Although flowers have been present in beauty potions since time immemorial, modern science continues to isolate and harness their most potent properties. Here are the latest advances in skin care research on our favorite flowers, Nafeesa Saini and Yanni Tan report.
Chanel: The Camellia
A hundred years have passed since the beginning of Chanel n. 5 and around that time the house has earned a reputation for using the crème de la crème of flowers for its skincare. Her latest successful beauty collection – De Chanel No. 1 – is further proof of this. At the heart of the range is camellia, the brand’s emblematic flower and Gabrielle Chanel’s favorite flower.
Since 1998 Chanel has been growing the flower in open-air workshops in the village of Gaujacq, in southwestern France. Camellias are grown in the ground using agricultural practices that exert minimal pressure on the environment. The project was born from the collaboration with the camellia expert Jean Thoby, whose winter botanical garden hosts the two mother plants of the Camellia Japonica Alba Plena.
Chanel’s research has uncovered the benefits of red camellia extract from the “Zar” species of Camellia Japonica. The odorless flower possesses a lasting quality demonstrated by the petals that remain unaffected by water or cold. Hand-picked at full capacity, they contain protocatechuic acid, a powerful and nutritious molecule never seen in previously analyzed camellias.
Specifically, this species shows a remarkable ability to support the vitality of the skin, and this attribute has been translated into the De Chanel line n. 1 which addresses the first stage of skin aging. Rich in antioxidants, it rejuvenates the skin and preserves its youth.
The formulas in the collection contain up to 97% of natural and renewable ingredients, of which 75% are derived from camellia. To reduce waste, various parts of the system are incorporated into the formula and packaging. The extract is used for its renewing properties while the camellia water has a soothing action. The oil, obtained by squeezing the seeds, maintains the hydration of the complexion, while the shells of the seeds are used in the packaging of the Revitalizing Cream.
The range includes nine products, including the new Powder-To-Foam cleanser that turns creamy on contact with water. Other skin care products include a lotion to tighten pores, a revitalizing serum, a smoothing cream, and an eye cream to combat dark circles and puffiness.
As for makeup, red camellia oil is infused into the moisturizing foundation and lip and cheek balm. Léau Rouge revitalizing scented mist keeps skin fresh all day and also works as a fragrance. Camellia is odorless, but its scent is reinvented as a floral bouquet of jasmine, orange blossom and rose.
Guerlain: The orchid
A cult beauty elixir for over 15 years, the luxurious Guerlain Orchidée Impériale cream has been synonymous with the most advanced skincare research on orchids. With extraordinary longevity, these flowers offer many powerful anti-aging cosmetic properties. The latest research and development of Guerlain’s Orchidearium has revealed the secret of infinite longevity, found in the deepest roots of an extraordinary duo of orchids chosen from over 30,000 species.
The first is Gastrodia Elata, a legendary herb used in traditional Chinese medicine and grown in the mountainous regions of Yunnan and parts of China. In addition to its exceptional regenerating properties, a precious fraction extracted from its roots immediately counteracts the lack of cellular oxygen and has a protective effect on skin cells. The second is Dendrobium Fimbriatum, which lives on the surface of tree trunks or branches, and has an extraordinary survival capacity. Its amazing aerial roots, in particular, synthesize a wide variety of molecules.
The regenerative power of the roots of both orchids is now concentrated in the state-of-the-art Orchid Totum technology. Composed of a wide variety of molecules, this molecular extract helps regulate cellular respiration, fight hypoxia and, for the first time, target a longevity enzyme, PHD3, which can dramatically reverse the visible signs of aging. The discovery of the enzyme was the result of Guerlain’s collaboration with the prestigious Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich.
In addition to the Totum Orchid, this 2022 reissue of the Guerlain Orchidée Impériale Cream also boasts an exceptional sensory sensation infused into a formula composed of 96% naturally derived ingredients. Ultra fine, soft and emollient, rich and plumping, the cream offers hydration throughout the day. After seven days of use, study subjects between the ages of 18 and 72 were found to have skin that looked three years younger, based on dermis density comparison using approximately 6,000 skin ultrasounds. Clinical evaluation by dermatologists also reported a marked improvement in the visible signs of aging, from increased radiance to reduced wrinkles to increased hydration.
