We had to check and recheck to make sure we were seeing clearly because the price of this toner is so far out of line given its basic formula. Guerlain refers to this as a precious toner, but the only thing precious about it is the claims. This basic glycol- and glycerin-based liquid does have mushroom and orchid extract but the research about either of these helping skin just doesn’t exist, though there is the possibility orchid can actually be a skin irritant.
For decades cosmetics companies have been trying to pass off one ingredient as a miracle but it is advertising nonsense because it seems miracle ingredients come and go and in reality skin and its needs are far more complicated than any single ingredient.
What you are certainly getting is far more perfume and preservative than beneficial ingredients. If only it were loaded with antioxidants, skin-repairing ingredients, or cell-communicating ingredients the price might be a bit easier to swallow. As is, it makes us choke a bit.
By the way, the notion that the formula helps prepare your skin for the “bioassimilation” of the orchid extract is like suggesting ice cubes in a martini shaker help prepare your body to “bioassimilate” the gin. A potentially irritating ingredient like orchid extract is not a good thing.
While this isn’t a terrible formula, given the price it should have been at least somewhat age-defying with at least an array of antioxidants as the claims suggest.
A divine elixir, enriched with Imperial Orchid Molecular Extract. Not only does this precious toner provide complete age-defying action, it also prepares the skin for the bioassimilation of the Orchidee Imperiale ingredients by creating and optimal skin environment. Its exquisite texture deeply moisturizes and densifies in an instant while enveloping the face in freshness.
Aqua (Water), Butylene Glycol, Glycerin, PEG-8, Pentylene Glycol, Fomes Officinalis (Mushroom) Extract, Methyl Gluceth-20, PEG-7 Glyceryl Cocoate, OrchisMaculata Flower Extract, Orchid Extract, Phenoxyethanol, Maltitol, PEG-60 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Parfum (Fragrance), Sodium Citrate, Sodium Hyaluronate, Biosaccharide Gum-2, Lecithin, Citric Acid, PEG-40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Linalool, Citronellol, Geraniol, Potassium Sorbate, Sodium Benzoate, Alpha-Isomethyl Ionone, BHT
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.
The Beautypedia and Paula’s Choice Research teams have one mission: To help you find the best products for your skin, whether they’re from Paula’s Choice or another brand. By combining efforts, we’re able to share scientific research and remain committed to the highest standards based on our decades of experience objectively reviewing thousands upon thousands of skincare and makeup formularies in all price ranges.
Beautypedia cuts through the hype to bring you product insights and recommendations you won’t find anywhere else!