Sometimes I guess things really do come back in a full circle. I remember when I was just getting into skincare, I would sneakily use either my mum’s or older sister’s Advanced Night Repair serum and tried to see whether the hype about this product was real. Well, I was around 19 years old and didn’t really have much to repair (lol lol), so the effect that I saw was just better hydration.

In February this year, while I was waiting for my flight to Beijing in the airport, I decided to browse the Shilla duty-free stores. As my husband can attest, that was a dangerous move for my wallet as I would always walk away with something. That something included this product – the Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair Synchronized Recovery Complex II. I was curious about how it would fare for my skin after all these years so I bought it to try.

Back in 2013, I realised that this super iconic serum had a revamp. Estee Lauder had reformulated their Advanced Night Repair serum into Advanced Night Repair Synchronized Recovery Complex II. The key improvement lies in their patented ChronoluxCB™ Technology. Apparently this ChronoluxCB™ Technology helps not only protects skin cells from damage in the first place but also helps them repair themselves from damage quickly (sorta like Wolverine powers in a skincare serum format.. super fast regenerative ability.. lol..). However when I began to think further, I realised that this sounds very similar to the claims that antioxidants typically have on the skin. So what makes this patented technology different from other antioxidant serums? I was curious and decided to dig deeper. What I found out surprised me and I thought that I should share my findings with you.

Now at this point, you should know that I’m not a dermatologist, a skincare chemist or a cosmetic scientist. I’m a civil engineer who’s a skincare enthusiast and my interpretation might not be totally accurate.

Before we begin, you might want to take a look at its ingredients list below:

The thing which caught my attention about this ChronoluxCB™ Technology was that Estee Lauder claims that it helps to boost the catabolysis activity in the skin. Apparently, catabolysis activity helps skin cells eliminate internal debris that can cause cellular damage, which in turn optimizes cellular performance and helps increase skin’s overall repair. Considered a critical ageing pathway, the efficiency of the catabolysis repair process declines with age and becomes de-synchronized from the night. Together, with skin’s circadian rhythm, the discovery of this natural cellular repair function reinforces the critical link between night and skin’s natural repair processes. The ChronoluxCB™ Technology seemingly  helps support the natural synchronization of skin’s nighttime renewal process so that skin renews its appearance at exactly the right time with patented “clock gene” technology.

Note: Originally the catabolysis activity was studied by scientists for the symptoms of dementia and how a decline in catabolysis activity in brain cells could lead to this condition. However, Estee Lauder wanted to study if the same theory could be applied to skin cells as well.

I know… It sounds incredibly like some hogwash PR marketing dribble.. When I first heard it, I couldn’t help but to raise a sceptical brow. So in order to quench my desire to cut through the marketing bullsh*t, I decided to search for more information and see if this ChronoluxCB™ Technology was really the sh*t.


Is ChronoluxCB™ Technology really the sh*t??

In my search, I came across the patent that was filed in 2009 by Estee Lauder about their ChronoluxCB™ Technology (Click here for details). While I was going through their patent, I was quite surprised to find out that their patent was actually for the whole composition of the ANR serum and not just one aspect of the ChronoluxCB technology. In fact, the patent was for “a skin care composition comprising at least one keratinocyte CLOCK or PER1 gene activator and at least one DNA repair enzyme; a method for inhibiting damage to human keratinocytes due to environmental aggressors by applying a composition comprising at least one keratinocyte CLOCK or PER1 gene activator and at least one DNA repair enzyme; and a method for repairing DNA damage in human keratinocytes“. The Chronolux technology mentioned in the patent actually refers to a peptide named Tripeptide-32.

To my utmost astonishment, I discovered that the ingredients list on my bottle of ANR serum does not even have that ingredient. However, I saw that the ingredients list on their official USA website does include that ingredient so I’m kinda stumped as to what happened. To clarify, my bottle of ANR serum is bought from the Changi Airport Duty Free Shop so I’m certain that I didn’t have a fake product. 

In any case, although Estee Lauder likes to emphasize on the Chronolux technology aspect of their ANR, their testing was based on the whole composition of the ANR which includes ingredients such as Bifidus Ferment Lysate and Lactobacillus ferment, which are the repair enzymes. Therefore it should work to a certain extent in the repair of the skin.

How does the Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair Synchronized Recovery Complex II fare?

Despite my misgivings about the bold claims made by Estee Lauder, I do think that this serum is a good overall “anti-ageing” serum. Whenever I use this serum, I will notice that my skin looks more rested, calmer and slightly brighter. Despite the fact that it doesn’t claim to be a hydrating serum, I do find this product to be quite hydrating. Sometimes, I would even skip using my hydrating serums if I use this product at night. One thing which surprised me about this serum is that it has a “heft” to it. It is not at all a watery serum. Hence, I think that oily combination skins might want to keep this product in their nighttime routine only because it feels slightly tacky before it absorbs into the skin.

Since it is not an “active” serum in the sense that it contains AHA/BHA, retinol or Vitamin C, I do not think that it’s fair to expect this serum to have super drastic effects on your skin. Nonetheless, if you are around mid-twenties to early thirties and are discovering that your skin looks and feels slightly drier or more tired than usual despite eating and sleeping as per normal, maybe you would like to give this serum a try. This serum will give a gentle boost to your skincare routine without the harsh and sensitizing effects that “true actives” would have on your skin. The thing about using the Estee Lauder ANR serum is that you’ll need to give it time to work. As I’ve mentioned earlier, it is not a “true actives” serum so it works much slower. Nevertheless, give it time and you should see your skin looking more refreshed and less dull or tired.

Now I know that my review might make you think that my feelings towards this product is kinda meh (lol!). But I’ve already purchased a 100ml sized of it even though I’m only halfway through my 50ml product so make of that what you will.

Where can you find it?

I bought this product from Changi Airport Duty Free Shop. However, you can purchase it from any Estee Lauder beauty counters. It retails at S$122 (30ml sized), S$170 (50ml sized) and S$217 (75ml sized).

Thank you for reading!

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