Yves Saint Laurent Forever Youth Liberator Serum Review

Reviews, Skin Care

Yves St Laurent Youth Forever Serum Review, Ingredients

I love Yves St. Laurent.  The fashion, the shoes, the glamour- ooh la la!

When it comes to skin aging, there are numerous types of cells, tissues, proteins, and nutrients that play a role.  Many R&D departments at skin care companies have a knack for discovering an enticing finding or developing a unique treatment for just one of these.  For better or worse, the development of treatments for just one facet of skin aging can last for years at a time.

When it comes to Yves St. Laurent, the important thing to remember is that it has more than an exotic French name in common with Lancôme:  the same parent company, L’Oréal.

Lancome Absolute Precious Cells with Pro-Xylane
Lancome Absolute Precious Cells with Pro-Xylane also is a GAG stimulator from parent company L'Oreal.

About five or six years ago, L’Oréal started to introduce treatments to produce more glycoaminoglycans (GAGs) within the skin.  They first did this with a product you may remember called Absolue Precious Cells, featuring a GAG growth-stimulating complex called Pro-XylaneTM derived from the sugar xylose.  Now they present Yves St. Laurent Forever Youth Liberator ($193.50, Amazon.com) with a GAG growth-stimulating complex called GlycanactifTM, a blend of three glycans.

Don't be scared of the chemistry! This is Hyaluronan, the GAG naturally found in your joint synovial fluid. (He says it's nice to meet you.)

Their angle is simple:  GAGs are naturally-occuring, water-binding compounds called polysaccharides.  They are found primarily in the dermis (deepest layer) of the skin.  Companies love GAGs because they bind up to 1000 times their weight in water.  Essentially, the more GAGs you have, the more youthful and plump your skin will look with each moisturizer or serum application.  A true GAG growth stimulator is a dream for cosmetics companies: the more you apply, the more GAGs you have; the more GAGs you have, the more moisture your skin can hold; the more moisture your skin can hold, the more luminous your skin looks; the more luminous your skin looks, the more moisturizer you buy!

Do glycosaminoglycans decrease with age?
Do glycosaminoglycans decrease with age?

Whether or not GAGs decrease naturally with age remains up for debate in the dermatological community.  Most dermatologists, who see aging patients up-close and first-hand, firmly believe that GAG production decreases with age.  GAGs could, after all, partly explain why the skin becomes looser, limp, and less luminous with age.  Unfortunately, some studies, such as that by Pearce et. al, have found no change in the amount of GAGs with increasing age.  These researchers instead believe skin becomes loose, limp, and dull due to decreasing collagen and elastin production with age.  Elastin also becomes more irregular when we age, growing in a tangled web pattern rather than an organized matrix.  This too makes skin look older before its time.

To increase GAGs, or not to increase GAGs?  That is the Question

There is no harm done to your skin if you increase its the number of GAGs with Yves St. Laurent Forever Youth Liberator.  Your skin will simply bind more water, both from the environment and topical applications of skin care products.

However, if you stop using the serum, it is unlikely that you will continue to produce an elevated level of GAGs.

On the other hand, if you use the serum for a long period of time, your skin will likely max out its production of GAGs at some point.  How long this takes is impossible to know for certain without conducting a study, and almost certainly varies by individuals based upon age, the condition of your skin, and your skin type.  Those with dry skin are more likely to benefit from increased GAGs than those with oily skin.

Personal Use and Opinions

I actually didn’t find Yves St. Laurent Forever Youth Liberator from a PR agency.  I was in my local Nordstrom, browsing the beauty products, when an enthusiastic, helpful sales associate named Michael introduced me to the product.  I informed him I was a blogger, and he presented me with information and samples galore.  (P.S. – I’m not personal friends with Michael, but he was such an outstanding sales associate, I thought I’d give him public props!)

Anyway, getting back to the review 🙂  : Yves St. Laurent Forever Youth Liberator is an incredibly clever formulation.  Although it takes seven days to produce new skin cells, and hence have more GAGs within your skin, the serum makes your skin feel as though it’s already producing more GAGs after one application.  The formulation makes skin feel more moisturized, luminous and radiant after one application.  The secrets to this are three-fold:

Bottom Line

I would recommend Yves St. Laurent Forever Youth Liberator to anyone with dry and/or thin, papery skin.  The quickly-absorbing sodium hyaluronate formula makes skin feel instantly hydrated, while the GAG stimulators will help skin do this naturally (at least after a solid week or two of twice-daily application).

Because Yves St. Laurent Forever Youth Liberator does not contain any wrinkle-erasing ingredients, I would still use it in conjunction with a retinoid or AHA and peptides at night, and potent antioxidant treatments (and perhaps also peptides) during the day.

P.S. – If anyone from L’Oréal or Yves St. Laurent Beauty is listening, please add peptides into the Yves St. Laurent Forever Youth Liberator line!  Peptides have been proven to increase collagen production, and together with GAGs, this could be one truly outstanding product – a go-to for anyone with thin or sagging skin!

Product Rating:  8/10  (High or optimized concentration of proven ingredients:  3/3.  Unique formulation or new technology:  3/3.  Value for the money:  2/3.  Sunscreen: 0/1).

Let me know your thoughts – and ideas for future reviews – in Comments!

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  • nancy cody

    want to see replies to these comments.

  • Daphna

    Hiya, great post. As an ex worker of the pharma industry I’m really skeptic of cosmetics and this is just the kind of rational I’m looking for. A couple of questions: 1. When would it be best to use YSL serum? 2. I have pretty acne prone skin, I’m 29 and I’m looking for something to help my skin look generally.. better. More shine, even coloring, reduce sun spots. Ideas?

  • Aaron

    I love L’Oreal, their new revitalift triple serum is a dupe for this. It has all of the same active ingredients as this and also some resurfacing ingredients like salacylic acid and LHA, it retails for around $18, a fraction of the price of the ysl serum.

  • i will put your link on my website…
    Hope its okay?


  • What an informative and clever post on a favorite serum of mine. I agree with everything you say.
    Thumbs up from DENMARK, Copenhagen – and another blogger


  • Genya

    being a six year old ex smoker, I found that it actually did plump up the smoker’s lines around my mouth. Any suggestions on a cheaper and better product for this problem.?

  • jeff

    Were you not concerned with the damage that the alcohol can do for your skin?

  • It’s good to remember that we’re all biochemically different and so what works for one person might not work for someone else.
    This is true for supplements, foods and skincare too!

  • Catherine

    Could you please share your thoughts on topicals with growth factors? Is there a line you prefer? Can these be used with Renova?

  • I got some YSL forever youth liberator in my last Glossybox. I reviewed the scientific claims that YSL makes about the product and what scientific testing they carried out with the serum on my blog, http://skepticalbeauty.wordpress.com/2012/03/10/glossybox-harrods-edition-and-ysl-forever-youth-liberator-serum/

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