The Youth Code range is a relatively new line of anti-aging skincare products from L’Oreal. The Day/Night Cream, which I’ll be writing about today, comes in a 1.6 oz (45 g) jar and can be found at drugstores for $20-$25. I purchased mine from CVS during a L’Oreal sale for less than $10 using Extra Care Bucks and coupons.
It’s only been a few years since I started getting into anti-aging products so I haven’t used very many wrinkle creams. I’ve tried a few popular drugstore anti-wrinkle products, namely the ROC night cream and the Neutrogena Healthy Skin Anti-Wrinkle night cream, and what I’ve learned is that my dry skin type doesn’t react very well to products that contain retinol. When I use retinol I can see it visibly reducing my fine lines over time, but it really dries my skin out so I have to use it sparingly and only occasionally or not at all. Knowing this, I was excited to try the Youth Code cream which makes some serious anti-aging claims yet doesn’t contain retinol.
L’Oreal’s Youth Code Day/Night Cream comes in a plastic jar. I know some people dislike jars because they’re unhygienic but I like them. There’s just something old-school and classic about seeing skincare products in jars and tubs all laid out on the vanity. That’s just how I feel. I don’t have any problems dipping my fingers into the jars. I keep my hands clean and my nails short so nothing really gets under them, I don’t share my skincare or makeup products with other people so I’m not worried about contamination, and I’m not a germaphobe. I also love lip balms that come in jars, tubs and tins, especially vintage-y looking tins.
The Youth Code cream is rich and thick with the texture of plain yogurt and a soft cologne-like scent that fades pretty quickly upon application. If you’ve ever used Cetaphil cream or Cerave cream, the texture is thinner than Cetaphil and closer to that of Cerave but a little lighter, absorbs faster and leaves less of a residue on the skin. I wouldn’t call any of these creams greasy but they do all leave a bit of a slight film on the skin’s surface. (I wrote a review a few years ago on the Cerave cream and compared it to Cetaphil. You can check it out here.)
My skin type is dry to very dry. My skin simply does not produce oil nor does it ever get oily. Oily T-Zone, what’s that? I have no personal experience in that area. Light, gel-like moisturizers such as Clinique’s Dramatically Different Moisturizing Gel are simply not enough for me. My skin is the desert and it generally prefers thick, rich moisturizing creams. Usually, the heavier the cream the better because they seem to have better moisturizing properties and last longer on the skin. I want to put that info out there before I tell you why the Youth Code Day/Night Cream doesn’t work for me.
I’m very used to using heavy creams on my face so the Youth Code Day/Night Cream doesn’t feel heavy on my skin at all and I haven’t experienced any break outs. It feels comfortable on my face and absorbs rather quickly. I think that someone with combo to oily skin who’s used to gels and light moisturizers would probably find this cream too heavy and simply too much for their skin’s needs (my super oily skinned sister had her own jar of Youth Code Day/Night Cream and this is how she felt). However, for me and my needs, the Youth Code does not provide me with enough moisture. I find that I have to layer another face cream on top of the Youth Code to ensure that my skin doesn’t dry out halfway through the day.
Skin is supposed to look immediately smoother and more hydrated after application. Can’t that be said of every face cream, though? I don’t know about you but my skin always plumps up slightly after I apply moisturizer, but that effect gradually fades as the moisturizer is absorbed and my skin dries out from exposure to the air.
L’Oreal also claims that the cream reduces signs of fatigue in the span of one week, and wrinkles in about a month. I’ve been using this product for nearly two months now in the mornings and before bedtime and I think if you use this cream you’ll see some temporary wrinkle reduction but I would attribute the difference you see to the initial hydration and plumping effect you get when you apply any moisturizer. In addition, it’s my opinion all the -cones in this cream provide the skin with a brief feeling of smoothness and also help lessen the appearance of wrinkles temporarily, sort of like silicone-based primers. At the end of the day when I wash my face, my fine lines are still as present as ever.
I’m halfway through my jar of Youth Code Day/Night Cream and when I finish I won’t be repurchasing. For my dry skin and specific skincare needs this cream is not sufficiently moisturizing. I have to layer other creams on top of it to make sure my skin doesn’t dry out throughout the day or night. As far as face creams go, CeraVe is still tops with me and I highly, highly recommend it for dry skin.
Regarding wrinkle care, I’ve only experienced superficial and short-term effects with the Youth Code Day/Night Cream which basically disappear when I wash my face, and I haven’t seen any lessening of fine lines. Based on my own personal experiences, retinol products, although overly drying on me, deliver better wrinkle-reducing results. And if I’m going to be layering another moisturizer on top of my wrinkle cream anyway, I’d rather layer it over a retinol cream that provides me with longer lasting wrinkle-fighting results than a wrinkle-cream that only gives me very temporary results.