Originally Published: 

An Honest Review of Lancôme’s Génifique Anti-Aging Serum

woman applying face cream
Photo by Orlando /Three Lions/Getty Images
We may receive a portion of sales if you purchase a product through a link in this article.

Lancôme’s Génifique anti-aging serum has been a hero product of the classic beauty brand for years. But recently, the French makeup and skincare company revisited its formulation for the Advanced Génifique Youth Activating Serum, revamping the ingredients list to include seven prebiotics and probiotics, including sugars, amino acids, and lipids to provide nutrients. The new formula claims to visibly improve radiance in just seven days. Did it work? Four W editors between the ages of mid-20s to late 40s, gave it a try and recorded their honest answers.

Sandra Ballentine, Beauty and Wellness Editor at Large

What’s the first thing that comes to mind when someone says “Lancôme?”

When I think of Lancôme, I picture the brand’s megawatt celebrity ambassadors, especially Julia Roberts and Zendaya. Who can forget Julia walking on water while being showered with diamonds in an ad for La Vie Est Belle? Or the 2019 Idôle fragrance campaign, which featured Zendaya charging around LA on a stunning, dapple-gray steed, displaying equestrian prowess reminiscent of Russell Crowe in Gladiator. (Except Zendaya rode bareback wearing a pale-peach evening gown. I’d like to see you try that, Russell!)

Had you heard about Lancôme Génifique before?

I confess, I’ve been a beauty editor long enough to remember the launch of the original formula in 2009!

Describe your experience using the product.

I tend to use clean and/or high-tech skincare products from smaller brands like Augustinus Bader, Biologique Recherche, Vintner’s Daughter, and Dr. Barbara Sturm, but there’s a reason millions of people swear by popular products like Génifique (or Estée Lauder Advanced Night Repair or La Mer, for that matter)—they have a luxurious feel and produce results. My first impression of any product is its packaging and ease of use, and as I’ve written in this column before, I’m obsessed with high-quality droppers and pump mechanisms. I’m happy to report that the Génifique dropper is perfectly engineered. It even makes a satisfying click when you twist the cap closed—a genius way to make sure your pricey serum is properly sealed after each use. I’m not a fan of heavily scented products, and luckily, this one doesn’t smell like much at all. My skincare regimen is never complicated, but I kept things even more minimal than usual during the seven-day trial, only using cleanser and SPF in addition to Génifique. But I could easily have added other products. The concentrate’s smooth, lightweight formula penetrates quickly and easily, so it plays well with others.

Did you see results?

I think so? But improved radiance was always going to be a challenge, considering that the seven-day period coincided with my birthday, which I (and forty fully vaccinated friends) celebrated outdoors with vats of pink Champagne, too many mango margaritas and too few dainty canapés. I’m sure the ensuing lack of sleep and dehydration did little to help my poor bottle of Génifique Youth Activating Concentrate live up to its name, though I tried to compensate for party-related setbacks by literally slathering the stuff onto my face, neck, and décolletage three or four times a day, reasoning that more was, well, more. And I have to say, I think Génifique made my skin look a little firmer and feel slightly softer by week’s end. Now if only it could make dark circles disappear.

Would you use the Lancome Génifique again?

I don’t usually cheat on Bader, Biologique, and Sturm unless my job requires it. So, as nice a product as Génifique is, it may not go into permanent rotation. That said, I will definitely finish the bottle!

Stephanie Eckardt, Staff Writer

What’s the first thing that comes to mind when someone says “Lancôme?”

“Lancôme” makes me think of a brand that means business—and (according to Kate Winslet, anyway,) really does know their stuff. I usually associate them with mascara, and wasn’t at all familiar with products like Génifique. (I know next to nothing about serums in general.)

Describe your experience using this serum.

I immediately liked the glass bottle and dropper, and especially how little of the serum I had to use (though that took some getting used to). It’s sticky, but only for the 15 seconds or so it takes to dissolve. After that, I don’t notice it, in part because there’s very little scent. Honestly, this product has been my full skin routine, as I don’t wear makeup other than eyeliner and am still on the hunt for a good moisturizer that’s relatively heavy but still summer-appropriate.

Did you see results?

Well, at no point did I look into the mirror and think wow, I’m glowing! But at no point did I look into the mirror and see what I’d expect from a very sweaty past few weeks in which I’ve been wearing a face mask and getting very minimal sleep. I also haven’t noticed any dryness, even though I haven’t been using any moisturizer.

Would you use the Génifique again?

Yes! I plan to stop using it for a bit and then take it up again to see the effects when things (including the heat) slow down later this summer.

Maryam Lieberman, Beauty Contributor

What’s the first thing that comes to mind when someone says “Lancôme?”

When I think of Lancôme, I always think of the iconic Isabella Rosselini photos for their Keracils mascara campaign—an unforgettable beauty ad embedded in my mind since I was young.

Had you heard about Lancôme Génifique before?

I knew absolutely nothing about it—and I haven’t been into Lancôme for a very long time. I don’t know why not, though, because their mascara and eyeliners are really superb. They don’t smudge and last through the longest of days.

Describe your experience using the product.

At this point in my life, my attitude is “try to impress me.” I know what works on my skin and I know how to pick up on any changes in my skin after switching to a new product, tool, or shift in lifestyle. I was thorough and made sure not to use any retinol or AHAs for a week before I started the Génifique to keep tabs on any changes and improvements. I used clean skincare products—including Seiso JBeauty foaming cleanser, Sisley’s Hydratante Cucumber day cream, and Natura Bissé’s Diamond Cream—my skin was already accustomed to, in hopes of gauging the serum’s true effects. I incorporated the Genifique serum underneath the aforementioned products morning and night. (A side note: I used no sunscreen for ten days, either—I just wore a hat when going out so it was as simplified a skin trial as possible.) The serum was a little sticky and filmy at first, but then dissolved and I was able to layer it with my moisturizers really nicely.

Did you see results?

I did see results. My skin looks noticeably brighter. But in all honesty, the wow factor wore off on the fifth day. I don’t know why, and nothing changed with my skin routine or my lifestyle habits. I had plenty of sleep and water all ten days. It could be that my skin took what it needed and then adapted back to its own state of normalcy.

Would you use the Lancôme Génifique again?

I would use it again in a few months to change up my skin, maybe for a few days (I always mix and rotate products—I think it’s the best form of consistency you can give your face). But overall, I still prefer plant-based skincare. Other than Retin-A or retinol, I see the best results on my skin with plant-based products.

Hannah Westbrook, Assistant Visuals Editor

Describe your experience using the Lancôme Génifique serum.

I love, love, love this serum. It was not sticky at all—it goes on so smooth and dries matte, leaving my skin feeling moisturized. It doesn’t leave any kind of residue, nor does it make my skin oily or sticky, so it’s perfect to wear under makeup. It doesn’t smell like much, which is nice. Some of my other products have a scent and I have sensitive skin, which reacts negatively to strong smells at times.

I generally use my serums straight out of the shower to ensure they absorb into my skin as much as possible. Génifique can be used both morning and night, but I’ve been using it in the AM because I just love the product under makeup. It’s buildable and easy to layer with other moisturizers, as well. I would say this is the best serum I’ve ever used, in comparison to other products I’ve tried in the past. Other products often feel thick and goopy underneath makeup, and this doesn’t.

Did you see results?

I do see results. After using it, my skin glows. I’ve been using the Génifique for a month and don’t see myself stopping. So yes, I would absolutely use this product (over and over) again.

This article was originally published on