It’s a fact of life: What goes up must come down. And — as I’ve learned as I accumulate more birthdays — that includes one’s cheekbones and nasolabial folds (also known as the creases between the nose and mouth).
I’d previously used Botox to keep these areas looking taut, but after going longer than usual between treatments, I started to notice the contours of my face were looking a little less… contoured. In what can only be described as a stroke of serendipity, it was around that same time that a bottle of Clé de Peau Beauté Firming Serum Supreme landed on my desk.
The fact that I’m still using it three months later tells you pretty much everything you need to know. But this is Allure — so you know I’m going to fill you in on all the rest.
First up, the texture: Though it’s called a serum, the formula feels to me more like a lotion or lightweight moisturizer. That’s not to say it doesn’t absorb quickly: When I massage it using upward movements, the formula melts seamlessly into my skin — leaving behind only the faintest trail of flowery scent.
I thought I was going crazy (or at the very least, falling victim to the placebo effect) when I took a look in the mirror moments after applying it and swore my skin looked tighter and smoother already. But after assessing its ingredients, cosmetic chemist Kelly Dobos assured me it wasn’t all in my head. Indeed, the formula contains two types of polymers — trimethoxysilicate and VP/VA copolymer — that work immediately, though superficially. “The combination helps create a smoothing, tightening effect on the surface of the skin,” says Dobos.
But the real magic happens over time: Shiseido, the parent company of Clé de Peau Beauté, conducted research that found that licorice root and raspberry-derived extracts (both of which are included in the serum) have the ability to strengthen the arrector pili muscles in the face. These teeny-tiny muscles are responsible for the way your hair stands on end when you get goosebumps — and therefore also possess the ability to make the skin appear more taut. As a bonus, licorice root also helps brighten hyperpigmentation when used diligently over time.