Elizabeth Arden Pro
I came by this daughter-brand of Elizabeth Arden looking through my mom’s stash of beauty products. There it was standing in my mom’s beauty cabinet, the Perfection Serum. It had this cool twist up pump I’ve never seen before. I was having sort of a difficult breakout and reached for it to try. It stank and tingled, but both subsided quickly.
I used it twice during the week I stayed at her place and got amazed how my skin pretty much went from bumpy to smooth in a very short amount of time. After that, every time I visited her I would steal some of it. Eventually, I came across this starter kit on sale and figured I need to test it out more regularly to know if my skin really likes it or not. I also got the bonus of trying two other things from the brand!
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Conventional vs. Green – Which is more effective?
For the larger part of my 20’s, I’ve been an avid natural and green beauty promoter. But as I’m getting older, and seeing signs of my own collagen production drop quite heavily (which is natural in your late 20’s, but especially thanks to cystic acne) I’m beginning to slowly look back where the grass looks more effective and futuristic in terms of anti-aging.
Am I unintentionally saying that green beauty products can’t be effective? Well, yes and no. There are still very few green beauty brands who use effective ingredients in a good way, meaning, without mixing them with fragrant essential oils and other sensitizing plant extracts. Not to neglect the fact that conventional brands do the same mistakes too!
From my own experience, some plant extracts can be too effective and unstable and are not suited for sensitive skin. There’s really a misconception and a lot of lying when people claim natural products to be more gentle.
It’s a beauty jungle out there, and only holding on to green beauty products is like only eating raw foods, you’ll miss out on the incredible buffet of cooked foods that are equally healthy. In these times it’s unnecessary, as conventional products are green hybrids, using the best of both worlds. And hopefully, the green beauty market will catch up. By having eyes on both tables, you’ll find yourself at a buffet with more options. But you still have to be smart about your choices!
OBS! While Elizabeth Arden PRO is sold under the Elizabeth Arden company and carries the franchise name, they do not test on animals according to their website, nor do they sell in the Chinese market.
Elizabeth Arden Pro Try Me Kits
The PRO-line of Elizabeth Arden, I suppose, is an extension of their Prevage-line with more clinical research and technology backing it up. One of the people, Joe Lewis, who worked with them to develop Prevage also helped them on the PRO products. The skincare line is at the high end of the budget, but still below many other popular expensive brands with similar components, like Sunday Riley and Drunk Elephant.
What’s great is that you might find these try-me-kits for as little as €30 (that’s what I paid). I say “might”, because so far I’ve only seen these kits mostly sold at Swedish/Scandinavian webstores, even though the line has a European and American distribution. Why this is, I have no idea, and it seems like they are about to discontinue them too?
All of the kits include three products, two basics: PRO Gentle Facial Cleanser and the PRO Triple Protection SPF50 day cream, and one specific treatment serum. However, I’ve seen one of the Perfection kits including the Clarifying Foaming Cleanser instead.
Serums that are included in each kit:
Skin Perfecting Kit: Perfection Serum (Combination/Acne-prone skin)
Sensitive Kit: Barrier Repair Complex w/ LCA Complex (Sensitive skin)
Hydration Kit: Moisturizing Facial Cream (Normal/Dry skin)
Skin Renewal Kit: Skin Renewal Cream w/ LCA Complex (Aging skin)
High Definition Radiance: Age Defying Serum w/ AHA Retinoid Conjugate (Aging skin)
Lactic Acid Complex
The whole line is built around the gentle and hydration-boosting chemical exfoliant lactic acid. And correct me if I’m wrong, I believe almost all of the products contain it in some amount?
You might think it may be a bit too much acid, but most of the products are created for +35 of age in mind. If you are in your 20’s or younger, using all things in the line may be too much too soon, but incorporate one or two products as you’re reaching your 30’s for occasional use can be beneficial.
According to EA PRO, the reason for using lactic acid as their choice of AHA is because looking at new clinical research, lactic acid is shown to be superior to all other AHAs, including glycolic acid, in its ability to stimulate hyaluronan in the skin. For this reason, lactic acid is a better skin moisturizer than other AHAs. So it both exfoliates gentle and conditions the skin the way other acids cannot do.
ELIZABETH ARDEN PRO | Triple Protection SPF50
This is a tinted day cream with the added bonus of SPF 50 (physical/nano) and a patented DNA Enzyme Complex and antioxidants. The tint is pretty much universal and allows the cream to blend into the skin without leaving a white cast. However, I’m not so sure it will perfectly suit darker complexion than tan, as the tint still has a brightening effect on the skin.
The PRO Triple Protection day cream can be used on top of your daily moisturizer or it can be used instead of your day cream. Suitable for all skin types.
