What happens when you pair a skin-refining glycolic serum that sweeps dead cells and debris away with a barrier-supportive, cushy whipped cream to deeply moisturize and calm tired skin? Drunk Elephant’s Been a Long Day two-fer, which the company calls “skin’s nightcap.” I tried this little dynamic duo because: 1. they have an awesome reputation (read: cult-like following), 2. this is a one-stop nightly skin care routine. You don’t have to apply one layer, wait for it to dry, then apply the next — instead, you can combine the two at once in the palm of your hand, apply, and you’re done, and 3. both items are sample size so you can dip your toe in before taking the full size financial plunge.
Warning: this is a gateway drug. You might try these an find yourselves hooked for life.
Let’s start with the cream: “Lala Retro” is a multifaceted “rescue” cream that provides replenishing barrier support by reinforcing skin’s acid mantle and defending against the effects of everyday stressors. It’s super soft and silky but still substantial, likely because it’s infused with oils and a plant ceramide, and it’s a solid moisturizer for normal, combination and dry skin (<- me). I also like that it’s fragrance-free and a little goes a long way.
It’s counterpart, the T.L.C. Framboos Glycolic Night Serum (what does “framboos” even mean?) is a blend of glycolic, tartaric, citric (here are your alpha hydroxy acids, or AHAs) and salicylic acids. Considered an exfoliant as it resurfaces dull, congested skin by gently lifting away dead skin cells, the consistency is a light gel that combines the antioxidants with moisturizing ingredients. It stands out among the rest because of the amount of alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) used in this serum. AHAs are most effective at concentrations of 8 to 10 percent, and the T.L.C. Framboos contains 12% — a higher concentration than many other products. The AHAs are balanced by the salicylic acid (beta hydroxy acid, or BHA) which both refines pores and leaves skin with a smooth feel. What I loved about it is that it‘s lightweight, fragrance-free and feel utterly luxe.