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20 Nov 2011

Lancôme Visionnaire Trial

Lancôme Visionnaire
I've been trialling Lancôme Visionnaire for the last three and a half weeks now, and I'm due into the Lancôme counter to reveal my findings during the week (a move designed, I suspect, to co-opt me into purchasing some more Lancôme products, but that's the way these things work).  This entry is a particularly long-winded tex-heavy discussion of my usual skin-care routine, and what I found while trialling Visionnaire over a four week period.

The Product

The product claims include the following:

  • Wrinkles appear reduced, pores appear minimised.
  • Skin tone is more even, as if corrected.
  • One out of two women tempted by a cosmetic procedure decided to postpone it *1*
  • On the surface, wrinkles*2* and pores*2* are visibly corrected, imperfections like signs of UV damage and acne marks appear diminished.

*1* After 4 weeks of consumer use. Consumer evaluation of women aged 35 to 49 years tempted by hyaluronic acid, laser or chemical peeling (note that a cosmetic procedure is not the same as a medical procedure).
*2* Clinical study

The final product has resulted from twelve years of research and twenty international patents.  The serum's molecule LR2412, which is credited with being the magic at the core of the product, was tested by independent dermatology specialists Professor Chris Griffiths and Dr Rachel Watson, who carried out very statistically favourable blind tests on Visionnaire at Manchester University.


My Usual Skincare Regime

Before I get started, I need to digress briefly to discuss my usual skin-care regime.  I have been using Crème de la Mer (CDLM for brevity) products as moisturisers about the last ten years now.  For cleansers I also use Elemis, Shu Uemura, Dermologica and Natura Bisse products.

Up to 4 weeks ago, my skin-care products and routine were as follows...

MORNINGS

Either CDLM The Cleansing Foam OR Natura Bisse Facial Cleansing Gel, followed by CDLM The Radiant Infusion (two pumps) and a pea-sized amount of the CDLM Crème, along with CDLM The Intense Eye Balm.

EVENINGS

Either of the following: Elemis Melting Cleansing Gel, Elemis Pro Radiance Cream Cleanser or Shu Uemura Cleansing Beauty Oil to remove makeup, followed by either the Elemis Soothing Apricot Toner, or the Shu Uemura Moisturizing Lotion as a toner, then CDLM The Hydrating Infusion, CDLM Crème, CDLM The Intense Eye Balm and CDLM The Lip Balm.

And using all of this stuff, my skin was just peachy.  So following the KISS* and IIWDFI** principles, a changeover, to try out Lancôme Visionnaire seemed like a potentially dumb idea... however it's never a bad idea to keep on top of your skin and skincare routine, and your skin changes with every passing year, and season in fact... and this had got amazing reviews... and it had the backup of a very positive blind trial by a renowned Manchester dermatological lab behind it... and it's the latest and newest shiny thing... and I'm a sucker for new and/or shiny things... and...

*Keep it simple, stupid
**If it works don't fix it


The Trial

So, first-off, Visionnaire is only to be used at night-time.  It is to be used as a serum underneath a night-time moisturiser.  The Lancôme SA kindly supplied me with enough Lancôme Génifique and Hydra Zen range of moisturisers and eye cream to use in the mornings and evenings, so I would be switching entirely to exclusive use of Lancôme products for the duration.

DAY 1

Very first impressions of Visionnaire; it smells quite strongly, which can be a problem (strong smells trigger migraines for me), but I found it to be tolerable.  It seems a little pearlescent, so the cynic in me thought that was potentially from where it's "brightening" claims arise, however as I was only going to be using it at night-time, and as any pearlescence would be removed by my morning cleansing routine, I deemed that pearlescence irrelevant.  It did feel nice, and my skin felt immediately softer and smoother.  And after that first morning, my skin definitely still felt softer and plumper.

