L'Oreal: Youth Code Texture Perfector Serum
L'Oreal's "Pro-Gen" technology: fact or fiction? A semi-scientific analysis of this 10 year in the making serum.
- Softens and smooths skin texture
- Formula includes peptides
- Contains dimethicone, which can help seal in moisture
- Lacks studies to support strong scientific claims
- Their main ingredient isn't proven to work topically
- Their formula is not natural
- Contains a lot of fillers, fragrances and preservatives
Overview: The Regenerator
L'Oreal Youth Code Texture Perfector Serum claims to improve hydration, diminish fine lines, and give your skin a fresh, healthy glow. It is considered a regeneration serum, as it alleges to improve skin cell turnover to restore the skin's youthful quality.
This serum is comparable to Lancome's Gentrifique Youth Activating Concentrate. Actually, L'Oreal and Lancome are owned by the same company, so it's usually just a matter of time before L'Oreal releases a virtually identical product.
That said, I wouldn't necessarily vouch that Youth Code's more elite predecessor Gentrifique even delivers on all its wrinkle-fighting promises, despite Lancome's high end reputation as a leading brand in the anti-aging arena. The same can easily be said for L'Oreal's Youth Code Serum.
A Closer Look: Unproven "Science"
Youth Code's infamous 10 years in the making "Pro-Gen" technology is based around a beneficial bacteria called bifida ferment lysate, a fermented yeast derived from sugar. L'Oreal claims this probiotic has unlocked the code for regenerating youthful skin.
Watch out for alcohols as they can dry out your skin.
While probiotics are becoming increasingly popular in the field of health and wellness, no actual studies have proven their effectiveness when applied topically. There is limited research that fermented yeasts can offset oxidative skin damage, but not much more than any other household antioxidant. At best, bifida ferment lysate might have softening and emollient properties on the skin.
However - this is not what L'Oreal promises in its Pro-Gen marketing pitch. You would think after 10 years of rigorous research, L'Oreal might publish some of these studies. But they have not. L'Oreal's claims that its anti-aging tonics can change the genetic expression of our skin cells have been subject to much scrutiny. In fact, the Federal Trade Commission banned all their ads which made these kinds of unbacked scientific claims.
On the plus side, their formula does contain several peptides, which are common in good anti-aging products. It also has dimethicone, a silicone based polymer which creates a hydrating barrier on the skin. Dimethicone can superficially fill in your lines and wrinkles to create a plump look. However, this effect is only temporary. This ingredient does not actually improve lines and wrinkles.
- It is absorbed quickly and does not leave greasy residue.
- It softens the skin and can improve skin texture.
- It contains peptides and dimethicone, which can help seal in moisture.
- It might temporarily fill in wrinkles and fine lines to create the illusion of younger looking skin.
- The main claim that their product stimulates your genes to regenerate youthful skin does not have any studies to back it.
- The primary active ingredient has not been proven to be effective when applied topically.
- Their formula is not natural. It contains a lot of fillers, fragrances and preservatives such as phenoxyethanol which is believed to be unhealthy for the body.
- Results are not consistent among users.
- It does not make a significant difference in fine lines or wrinkles long-term.
- There is a lot of alcohol in this product which can dry the skin and possibly lead to damage.
Conclusion: Consistently Inconsistent
While it does have some up-sides, this formula hasn't shown extremely promising results. The results have also been inconsistent. Youth Code is effective at smoothing and softening skin, and temporarily filling in lines. However, this product writes a lot of deceptively optimistic checks its unscientific formula can't cash.
Read our other reviews to find out which anti-aging products do live up to their promises.
Senior Editor & Skincare Expert
Rebecca Austin is a well-established aesthetician with over 20 years experience in skincare. She has researched over 5,000 products over the past decade, striving to help her readers fine-tune their skincare routine so they can get the results they want.
HOW DOES L'OREAL YOUTH CODE SERUM COMPARE?
- Supports smoother, younger looking skin.
- Clinically shown to reduce fine lines and wrinkles.
- Rescues and protects skin from damage.
- Deeply moisturizes to reduce fine lines and wrinkles.
- Versatile, all-inclusive, anti-aging skincare
- Restores youthfulness and radiance for the long term
- Contains Ritapro 165, a next-gen moisturizer.
- Helps to reduce the appearance of lines and wrinkles.
- High-end European company with spa-quality products.
- Uses Padina pavonica algae to boost collagen.