Products for an Even Skintone – Estée Lauder

There’s a lot of bandying around of the phrase “even skintone” and a lot of products claiming to be able to reduce facial hyperpigmentation and various dark-spot blemishes. I don’t suffer from hyperpigmentation, but I used to find that after every spot, I’d get a deep red mark that would sit under my skin for months and months. I say used to find because I no longer have that problem so much – the regular use of a chemical exfoliant (I use Liquid Gold, see review here) seems to keep most of the spots at bay anyway, but if there are marks after the spot has disappeared then they fade quite quickly.

I know lots of people with dark patches on their faces; some caused by pregnancy hormones and that never really faded properly, some caused by sun damage, others by acne. It’s such a massive, massive skin complaint, and the beauty world has jumped on it with all of its weight, bringing out a new product every few weeks or so, it seems. Personally, I think that one of the most important things to bear in mind when dealing with dark spots is that you need to prevent them from getting any worse. (Or prevent them full stop if you’re lucky enough not to have any!) So a good SPF and a good moisturiser with antioxidant ingredients is key.

This set from Estée Lauder caught my interest – it’s a Travel Retail deal that goes out this month, the Even Skintone Solutions, and the price in Duty Free is £78.80. (It’s a saving of about twenty-five pounds or so, I think; you get a 50ml Idealist Even Skintone Illuminator (£64) and a 50ml Daywear Moisturiser (£39). Obviously you can buy these products separately too, you can find them in Boots, House of Fraser, John Lewis and so on.) The set caught my eye because I thought that it offered quite a comprehensive little solution to daytime skincare, if you’re looking to prevent an uneven skintone or if you’re trying to fade minor dark spots. It ticks quite a few boxes in that the moisturiser has an SPF15 (adequate for a usual British day!) and also added antioxidant ingredients, and the serum contains an exfoliant (Salicylic acid) that could help to fade acne scars. It’s not going to hit them full on like a dedicated treatment would, but as a small, regular step I think that it’s pretty useful.

Sometimes, there’s just too much stuff out there to get your head around and you end up going to your good old trusty department store counter. There’s nothing wrong with that, and if you end up at Estée Lauder and you want a morning regime that will provide some protection for your skin and help to prevent pigmentation marks, then this little duo will set you off in the right direction. Just wait until there’s a Gift with Purchase on!

The Idealist product, by the way, is not the same as the Idealist in the darker green bottle. That one is for refining pores. Both do leave the skin really, really smooth and primed though – I use the darker green Idealist as a primer below tinted moisturiser or BB Cream that contains an SPF. That gives the perfect amount of moisture for me, and doesn’t add too many layers to my regime!

You can order online from John Lewis, House of Fraser etc.or keep a lookout when you’re passing through the airport shopping areas.

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  1. alice
    August 20, 2012 / 7:47 am

    I was really excited when the idealist even skin tone serum was first released I purchased the biggest size. But shame all I’ve ever got from it was some temporary illuminating base even after trying to finish up the whole bottle. I wish I had gone for the darker green bottle as it at least would’ve worked nicely under makeup and smells nicer too!

  2. Anna
    August 20, 2012 / 9:34 am

    Idealist does nothing, it’s just “gold paint” and looks really unnatural on your skin. Many even skin products do this, unfortunately, Shiseido comes to mind, if I remember correctly…

    Anyway, what I have found to really help is:

    – Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair
    – Ducray Melacscreen Eclat
    – Eucerin Even Brighter Serum

    Clinique didn’t help at all!

  3. Anna
    August 20, 2012 / 9:56 am

    I should have mentioned that I’m using the products to deal with acne marks (first red then brown).

  4. August 20, 2012 / 10:08 am

    How did u find them? I have darker olive skin tone much more prone to scaring etc and I found this serum didnt really do much… not sure whether I should give it another go tho

    • Ruth
      August 20, 2012 / 10:10 am

      I don’t think it does much in the way of actually correcting, more basic prevention x

  5. August 20, 2012 / 11:49 am

    I’ve never tried this one, but I did use the original Idealist “serum” very briefly. First of all, it broke me out in really bad cystic acne, so it obviously had to go. Secondly, it drives me BONKERS that they market it as a serum and skin-refiner. It does nothing of the sort–it’s a fancy, pricey primer. If they marketed it as a primer, it wouldn’t bother me so much…

    • Ruth
      August 20, 2012 / 7:29 pm

      Yes, it is definitely more of a primer! x

  6. lu
    August 20, 2012 / 2:07 pm

    Hi I am tempted to buy this moisturiser as I am looking for one with antioxidants and built in SPF. Are there any other moisturisers like this one you tried and was happy with? Also
    have you tried night cell renewal moisturiser from caudalie? It has got glycolic acid in it as well. could be a good one. Thanks xx

    • Ruth
      August 20, 2012 / 7:28 pm

      Yep, like the Caudalie! I’ll have a think about alternative moisturisers. You could use an antioxidant serum before any moisturiser, but I quite like the simplicity of this one. It’s functional and ticks the right boxes! x

  7. August 20, 2012 / 6:19 pm

    I have two small dark patches near my right jawline. My own fault, not enough sun protection. I haven’t found any brand (yet) that really makes a difference to pigmentation and age/sun spots. Although Clinique’s Laser Repairwear range comes close. Avene has a new one out called D-Pigment, but I haven’t had the chance to try it.

    But as you say, Estee Lauder aren’t claiming to be able to correct those problems with these products.

