YSL Forever Youth Liberator Serum review

The peeps at YSL are super excited about a brand new anti-aging skin care line that’s just the shelves in SA; YSL Forever Youth Liberator.
Its launch caused a bit of a flurry in Europe in that many women had to put their names down on waiting lists in order to get their mitts on it. What makes it so different to everything else is that it’s ‘inspired by glycobiology’ and one of the first to make use of glycans.

Now, I know what you’re thinking… ‘glycans?!’ It sounds like some weirdo alien race straight out of a Star Trek movie. Still, while using glycans might be as advanced as ET’s space ship, there’s nothing alien about them. Glycans occur naturally in your body and are responsible for sending messages between your cells. As we get older, our glycans tend to die off so, while our body’s still putting out a message that’s essentially saying ‘act young, be young, act young, be young…’ our ‘reception’, as such, is a bietjie kak, which is why our skin doesn’t get the message.

Merrily, YSL’s new range contains a complex of sugar-derived glycan stimulators they call Glycanactif. (I’m not too sure what all the sugars are but know that the main one is Rhamnose* which has the ability to tell your skin’s fibroblasts – the cells responsible for producing collagen – to behave at their best.) What Glycanactif does is help re-activate long dead glycans to help your skin get its innate ‘be youthful’ message loud and clear. Also, aside from helping your skin to ‘perform’ at its best; Glycanactif can help boost the efficacy of the other active ingredients in your skin care routine as it’s essentially cleaning up the ‘pathways’ on which they travel.

Biology lesson aside, YSL’s Forever Youth Liberator line consists of cleansing foam, lotion (their word for a toner), serum, fluid with SPF 15 (for oily skin), two ‘crèmes’ (one for normal skin, one for very dry skin) and an eye cream.

Prices range from R445 for the fluid (toner) to R660 for a 30ml bottle of serum.

I decided to give the serum a bash as it’s got the greatest concentration of Glycanactif in it.

YSL Forever Youth Liberator serum – apply one ‘dose’ to face and neck both day and night.

It comes in gorgeous glass vial with a dropper so I was super sad to decant it into an airtight plastic pump bottle; I don’t like to expose my beauty products to air as it degrades their active ingredients. Scent-wise, it’s got a pretty light floral smell that makes me think of rosewater. In regards to texture, it’s absolute bliss. I love how it sinks into my skin in a flash without feeling greasy or heavy in the least. Afterwards, there’s no weird silicone-y residue or anything that could cause your foundation to ‘pill’. It does, however, leave your skin looking very subtly radiant thanks to microscopic illuminating particles.

I regards to results, I’ve been using it for just over two weeks now and can see a subtle difference in my skin in that it’s less prone to fine dehydration lines. In fact, my skin looked ‘plumper’ within hours from the first application thanks to the serum’s hyaluronic acid content. (Hyaluronic acid is a water binder in that it draws more moisture into your skin and helps to keep it there.) I also liked the instant ever so  slightly luminous look but this disappeared as soon as I applied layer number two; my daily moisturiser. If, however, I’d used the YSL fluid with SPF 15 I’d retained my glow as this contains even more illuminators than the serum. Still, I appreciated the fact that it played nicely with my other anti-agers, namely my retinol serum and AHA cream.

Want to try YSL Youth Liberator for yourself? If you get to a YSL counter at selected Edgars stores** ASAP, you can snap up a 7 day sample pack of both the serum and crème. They’re convinced that after just one week, you’re going to see more youthful-looking skin and have asked that you leave your thoughts on their Edgar’s Club Facebook page. I’d also love to hear your thoughts, so feel free to let me know via the comments section below.

Love, love


*The only other skin care line I know of that’s also using Rhamnose is Vichy’s LiftActiv. You’ll find it at a nice high concentration (5%) in their serum, just so you know…

**Participating stores include Sandton City, Eastgate, Menlyn Park, Gateway, V&A and Canal Walk.

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Editor of South African beauty blog Lipgloss is my Life.

9 thoughts on “YSL Forever Youth Liberator Serum review

  1. Snapped up the trial pack this weekend and the serum and creme feels very nice. However the very next morning I had 3 fresh blind pimples on my face 🙁 Perhaps this is just because of the transitional period? Do you think it’s worth the price though and would you purchase?

    1. If they popped up the very next day they’re probably incidental; blind pimples take a while to form under the skin before they’re visible.

      I’m not sure if I’ll buy the range just yet; I don’t know enough about glycobiology and like to use things I fully understand. Also, I want to wait for a few more studies to be performed on rhamnose, the main ingredient, as it’s relatively new. (These are two v interesting quick reads regarding Rhamnose but talk about it in a Vichy product that also uses it, not YSL’s FYL. 99% of the rhamnose info online refer to the former as it’s not as new as the latter: http://archive.feedblitz.com/64871/~4095577 and http://beaut.ie/blog/2011/vichy-liftactiv-derm-source-new-and-whizzbang-for-wrinkles/)

      Also, Paula Begoun (amazing beauty product reviewer) seems to think there’s definitely something to it (rhamnose) but reckons its not the only kid on the block that can give you the end results that it promises. (http://www.beautypedia.com/search.aspx?prodid=19727&bid=224&wn=1)

      Reckon I’ll hang back a bit and see how it all evolves 😉

    1. I haven’t seen it on the shelves yet but met with Vichy the other day and remember that they were very excited about it, so I assume it’s either out or on it’s way. It’s called Liftactiv serum 10 as it contains 10-percent rhamnose. I’m not sure if this is more or less than what’s in the YSL product.

  2. Bought the eye cream when I was in duty free. LOVE it. Haven’t seen any diffs to my wrinkles but like the way it moisturises really well and is nice and luminous so it makes my under eye rings look less hectic. Going to drive all the way from Rondebosch to the waterfront to get my sample. Its worth it girls!!!

  3. I must have used every serum there is and let me tell you I was thinking of a neck lift the other month as skin was crepey! It’s gone, all gone, skin is firmer and my face is radiant to the extent I am not wearing any makeup, unreal! Seriously

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