Beauty Heroes: Estée Lauder Advanced Night Repair

What is it?

A peachy-coloured, gel-like serum, Estée Lauder’s Advanced Night Repair Synchronized Recovery Complex II (ANR, to those in the know) is one of the brand’s bestsellers, and has been around since the Eighties. An anti-ageing serum designed to work while you sleep, it acts on lines and wrinkles, dullness and dryness for more youthful and radiant skin.

Who is it for?

ANR is primarily an anti-ageing product, but since it is lightweight in texture and tackles dryness, dullness and dehydration as well as the more obvious signs of ageing, there’s no reason not to use it for prevention as well as cure. Also, its non-comedogenic, oil-free and fragrance-free formula makes it suitable for oily and sensitive skin too. Those with visible signs of ageing will see the benefits most clearly.

How do you use it?

Designed to be worn every single night, ANR comes with a pipette dispenser for hygienic application. Estée Lauder’s official advice is to “apply a drop on each fingertip of one hand” and “touch fingertips of both hands together” before massaging into the skin, but for ease we’d suggest that two to three good-sized drops are enough, smoothed over the entire face after cleansing, but before moisturiser.

Why it’s a hero beauty editor Lisa Niven says: “I have relatively oily skin and so I really appreciate that ANR is oil-free, and instantly sinks into the skin without residue. Now I’ve entered my thirties I thought it was time to start using a ‘proper’ anti-ageing product, and this feels so much more lightweight and wearable than a lot of other options on the market, which I tend to find a bit rich. It’s definitely hydrating – those with even oilier skin might find that they don’t even need to follow it with moisturiser – but I like to follow it with a light hydrator. I do think my skin is more radiant since using it and it’s a pleasure to use, but I’m not sure it’s made a big impact on my fine lines yet. However my mum, who is in her fifties, has been using it for years and is an utter convert (plus has great skin), so I’ll happily give it the test of time.”

Read more: Beauty Heroes: Bioderma Sensibio H2O

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Review: Estée Lauder Advanced Night Repair Synchronized Recovery Complex II

Believe it or not, I only tried the famous Advanced Night Repair Synchronized Recovery Complex II serum by the American brand Estée Lauder very recently!

This serum, which has been the number one selling serum in the world for years, is definitely a true cult skincare product.

It was created almost 40 years ago and is actually supposed to be the very first serum ever designed in the world.
Its formula has evolved quite a bit since its creation, benefiting from the latest technological advances in cosmetics in its newest versions.
It inspired many similar products among the brand’s competitors, but it remains unique to this day because it’s patented (until 2033!).
I know that the Advanced Night Repair serum has many worshippers, and contrary to what you might think, these aren’t necessarily only people with more “mature” skin, despite a very anti-aging product branding.
You can indeed use this serum for many other reasons!
I’ll tell you more about it in my detailed review of this cult skincare product.

IngredientsFocus on: fermented ingredients (ferments, yeasts, probiotics) Like probiotic cures that are recommended at each change of season, cosmetics use more and more bacteria, yeasts and other fermented ingredients in skincare products to take care of the skin and its micro-bacterial flora, the microbiome. Read more Close

Product presentation: Estée Lauder Advanced Night Repair Synchronized Recovery Complex II

For a long time, I had trouble understanding exactly what Estée Lauder Advanced Night Repair (or ANR) serum was.

If I look at Estée Lauder’s communication, I understand that it’s an anti-aging serum. But more specifically, what does it contain to make it effective against the signs of skin aging?

The Estée Lauder brand never really communicated on the formula of the product, nor on the ingredients it contains. Their communication approach about the formula is kind of “old-fashioned”, and it’s funny because I realized that very few companies work like this now.

Having looked at so many formulas under a microscope and checking the ingredients of the products I use, it felt so weird to me, to see a products that had no highlighted ingredients and talked about very abstract concepts like “the powerful ChronoluxCB™ technology”. This ingredient is supposed to “stimulate the natural purification of skin cells and help them to regenerate while you sleep”.

I must admit that nowadays, I need a few more concrete arguments to buy a product. This is clearly the reason why I had never taken the plunge with the ANR until recently (well… that, and its exorbitant price).

But last year, I took an interest in fermented ingredients because I was writing a Focus article on the topic and I realized that the ANR contained a lot of probiotics in its composition.

Even if the fermented ingredients were not part of the original formula, they are now at the heart of the Advanced Night Repair formula, with Bifida Ferment Lysate as the second ingredient in quantity. This ingredient is particularly effective in repairing and soothing the skin!

This small brown vial has indeed been a repairing and regenerating serum since its creation in 1982. As we know that inflammation is an important cause of accelerated skin aging, it’s a great thing!

It’s also one of the first skincare products that used hyaluronic acid in its composition, for a long-lasting moisturizing effect.

During the course of its numerous reformulations, Estée Lauder has also added antioxidant ingredients (including Kola nut, naturally rich in caffeine) to the formula of its best-selling product. The brand claims that its small brown bottle can protect the skin against 90% of the free radicals responsible for premature skin aging.

In 2009, the brand also included in its formula the famous ChronoluxCB technology, which is designed to optimize the skin’s natural night repair mechanism so that it regains all its radiance.

