Skin-Care Products Designed SPECIFICALLY For Millennials

Update: We just got word that Estée Lauder is joining the millennial-beauty race with The Estée Edit, a new lineup launching March 15 at Sephora. The collection has been created with the social media generation in mind and is inspired by current face of the brand Kendall Jenner (naturally) and beauty blogger Irene Kim, its global beauty contributor. The roundup will include both skin-care and makeup products.

Estée Lauder is one of many brands hoping to reach millennial consumers. Ahead are a few others that want a piece of your sweet (often debt-ridden) millennial bank accounts.

This story was originally published on Sept. 24, 2014.

When Elizabeth Arden launched its new skin-care line, Flawless Future, it did so by presenting a group of editors with statistics about millennials, garnered via a survey conducted by Wakefield Research. Funnily enough, most of us fit well within the “millennial” description, since it's basically defined as anyone born from the early '80s through the early 2000s. Essentially, we were reading about ourselves. And, the statistics were shockingly — and disturbingly — accurate. It was kind of like reading a horoscope (except infinitely more somber).

According to this survey, 62% of women think looking 10 years older would be worse than gaining 10 pounds. Also, 44% said their appearance stresses them out (which comes as a surprise to exactly no one). And, on average, millennial women say that if they could look one age forever, it would be 24. (That one hurts.)

We could wax poetic about what these results say about our generation — how we've been sabotaged since birth by clever advertising and ladymags that project a false and unrealistic beauty ideal. These are valid, and essentially inarguable, points. But, interestingly, the survey revealed that while we desire to look youthful, we’re not exactly doing much about it.

Only 24% of the women surveyed said they were currently concerned about wrinkles or lines, while a mere 17% had fears about sun damage. It seems that in our era of instant gratification, we're more worried about "now, now, now," and less about later. Obviously, we don’t need researchers to tell us that this method of thinking is absolutely backwards when it comes to taking care of your skin.

Enter millennial skin care — also known as “age delay,” or “early action.” These collections are marketed — and, theoretically, designed — to redefine anti-aging for our fearless-but-stressed contemporaries. Click through the slideshow to learn a little bit about how skin-care companies are about to target you next — plus, which products might actually be worth a try.

