Product Review: Elizabeth Arden Ceramide Capsules

Elizabeth Arden Ceramide Capsules in different formulas: Vitamin C, Retinol, Advanced Daily Youth Restoring Serum, Advanced Daily Youth Restoring Eye Serum

Here in Vancouver the weather has been crisp, cold, and sunny with temperatures hovering around freezing. Great for putting me in the holiday spirit (I just started Christmas shopping last weekend!), but not exactly stellar for my skin. My face can get so dehydrated in dry cold that my cheeks and forehead become red and sensitive. Serums and moisturizers that are normally fine begin to sting and itch. That's when I turn to ceramides like the Elizabeth Arden ceramide capsules, which I received for review from past and current #LDBeauty events. So what do ceramides do? Why capsules? And what's the difference between all of the Elizabeth Arden ceramide capsules pictured above? All the answers after the jump!

Textures of Elizabeth Arden Ceramide Capsules in different formulas: Vitamin C, Retinol, Advanced Daily Youth Restoring Serum, Advanced Daily Youth Restoring Eye Serum

Why ceramides?

Ceramides are a fatty lipid found in healthy skin that helps skin maintain its moisture barrier. Although hyaluronic acid is often touted as a hydration hero, when used on damaged skin and in dry and cold conditions, hyaluronic acid can actually accelerate moisture loss. Just think about how hyaluronic acid works: It's a humectant that draws moisture from the air and the deep-down layers of your skin, then holds the moisture in the uppermost layer of skin to create that plumped-up dewy appearance we're so used to getting from hyaluronic acid. The moisture will stay in the uppermost layers of skin if there's a healthy moisture barrier, but a damaged barrier means water leaves your skin that much faster.

Ceramides, by contrast, boost your skin's moisture barrier so that moisture stays locked in where it belongs. In my experience, ceramides can also soothe and calm itching, redness, and sensitivity, and immediately improve the appearance of fine dehydration lines. Last winter when my skin started acting up, I relied on ceramide sheet masks and moisturizing fluid and intensive moisturizer to bring it back to life. This time around I'm using Elizabeth Arden ceramide capsules, which brings me to my next point...

Why capsules?

As soon as you open a new skincare product and it's exposed to light and air, the active ingredients start degrading and the formula begins to lose potency. That means the product that's left in a near-empty bottle isn't as effective as what you were using when the bottle was freshly opened. On the other hand, Elizabeth Arden's single-dose capsule technology protects the product from exposure so that the last dose of serum in the bottle is as concentrated and potent as the first. And since you're only opening one capsule at a time, you don't have to feel pressured to use up an entire bottle of serum before it goes bad. You can even toggle between different formulas on different nights according to your skincare concerns, as I did while product-testing for this review!

Elizabeth Arden's capsules are made of biodegradable gelatin, so you don't need to feel guilty about generating plastic waste with these—just pop the empties in the compost when you're done. They're also great for saving space in carry-on luggage because you can just count out the number of capsules you need for a trip and take those. No need to tote an entire bottle of serum.

Now, with all that being said, all you have to do is pick the ceramide capsule formula that's right for you!

Elizabeth Arden Retinol Ceramide Capsules

Elizabeth Arden Retinol Ceramide Capsules

These Elizabeth Arden Retinol Ceramide Capsules ($106 for 60 capsules at London Drugs) were the buzzy new product at last year's #LDBeauty event, but I didn't try them until this year because my skin was so sensitive last winter, the last thing I wanted to do was apply retinol and potentially trigger more sensitivity. On healthy skin though, retinol is great for improving tone and texture, diminishing fine lines and wrinkles, and fading dark spots over time. As an active ingredient, retinol is fairly strong, so many skincare experts recommend that newbies try using it 1-2 times a week initially and building up tolerance from there. It can also make skin more photo-sensitive, so daily SPF is a must. (Side note: Winter is great time to try retinol because UV rays are at an all-time low.)

I used these capsules 1-2 times a week. The serum has a thick, gel-like consistency that feels dry to the touch. This was my first time ever using a retinol product(!), but despite that I experienced zero irritation or sensitivity. I think the way these capsules blend retinol with the soothing, calming ceramides may have helped take some of the sensitizing edge off of the retinol.

Elizabeth Arden Advanced Ceramide Capsules Daily Youth Restoring Serum

Elizabeth Arden Advanced Ceramide Capsules Daily Youth Restoring Serum

On the nights when I wasn't using the retinol capsules, I reached for the classic Elizabeth Arden Advanced Ceramide Capsules Daily Youth Restoring Serum ($125 for 90 capsules at London Drugs). These are just straight-up gentle, nourishing, soothing ceramides in the form of a silky, slippery face oil. They're ideal if you're just looking to reinforce your skin's moisture barrier and you don't need any other active ingredient bells and whistles. The formula absorbs pretty slowly, but if you wait 10-15 minutes and then layer a good moisturizer or sleep mask on top, your complexion will feel so soft and plump the next day.

Elizabeth Arden Advanced Ceramide Capsules Daily Youth Restoring Eye Serum

Elizabeth Arden Advanced Ceramide Capsules Daily Youth Restoring Eye Serum

Elizabeth Arden Advanced Ceramide Capsules Daily Youth Restoring Eye Serum ($77 for 60 capsules at London Drugs) are just like the capsules for your face, except they're smaller and formulated for use around the sensitive eye area, so the silky, slippery oil is more lightweight. Personally, I'm not a fan of these. The oil is so slippery and slow-absorbing that no matter how carefully I applied it, avoiding the lashline and the crease, eventually I'd end up blinking some of it into my eye. After several nights in a row of stinging eyes and cloudy vision, I decided to repurpose my remaining eye serum capsules as face-and-neck capsules by using two at a time.

Elizabeth Arden Vitamin C Ceramide Capsules

Elizabeth Arden Vitamin C Ceramide Capsules

I saved my favourite for last! Elizabeth Arden Vitamin C Ceramide Capsules ($106 for 60 capsules at London Drugs) launched just this year and were the buzzy new product at #LDBeauty 2019. Vitamin C is great for antioxidant protection, brightening, and supporting healthy collagen production, but it's also notoriously difficult to stabilize and deteriorates quickly when exposed to light and air. Elizabeth Arden's capsule technology helps the vitamin C in this serum maintain its potency (supposedly 178x more potent than other vitamin C skincare products). Initially I was skeptical of these potency cliams, but after one straight week of use I was a true believer. Each capsule contains a silky, slow-absorbing, luxurious-feeling face oil. The first vitamin C capsule left my skin looking more even-toned and radiant after just one night of use; I woke up the next day looking refreshed and like I'd just gotten the best night's sleep ever. After 5 days' use, my skin's tone and luminosity had improved so much, it looked as like I was wearing BB cream or tinted moisturizer even when I had no makeup on. I've used vitamin C skincare before, but these were the fastest results I've ever gotten from a single vitamin C product. And best of all, if I decide to use something else and come back to these capsules later, I can rest assured that what's inside is still just as fresh and effective.

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