One of my first beauty internships was at Harper's Bazaar, where every day had an influx of designer clothes and skin gadgets so futuristic, the only way to track them down was by translating websites in Korean. I'll never forget emailing the first-ever LED light mask manufacturer for a sample at an editor's request, only to be informed the price was $3,000.
As a parting gift, my manager gave me some Chanel skincare, which I promptly passed on to my mother — at the ripe age of 20, my collagen was going strong. According to my mom, it was a gift from the heavens. She loved having the Chanel logo on her counter, and the Le Lift Crème in particular filled out some fine lines she'd been battling since I was a tween.
Flash forward to today, and Chanel's added to its skincare line with a few different collections of hydrating, brightening, and anti-aging products. Yet that first Le Lift line hit the nail on the head, and its Crème still wins raves from shoppers at their wits' end with deep wrinkles, large pores, and less-elastic skin.
Shop now: $165; chanel.com
"I have used Le Lift Creme for several years now. LOVE it," writes one 66-year-old on Chanel's site of the results they see from a pea-size dose of the cream. "I had been out of it for several months and tried to get by with other anti-aging products, but I always come back to this one. I saw almost immediate improvement in the firmness and softness of my facial skin. My face looks tighter and less noticeably wrinkled." A different 66-year-old says the formula leaves their skin smooth, soft, and free of stress lines.
The cream's reliable outcomes stem from its formula, which includes camellia seed oil, sweet potato extract, shea butter, vitamin E, hyaluronic acid, alpha hydroxy acids, collagen-spurring peptides, adenosine, and alfalfa concentrate. The Derm Review notes that adenosine has proven anti-wrinkle benefits, since the ingredient is able to decrease crow's feet and forehead wrinkles by stimulating collagen formation. On top of that, Chanel says alfalfa concentrate is as efficient as retinol for firming and smoothing skin. The medical literature-jury is still out on whether that's the case, but alfalfa extract is a proven antioxidant that neutralizes the free radicals that contribute to aging.
Leading brands like Vintner's Daughter and Youth to the People include the extract in their anti-aging products, and going by the Lift Crème's glowing reviews, there's definitely something to the addition. "Love this cream. Leaves my skin soft and dewy looking," writes one person.
"My skin feels so amazing. I was out for two months using other high end cream — no comparison," says another, who's going on 25 years with Chanel skincare. They're not alone in the devotion: One more shopper says they're on their fourth jar of the pore-minimizing anti-ager, and the results are so profound, they refuse to use anything else.
"I have been using Chanel moisturizers for years. Nothing compares to the quality of this product," writes a final reviewer. "My skin absorbs Le Lift quickly and completely, the scent is lovely, [and] my skin stays smooth and healthy from wash to wash."
It's pricey, but my mom can agree that you get what you pay for — or what you're given, as the case may be.
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