Photo: Courtesy of Shiseido.
Shiseido Ibuki
Many of the brands claim on their press releases to be the first to the millennial party, but as far as this editor can tell, Shiseido is the true early bird. Ibuki translates to “inner strength” in Japanese. But, Shiseido’s point is not that young women need any more resolve — it’s that their skin does, thanks to nasty environmental conditions. To counteract pollution and harsh UV rays, this new line uses a combination of botanical extracts not only to encourage cellular regeneration, but also to eliminate any excess buildup. Consider their Refining Moisturizer the beginner’s guide to anti-aging creams.
Shiseido Ibuki Refining Moisturizer, $45.00 Buy
Photo: Courtesy of Caudalie.
Caudalie Polyphenol C15
“Free radicals are responsible for up to 80% of the skin’s aging,” says Mathilde Thomas, the founder of Caudalie, a luxury French beauty brand. That’s why she worked with a team of scientists to produce Polyphenol C15, a collection that “contains all the ingredients needed in your 20s and 30s. It’s packed with powerful, antioxidant grapeseed polyphenols and vitamin C that will stop free-radical damage.” Plus, it has an instantly plumping hyaluronic and a super silky texture. You can’t go wrong with any of its key products, from the dry oil to the eye contour, but the serum is positively divine — especially since C works to beat dark spots and acne scars you may have earned in your earlier years.
Caudalie Polyphenol C15 Anti-Wrinkle Defense Serum, $62.00 Buy
Photo: Courtesy of Clarins.
Clarins Multi-Active Day
Clarins explains that the “multi-active woman leads an incredibly busy life.” But, because stress is so terrible for the skin, she may experience early wrinkles — which means she needs a non-comedogenic moisturizer to correct any damage that’s been done (and prevent future damage). Clarins' range includes creams for normal to combination, dry, and all skin types. The hero ingredient? An extract from Ambiaty, a shrub “growing on the high plateaus of Madagascar” that stimulates the skin for a more wide-awake complexion.
Clarins Multi-Active Day Correction Cream, $59.00 Buy
Photo: Courtesy of Vichy.
Vichy Idéalia
The folks at Vichy, the iconic French pharmacy brand, claim that seven out of 10 women engage in “at least one skin-sabotaging behavior each day.” Among said behaviors? “Lack of sleep, late nights at the office, and scarfing down take-out.” (You can put the R29 beauty team down for all of those!) Their solution for the stressed, tired young woman are Idéalia Life Serum and Idéalia Eye Contour, two products designed to energize the complexion. Our bet is on the former, which has a base of Vichy thermal water and features a salicylic-acid derivative that micro-exfoliates the skin, while golden pearls create an instant burst of radiance. Try it in the mornings, and skip moisturizer if you’re oily or combination.
Vichy Idealia Life Serum, $44.00 Buy
Photo: Courtesy of Natura Bisse.
Natura Bisse Essential Shock
Unlike the other collections featured in this piece, Essential Shock is less concerned with stress than it is with…estrogen. Apparently, you start to lose a whole lot of it after you turn 30, causing thinning and drying skin — a phenomenon known in the beauty biz as “the estrogen effect.” The secret recipe in Natura Bisse’s line is comprised of a “proteoglycan-derma complex” and an “aminoessence cocktail”—the former increases volume and collagen production, while the latter stimulates regeneration and fortifies lipids on the skin's surface.
Natura Bisse Essential Shock Cream, $115.00 Buy
Photo: Courtesy of Elizabeth Arden.
Elizabeth Arden Flawless Future Powered By Ceramide
“What’s suitable for a woman in her 50s is not suitable for someone in her 20s and 30s, because she’s experiencing different aging symptoms than those experienced by more mature women,” says Art Pellegrino, the VP of research and development at Elizabeth Arden. “We think of this line as the first step into anti-aging for young women living busy lifestyles, and that’s what makes it so amazing.” According to a 2013 survey from the American Psychological Association, millennials are the most stressed-out generation — and that affects women more than men. Elizabeth Arden's signature ceramide is meant to counteract these effects, since it “supports the skin’s matrix.” The Caplet Serum contains the highest amount of the ingredient, and it has produced the strongest clinical results, with 67% of women saying it “visibly reduced signs of stress and fatigue.” The label says to use it both day and night, but since it contains “skin brighteners and pore refiners” (read: mica and silicones), stick to layering this one under your day cream instead.
Photo: Courtesy of La Prairie.
La Prairie Cellular Swiss Ice Crystal
Yes, that’s right: The fancy-pants brand that houses a spa at the luxe Ritz-Carlton in NYC makes products aimed at young women — and not just the ladies who lunch. Inspired by “Swiss extremophile plants” (read: greenery that’s actually able to survive atop the Alps), the line works to defend your skin against the elements and provide an optimal amount of nourishment, thanks to a patent-pending blend of purple saxifrage, soldanella alpina extract, and snow algae. If you’ve got an extra $300 to spare, spend it on the Cellular Swiss Ice Crystal Dry Oil, which is a surprisingly lightweight blend of complexion-enhancing sweet almonds, sunflower seeds, sea-buckthorn berries, mountain arnica extract, and jojoba seeds. Add a drop to your favorite moisturizer to turn it into a supercharged, ultra fragrant night cream.
La Prairie Cellular Swiss Ice Crystal Dry Oil, $300.00 Buy
Photo: Courtesy of Orlane.
Orlane Anagenèse
With the introduction of Anagenèse, Orlane is another newly ordained member of the not-just-for-your-mother luxury skin-care brands. This collection’s packaging is smartly emblazoned with “25+”, driving home their message that “aging begins to settle in from age 25 and becomes visible towards the ages of 35-40.” Essentially, it's a constant visual reminder that time is ticking. To delay its cruel, weathering effects, Anagenèse allegedly utilizes growth-factor technology to increase collagen and hyaluronic-acid production. Whether or not it's truly the magic of a Nobel Prize at work, we may never know. But, we do know, from personal experience, that Morning Recovery Concentrate is the equivalent of an espresso shot for your complexion when you’re hung over.
Orlane Morning Recovery Serum, $100.00 Buy
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