This is one of those, “I wanted to like this product but…”. While it spreads amazingly and is really heavenly to apply and makes your skin look like “your skin but better”, it kind of stops there. When it sets into the skin and dries, it feels quite tacky and rubbery on the skin. It feels similar to wearing a mask. And you know how picky I am with creams, I want my skin to feel like skin, not like I have something on.
I believe that this moisturizer probably suits someone with more mature and dry skin. The whole EA PRO is made for that age group, so no wonder. During times that my skin’s been really dry (post dermarolling) the tackiness hasn’t felt as prominent. However, it doesn’t do well with dry flaky skin!
Overall, my skin has never shown any signs of issues with it. I actually got amazed that this caused no clogged pores at the end of the day, despite the uncomfortable feeling. I tested it out in the Cretan heat, my boyfriend also used it. It wasn’t the best sunscreen for the tropics but holds up pretty well.
As this is made to kind of replace your regular day cream, I’ve tested having it under makeup too. The makeup applies without any issues with a brush, but it can feel slightly heavy because of the rubbery feeling from the moisturizer. But definitely doable, and can be used as a trick to reapply sunscreen, if your foundation contains SPF.
But overall, I didn’t notice any extraordinary effects on my skin with this moisturizer from the DNA Enzyme Complex. I guess it’s something you’ll get with continued use.
Either way, this is a very expensive sunscreen, and I’m wondering if the expense won’t make you frugal on the application? And what about re-application? I guess they want you to use their Minerals Finishing Touch with SPF25?
Nevertheless, this is an okay and perhaps a really good moisturizer for mature skin. Would I have been around my 40’s, maybe I would have considered it more? But for younger skin, you won’t see much benefits. There are equally good sunscreens for half this price, ex Paula’s Choice offers a wide range anti-aging day creams with SPF and antioxidants, that are more wallet-friendly than this one.
Would I Repurchase? No. For the price, I expect it to feel like skin. I’m also worried that the price will reflect the amount you’ll apply to reach full strength on the UV blockage. Sunscreens shouldn’t be too expensive, rather invest in a good serum and a cheap sunscreen that you can reapply without feeling guilty.
ELIZABETH ARDEN PRO | Perfection Facial Serum
This serum is marketed towards mature problem-prone skin. My mom never gets zits, so why she had this, is still a mystery. But I’m thankful she bought it so I could discover it!
It’s a lightweight oil-free chemical exfoliant serum that’s designed to keep skin looking clear, fresh and radiant. It contains a multifunctional, innovative and proprietary combination of lactic acid (16% – I personally emailed them about this) and salicylic acid (unknown % – didn’t ask), to gently exfoliate and unclog pores, and AHA Retinoid Conjugate, to reduce and prevent the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
What’s an AHA Retinoid Conjugate you may ask? This is straight from EA PRO’s FAQ:
“(AHA-RC) is a patent-pending AHA/Vitamin A derivative combination that provides benefits of both lactic acid (AHA) and retinoid (Vitamin A). AHA-RC’s time-released, rate constant controlled acid hydrolysis formulation helps to reduce the possibility of irritation and other side effects normally associated with the use of retinoids.”
The packaging says that the Perfection serum can be used once to twice daily applied to problem-prone areas. But I would definitely advise with an Elizabeth Arden PRO skincare professional before going for daily use. This is pretty strong stuff and using it both AM and PM or even daily feels a bit overkill depending on your age and skin.
I personally prefer to use it only once or twice a week as the main active product in my evening routine or as a rejuvenating night mask if you know what I mean? A thin layer is applied over areas like acne scars, post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation, and forehead-wrinkles.
The first thing you’ll notice about this yellow tinted serum is the strong smell of lactic acid… Funny story, my mom had not use it for a while and had forgotten about the scent. She thought it had gone bad, and to my despair, she threw it away though there was some left!
Anyway, the scent will fade once you’ve applied it and continued with the rest of your routine. It does tingle mildly to moderately but the feeling vanishes within seconds.
After application I let it sink in for a few minutes before going forward with my moisturizer.
The Perfection serum dries somewhat sticky but isn’t a problem once your moisturizer is on top. But because of this, I recommend it more for evening use. I also think it will perform better than when having two or three products on top of it.
The Perfection serum works pretty quickly and will take about two to four uses before you’ll notice how much more even and soft your skin has become if you’re an avid acid user. But sometimes, even one treatment is enough to wake up in the morning and feel good about your face.
There are of course so many similar products on the market, but what makes this one unique is that it’s based on only Lactic Acid. Some people with acne have trouble using glycolic acid for instance. And I’ve personally had problems with BHA, but the small amount in this one together with the lactic acid has proven to be the golden formula. This truly takes care of the surface and has the ability to go down in the pores. It’s fragrance-free and (at least this product) doesn’t contain any citrus oils.
