Extremely lightweight, feels like wearing nothing
Non-greasy, good for acne-prone skin
Easy, self-loading applicator
High price point, especially for the ingredients
May be drying due to alcohol denat and fragrance
More hydrating than anti-aging
Not Byrdie Clean
Lancôme Advanced Génifique Youth Activating Concentrate
We put the Lancôme Advanced Génifique Youth Activating Concentrate to the test after receiving a complimentary sample from the brand. Keep reading for our full product review.
As a freshly minted 30-year-old, I’m enamored with anti-aging skincare products. From retinol and serums to overnight masks and peels, I’ll happily slather anything on my face that promises smoother fine lines and an even, supple complexion (even if I have to risk a pimple or five) in the name of prevention.
So when the top-rated Lancôme Advanced Génifique Youth Activating Concentrate came across my WFH desk, I was intrigued—this cult-favorite elixir promises to address 10 key signs of aging while deeply hydrating and nourishing the skin. But never mind the marketing jargon—flesh-and-blood beauty fanatics across Sephora, Ulta, and the like claim that this serum lives up to the hype. It boasts an impressive 4.4 stars on Sephora, 4.8 at Ulta, and another 4.8 on the Lancôme website, totaling roughly 10,500 (mostly) positive reviews.
After quickly glancing at the ingredient list, I slathered a full dropper of the silky liquid across my freshly-cleansed face, followed up with my daily moisturizer, and proceeded to repeat this process each day for the next two weeks. Find my unfiltered thoughts on this hero serum below, including whether or not it’s earned a long-term place in my skincare routine.
Best for: All skin types, particularly dry skin.
Uses: Formulated with bifidus prebiotic, vitamin C, hyaluronic acid, and ceramides, this silky serum delivers a potent dose of hydration while strengthening the skin’s moisture barrier to defend against environmental pollution and UV rays.
Potential allergens: Not likely
Active ingredients: Bifidus prebiotic 10%
Clean?: No; contains PEGs.
Price: $105 for 1.7 oz.
About the brand: Lancôme is a legacy French beauty brand known for its luxurious and timeless skincare, fragrances, and makeup. It’s been around since the 1930s and remains a respected, popular beauty brand to this day.
About My Skin: Combination, acne-prone, and a bit dull
My skin sports dry patches and painful cystic acne in nearly equal measure—a combination that often results in a dull complexion overall. Aside from my love of testing potent anti-aging products, I try to keep my skincare routine as simple and consistent as possible—a heavy moisturizer or harsh peel can easily induce an acne or eczema breakout in minutes. I generally look for lightweight products that contain soothing humectants and gentle yet hydrating ingredients, like hyaluronic acid and niacinamide, to replenish my skin and keep breakouts at bay.
The Scent and Feel: Runny yet absorbent with a faint citrus scent
The consistency and feel of the Lancôme Youth Activating Concentrate immediately reminded me of a hyaluronic acid serum—it has an almost slimy texture yet is incredibly absorbent and lightweight. My skin basically drank this serum; it was completely dry to the touch just minutes after application and layered beautifully underneath my moisturizer and foundation. It boasts a very faint citrus scent that almost reminds me of a refreshing laundry detergent (in a good way). Overall, I’d say the texture and scent fall distinctly into the “pro” column.
The Ingredients: A bit of a mixed bag
Lancôme Advanced Génifique Youth Activating Concentrate’s hero ingredient is definitely the 10% bifidus prebiotic, or bifida ferment lysate. This fermented ingredient does the same for your skin that a probiotic supplement does for your gut: nourishes and adds to the “good” bacteria present to create a healthy, balanced environment. Per the brand’s website, it also protects your complexion against UV damage (though you should still wear SPF!) while reinforcing the skin’s vital moisture barrier for optimal hydration. Coupled with replenishing hyaluronic acid and antioxidant vitamin C, this serum is just as hydrating as it is balancing. Ceramides like phytosphingosine round out the formula and help the skin retain moisture.