    Ali x

    • Ruth
      August 20, 2012 / 7:27 pm

      Yes, I think that they are quite careful with their wording, though “Even Skintone” still suggests that it will work miracles! Oh the joys of modern marketing. I do think that regular chemical exfoliation at night and then some kind of high-dosage Vit C in the morning could work well, but as I have no dark spots, I can’t experiment on myself! x

  8. Wes
    August 20, 2012 / 6:36 pm

    Personally, I prefer hitting hyperpigmentation and scars with a clinical grade ingredient like hydroquinone or kojic acid. I’ve used Skinceuticals Phyto + in the past with great results. Treat it as a serum in the last step before your moisturizer. Obviously you are right about preventing with SPF as well!

  9. sophie
    August 20, 2012 / 8:06 pm

    Have you tried the origins dr weil mega bright serum? I found it faded post acne marks and did help brighten my skin without having glitter or shimmering particles in. It also smells nice like banana sweets. X

    • Ruth
      August 20, 2012 / 11:44 pm

      I have someone testing that for me! x

  10. Adelle
    August 21, 2012 / 9:32 am

    Are dark spots the same as freckles? Because sometimes I wonder whether I have pigmentation or just freckles that have joined together. I think I just need someone who doesn’t see my face every day to tell me what’s wrong with it!

    • Ruth
      August 21, 2012 / 10:06 am

      LOL! Yes, they are pretty much the same thing. Both the result of sun exposure. xx

  11. Naomi
    August 21, 2012 / 1:12 pm

    HI Ruth. Do you have any recommendations for body lotions that deal with brown spots? I’m always careful to wear an spf on my face but my arms, shoulders and chest not so much so. Just this year I have loads more freckles than usual on these parts. I actually quite like them but do worry abit that they might turn into something less attractive in future!

    • Ruth
      August 27, 2012 / 10:17 pm

      Try the Thalgo tan activator that I review later this week. It should help to even out melanin production. And you MUST wear an spf or they will get worse. 100%. xx

  12. Pia
    August 22, 2012 / 11:23 am

    Hi Ruth,
    I was researching the EL Advanced Night Repair serum and saw a review on makeupalley that said chemical-based products tend to push the skin’s natural oils to the surface in order to moisturise, eventually destroying the skin’s ability to produce oil on its own/ sucking out all of the moisture. You seem to have a lot of access to skincare knowledge. What are your thoughts on Advanced Night Repair itself and the point raised by the makeupalley reviewer?

    • Ruth
      August 23, 2012 / 9:29 am

      Was this person a scientist? I have never heard anything like that before; the term “chemical-based products” in itself is a ridiculous one, really, as that covers nearly every ingredient. You may call glycolic acid a chemical, but it’s naturally derived from sugar cane, so I’m not sure that this is at all correct.. x

  13. August 23, 2012 / 6:39 pm

    I’m currently using the DayWear line and absolutely love it. I got it as a GWP first, and it worked so well I got the full sized one. I have very pale skin, with an occasional breakout which always leaves a mark behind. I have many products that claim to help with hyperpigmentation, but nothing worked as well as this.

    • Ruth
      August 23, 2012 / 11:05 pm

      That’s good to know, thank you! x

  14. August 25, 2012 / 9:38 am

    Hello Ruth,

    great review, but review cant go without product composition for me. So I thought I will share it with you and readers.

    As lovely as it can appear, this serum is made of so many (useless) ingredients that actually do have any benefits for the skin ….and if you look closely, silicons are some of the top ones…of course, it may make your skin super smooth, but this is just an artefact :-)))).

    Have a nice day.:-)))

    Water, Dimethicone, Isododecane, Cyclopetasiloxane, Polysilicone 11, Butylene Glycol, Ascorbyl Glucoside , PEG-10 Dimethicone, Gentiana Lutea (gentian) Root Extract, Orzya Sativa (rice) Bran Extract, Hydroloyzed Rice Bran Extract, Turmeric Root Extract, Citrus Grandis (grapefruit) Peel Extract, Wheat Germ Extract, Cucumber Fruit Extract, Scutellaria Baicallensis Root Extract, Mulberry Root Extract, Trametes Versicolor Extract, Barley Extract, Salicylic Acid, Caffeine, Cholesterol, Acetyl Glucosamine, Squalane, Yeast extract, Sunflower Seedcake, Isohexadecane, PEG6 Dimethoxytolyl Propylresorcinol, Tocopheryl Acetate, Propylene Glycol Dicaprate, Polysorbate 20, Glycerrhetinic Acid, Polysorbate 80, Sodium Hyaluronate, Sodium Sulfite, Sodium Metasulfite, Acryl ameide, Ammonium Acrylolyldimethyltaurate/vp Copolymer, Caprylyl glycol, Hexylene Glycol, Potassium Sorbate, Di-c12-18 Alkyl Dimonium Chloride, Fragrance, Tromethamine, Tin oxide, Sodium Hydroxide, Disodium EDT, BHT, Phenoxyethanol, Linalol, Limonene, Mica, Titanium Dioxide, Bismuth Oxychloride, Carmine

  15. August 25, 2012 / 9:41 am

    Oh sorry for the mistake Ruth… I wanted to say : ingredients that actually do not have any benefits for the skin”.

  16. Aurora
    November 2, 2012 / 4:18 pm

    Yes the same reasons why I bought them – so many options! I was also eyeing the Genifique set from Lancome but I knew the Daywear and i like it (great makeup base too) so I went back to this set. Also wanted to check the new serum – must say i like Idealist Pore Minimizer much better, also does do what it says and also keep blemishes at bay, but I can’t say I dislike Even Skintone, it’s just not impressive enough for me.

    I was wondering, compared to the EL serums, have you tried Genifique or Visionnaire from Lancome and how do the products compare? (especially for minimizing pores and controlling oil).

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