Lancome Genifique Youth Activator VS L’Oreal Youth Code PreEssence Review

May 11, 2013

As with most cult beauty products, there are always two comparable products between high-end and a more accessible drug store brand from the same company. Lancome’s Genifique Youth Activating Concentrate has reached the cult status across the world ever since it was released , and it has now become the world’s best selling serum and most sought after serum in the beauty market. In the wave of its popularity, L’Oreal has released a drug store version of it named Youth Code PreEssence.


Let’s talk about the original Lancome Genifique first. The product shown in the picture is a travel exclusive of 100ml edition of it, and I always restock them whenever I get a chance. Judging by its jumbo size, it clearly shows how much I love this product! It has been a staple base serum in my skincare routine for years. Apart from its anti aging and rejuvenating benefits, the main function of this serum is that it boosts the benefits of other products that are applied after. So I always combine this with another more powerful serum that targets at specific areas, as it helps the second product penetrate into deeper layers of skin for better absorption, then finish with a moisturizer. These three-steps never fail on me, and the result is almost immediate. I wake up with a noticeably more supple, energized and radiant complexion the next day. Most importantly I have noticed the texture of my complexion appears more refined, even and translucent day by day. I wouldn’t say it helps to shrink the pores (actually nothing does), but as it makes the skin more moisturized and plumped it definitely helps to reduce the appearance of pores.

At the moment, I am combining Genifique with the following serums in rotation depending on my skin condition.

1. Ultraceuticals Ultra Brightening Serum for brightening purpose.

2. Lancome Visionnaire for an overall anti-aging, poreless complexion. Possibly my all-time favorite combination.

3. Ultraceuticals Ultra B Hydrating Serum if my skin feels desert dry, and it helps my makeup to glide on like a dream.

4. Ipsa ME Serum for tightening and lifting purpose. If my face appears puffy, this is an instant overnight fix!

skincare_serumsWith the L’Oreal Youth Code, in terms of texture it is very similar to the Lancome Genifique. Both of them have a very fluid and lightweight texture with a mild floral scent, and they absorb into the skin immediately. It also feels the same when just applied, and the skin appears softer and hydrated immediately after use. The instant absorption allows you to prep the skin with more potent products straight after. I have finished the entire bottle of Youth Code, and combined with exactly the same products I would use with Genifique. The result is relatively great for an affordable drugstore serum as it keeps my skin moisturized and supple, however I have not noticed a great improvement in my skin’s texture and clarity compared to the result of using Genifique.

lancome-genifique-youth-activating-concentrate-vs-loreal-youth-code-pre-essence-1Genifique Ingredient List:

lancome-genifique-ingredient-listBottom Line: Both are great as a base serum. L’Oreal Youth Code is more suitable for younger women with a lesser anti-aging concern. Lancome’s Genifique is a great all-purpose serum on its own for all skin types, and you can achieve an even better result if it’s combined with other products.  I personally cannot live without Genifique so I highly recommend this product to any women over the age of 25.

Lancome Genifique in 5ml, 30ml and 50ml are available here with international shipping.

{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

baby in a corner May 11, 2013 at 10:47 pm

I just bought the steampod based on your review! I needed a new straightners so its perfect – I’m so excited – thank you!!



Reika May 12, 2013 at 3:12 pm

Thanks for letting me know. That’s good to know and I hope you will love it as much as I do! It’s the best 🙂


faye lu May 12, 2013 at 2:06 am

great in-depth review. I’ve used Lancome Genifique and while I do like it … I am keen to try other serums before going back (currently using Kheil’s dark spot corrector serum) – but it’s great to know there’s a comparable / more affordable alternative.


elena-chupetes con nombre May 12, 2013 at 3:01 pm

I have tested the serum from Lancome and I have to say that is a spectacular product.


Kimberley May 13, 2013 at 4:22 am

Great post, I always wonder how similar products like these are!


jeslynj May 15, 2013 at 5:21 pm

I purchased this based on your review and I gotta say that I LOVE it so far! One of the best serums I have ever used. thanks! 🙂


Reika May 17, 2013 at 2:19 pm

I am sooo glad to hear that!! 🙂


Elaine May 16, 2013 at 5:49 am

hello! I am glad u like Youth code. Btw, I love Lancome Visionnaire!


Reika May 17, 2013 at 2:18 pm

Me too Elaine. Lancome visionnaire is my hg anti aging essence 🙂
And thanks for the youth code *wink*


Anna May 18, 2013 at 2:19 am

Love Genifique – I mix it with my foundation for a smoother and radiant finish.

Much love,
Anna x


Bobbie August 12, 2013 at 5:23 am

Is it true that L’Oreal is made by Lancome? Also what product is close to resembling Lancome’s Absolue sublime oleo serum? It is up to $180.00 for one fluid ounce. It is a very nice product but its getting a little over the top for my budget! Anything similar in another product line?


Sherry November 4, 2013 at 6:37 pm

So here at my thoughts…I tried the genefique and it was wonderful and I thought there would be something comparable at the drugstore…Wrong, I have tried and tried numerous products l’oreal,olay,aveeno,yes,and others and I am going back to the genefique ..quite honestly nothing compares to the feel and the results of this serum…I will never be without it again!!!!’


rhonda domzalski March 11, 2015 at 1:10 am

I too have found Genefique exquisite in texture. I received a sample and now cant live without it. I was thinking that Youth Code would be similar but at age 57 I think I will stick with the Genefique and Visionnaire, which is also tried as a sample. I found your information extremely helpful and I appreciate the time you spend in giving us your information. Stay beautiful.


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