Firstly, I need to make a PSA: once again I’m in SPAM HELL. 😡 I’ve noticed that many of my comments on other blogs are disappearing which means they’re likely being flagged as spam. Please check your spam folder as shown in this post. I recently upgraded to Windows 10 system, not sure if that’s what caused it, grrrr. 👿 Onward to the post!
I didn’t originally set out to compare these two serums, but then I noticed how similar their bottles are:
Right? 😮 I’ve been using the Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair Synchronized Recovery Complex II at nights and the Holika Holika One Solution Anti-Wrinkle for days – let’s see how these two perform and compare.
Estée Lauder Advanced Night Repair Synchronized Recovery Complex II
This product has a cult following. I’m always game to try something popular to see if it lives up to the hype. I’ve been itching to try this and I finally redeemed points for it in January. I’ve been using this for about 2 months.
This has a faint dusty medicinal smell that’s like a mixture of crushed up headache tablets and damp sawdust. It has no added fragrance so the smell is a combination of its ingredients.
The serum has a slightly gooey texture that dries to a slightly tacky finish on the skin. It spreads well and absorbs into the skin quickly. I use this after I’ve cleansed and toned my skin, and before my moisturizer. The aforementioned scent does not linger.
This serum claims to help reduce fine lines, improve hydration and more even toned skin. Let’s see what’s in this thing:
Water, Bifida Ferment Lysate, Methyl Gluceth-20, PEG-75, Bis-PEG-18 Methyl Ether Dimethyl Silane, Butylene Glycol, Propanediol, Cola Acuminata (Kola) Seed Extract, Hydrolyzed Algin, Pantethine, Caffeine, Lecithin, Tripeptide-32, Ethylhexylglycerin, Sodium Rna, Bisabolol, Glycereth-26, Squalane, Sodium Hyaluronate, Oleth-3 Phosphate, Caprylyl Glycol, Lactobacillus Ferment, Oleth-3, Oleth-5, Anthemis Nobilis (Chamomile), Yeast Extract, Choleth-24, Hydrogenated Lecithin, Ceteth-24, Tocopheryl Acetate, Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate, Hexylene Glycol, Carbomer, Triethanolamine, Trisodium EDTA, BHT, Xanthan Gum, Phenoxyethanol, Red 4 (CI 14700), Yellow 5 (CI 19140).
The 2nd ingredient, after water, “Bifida Ferment Lysate” is a type of probiotic, which is the first I’ve heard of probiotics in skincare. We all know about probiotics in yogurt and supplements which are “good” bacteria and yeast that help with the digestive tract. It seems that when used in skincare, probiotics act as an antioxidant. Based on what I’ve read online, the science is still not firm on how probiotics applied topically helps the skin.
EDIT!: fellow blogger Victoria highlighted an ingredient to me: Triethanolamine (the 8th ingredient from the bottom). This stuff is harmful to the skin (causing irritation) and should not be included in skincare that’s meant to remain on the skin like moisturizer or oh a SERUM!? 😮 I’m dropping the rating down due to this! Please check out Victoria’s informative post on this subject. Thank you Victoria for pointing this out to me! ❤
I must admit that I didn’t see noticeable difference using this nightly for at least a month. But I persevered. I know that people noticed significant improvements with this serum but I found the results to be subtle for me.
The most noticeable improvement I saw was more radiance on my skin but I did not find that it helped much in hydration even though it contains squalane and hyaluronic acid. I did not see reduction in fine lines (I was focusing on my laugh lines).
The serum retails for $80 for a 30ml bottle. Larger sizes at 50ml ($118) and 115ml ($225) are also available.
Contains good ingredients
• Skin looked more radiant
• Did not break me out
• Dropper dispenser easy to use
• No added fragrance
• Didn’t yield significant results
• Contains Triethanolamine, a harmful ingredient
Stash worthiness: 4/10
Bottom line: Your results will vary! I was hoping to join the legions of people who love this serum. Avoid this serum due to the harmful ingredient. There are much better serums on the market that are less expensive as well!
