Very few women I know want to call attention to their 30th birthday. It's a milestone we eventually accept but few of us truly celebrate. But in the beauty world, when a product like Estée Lauder Advanced Night Repair (ANR) hits the big 3-0, it's time to pop the champagne and have an all-out par-tay, or at least step into the spotlight with stylish new limited-edition packaging. And if you're thinking to yourself, "Why should I care?" I'm about to share 30 reasons why...
First, when it comes to beauty products I feel like most of us have a short attention span - moi included. So the mere fact that ANR has remained a best-seller for 30 years is impressive all on its own. Still, in order to gain a full appreciation of this product, I met with Anne Carullo, Senior Vice President of Global Product Development for Estée Lauder Beauty and Nadine Pernodet, PhD., Executive Director of Skin Biology, Research and Development for Estée Lauder Companies. As we chatted over tea and petite scones at the Pierre Hotel I compiled a list of 30 bits of history, tips, fun facts, and reasons to celebrate this one ground-breaking product.
1. You can't stop aging, but using ANR may help you to look like you’re celebrating your 29th birthday year after year.
2. ANR was created around the idea that DNA damage is the root of all aging. What’s so amazing to me is that ANR was introduced in 1982, just 20 years after the Nobel Prize was awarded to Watson, Crick, and Wilkins for discovering the structure of DNA, now recognizable as the double helix. Check out that original ad ... Definitely 80s hair!
3. According to Anne Carullo, ANR is considered to be a skincare first in many categories. For starters, it was the first repair product designed to use at night.
4. It was also the first skincare serum, setting the stage early on for a product that's now considered to be a must-have item in every skincare routine.
5. Outside of pharmaceutical products, ANR was the first cosmetic to be packaged in a brown apothecary-type bottle.
6. That bottle isn't just for looks. The deep amber color actually protects the active ingredients from exposure to light, which helps the product to maintain its potency.
7. ANR was also the first cosmetic product to use hyaluronic acid. It was such an expensive ingredient that it was only used in pharmaceuticals, but Mrs. Lauder understood its importance and insisted that it be part of the original formulation regardless of price.
8. Today hyaluronic acid is a key ingredient in many best-selling skincare products because of its ability to help the skin attract and retain moisture.
9. Over a period of 30 years, the ANR formula has only been updated twice.
10. The first update was in 1996 and focused on helping the skin to better repair the appearance of past damage caused by environmental factors.
11. The second update in 2009 introduced the exclusive Chronolux Technology with Synchronized Recovery Complex, which holds over 20 patents worldwide.
12. The only way to slow the signs of aging is by understanding what's happening in the skin and supporting the skin's natural ability to repair itself. That’s the basis upon which this new technology was created.
13. During the day our skin naturally protects itself and at night it works to repair any damage that's been done. As we age and are exposed to more environmental assaults, or skin becomes too overwhelmed to repair all of the damage that's been done. Nadine Pernodet explained it in this way, "If you think of your skin cells as an orchestra that gets off-key over time, Chronolux Technology is like the conductor helping to get your skin back in synch.”
14. Always striving to improve, Estée Lauder wanted to understand the longevity of their product results, so they invested in testing ANR for a full 12 months. This is notable because most cosmetic product-related studies are conducted over four-to-eight weeks, so two months max.
15. In this unprecedented year-long study, women continued to experience a significant improvement in the major signs of visible aging, day after day, month after month.
16. This clinical test also demonstrated that skin looks better and better with continued use of ANR.
17. Also recognizing that the world is diverse and products need to meet the needs of many different ethnicities, ANR was tested on Caucasian, Hispanic, African-American and Asian skin types and was proven effective for all ethnicities tested.
18. Because of all of this, ANR continues to build a loyal following. In fact, it’s estimated that globally over 7 bottles are sold every minute.
19. When I asked about the best age to start using ANR, Anne Carullo weighed in with this advice. "Your skin is always being damaged and ANR is always helping your skin to naturally repair itself. I guess it's never too early, but in your 20s would be a good time to start. Just as important, it's never too late. It's never too late to start repairing the damage."
20. Regardless of what products you use, ANR should be the first product you apply after cleansing your skin.
22. If you only use one other product with ANR, it should always be followed by a moisturizer.
23. While it's called Advanced Night Repair, everyone I spoke with includes ANR in their skincare routine morning and night.
24. I inquired about whether someone who doesn't typically use Estée Lauder products could benefit from using ANR and was told, "Anyone can benefit from using ANR. However, like a recipe, Estée Lauder products are all formulated to work together."
25. Using this serum every day helps continuously repair the appearance of past damage caused by every major environmental assault.
26. The ANR formulation is still so revolutionary that it’s patented until 2021.
27. Estée Lauder’s Creative Makeup Director Tom Pecheux refers to ANR as, “Caviar for the skin.”
28. On set, he applies ANR to rejuvenate the skin before applying makeup.
29. His secret to creating a radiant, photo-ready complexion also includes ANR. He mixes a few drops into foundation before applying it on the skin, creating an almost air-brushed, beautiful finish.
30. Finally, from using hyaluronic acid as a cosmetic ingredient to introducing serums, an entirely new beauty category to the world, I think it’s safe to say that ANR is a truly revolutionary product that set the stage 30 years ago, for so many of the products we’re just starting to see today.
Happy 30th ANR! You’ve truly changed the face of beauty.