastasia Pentias

TBN: Just One Serum Edition- Winner is Lancaster 365 Youth Renewal Serum

(photo via www.lancaster-beauty.com)

I am a beauty maximalist, no doubt about it. Ten steps, as preached in K-beauty, does not scare me. More good stuff, more me-time, yes please.

There are some weeks, however, where you're just too darn tired. You're overworked and the children require every last minute of your time. Sometimes you just get beauty burnout. Sometimes you only have one minute for your skin, end of.

With this in mind, I embarked on a quest. What would be the ultimate one stop shop for my beauty needs? Slap just one thing on, and off to bed with no skin guilt?

I tested three hugely popular serums, each exclusively for a period of months, enough to finish one full bottle. I used them morning and night and topped them off with my moisturiser.

The contenders were:

The Estée Lauder Advanced Night Repair, an old and trusted pal:


The legendary Double Serum by Clarins:


And lastly, Lancaster's 365 Skin Repair Youth Renewal Serum:


I'll be brief, most of us are quite familiar with these. I have a good idea of each because the experiment spanned though about 18 months and I kept final notes at the end of each bottle so I remembered the essential points. It's important to note that none of these three broke me out, which is a common occurence with me and skincare.

Last in the race, came EL's Advanced Night Repair. I was surprised, as this was a hero product in my twenties. Basic points for this: I got great hydration and it particularly helped around the eyes in that regard (I used it on the eye contour as well, despite their decicated eye product for this purpose). And..... that was pretty much it. This was high quality hydration, don't get me wrong. It's levels above what you get from your hyaluronic acid serum, for example. This seems to hydrate on a much deeper level. But I saw no improvement in texture, clarity or firmness on my skin. For this price, I expected so much more.

Second place, with small differences compared to the winner, goes to the Clarins Double Serum. Oh, this was a treat. Rich but light, nourishing but fresh, this made me do a little dance everytime I put it on, because it also smells amazingly. Plumpness, check. Firmness, check. Texture, check. It's great under makeup, I'd go as far as to say this could be your primer. As you may have guessed, I use everything around the eyes as well and this was lovely on the eye contour. Absolutely recommended.

In the end, though, there could be only one. The winner was Lancaster's 365 serum, because while it worked hard on all fronts of signs of aging, like the Clarins one, with this I saw an added noticeable difference in clarity and pores. It gives me an extra glow, which the other two did not. Drawbacks are minor: I am peeved that Lancaster do not explain ingredients in this formula and the smell is meh. A boring smell is not a deal breaker for me, though, and big companies often do not reveal formulas. Considering the scale of their sales and how they are impacted when their protected patents are compromised, that is understandable.

I'll keep this on my permanent roster, even in the 10-step days. But it's comforting to know that when I get busy or bored, I have this overachiever to rely on.

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