L'Oréal Youth Code Serum Intense is very similar to Lancôme Génefique Youth Activating Concentrate (*Est. $80 for 1 oz.). Both formulas tout the inclusion of a yeast compound that can all but turn back the hands of time. Visible results, however, are more likely due to the light-reflecting particles it contains than anything else. The serum contains a lot of alcohol, which can be bothersome, especially for those with sensitive skin. Olay Regenerist Daily Regenerating Serum, Fragrance Free (*Est. $20 for 1.7 oz.) is a better and more gentle option, based on a comparison of reviews by users and experts.
Lots of alcohol -- an irritant: The star ingredient in L'Oréal Youth Code Serum is a yeast compound that is supposed to stimulate genes in the skin that are responsible for regeneration. Paula Begoun, skin care expert and author of "Don't Go to the Cosmetics Counter Without Me," says the research is "intriguing," but there is nothing that shows the ingredient to be effective when applied topically. The formula also contains light-infusing particles. Some users at Amazon.com say the serum produces noticeable results. One says, "My skin texture is softer, there is a more even skin tone, and I definitely see a more youthful look." Others see no difference at all. Begoun warns that Youth Code contains more alcohol than beneficial ingredients -- which can cause irritation and free radical damage, and prevent healthy collagen from being formed.
Tingles on contact: Reviewers say L'Oréal Youth Code Serum Intense has a silky, soft finish, but it tingles a bit when first applied -- likely due to the high alcohol content -- but the sensation fades quickly. Some users find the "perfume-y" scent to be bothersome.
Review Credibility: Excellent Skin care expert, Paula Begoun says L'Oréal Youth Code Serum Intense has some "intriguing ingredients," but it contains a lot of alcohol, which makes it problematic for skin. Begoun notes that this formula is very similar to Lancôme Genefique Youth Activating Concentrate, which costs three times more.
Review: Youth Code Serum Intense Daily Treatment, Paula Begoun, July 12, 2012
Review Credibility: Good More than 50 reviewers at Amazon.com give L'Oréal Youth Code Serum Intense an overall rating of 3.9 out of 5 stars. Several users say it produces noticeable results, but many don't notice any change at all.
Review: L'Oreal Paris Youth Code Regenerating Skincare Serum Intense Daily Treatment, 1-Fluid Ounce, Contributors to Amazon.com, As of January 2013
Review Credibility: Good Editors of InStyle magazine choose L'Oréal Youth Code Serum Intense as an Editors' Choice pick for their 2012 annual beauty awards. Editors say it has ingredients that "perk up dry skin" and light-infusing particles that "impart radiance."
Review: Best Beauty Buys 2012: Skin, Editors of InStyle magazine, April 2012
Review Credibility: Fair L'Oréal Youth Code Serum Intense is included in Cosmetic Executive Women's (CEW) list of 2012 Beauty Award winners. Products are chosen by a group of voters who are CEW members, industry professionals and beauty experts, and awards are given to "the most innovative beauty products of the year." Editors don't say why the Youth Code Serum is chosen as the Anti-Aging Mass Winner over other formulas but merely restate the benefits touted by manufacturers.
Review: 2012 Beauty Awards: Winners, Editors of CEW.org