“It’s clinically proven to work better and faster than the leading prescription ingredient, and it’s gentle enough to use everyday.” – Luminaze
PRODUCT RATING:★★★★★★★☆☆☆ (7/10)
PRICE DETAILS: Luminaze – $120 for 1oz. (♦♦♦♦♦) | Elure – $150 for 1oz. (♦♦♦♦♦)
SKIN TYPE: All skin types, even sensitive (unless you are specifically allergic to any of the ingredients).
QUICK REVIEW: While Luminaze/Elure are not miracle products, they offer a promising alternative to those who cannot tolerate more aggressive formulations. There was a slight improvement and perhaps over time, these products can deliver greater results.
the REVIEW | INITIAL IMPRESSION: My lovely spots which I’ve acquired after years of surfing, birth control, pregnancies, blemishes and just from being Asian – are the bane of my skin care mission. Most products that “work” are too harsh for my skin, leaving me with rashes, burning, red patches and dry skin. Not cute. After stumbling across Luminaze™ Catalytic Skin Tone Illuminator ($120) on the Nordstrom website, I knew I had to try this treatment serum that guaranteed to make me luminous.
the EXPERIENCE: The sensory experience of Luminaze™ is a pleasant one and the pump dispenser makes application simple. It does not have any strong scent (it is fragrance free) or smell like chemicals and the texture of both phases is a light gel-cream and are easy to apply evenly. I did not experience any initial irritation, burning or itching – good signs. Another benefit is that it wears very well under makeup and did not feel the need to wear an additional moisturizer.
At Week 2-3 I switched from using Luminaze to Elure along with the Elure Foaming Cleanser ($30).
Luminaze vs. Elure: For the record, both Elure™ and Luminaze™ are made by Syneron – the active enzyme (aka Ligninase) is manufactured in Switzerland, but the product is made in the Philippines. While the products market the enzyme under different names – Melanozyme/Elure & Lumizane Enzyme/Luminaze) they are both listed as Ligninase on the ingredient list. Both are derived from a mushroom, specifically Phanerochaete Chrysosporium. According to an inquiry on the Luminaze Facebook page, Elure™ Advanced Lightening Lotion ($150, available through dermatologists) has 40% more of the active ingredient Ligninase. I have both products and they are nearly identical – sharing the exact same ingredient list. Its fair to assume the only difference between the two is the 40% more active Liginase and $30.
The experience as far as texture and application go are identical.
(L-R) Before, Week 1, Week 2, Week 3, Week 4, Week 5/6
the RESULTS | WEEK ONE (01/13/2012):
I wasn’t expecting miracles after 7 days – but there truly was a “visible” difference in the overall tone and particularly in texture of my skin. This portion of my cheek is the worst part of my pigmentation – so I felt it would be the best section to test Luminaze and Elure. There is zero irritation, no breakouts and I also added the Elure Advanced Facial Wash in order to give this routine a fair shot. So far – I’m impressed and hopeful!
WEEK THREE (01/27/2012):
Hmm…I’m trying my best to use the same lighting but I see a very subtle difference in my pigmentation and overall skin texture. Initially there was an improvement – but my skin was in bad shape when I started. I’ve been using the Elure Advanced Facial Wash which I really like and the Elure version for the last week in hopes the higher Ligninase content would yield more dramatic results. I also added the Philosophy The Microdelivery Triple-Acid Brightening Peel and have been wearing SPF 40 daily. I’m going to stick to this and see what happens. Then again – a 29% improvement in 31 days isn’t going to be totally obvious.
WEEK FOUR (02/05/2012):
I suppose there is a slight difference in the color of my Big Spot – but nothing spectacular. I’m going to alter my routine over the next 2 weeks by using Conju Princess Soap at night, the Elure Wash in the AM and using The Face Shop Flebeaute White Crystal Moisture Radiance Cream in the AM and PM. I’m giving this 2 more weeks.
Now that I see the comparison with the BEFORE picture and Week 5, there is a definite difference to the overall texture and tone of my skin. I must note that I’ve started using Neutrogena Rapid Wrinkle Repair Night Moisturizer and Yonka Cream 11 which has helped calm my red cheeks. I’ll continue using Elure in conjunction with the Neutrogena (which is my first time trying a retinol) and hope it will accelerate the process.