REN Frankincense and Boswellia Serrata Revitalising Night Cream

After a few I-don't-know-what days, I'm getting back to some reviews!  My first skincare review is on the REN Frankincense and Boswelia Serrata night cream.  I received this little bottle as a free sample from Sephora, and to be honest, I put off trying it for about 2 months after it came in the mail.  I wasn't nervous to try it or anything, but I've been reluctant to use free samples or trial size things.  Something about how adorable some mini-packages are or knowing that the product will run out all too soon without a replacement have made me steer away.  Ususally, I like to save such things for "special occasions", but due to the fact that I'm a bit absent-minded and a procrastinator, I usually just put it off or forget about it until it's too late.  No more though.  I've decided that I will use all teeny products as a mini-treat for myself (that's what they are aren't they?).

Besides, I still can't let go of that Aussie hair mud envelope from high school that I never tried.  That was before Aussie was sold at Wal-Mart and they don't make it anymore. :(

Frankly, I bought this because I love incense and I was hoping for an night cream that would have the same relaxing kind of scent due to the Frankincense.  Even though I have sensitive skin I really love things that smell good.  Have you ever noticed how bad some of that "odorless" stuff smells?

Anyways, back to the formula.  I decided to do an actual "skincare challange" with this and post pics. of my process along the way (gulp).  That meant taking pics. of myself first thing in the a.m. without any makeup on.  Please don't judge too harshly! 

Hehe, ok time to be serious.  Let's start with...Oh yes, the claims!

"What it is:
A bioactive-packed moisturizer that rejuvenates the complexion as you sleep.

What it is formulated to do:

This luxuriously textured, nutrient-rich cream melts softly into the skin and harnesses the power of natural age-fighting agents to renew youthful qualities. Boswellic acid from Boswellia Serrata Bark works in harmony with resinoid from Frankincense to relax facial muscles and ease micro-contractions, helping to reduce and prevent the appearance of expression lines and wrinkles. Vitamin C and citroflavonoids from Calabrian Oranges and vitamins A and E boost collagen formation and cell renewal to firm and repair the skin.

What it is formulated WITHOUT:

- Parabens
- Sulfates
- Synthetic Fragrances
- Synthetic Dyes
- Petrochemicals

What else you need to know:
Famous in ancient Egypt for its preserving benefits, Frankincense has been used on skin for centuries. This skincare essential does not contain T.E.A, D.E.A, glycols, silicones, or PEGs."
Source: Sephora.com

That's a lot of stuff, thank God for copy + paste!  I actually didn't read the claims until my "trial" was over, but I found the ancient Egyptian skin care idea intriguing, I'm a sucker for old things made new again.  I distrust general claims of "chemical free" products and am curious as to why glycols or silicones weren't added.  Basically, it's supposed to fight wrinkles, even skin tone, and provide moisture and antioxidant protection.

The cream is indeed "luxuriously textured" and felt a little greasier than I expected.  It looks something like Vaseline in a tube (same color and all!), but it feels very silky as you apply it on your skin and it's texture means you only have to use just a small dot for each part of your face; less than a dime sized amount of product for your entire face.

It didn't smell exactly like incense, but it does smell really good.  I'm a big skeptic of wrinkle creams, especially since this one made claims to relax wrinkles.  In my experience, the only thing to do about a wrinkle is to apply a good moisturizer to it at least 3-4 times a day.  While using this my fine lines and my one big "laugh line" did indeed plump to match the rest of my skin and was erased in the morning and the effect lasted for a couple, maybe even a few hours.


Notice any difference?  Maybe it's the lighting, but I really believe that it evened my skin tone.  After using this product, I finally understand how skin can look "clarified".  Because mine does now!  I woke up with greasy-face, but not the dreaded icky, sticky feeling right under my eyes that happen when they aren't super-moisturized.  The grease was no where near as bad as with Cetaphil either, I might add.  I always wash my face in the a.m. so the greasiness didn't bother me a bit.  In fact, if I needed to skip my morning wash, there was just enough moisturizer left behind to allow me to apply my makeup with a decent base.

My skin seemed more plumped, lifted, and clarified.  While it didn't decrease my wrinkles to a botox-like extreme, I did notice a softening of both fine and major lines (I know, I only have one major line-but it counts!).  It seemed to have tightened/lifted my skin somehow because it feels as if my skin just "hangs" better.  Wow, there has got to be a better word for that...

It's a great moisturizer, but at $55 a bottle you could get an equally moisturizing night cream for much less.  My boyfriend has been telling me that "I have great skin" lately, and my own gut-instinct says that there is something to this formula that's really working.  Still, I can't spend $55 on a night cream so there will soon be a day when my tube will run out and this will be a memory.  I just think it's overpriced (read=wayyy overpriced) for what it does.

No skin irritations or breakouts here, and I even discovered an added bonus to this cream: it is the best hand cream ever!  After feeling how soft and smooth my fingers were from applying this, I started rubbing it into my hands.  Well, I'm happy to report they stayed soft for hours, even after washing dishes they retained some moisture.

Since the end of my 1 week challange, I've been reserving this to only applying it once or twice a week, and only on my face (poor hands!) to keep up the benefits that it's given me.  Other nights I just apply my faithful pink Olay fluid or some Cetaphil cream.

If I did have that kind of  money to throw at a cream, I might consider purchasing it (if I could get past seeing the amount in my shopping cart) and I would recommend it, and repurchase it.

4.8 (loses points for price only)

(This review was written solely by me.  Although the product was provided by Sephora as a free bonus; they had no involvement in my review process).


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