In 2013, the brand combined this technology with catabolism technology, and added a complex of fermented ingredients composed of algae and yeast (Bifida Ferment Lysate), which boosts the skin’s natural cellular regeneration and also its self-repair potential.

With more than 25 existing and registered patents, the serum is now called Advanced Night Repair Synchronized Recovery Complex II.

If I summarize, this ANR serum is therefore effective on:
– skin repair, for soothed skin that is more resistant to environmental aggression that causes it to age faster,
– deep and long-lasting hydration (dehydrated skin generally appears older),
– anti-oxidant (and therefore anti-aging) protection against free radicals that can accelerate premature skin aging.


My experience:

I decided to use Estée Lauder Advanced Night Repair (or ANR) serum this winter because I thought it would be a good ally for my irritated skin because of retinol (yes, right now, my only criteria to try a new skincare product is: “Is it soothing?” Thank you so much, retinol!).

And also, I’m 40 now, so it seemed legit for me to try this cult favorite skincare product for mature skin ?

Considering the price, I thought that the 30ml format would be enough to get a feel of the product. The bottle lasted me about 3 months, using it every night before my night cream.

The texture is very pleasant, quite lightweight and is absorbed quickly into the skin, without leaving a greasy film (I don’t know why, I was convinced that it would be a very rich product, and it’s really not at all). It’s perfect for my dehydrated combination skin!


Result :

I heard and read a lot of reviews of the Advanced Night Repair serum that talked about a “refreshed skin” in the morning.

I can’t really say that this is the result I had, but however, I really appreciated its immediate soothing and moisturizing effect. It was very pleasant!

As for its anti-aging effect, it will be difficult to judge because it’s an anti-oxidant effect, therefore rather preventive and not really visible in the short term. Now I am a fan of anti-oxidant products that I have been using in my skincare routine for ages (so I definitely believe in their long-term effect!).


Value for money:

That’s where I’m a little bit skeptical about this product.

I can’t understand its price. Especially if I just look at the formula and its ingredients.

Obviously, Estée Lauder is a luxury skincare brand and at the time it was created, the Advanced Night Repair serum was unique and revolutionary.

Its formula is also patented (patents are very expensive for a brand) but quite honestly, I think you can find products that give similar results for 1/3 of the price (I’ll have the opportunity to tell more about some of them in the future ?).

Depending on the distributors, the Advanced Night Repair serum retails between $68 to $200 (the size of the bottle varies between 30 and 75ml).


In summary:

For me, Estée Lauder Advanced Night Repair (or ANR) serum is a good product, and I enjoyed having it in my routine but I find it quite overrated.

I especially have trouble understanding its price (way too high!). The fact that it’s still the best-selling anti-aging serum in 2019 is also a mystery to me. There are plenty of other anti-aging serums that give the same results for less money!

In short, I’m glad I tried it, but I don’t think I’ll repeat the experience.

The serum Estée Lauder Advanced Night Repair Synchronized Recovery Complex II serum retails between $68 to $200 depending on the retailers (the size of the bottle varies between 30 and 75ml).

Reviews comparison:

ma:nyo Bifida Complex Ampoule


“Bifidalacto Complex (Bifida Ampoule Complex) is a magic anti-aging essence that in 90% consists of Bifidobacteria and Lactobacilli enzymes, Adenosine and Niacinamide.”

Product size: 50ml $25 – $35

+ Pros

– the formula is impeccable, full of good skincare ingredients, almost no filler ingredients!
– the very soothing effect. It’s a perfect serum if you use acids and/or retinol, or if you have a very sensitive skin.
– the effective moisturizing effect,
– the very liquid (but not sticky) texture, quickly absorbed by the skin. It’s perfect for summer!
– it’s fragrance-free, which is ideal for sensitive/sensitized skin.
– the value for money is great!

– Cons

– the brand uses very few preservatives in its formulas, so you need to use the product fairly quickly after opening (6 months),
– it’s pretty hard to find outside Korea. The brand is not widely distributed online, unfortunately.


Packaging Texture Scent Feeling on the skin Formula/ Ingredients Efficiency/ Result Value For Money Availability

Missha Time Revolution Night Repair Probio Ampoule


My detailed review of the Time Revolution Night Repair Probio Ampoule serum from the Korean skincare brand Missha.

Product size: 50ml $18 – $45

– the formula is very rich in good skincare ingredients,
– the effective, long-lasting moisturizing effect,
– the texture is really nice to use and pleasant, comfortable but not sticky,
– the packaging is sleek and elegant.

– I don’t find it as soothing as the brand claims it to be, which is a real shame,
– I don’t quite understand why in its latest reformulation, the brand added essential oils that here, have no other use than a fragrance for the product. I don’t see the point, especially for a product aimed primarily at sensitive skins.
– I can’t help but compare it with the ma:nyo factory serum I reviewed earlier, which is a similar product, and I definitely prefer the ma:nyo serum to this one…

Packaging Texture Scent Feeling on the skin Formula/ Ingredients Efficiency/ Result Value For Money Availability

Estee lauder advanced serum

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