This Anti-Aging Serum Made By a Nobel-Prize Winning Chemist Doesn't Give Me the Retinol Uglies

All thanks to science — literally.

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Over a year into working from home and most of my social life taking place online, I'll take whatever little luxuries I can get. Picking up a $6 oat milk latte from the cafe on the corner during my mid-day sanity walk? Sure! Wearing silk pajamas the entire workday? Why not?

I've also been taking the same approach to my skincare routine, opting for rich textures with high-performance ingredients that (almost) make me feel like I'm getting a facial at my favorite spa. Noble Panacea is one brand that checks off both boxes. What other skincare brand has held a black-tie launch party at the Met?

The brand was founded by Nobel laureate Sir Fraser Stoddart, who won the Nobel Prize in 2016 for chemistry. Noble Panacea launched in 2019 with two collections, The Brilliant Collection for radiant skin, and The Absolute Collection, which targets signs of aging.

Noble Panacea Review

All of the products in the brand's collections are formulated with its patented Organic Super Molecular Vessel, which protects active ingredients, helps them penetrate the skin more deeply, and promotes a time-released delivery at optimal concentrations. Tried-and-true plant-based skincare ingredients as well as some synthetics like retinol, for example, round out the formulas.

I've yet to try all of the products, but I started using the Intense Renewal Serum as a preventative step in my nighttime skincare routine a few weeks ago. This serum does a little bit of everything. Here's the breakdown: retinol promotes cell turnover for smoother, firmer skin, teprenone refine pores and reducing wrinkles, and a blend of rooibos, white, green, and black teas offer antioxidant protection and hydration.

Now, as a beauty editor, I've tried a lot of retinol products, and 98% of them are too irritating for my sensitive skin. I incorporated the Intense Renewal Serum into my routine without any issues. Instead of redness and flaking, my skin has been smoother and instantly looks plump and glowy after I press it into my skin. (Just make sure to follow up with a moisturizer and SPF in the morning because retinol can cause sun sensitivity.) The water-based serum feels like silk on my skin, dries down quickly, and doesn't have a strong scent. What's not to love? I ask.

VIDEO: When You Apply Sunscreen in Your Skincare Routine Actually Matters A Lot

What also makes this brand innovative is the packaging. The serum (and entire product line) comes in single-serving size aluminum-free sachets that can be cut open with scissors or the brand's opener. A storage case is also included. Once you get through the sachets, you simply purchase refills and mail back the used ones in the complimentary envelope to be recycled.

While travel hasn't been in the cards for the past year, I'm already thinking about how these sachets would make getting my products through TSA stress-free.

This level of science (and travel) convenience comes with a price. The entire line is a splurge, with The Intense Renewal Serum coming in a $420 for 30 sachets, so roughly a month's supply. But the innovative delivery system and unique ingredient story make hitting pause on an expensive latte habit and instead treating ones self with a something that offers long-term satisfaction somehow worth it.

The Splurge is our recurring column dedicated to expensive beauty products that are worth it. This week, why we're rebuying Noble Panacea's Absolute Intense Renewal Serum despite the $420 price tag.

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