The quest for radiant, young-looking skin is always at the top of the list for those seeking eternal beauty. These cosmetics powerhouses have spent years conducting experiments in their labs, trying to uncover the secret – and yet the secret is in our own backyard. Let’s discover how nature really has it all.
CLÉ DE PEAU BEAUTÉ
Celebrating changing faces, embracing the hallmark of a long and healthy life, and recognising the charisma that radiates from within – it’s the new definition of beauty. Founded in Japan in 1982, Clé de Peau Beauté (meaning “the key to skin’s beauty”) uncovered an insight known as “skin intelligence”. According to Jason Leong, the national training executive of the brand, “What we know is that skin cells function much like the brains of our skin – they communicate. They know what functions need to be carried out. They can even differentiate between good and bad stimuli, absorbing one and blocking the other.”
The newly revamped Key Radiance Care leverages skin intelligence to support your skin’s maximum ability to restore and protect itself. Our bodies follow circadian rhythms that control our biological processes based on daytime and night-time. The new skin regime delivers brilliant skin with improved tone, texture, and contour for radiance that evolves day by day. The active complex that’s doing all the work is the Skin-Empowering Illuminator. It combines a host of naturally derived ingredients: platinum golden silk extract from Thailand, amino-acid-rich Japanese pearl extract (that balances the skin from both good and bad stimuli) from akoya pearls cultivated in Uwajima, L-theanine extracts found in tea, perilla extract (that protects the skin from damage), and Angelica acutiloba extract (that keeps cellular energy high).
The three-step system includes The Serum, the first step designed to awaken skin intelligence and activate the source of radiance. Next, Hydro-Softening Lotion and Hydro-Clarifying Lotion help to reduce roughness and dryness. Finally, Protective Fortifying Emulsion or Cream (for day) and Intensive Fortifying Emulsion or Cream (for night) both feature Time Tune – a unique approach attuned to the skin’s circadian rhythms that helps to keep the skin in its best condition.
A woman’s knowledge of herself and her power increases with age – and Clé de Peau Beauté is dedicated to inspiring every woman to embrace herself and recognise the beauty that goes beyond skin.
Ever since they first landed on the iconic “bee bottle” in 1853, bees have continued to inspire Guerlain’s creations. In 2010, Guerlain created a sensation with Abeille Royale, a range of expert age-defying skincare drawing its remarkable effectiveness from bee products. With it, the Guerlain Beelab – the first research platform dedicated to bee products and their power to repair the visible signs of ageing – was born.
A multidisciplinary platform, the Beelab is split into three research areas with global scientific visibility. Hub 1 focuses on the bee, Hub 2 on bee products, and Hub 3 on skin repair. Each is led by a renowned scientific figure as they interact to solve fundamental questions about bee products, select new raw materials, and find new cosmetic applications for the skin. This opens new horizons and, in the future, new discoveries. “Skin that heals poorly from within is skin that ages faster,” says Frédéric Bonté, Guerlain’s director of research.
Indeed, honey is a unique and complex alchemy that humans can’t reproduce. To produce honey, a colony of bees gathers more than ten million flowers and transforms their nectar into honey. With more than ten years of scientific discoveries, Guerlain has pioneered a new blend of honeys and royal jelly on the skin. The mythical black bee honey from France’s Ouessant Island is enriched with three other island honeys from Corsica (France), Ikaria (Greece), and Åland (Finland) – all coming from protected, unspoilt environments with abundant biodiversity. Their combined action speeds up the skin’s natural self-repair mechanisms by boosting the connections between skin and neuronal cells.
Royal jelly is the hive’s most valuable substance, with the power to transform a bee into a queen. It’s highly concentrated in nutrients including proteins, lipids, and vitamins B3 and B5. Abeille Royale Youth Watery Oil, a toner-serum-oil hybrid that’s as powerful as a serum but as light as water, harnesses that power. Developed in 2013, its efficacy has earned itself the nickname “magic oil”. Concentrated with Dynamic BlackBee Repair technology, the Advanced Youth Watery Oil contains 95 percent naturally derived ingredients, mostly coming from bee by-products, and has won 19 international awards, with one oil sold every 26 seconds worldwide.
Today, many bee species are endangered, and we know that they may hold the key to the survival of humanity. Guerlain has a long-term relationship with this amazing insect and is committed to protecting this guardian of biodiversity. The brand has dedicated several meaningful partnerships and initiatives to bees through the Guerlain for Bees Conservation Programme. With 193 years of history, Guerlain truly knows what it takes to continue its legacy in the name of beauty.