With that said, this product also contains a good amount of alcohol denat (the third ingredient on the list), in addition to potentially irritating scent ingredients like limonene, citronellol, and fragrance. While the former is likely what gives it its absorbent, fast-drying consistency, alcohol denat can be drying and may counteract the work of the hydrating bifidus prebiotic, hyaluronic acid, and ceramides. While alcohol isn’t all bad, many people avoid any and all beauty products that contain alcohol, so it’s really a matter of personal preference.
The Results: Great for balancing out dull, dehydrated skin
Because Lancôme's Youth Activating Concentrate is so intensely hydrating, you see results pretty quickly—my skin looked noticeably quenched with a subtle glow after the first application, and this only improved as time went on. I also love how lightweight and absorbent it is—it’s innocuous enough to layer underneath my moisturizer and makeup without having to worry about clogging pores or inciting a breakout. In a way, I see it as a really low-risk product; I don’t feel like I’m tempting a breakout or skin irritation when using it, which is somewhat rare for my sensitive complexion.
Of course, I say all of this as a person that chiefly deals with dry, dull skin—I’m not sure whether a person with an oily, hydrated complexion would notice the same drastic improvements. What’s more, I’m not sure if “anti-aging” is the right word for this product; I feel like the soft skin, plumped lines, and dewy complexion are a result of its hydrating properties rather than strong anti-aging ingredients, like retinol.
The Value: A bit pricey for the ingredient list
While Lancôme's Advanced Génifique Youth Activating Concentrate does boast a few hero ingredients, there are other products on the market that contain a combination of bifidus prebiotic, hyaluronic acid, and vitamin C without some of the more drying ingredients mentioned above. What’s more, I do feel like this product falls into the “hydrating” category rather than the “anti-aging” category, and when you view it from that perspective, there are countless cheaper hydrating products out there (for example, Neutrogena's Hydro Boost line). The serum still does a good job and is worth a try, but it's far from the only purchase you can make if budget is your priority.
Similar Products: You've got options
Estée Lauder Advanced Night Repair Serum: This is definitely the most comparable product on the market to Lancôme's Youth Activating Concentrate—it’s no surprise that it has garnered similar hype and reviews. This iconic Estée Lauder serum ($75) is formulated with bifida ferment lysate, lactobacillus ferment (another helpful probiotic), hydrating glycerin, and hyaluronic acid to deliver comparable hydration and bounce.
Good Light We Come in Peace Probiotic Serum: This buzzy elixir from Good Light ($24) contains bakuchiol, lactococcus ferment lysate, carrot seed oil, and blue tansy to nurture your skin’s microbiome while fading hyperpigmentation and calming inflammation.
Glossier Super Bounce: If you’re looking for a solid hyaluronic acid serum, Glossier's Super Bounce ($28) is an affordable pick packed with soothing ingredients like pro-vitamin B5. Fans say it made their skin extra soft, smooth, and supple.
Lancôme’s Advanced Génifique Youth Activating Concentrate is a great, low-risk buy if you’re looking to hydrate and replenish your skin without layering on potentially irritating, oily ingredients. I don't think this necessarily qualifies as "anti-aging," but it had visible benefits and I’ll definitely continue to use this before bed to boost my skin’s hydration overnight.
- Product Name Advanced Génifique Youth Activating Concentrate
- Product Brand Lancôme
- Price $105
- Weight 1.7 oz.
- Full Ingredient List Water, Bifida Ferment Lysate, Glycerin, Alcohol Denat., Dimethicone, Hydroxyethylpiperazine Ethane Sulfonic Acid, Ascorbyl Glucoside, Sodium Hyaluronate, Sodium Hydroxide, Sodium Benzoate, Phenoxyethanol, Adenosine, Faex Extract/Yeast Extract/Extrait De Levure, Peg-20 Methyl Glucose Sesquistearate, Peg-60 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Salicyloyl Phytosphingosine, Ammonium Polyacryldimethyltauramide/Ammonium Polyacryloyldimethyl Taurate, Limonene, Xanthan Gum, Caprylyl Glycol, Disodium Edta, Octyldodecanol, Citronellol, Fragrance.