Designed like a precious jewel in its case, the jar of the new Crema Orchidée Impériale has been carefully designed to minimize its environmental impact: it is refillable, recyclable and made with 40% recycled glass and 100% recycled plastic. Weight and volume have also been reduced to reduce its carbon footprint. The cream is also completed by the Micro-Lift Concentrate and the Eye and Lip Contour Cream.
Dior: The Longoza
The secret of Dior’s Capture Total line is the longoza flower, grown in the house’s garden in the heart of the Indian Ocean. The island country of Madagascar is home to a biodiverse ecosystem that boasts 13,500 endemic flowers, of which 75% are unable to grow elsewhere.
In the Ranomafana rainforest area there is a dedicated Dior garden, which combines traditional manual harvesting with a rigorous extraction method. For 30 years the house has been studying the legendary longoza. The scarlet flower, which in the Malagasy language means “eternal”, never dies and grows back when cut, earning the nickname “flower of the Phoenix”.
The longoza is able to relive itself in the most uncompromising environments. As a skincare extract, it offers a powerful regenerative quality in the face of cellular fatigue, a condition in which cells struggle to renew and absorb nutrients, and the complexion becomes vulnerable to the visible signs of aging. The extract helps the mother cells of the skin, restoring them with powerful nutrients to restore radiance to the complexion.
This year, after five years of research, Dior unveils its revolutionary development of the Longoza-Ferments blend, the first in the Capture Total range. The biotechnological solution is created through a 10-step flash multi-fermentation process, during which the flower is placed in contact with 10 cultures for 10 days. In their natural state, longoza seeds contain 50 active molecules. This innovation maximizes their active molecular content, triggering excellent effectiveness and ability to be absorbed by the skin.
The recently launched Capture Total Intensive Essence Lotion contains a 75% infusion of this potent blend. This high concentration helps skin cells reach the house pillars of skin quality which include transparency, hydration and strength. With daily application in the morning, the skin is restored for the day. Regeneration and radiance are restored, while the signs of fatigue and stress are visibly reduced.
The lotion is also infused with a duo of high and low molecular weight hyaluronic acid. Together, they moisturize the skin from the depths and the surface. Lightweight with an ultra-fresh, fast-absorbing texture, it is best applied before the Super Powerful Capture Total Serum for a powerful combination that smoothes wrinkles and firms skin.
Beauty Skin Key: The rose
Inspired by detoxifying spa treatments and backed by cutting-edge science, Clé de Peau Beauté’s Synactif collection was launched in 2004 and represents the pinnacle of the luxury Japanese beauty brand’s offering. It acts on the skin’s natural impurity removal processes and supports the skin’s self-beautifying system for a youthful, radiant and sculpted beauty.
A comprehensive and holistic regimen, Synactif offers a combination of efficacy and experience, and the latter is partly gifted with a key ingredient: Synactif Rose. Cultivated by the renowned French nursery Delbard, it was commissioned for the first time to search for a fragrance that embodies the relaxing, harmonious and purifying qualities of the Synactif line.
The result was so perfect that the rose won the Best Fragrance Award at the Bagatelle International Rose Competition. The fragrance is in fact inspired by the moment when the flower blooms, releasing its precious scent for a few hours in the mornings of May. It has therefore been incorporated into each phase of the Synactif regimen to deliver the ultimate sensory experience.
Last year, Clé de Peau reformulated the range by adding new ingredients, but the goal of the Synactif routine remains the same: to improve skin tone, texture and contours by targeting the skin’s lymphatic capillaries. Lymphatic capillaries, which function as a drain, run throughout the body to collect fluids and impurities that cannot be carried away through the veins. And recent research in Clé De Peau’s lab found that our lymphatic capillaries lose their ability to eliminate toxins from our bodies as they degenerate and transform with age.
To stop this process, Clé de Peau has infused in its Synactif line a new Purifying Beautifer, an innovative complex based on extracts of mulberry white bark, lamium albumen leaf and cinnamomum cassia bark to prevent the loss of lymphatic capillaries. repairing the damaged ones.
The purifying beautification is shown in the entire six-step Synactif routine, which includes soap, lotion, daytime moisturizer, nighttime moisturizer, cream and eye cream. The new lotion formulation also boasts rose extract to attract and retain moisture, along with intense lightening ingredients, the total effects of which give skin a dewy glow, increased clarity, improved tone and texture, and increased resilience.
(Main and foreground image: Camila Bustamante)
This story first appeared in the March 2022 issue of Prestige Singapore.