When one thinks of La Prairie, one thinks of caviar. The quintessentially Swiss luxury skincare house capitalised on the intriguing ingredient back in 1987 with its debut caviar product that has since become its signature collection. “La Prairie has a history of firsts,” La Prairie CEO Patrick Rasquinet told The CEO Magazine. “Back when we launched the skin caviar cream, we were definitely the first skincare house to use caviar as an ingredient. Since this, we’ve had several firsts – of course gold, then we went to platinum ingredients.” The premium elixirs have become synonymous with the elite echelons of society and arguably the most luxurious skincare maison on earth.
Swiss surgeon Paul Niehans created the breakthrough development of cellular therapy at Clinique La Prairie in 1931. His radical research led to astonishing age-defying results, which is known as the exclusive patented Cellular Complex. This complex has been created across three labs in Switzerland since 1978, ensuring that not one scientist knows the entirety of any product, helping to heighten the exclusivity and positioning of the brand. “This is a very simple principle,” explained Rasquinet in the interview. “To preserve the secrecy of our formulation – Switzerland remains a country of mystery and secrecy.”
For the Skin Caviar Collection, scientists and formulators use methods to distil caviar’s active ingredients into a blend that lifts and firms the skin – both immediately and over the longer term. It starts with Swiss caviar produced from freshwater sturgeon that are raised in water from Alpine springs. From this homegrown source, La Prairie creates Caviar Premier. A second key ingredient is La Prairie’s Exclusive Caviar Absolute, which re-plumps the skin by providing volume. The third element of the formula is La Prairie’s patented Exclusive Cellular Complex, which helps to boost, repair, and protect the cells. This collection, according to Jacqueline Hill, La Prairie’s head of science, aims “to empower women to hold time in their hands in their quest for timeless beauty.”
Skin Caviar Nighttime Oil was born when scientists discovered an unexpected component of caviar. It’s obtained through a specially designed extraction process, which creates the ideal conditions to capture and retain both caviar lipids and caviar-derived retinol. Skin Caviar Nighttime Oil is designed to work in conjunction with the skin’s circadian rhythms to help counteract the age-induced effects, while its oily composition creates an outer barrier to lessen water loss.
The essence of La Prairie’s Skin Caviar Collection truly reflects the luxury beauty house’s vision and philosophy – it’s not only about adding years to life, but adding life to years.
Skincare is traditionally created by chemists, but when a gifted rocket scientist took the plunge, a miracle happened. The mysterious and legendary Crème de la Mer is a cream every woman must have – or it’s on her wish list. When German physicist Max Huber experienced severe chemical burns due to a laboratory accident, he went on a personal quest to heal and smooth his skin. He believed the answers were in the waters of a kelp forest in the Pacific Ocean. “Macrocystis pyrifera is a sea kelp that grows two to three feet per day. Fish feed off it and thrive,” explains Paul Tchinnis, La Mer’s research and development director.
Huber observed that lunar cycles and tides affect the renewal rate of natural sea kelp. He fermented the selected kelp with other natural ingredients, such as algae and semi-precious stones. The physicist then exposed the fermenting nutrients to light and sound waves, transforming it into a powerful broth. Twelve years and 6,000 experiences later, Miracle Broth, the secret ingredient of every La Mer product – was born.
Cosmetic giant Estée Lauder had an eye on the miracle Crème de La Mer, but Huber refused to sell in order to protect the brand. When he died in 1991, he took the secrets of La Mer to his grave. Without notes (Huber worked off instincts), even his own daughter wasn’t successful in recreating the broth. Estée Lauder finally took over in 1995 when the Huber daughter decided to continue her father’s legacy. Then-senior chemist Andrew Bevacqua (now senior vice-president of research and development) recounts when he visited the elder Huber’s laboratory where he made the Crème de La Mer. “It was the most bizarre thing I’ve ever seen. The room was lined with little buckets of cream – there were weird sounds and odours and pulsing light,” he recollects. Bevacqua tried to replicate the formula, yet things still weren’t quite right.
One day, Bevacqua was handed a piece of paper – a mysterious note from Huber saying that the issue was with the heating of the ingredients. Huber was of course long gone, but legend has it that the brand hired a psychic to consult with him from beyond the grave. Whatever happened, ultimately, the advice worked. Even now, whenever a new broth is made, a small dose from the previous batch is used. The miracle broth in all La Mer products can be traced to this same batch discovered in Huber’s office.
So the legacy continues. The new Hydrating Infused Emulsion – La Mer’s first emulsion – boasts a host of nutrient-rich ingredients such as kelp, soy, and, of course, the cell-renewing Miracle Broth, featuring a quick-absorbing texture to result in radiant, healthy-looking skin.
What began as one man’s journey became a transformative experience that took the beauty world by storm. It’s doubtful the original formula of the Miracle Broth will ever be uncovered. This echoes the story of The Phantom of the Opera – a mysterious genius whose creation was so perfect that it would forever be inscrutable. It leads one to wonder if the scar on the Phantom’s face would have been healed by Crème de La Mer.