Orchidee Imperiale Cream has at its center a story about the orchid, which is emblematic of Guerlain’s skin care (odd, because so few of its products contain orchid). It is said that this flower’s secrets of longevity have been revealed and formulated into this ultra-pricey, jar-packaged moisturizer. Considering the price, you’d think orchid extract would be front and center in all their products, but it isn’t. In fact, even in this namesake formula, preservatives and fragrance play a much greater role, making the orchid more of an afterthought than the catalyst Guerlain claims it to be. Topping it off, there is no research anywhere showing that orchid extract has any positive effect on skin, let alone being capable of redefining facial contours and minimizing wrinkles. This isn’t worth indulging in, but it’s an OK moisturizer for dry skin.
The longevity of the Orchid captured in an extraordinary cream. Emblematic product of the Guerlain skincare, this rare face product contains the Orchidée Impériale molecular extract providing exceptional anti-ageing benefits. It acts day after day on all the signs of ageing. Your skin recovers strength, your facial contours regain definition, your skin texture is refined, your wrinkles are smoothed and your complexion becomes more luminous. Replenished deep down, your skin feels so comfortable that you forget all about it. Highly concentrated, Orchidée Impériale offers the secret of longevity of this extraordinary flower to all skin types, even the most demanding.
Water, Triethylhexanoin, Cetearyl Ethylhexanoate, Isotridecyl Isononanoate, Butylene Glycol, Glycerin, Cetearyl Alcohol, Hydrogenated Coco-Glycerides, Polymethyl Methacrylate, Glyceryl Stearate, Decyloxazolidinone, Steareth-21, Cetearyl Glucoside, Octyldodecanol, Dimethicone, Hydrolyzed Soy Flour, Methylparaben, Cetyl Palmitate, Chlorphenesin, Fragrance, Cocoglycerides, Irvingia Gabonensis Kernel Butter, Tocopheryl Acetate, Ceramide 3, Carbomer, Triticum Vulgare (Wheat) Protein, Tromethamine, Sodium Hyaluronate, Tetrasodium EDTA, Xanthan Gum, Butylparaben, Ethylparaben, Cyanotis Arachnoidea Root Extract, Isobutylparaben, Propylparaben, Paeonia Albiflora Root Extract, Phenoxyethanol, Polysorbate 20, Linalool, BHT, Orchid Extract, Smithsonite Extract, Limonene, Bertholletia Excelsa Extract, Citronellol, Geraniol, Alpha-Isomethyl Ionone, Eriobotrya Japonica Leaf Extract, Palmitoyl Pentapeptide-3, Mica, Titanium Dioxide, Iron Oxides
Strengths: Lavish packaging (if that appeals to you); a good mascara; some excellent lipsticks.
Weaknesses: Very expensive; over-reliance on jar packaging; pervasive fragrance; overall mediocre to just plain bad skincare.
Guerlain's Paris pedigree, having evolved from a centuries-old fragrance house to a "lifestyle" line that prides itself on luxurious indulgences that promise to beautify (and perfume) almost every inch of you, still manages to hook plenty of unsuspecting women. Yet behind all of the enticing names and extraordinary claims lie some of the most unremarkable, overpriced skin-care products available. It may sound luxurious to find that gold is included in some of their formulations, unless you happen to know that when it's applied topically, gold is simply a potent allergen; there is no research showing it to have any effect on wrinkles or aging.
Guerlain's skin-care products contain a preponderance of ordinary cosmetic ingredients, with only a smattering of antioxidants, skin-identical ingredients, and anti-irritants, and most of these elegant ingredients are hindered by jar packaging. It's one thing to spend more than you need to on a skin-care routine, but at least if you decide to do so you should shop the overpriced lines that will reward you with far better formulations than what Guerlain offers. Guerlain is the very definition of style usurping substance. For example, there are dozens and dozens of moisturizers in this line that are at best described as mediocre and out of date, while the sunscreens have issues of their own, including low SPF ratings and potentially insufficient UVA protection due to smaller-than-usual amounts of avobenzone. And despite the specialty claims they make for each product grouping, repetitive formulations are the hallmark of the Guerlain line—too bad not a single moisturizer or serum formula comes close to beating the competition; more often than not they fail miserably.
Guerlain has been under the ownership of Sephora parent company Louis Vuitton-Moet-Hennessy since 1994, and is available in many Sephora boutiques.
For more information about Guerlain, visit www.guerlain.com.
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