Drunk Elephant T.L.C. Framboos Glycolic Night Serum, $112 at Sephora (www.sephora.com).
This nightly serum gently refines and resurfaces skin for a smoother, more radiant complexion with greater clarity and a more even tone. Fine lines, wrinkles, discoloration and other signs of aging will appear diminished, along with excess oiliness and the appearance of pores. It also enhances the performance of other products by exfoliating dead skin.
How it works
The 12-per-cent alpha and beta hydroxyl acid serum also contains glycolic, lactic, tartaric, citric and salicylic acids blended with raspberry extract (which rehydrates and soothes damaged skin) to lift away dead skin cells by dissolving their ties to skin's surface without any harsh dryness or sensitization. Botanical extracts of horse chestnut and white tea help to calm and to soothe.
How to use it
In the evenings, apply to a clean, dry face, neck, chest and to the backs of hands, avoiding the eye area. Allow to dry before layering your other skin care items including moisturizer and other serums. A slight tingling may be experienced.
The bottom line
Every time I've undergone a skin consultation with an esthetician, I've been critiqued for my skin's texture; apparently it's rough and uneven because I don't exfoliate properly, which means my skincare can't penetrate deeply enough for full effectiveness. Truth be told, I'm wary of exfoliation. Physical scrubs usually feel too rough, and chemical masks and peels tend to turn my face into the shade of an irritated tomato. Drunk Elephant describes itself as a "clean clinical" brand; its products are formulated with clinically effective synthetic and natural ingredients without any irritants or sensitizers (ingredients that cause reactions like redness, such as formaldehyde). Since starting to use T.L.C. nightly a few weeks ago, my skin has felt noticeably plumper, and the tightness and itchiness I typically feel after washing has been drastically reduced. This gentle formula seems to be really working its magic, letting my hydrating creams and masks do their thing. After years of dehydration despite obsessive moisturizing treatments, this is an intoxicating personal breakthrough.