I received this 7-use sample of Elizabeth Arden’s iconic facial serum back in 2015 in a subscription box, and promptly totally forgot about it. I think I’d gotten a few samples back in my younger days (early 20s) when I got some Elizabeth Arden GWPs, and I never used them, thinking they were not meant for the young. Ah, I was silly in my youth.
Anyway, I finally got around to trying out this facial serum earlier this year, so I hope it was still good!
Ceramide Capsules were first launched in 1990. The current product sold by Elizabeth Arden has the word “Advanced” tacked onto the front: Advanced Ceramide Capsules Daily Youth Restoring Serum. The classic capsules have been revamped for 2017:
Janet Curmi, vice president of Elizabeth Arden global education and development tells Allure. “In the new formula, we fine-tuned the combination of these lipids with new and elevated levels of skin-identical ceramides, higher levels of fatty acids, and a new ingredient, cholesterol, to further help support the [the outer layer of the skin],” says Curmi.
So, bear in mind that the formula has changed from the sample I got, though Elizabeth Arden do not mention how the technology is now advanced.
This is the new full-sized packaging (60-capsule version):
The copy reads:
Same iconic capsule. Now with advanced technology for a youth-restoring boost. This lightweight, silky-smooth serum delivers an enhanced complex of skin-identical ceramides and supports natural lipid levels. Retexturize and revitalize the look of skin for a visibly smoother, firmer and youthful appearance.
Why ceramides? A secret to younger looking skin, ceramides are naturally-occurring lipids that help fortify the integrity of skin’s moisture barrier. As we age, skin’s ceramide levels decrease, resulting in wrinkles, dryness, unevenness and loss of firmness. Reclaim your skin’s youth.
Clinically proven to take up to 10 years off the look of your skin.* In just two weeks:**
- 95% Showed clinical improvement in skin firmness
- 84% Showed a clinical reduction in lines and wrinkles
*US clinical test, 25 women at 12 weeks.
**US clinical test, 44 women
The serum contains eight key ingredient groups:
- Enhanced Ceramide Lipid Complex
- Combines Ceramides 1, 3 & 6 to help support skin’s own natural protective barrier against moisture loss, and help to retexturize, exfoliate, and smooth skin.
- Botanical Complex Technology
- A blend of alfalfa extract, lipids from olives and hydrocarbons from coconut oil, this helps reduce the appearance of lines and wrinkles and increase hydration levels within the skin.
- Tsubaki Oil
- High in Omega-6 and Omega-9 essential fatty acids to help improve elasticity, minimizing the look of fine lines and wrinkles while enhancing moisture so skin feels smooth, supple, and soft.
- Fatty Acids
- Linoleic Acid, Linolenic Acid and Vitamin E help maintain the integrity of the skin’s lipid barrier for healthy-looking skin.
- Helps replenish essential lipids and retain moisture levels to support the stratum corneum and help protect skin from dehydration.
- A lipid naturally found in the skin that helps restore the skin barrier by allowing the skin itself to produce the ceramides it needs.
- Sea Fennel Extract
- Helps to enhance skin cell renewal and reinforces the integrity of the skin’s barrier to increase luminosity and skin smoothness.
- Retinyl Palmitate
- Works to smooth lines and wrinkles, helps support skin’s own natural collagen for a firmer look, and improves skin’s clarity for a more even-toned appearance.
Marketers at Elizabeth Arden, I’m really glad I took some biology classes way back! Lipids include fats and waxes! Collagen is a protein that holds our skin, muscles, and other body parts together! I did have to look up stratum corneum, though. (It’s the outermost layer of our skin—ahem!—our epidermis. Hey, I knew it was a layer of skin.) Basically, they’re claiming that this serum will help to rehydrate and de-wrinkle the skin. Yay! ‘Cause my skin is very dry, particularly during winter. This sounds perfect for someone like me.
Now, the main selling point of this product are ceramides, are a group of waxy lipids that are a component of cell membranes, and a main component of membranes from cells in the stratum corneum. As our skin ages, it loses both ceramides and cholesterol from the skin cell membranes. Ceramides can be found in some topical eczema creams, and are most effective when combined with free fatty acids and cholesterol in the correct ratio. (I actually suffer from light eczema, though not really on my face; I’m starting to wonder how silly I have been about not checking out ceramide products earlier!)
Now that we’ve gone over the ingredients and the claims, how does this serum really work?
The capsules are single-use pods made of soft, gold-colored plastic. This in itself annoys me, partly because it’s not very eco-friendly and partly because I don’t like the dose amount. I get that this type of packaging keeps the serum uncontaminated for each use. However, that’s a lot of unrecyclable plastic to keep chucking out in the garbage.
I also feel that each dose contains probably twice what I would use if the serum just came in a regular bottle with dispenser. I literally have to go over my face twice with the serum, and then put some on my neck, décolletage, and hands just to use it up! I don’t even have a small face! This serum is pricy stuff, and if I could use it up at my own pace, it’d work out to last me twice as long.
But, I have to say that even with just a one week trial supply, I really did like this serum. I used it in the peak of winter, so my skin was doing its usual “I’m gonna flake all over the place” routine, and I was slathering it with layers of moisturizers and oils, to little avail.
The serum has a slightly thicker consistency, and a slippery feel that makes you think it might be greasy, but it’s just silicones. Lots of silicones (various silicones are the first, second, and fourth ingredients listed).
Still, even after just the first use, I noticed smoother, more hydrated skin in the morning.
So, just a week’s use meant my skin had noticeably improved in terms of moisturization. My skin was no longer nearly as flaky on the cheeks, and overall I felt my skin felt more hydrated and smoother.
I probably would need to test out this product for another month just to be sure that it’s really working well, but at this point I am reasonably sold. These ceramides seem to be doing their job on my dry skin!
As I mentioned before, I’m not totally keen on the wasteful capsule packaging, so I will do a little research to see if I can find a similar product packaged in a recyclable container, instead. After all, the Elizabeth Arden product is quite pricy and it would probably serve me well to seek out a more economical version of these capsules.
Dimethicone, cyclopentasiloxane, squalene, cyclohexasiloxane, isostearic acid, Ceramide 1, Ceramide 6 II, Borago officinalis seed oil, linoleic acid, linolenic acid, retinyl linoleate, retinyl palmitate, tocopherol, phytosphingosine, oleic acid, hexadecanolactone.
Elizabeth Arden Advanced Ceramide Capsules Daily Youth Restoring Serum (note that I reviewed the previous, un-“Advanced” version) comes in two sizes: 60 capsules for US$78 / CA$98 and 90 capsules for US$98 / CA$125, though there are occasionally bonus sets at better deals. The 60-capsule set works out to US$1.30 / CA$1.63 per use; the 90-capsule set works out to US$10.9 / CA$1.39 per use.
My 7-capsule sample was made in Italy. Its volume totaled 3.2 mL, so the 60-capsule set contains approximately 27.4 mL (0.93 fl oz), and the 90-capsule set contains approximately 41.1 mL (1.39 fl oz).
Elizabeth Arden was the business name of Canadian-born Florence Nightigale Graham. She founded the Red Door salon on Fifth Avenue in New York City in 1910; the company eventually became the Elizabeth Arden cosmetics company. After being owned by Eli Lilly and then Unilever, Elizabeth Arden was purchased in 2001 by FFI Fragrances, which then assumed the name Elizabeth Arden Inc. Revlon acquired the company in the fall of 2016. Elizabeth Arden is currently based in Miramar, Florida, USA.