DAYS 2-4

Two days in, however, told another tale, and I noticed I was developing some milia or perhaps whiteheads, not something usual for my skin,  a problem which became exacerbated after three to four days.   I was using about two pumps of Visionnaire, and I decided to take it back to about one and a half pumps;  this condition can result, after all, from using a product too rich for your skin type.  It's also worth noting that I didn't change my cleansing/toning routine or products, just my moisturiser/serum use.  During the day, I used Génifique serum and Hydra Zen cream (which are recommended on the Visionnaire website and by the Lancôme SA)... during the night I used Visionnaire and Hydra Zen Nuit cream, along with Hydra Zen eye cream.

END OF WEEK 1

After about five to six days, most of the skin tags disappeared and my skin took on a smoother appearance and a softer feel.  So far so good.  My skin wasn't particularly brighter, nor were my nose pores (the bane of my life) reduced.

AFTER 2 WEEKS

Two and a half weeks later, I found that I had a good deal of congestion around my chin, in particular.  Again, this can be caused by overly-rich products, so a protracted gentle exfoliation helped rid myself of that congestion.  The Visionnaire definitely made my skin feel soft after that (but that is to be expected - any decent product, applied post-exfoliation, always functions better).

AFTER 3 WEEKS

Three and a half weeks on, my skin is not great; any extra plumpness or softness has disappeared.  I have also now some small dry red patches.  This products claims to tighten pores, and it seems to have had a minor, beneficial influence on nose pores (or perhaps one of the other Lancôme products has helped there).  So that's a potential plus.  It, or something else in the Lancôme suite of products I've been using, however, is causing dryness.  It may not be the Visionnaire; it might well be the Hydra Zen day or night cream or the Génifique serum.  I have definitely not noticed a reduction in lines (in fact, the opposite, more on that in a minute).  I definitely have a few more blemishes than before.  Perhaps this product is simply not suited to my skin, or perhaps it's too rich for my skin - either way, it's not particularly working for me.  Along with the dry patches on my chin, I have a large dry area at my forehead hairline which wasn't there before.  All of this is hardly a ringing endorsement.

I mentioned lines: one of the product claims is that it reduces minor lines and wrinkles.  I have noticed that I now have - albeit very slight, but there nonetheless - under-eye lines.  These were categorically not evident a month ago.  I can conclude that the Hydra Zen eye cream is nowhere near as good as the CDLM Eye Balm, and I shall be restarting use of this post-haste.

The product also claims that it brightens skin;  My skin is at least equally as bright as it was before.  Perhaps it's the tiniest bit brighter.  I should however point out that I did have an IPL facial about a week into my "Lancôme trial" so it's always possible that any perceived "brightening" could be down to the fact that pigmentation has been lasered away***, and besides that, I'm fortunate in that my skin always had a reasonable luminosity to it anyhow (however long that will continue we shall see).  So I can't comment as to whether Visionnaire helped with skin brightening or not.

*** This is not my first IPL facial and it has never caused dryness before, so I don't think the dry patches can be written-off to the laser.


Upshot

Will I re-purchase?  No, I don't think I will.  I did like the initial softness and skin-plumping, and I like the fact that it certainly seems to have helped nose pores.  I wouldn't object to using it if I ran out of other night-time serum, and I'll continue to use it as a serum on my nose, but for me, personally, I don't feel it has been particularly beneficial to my skin overall.

I will however, continue with it for another few days until I go back into Lancôme to have my skin analysed.  I did decide/agree to use Lancôme moisturiser/serum products exclusively for the trial, however as parts of my skin are now dryer than they've ever been, I'm going to recommence use of my CDLM moisturiser, day-time serum and eye cream, to see if it's the Lancôme Genifique/moisturiser that may be causing the dryness I'm experiencing.

Pluses?  My nose pores have definitely shrunk a good deal.  Minuses?  After nearly 3.5 weeks I'm left with dry patches and some blemishes.

I know that CDLM works, at least for me.  Visionnaire has been an interesting trial, but I am more convinced than ever that I'm not straying from CDLM again.

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