The only secret about this cleanser is how utterly ordinary and boring it is. Actually, given the price the formula is downright insulting. This mineral oil-and wax-based moisturizer lacks anything state-of-the-art for skin. There are no antioxidants, skin-repairing ingredients, or cell-communicating ingredients but there is lots of fragrance. What a shame fragrance isn’t skin care! In fact, fragrance is a problem for all skin types (see More Info to find out why). You would be far better off using just plain mineral oil (it’s the first ingredient in this product) if you prefer an oil-based cleanser.
This product contains two extracts of lilies, one from the Nile and the other from India. As exotic as this might sound they have no properties that are helpful for skin. Even if they did, the amount this contains is infinitesimal.
Daily use of products that contain a high amount of fragrance, whether the fragrant ingredients are synthetic or natural, causes chronic irritation that can damage healthy collagen production, lead to or worsen dryness, and impair your skin’s ability to heal. Fragrance-free is the best way to go for all skin types. If fragrance in your skin-care products is important to you, it should be a very low amount to minimize the risk to your skin (Sources: Inflammation Research, December 2008, pages 558–563; Skin Pharmacology and Physiology, June 2008, pages 124–135 and November-December 2000, pages 358–371; Journal of Investigative Dermatology, April 2008, pages 15–19; Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology, March 2008, pages 78–82; Mechanisms of Ageing and Development, January 2007, pages 92–105; and British Journal of Dermatology, December 2005, pages S13–S22).
The successive transformations of this Radiance Gel release their make-up removal properties to thoroughly cleanse the skin in a few moments, smoothing away signs of fatigue while respecting the skin’s natural balance.
Paraffinum Liquidum (Mineral Oil), Ethylhexyl Stearate, PEG-20 Glyceryl Triisostearate, Caprylyl Methicone, PEG-20 Glyceryl Isostearate, Disteardimonium Hectorite, Aqua (Water), Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Propylene Carbonate, Parfum (Fragrance), Phenoxyethanol, Magnesium PCA, Xylose, Tocopheryl Acetate, Alpha-Isomethyl Ionone, Linalool, Citronellol, Butylphenyl Methylpropional, Mica, Geraniol, BHT, Limonene, Ci 77891 (Titanium Dioxide), Benzyl Salicylate, Farnesol, Cinnamyl Alcohol, Ci 77491 (Iron Oxides, Nelumbo Nucifera Flower Water, Nymphaea Coerulea Flower Water
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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