INGREDIENTS (not listed on website): 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, pgd, 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, linalool, limonene, mica, titanium dioxide, bismuth oxychloride, carmine
(hand typed from the back of the box for the face illuminator)
WHEW that's probably the longest list I've ever seen on a product.
**update: thanks p_evavic for informing me that this face illuminator has the exact ingredient as the eye illuminator!**
On to the review:
Skin background: Acne all cleared from prescription retinol, skin is smooth but have hyperpigmentation (dark marks, the likes), and pitted scarring on both cheeks
My expectations: Since Lauder advertised this as a serum proven to 'dramatically' reduce the look of discoloration and dark spots, I was expecting it to do just that. And for the hefty price (1 oz = $58 w/o tax) I was expecting my spots to fade by at least a good 85%.
Packaging: Very Hygienic. Comes in a pale blue pump bottle. The serum itself is beigy and surprisingly shimmery. It smells amazing (citrusy) but I would prefer it if it was sans fragrance. But this IS Estee Lauder so I can't honestly expect that'll ever happen.
Results So Far: I have been using this once or twice a day for about a week and a half. So far I see minimal if any improvements. It might have helped faded newer red marks by about 60%, and the older ones by 10%..? However, I also experienced a few minor breakouts (whiteheads) on my cheeks when using this. Not completely sure whether it was the serum that was the culprit, but I wouldn't put it past it. It soaks into my skin very well and is moisturizing but I still have to use my regular moisturizer on top of it. Will continue to update my progress with any improvements or side effects in another 2 weeks.
In the meantime, if you are still on the fence about this serum, I say just take a chance and try it since you can always return it if it doesn't work (EL has a kickass return policy)
**Update 6/20/11** - Okay, it has been another 2 weeks. I am seeing a further 10% improvements in old and new marks as well as an overall radiance in my skintone. I am pretty pleased, my skin (the parts that don't have the marks) looks glowing (:!! This might be one of my favorite lightener because it isn't harsh on my skin like Skinceuticals Pigment Regulator is (see my review for that if you're looking for a super potent spot eliminator)
Before using this I was pretty desperate and was even considering getting laser done on the scars and hyperpigmentation. Who knows, I might even forgo that in total since this serum is helping with my hyperpigmentation and Palmer's Scar Serum is helping with my pitted scarring.
This is my final update. I have noticed very minimal changes in my skintone within the past month. Maybe a 5% increase in radiance.
But I occasionally get clogged pores in the form of whiteheads when using this so my final score for this serum is 3.5/5
It's definitely worth a try if you have dull, tired skin with some new marks from healed blemishes. Older, deeper, and darker marks probably won't benefit much from this.
I have been using both the Idealist Illuminator serum and eye cream for 2 weeks, everyday and every night, by itself as suggested, did not miss a day. I have a lot of redness in general, semi dark circles, a dark spot from prior IPL treatment, some acne scarring. These 2 products did absolutely nothing to fade any of my issues! It does feel and smell nice, sinks right into my combo skin, but that's about it. It may have caused a few new small acne breakouts on upper cheeks, but I usually have small active acne breakouts, so not sure if it's attributed to this. HTHs someone!
So far I'm very pleased with EL's latest product. I have a lot of redness in my face for a variety of different reasons. According to EL, this serum is supposed to dramatically reduce the look of uneven skintone. I think a lot of the initial improvement you see comes from their 'Triple-Optic Technology'. It reminds me of the light reflecting properties that was used in the Magic powder by Prescriptives. While it does give my skin a more even appearance, I don't love the slight shimmery effect it leaves. It doesn't leave my skin looking glittery or shiny, which is why I will continue to use it and really do like it. Plus, that shimmery effect more or less goes away after putting on my makeup. I don't know that I would leave the house looking that way without at least some powder, but that's just me. As for long term effects, so far I have seen a little bit of improvement. The redness in my face appears calmer and less red, even when I don't have the serum on. I am also prone to oiliness and blackheads, and this product isn't causing trouble with either of those issues. As for scent, it is similar to the original Idealist, and is very light. I am extremely sensitive to fragrance in products and this does not irritate me at all.
Overall, I am really happy with this serum. I'm seeing improvement and like the results I'm seeing. At this point I am likely to repurchase again, though it is a bit pricey at $58 for the small bottle.