Does Estée Lauder’s No. 1 Serum Live Up to the Hype?

The W editors put Advanced Night Repair Synchronized Recovery Complex II to the test.

Estée Lauder’s Advanced Night Repair Synchronized Recovery Complex II has been a mainstay product in the kits of celebrities, renowned facialists, and makeup artists since the brand’s Night Repair line was released by Estée herself in 1982. There’s a reason why it’s the no. 1-selling serum in Estée Lauder’s lineup: it’s said to provide deep hydration, erasing fine lines and wrinkles. We wanted to give the storied stuff a try—so four W editors tested the Night Repair serum for a few months, then gave their honest opinions.

Hannah Westbrook, Assistant Visuals Editor

When you hear the name “Estée Lauder,” what’s the first thing that comes to mind?

When I hear “Estée Lauder,” I think of old television commercials I would see as a kid growing up, featuring women with their “age-defying” skin. I also have distinct memories of the ads in Macy’s. I’ve heard of the brand since the moment I was able to understand beauty—it’s an iconic name.

Were you familiar with the Night Repair serum’s reputation?

I was not aware of the reputation of the serum, but I have high expectations based on the history of the brand.

Describe your experience using this product.

I’ve been using the serum for about a month and a half. I’ve been having weird reactions to serums lately and have been on and off using other nighttime products. But I used this one and didn’t have any negative reaction at all—my skin feels hydrated in the morning without any stickiness or greasiness, which I like. I’m blessed with nice skin and when it comes to aging, I don’t have many noticeable wrinkles. So I’m using this serum as more of a preventative step in my routine. I do love the smell and the texture of it—and the bottle just feels expensive.

Would you use this night serum again?

I don’t tend to stick to certain products/brands, as I have sensitive skin and I constantly feel like I can find something better. But with that being said, I do really like this, and I would probably buy it again.

Jenna Wojciechowski, Fashion Market Editor

When you hear the name “Estée Lauder,” what’s the first thing that comes to mind?

The first thing that comes to mind when I hear Estée Lauder is heritage. It is a brand that I remember my grandma using, as well as my mother.

Were you familiar with the Night Repair serum’s reputation?

I have heard of this product before; in fact, my sister has it in her medicine cabinet. But I was not aware of its reputation until I started doing some research on it once this trial began.

Describe your experience using this product.

I started this serum on a Sunday evening. When I woke up on Monday, I loved how my skin felt: silky and clean. I do not like to wash my face too often, so the fact that this didn’t leave my skin feeling greasy or clogged the next morning was a plus. The serum has a lightweight, soft texture. The smell is a bit medicinal, which I don’t mind because that makes me think it actually works. I used this serum for about three months, almost four nights a week—and have to say, I am very impressed. After trying multiple cult night serums—all of which I have spent a pretty penny on—this one ended up being at the top of my list.

Would you use this night serum again?

I would definitely use this night serum again. In fact, I am still using it.

Oona Wally, Senior Visuals Editor

When you hear the name “Estée Lauder,” what’s the first thing that comes to mind?

When I think of Estée Lauder, I think of my mom. She incorporated a ton of Estée products into her skincare routine.

Describe your experience using this product.

I’ve used this serum religiously since I received it. I apply it to my face, neck, and décolleté after my toner and before my moisturizer. After hearing it’s been one of the longstanding best serums out there, I wanted to really commit to integrating it into my beauty regimen. I don’t enjoy the scent—it feels outdated and I can’t even put my finger on what it smells like, but I know I don’t like it. Nonetheless, the effect on my skin makes up for any qualms on fragrance. My skin has been super soft and smooth in tone, feeling moisturized and well taken-care of.

Would you use this night serum again?

Yes, and I have been…again and again and again!

Julia McClatchy, Assistant to the Editor in Chief

When you hear the name “Estée Lauder,” what’s the first thing that comes to mind?

The name Estée Lauder reminds me of my grandma. As a young girl, I would always go through my grandma’s skin and makeup products—and nearly all of them were from Estée Lauder. Being that Estée Lauder is such a reputable company, I knew I wanted to try this serum—not to mention its amazing reviews!

Describe your experience using this product.

Since the day I received this serum it has become an integral part of my morning and evening skin routine. I have been applying it after washing my face, using toner, and hyaluronic acid, and before using my nighttime moisturizer. My skin absorbs this serum smoothly and without a reaction. I have found that it also preps my skin in the best way, ensuring that I get the most out of my moisturizer. Every day since, I have been waking up with skin that glows—proof this serum is worth all the hype.

Would you use this night serum again?

Absolutely! Night Repair has a permanent place in my skincare routine.

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