Holika Holika One Solution Anti-Wrinkle Ampoule
I’ve been using the Holika Holikda serum for less amount of time compared to the Estee Lauder since I ran out of my night serum earlier – I’ve been using this for about a month.
I stumbled upon this serum at Winners last year for $17 and liked how it looked (I guess subconsciously it reminded me of the Estee Lauder? Even though it didn’t click until I put the 2 bottles side by side).
As mentioned, I use this in the mornings as my daytime serum. This product feels quite slick and leaves a slightly oily finish on the skin. It is perfumed and smells of faint floral scent which isn’t too offensive.
It wears well under makeup and helps to keep my skin looking glowy and plump during the day.
It’s interesting to note that the first ingredient is not water.
Gentiana Scabra Root Extract, Glycerine, Methyl Gluceth-20, Butylene Glycol, Trehalose, Cetyl Ethylhexanoate, Glycereth-26, Cyglopentasiloxane, PEG/PPG-17/6 copolymer, Dimethicone, Beta-Glucan, Dipropylene Glycol, Portulaca Oleracea Extract, Bis-PEG-18 Methyl Ether Dimethyl Silane, Diethoxyethyl succinate, Euterpe Oleracea Fruit Extract, Ximenia Americana Seed Oil, Carbomer, Polysorbate 20, Palmitoyl Pentapetide-4, Dimethicone / Vinyl Dimethicone Crosspolymer, PEG-20 Sorbitan Cocoate, Arginine, Xanthan Gum Crosspolymer, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Acrylates/C10-30 alkyl acrylate crosspolymer, Lauryl Dimethicone / polyglycerin-3 Crosspolymer, Sodium Hyaluronate, Sodium Polyacrylate, Adenosine, Theobroma Cacao Seed Extract, Water, Creatine, Polymethylsilsequioxane, Chlorphenesin, Sodium bicarbonate, Caprylhydroxamic acid, Caprylyl Glycol, Phenoxyethanol, Disodium EDTA, Fragrance.
Gentiana Scabra Root Extract is a bitter herb, when ingested, helps with a variety of internal organ functions from the liver to kidney to digestion. It has been shown to have skin conditioning and soothing properties when applied topically.
Compared to the Estee Lauder, I found the effects of this to be even more subtle and temporary. It mostly provided hydration and creates a nice base – but there was no long lasting skin improvements. I was pleased that it didn’t cause me to break out or react with my other skincare or foundation (like ball up or separate). I would say this serum is probably better suited to those with drier skin type due to the oilier texture.
• Provided good hydration
• Did not break me out
• Dropper dispenser easy to use
• No noticeable improvements
Stash worthiness: 6/10
Bottom line: Again, your results may vary. I just didn’t see improvements to my skin.
Note that Holika Holika has repackaged this with tweaks in the formulation (water is the first ingredient now and it doesn’t even contain Gentiana Scabra Root Extract at all). The new packaging doesn’t look anything like the Estee Lauder serum anymore:
The new name is ONE Solution Super Energy Ampoule Anti Wrinkle and retails for $28.
Quick comparison of Estee Lauder vs Holika Holika:
• Holika Holika bottle is actually glass, while the Estee Lauder one is plastic! Compared to the Estee Lauder, the Holika Holika bottle feels more luxurious.
• Holika Holika is runnier and feels more oily on the skin
• Estee Lauder absorbs quicker into the skin
• Estee Lauder is darker yellow colour compared to Holika Holika
• Estee Lauder has no added fragrance (but is not unscented)
• Holika Holika is better suited for drier skin types whereas Estee Lauder is good for all skin types
• Estee Lauder is made in USA and Holika Holika is made in Korea
Now, I have no idea if Holika Holika was trying to copy Estee Lauder but I did notice that on Estee Lauder’s box and stamped on the bottle are the words “US and International Patents”. 😛 Rest assured, the ingredients between the 2 aren’t that similar – at the most, they both contain Butylene Glycol and Hyaluronic Acid – that’s all.
Both of these serums were just ok for me, and neither I would repurchase. Sometimes skincare are like that – there’s nothing terrible about either of these but my skin just didn’t have an affinity to them. Has that ever happened to you with skincare? Also, tell me, what’s your favourite serum?