Welcome to Robb Recommends, a regular series in which our editors and contributors endorse something they’ve tried and loved—and think will change your life for the better. If you purchase a product or service through a link in this story, we may receive a small commission.
For the past three years, Tom Ford has been working with a team of scientists to build a premium skincare collection that delivers for both men and women. The newest two products to join the burgeoning Tom Ford Research lineup are an intensive treatment lotion ($170) and emulsion ($210) that promise to energize your skin for greater radiance and vitality.
While each product is sold separately, the highly concentrated formulas work better when used in tandem and the company was kind enough to send a bottle of both for me to try. For the past couple of months, I’ve been diligently applying the duo daily in a bid to get my lackluster quarantine skin back in shape before “normal” life is in full swing.
The first thing I notice about the packaging is the magnetic lids that swiftly snap back in place after use. This might sound minor, but it won’t go unnoticed by skincare buffs. The second thing which, quite literally, smacks me in the face is the aroma. Each formula has a beautiful fragrance, not unlike Ford’s perfumes, which makes applying them a blissful olfactory experience.
The company says when the lotion and emulsion are used in tandem, the results are immediate. (This is backed by clinical studies on both men and women.) You can expect energized skin with visibly diminished pores and improved texture. I can attest to all three. At first blush, my complexion appears to be recharged, rebalanced and, dare I say it, radiant. It’s also softer and more supple. This is a far cry from what it’s been over the past 12 months.
So, how does it actually work? Both the lotion and emulsion feature potent concentrations of Ford’s signature ingredients—caffeine, white porcelain cacao and gyokuro—that together work to bring you a refreshed complexion. The caffeine brightens your skin and helps to decrease any puffiness and inflammation by constricting blood vessels. The white porcelain cacao protects your skin from free radical damage caused by pollution. And the gyokuro, a specialized variety of green tea, soothes the skin while providing antioxidant protection.
The two-step regimen begins with the intensive treatment lotion. This formula soaks into the skin to smooth, soothe and minimize visible redness. That’s thanks to the signature ingredients, plus hyaluronic acid, lactobacillus ferment and algae extract. Think of it as a hydration bomb that leaves your skin feeling plump and nourished.
After the lotion works its magic, you apply the intensive treatment emulsion. This formula is light and quite fast to absorb. It also has a good whack of the core ingredients, along with lactic acid and various peptides that gently refine the skin to boost radiance.
You’re left with a radiant canvas on which you can apply the rest of your usual suspects (moisturizer, primer, sunscreen and so on). If you want to keep it in the Ford family, there’s also a serum ($350), crème concentrate ($450) and eye cream ($265) that can be applied in that order, morning and night, to have you looking like its seemingly ageless creator in no time.
If Ford’s vision was for transformative skincare, he has well and truly succeeded—on this face, at least.