In addition, the EA PRO Perfection serum also doubles as your retinoid serum, and because it’s slowly released it doesn’t come with the same drawbacks. Mind again that this serum is specifically made for acne-prone skin. And retinoid has the effect to reduce sebum production and boost collagen. But overall, I haven’t found this serum to be drying at all, more like balancing to my skin.
My skin is pretty clear from cystic acne nowadays. If it’s thanks to acids, supplements or food, I cannot really say. I’m trying to stick to whatever I’m doing right now.
However, I still have the oddity of bumpy skin that happens during spring/summer time that I don’t know the cause of. And I find that this serum has been able to exfoliate on the surface and deep down, at the same time reduce any overactive oil glands and minimize scarring from happening and fade PIH.
I definitely want to continue using this serum as an occasional night treatment to keep my skin clear and even. Though it’s not that much cheaper than the cult classic Sunday Riley’s Good Genes, and I haven’t yet tested it, I think this comes very close to a dupe!
Repurchase? Yes. When used only 1-3 times a week it will last you for quite some time! I still haven’t finished up my sample. But when I do I will definitely repurchase, can’t see myself completely without it.
ELIZABETH ARDEN PRO | Gentle Facial Cleanser
This AHA and BHA facial cleanser is described as a light lathering cleanser that gently exfoliates skin, leaving it soft, soothed and radiant. It contains EA Pro’s LCA Complex (pH balanced Lactic Acid and essential skin vitamin antioxidants A, C, E & Pro-A), and claims to gently remove makeup and daily residue. Ideal for all skin types, including sensitive.
It’s recommended to use it twice daily, with the pro-tip of using it as a double cleanse in the evening. Meaning, the first pump emulsifies and removes any surface pollution, dirt, and makeup. The second pump really cleanses the skin for gentle exfoliation.
I personally don’t feel like it lathers up at all. I’d describe it as a non-foaming lotion cleanser at best. Because I expect it to lather, I always see myself taking probably more than I need when they actually say to use a small amount.
I’m guessing that thanks to the acids in this, it has a relatively low pH which is good at preserving the skins natural balance. I have no pH-strips to prove it though, but my skin never feels tight after using it. This cleanser also has got that typical lactic acid smell, if you’ve ever used Madara’s AHA face mask you will know what I mean.
When it comes to removing makeup and sunscreen, all I can say is that the double-cleanse they recommend isn’t enough to remove makeup and sunscreen, not even their own Triple Protection moisturizer.
It has the consistency to emulsify and break up makeup and dirt. But a swipe with micellar water revealed that it still left tiny traces of makeup. In short, it wasn’t as effective as an oil/micellar and water-based cleanser combo.
I would advise to not rely on this cleanser completely, either go with a swipe with a toner just to make sure everything has come off or go with a micellar/makeup remover first.
It would’ve been great to not having to buy another cleanser, considering the price on this one.
I have not used it much in the mornings, except for just trying it out, because my skin just does best with keeping the integrity of it with a splash of cold water. I do, however, see this one being gentle and pH balancing enough to be used in the mornings.
I’m unsure if you can use it around your eye area, but I haven’t read any warnings except to avoid it getting it in your eyes? Duh. Nevertheless, if you wear a lot of eye makeup you probably know you need to go in with an eye makeup remover anyway.
I generally like this cleanser, the skin feels soft and refreshed after cleansing. But the LCA-complex feels a bit wasted on a rinse-off product in my opinion. And how much exfoliation can it do in 30s? It would’ve been nicer if they excluded that, made it more simple and lowered the price a bit.
I’ve used it together with my FOREO Luna mini 2 (review of play) for a more deeper exfoliation. But I’ve also discovered, thanks to it’s lotion-texture, that you can use it as a mask for a 5-10 minute mini facial. But it’s nothing that EA PRO mentions or recommends, do it at your own risk I guess.
Then there’s my personal cleansing ritual preference, which I’m having a hard time giving up. I like the idea of double-cleansing with two different cleansers than just one. I often opt for very cheap facial washes. The two I’m using at the moment barely makes up half of the price of the EA PRO gentle cleanser. But the ritual makes them feel just as luxurious, and I still get a very unclogged, clean and soft radiant skin. It’s not like this cleanser has added anything extra for me to consider replacing my two-step cleansing routine.
Elizabeth Arden PRO also has a foaming mousse cleanser for more troubled skin, it doesn’t have the LCA-complex but still contains lactic acid and salicylic acid. However, for some reason, it is even more expensive.
Would I Repurchase? Personally no, maybe if the price was lower. I don’t believe in wasting too much money on products that quickly goes down the drain, I also believe acids are better left on the skin. Using a cheaper low pH cleanser will do the same job. There are also cheaper acid cleansers on the market. Like, you still have to double cleanse, so why bother with the expense?