Saving Face- Erno Laszlo pHormula No. 3-9 Cream


The last month or so included flying cross country, having an evil cold and watching the weather go from fall to evil winter. None of the above is good for one's skin.

I was being good, slathering my face religiously with my regular moisturizer, and on those days my cold threatened to get the better of me, also my secret cure: Vicks Vapor Rub all around my nostrils (seriously. It works wonders and prevents you from rubbing your skin raw when blowing your nose for the 1278th time in two days). But I still had a patch or two of blotchy, flaky skin that could use some extra help.

That was when I remembered the sample of Erno Laszlo pHormula No. 3-9 cream for dry skin and cold weather. I received this the month before and was saving it for a time of need. That time has certainly arrived.

The ingredient list includes vitamins C & E, yeast extracts and emu oil (so beware if you don't use products with animal-derived materials), and it promises improved hydration and reduced puffiness, irritation and chaffing. After a month of nearly daily use, indoors and outdoors, I can say that it helped heal miserable skin and get rid of those flaky patches at the side of the nose. It also did a good job protecting my face on blistery NYC days.

pHormula No. 3-9 is not a substitute for an active twice a day serious moisturizer/anti-aging cream. I don't think it even claims to be one, but I'm making note of it just in case. You'd still need whatever cream that makes your skin looks alive. But it adds an extra nourishing layer of protection and helps with healing if you've been through a rough patch.

The cream is thick and would probably be way too much if your skin is oily. Even for me, a little goes a very long way and lasts all day. Younger skin might find it of the "just sitting on the face" variety (a complaint often heard about La Mer), but some days I really do need a cream that would sit there and do its thing on the surface.

Erno Laszlo pHormula No. 3-9 comes in a 1.7 oz jar which can be considered family-size. There's also a 7 oz option ($550) which would take a village to finish before it goes rancid. While the regular size is priced at $195 (most decent department stores and ernolaszlo.com), you can now get it from Dillards (at least online) for $110. The sample I received was a PR freebie.

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