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Guerlain

Orchidee Imperiale Neck and Decollete Cream

2.50 fl. oz. for $ 375.00
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Ingredients

Brand Overview

If only women could decipher an ingredient label before they spent their money, they would quickly see that the only thing imperial about this product is the name and the empty claims on the label. The imperial orchid molecular extract it is supposed to contain is a contrived name as everything is made of molecules and there is no research showing orchids of any kind have benefit for skin. As a matter of fact, orchid extract can be a skin irritant which is certainly a problem for skin anywhere on your body.

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 really getting in here is water, waxes, and lots of perfume and preservatives. The small amount of truly beneficial ingredients it contains won’t remain stable due to the jar packaging (see More Info to find out why jar packaging is a problem for any skin care product).

It is also important to mention that there is no research anywhere in the world showing the neck or chest area need one ingredient different than the face. In fact, because most neck and chest products don’t contain sunscreen you would actually be risking more crepy, discolored skin if you used it during the day without sunscreen over it.

The only thing enhancing about this product is from the mica it contains. Mica is a shiny mineral used in thousands of products claiming to brighten skin. Other than the cosmetic benefit you may see after applying this product, shine particles don’t have anything to do with skin care.

Pros:
  • Emollient formula for dry skin.
Cons:
  • Contains more preservative and fragrance than beneficial ingredients.
  • There is no research showing orchid extract has any benefit for skin.
  • Ridiculously expensive.
  • Jar packaging won’t keep the small amount of beneficial it does contain stable after opening.

More Info:

The fact that it’s packaged in a jar means the beneficial ingredients won't remain stable once it is opened. All plant extracts, vitamins, antioxidants, and other state-of-the-art ingredients break down in the presence of air, so once a jar is opened and lets the air in these important ingredients begin to deteriorate. Jars also are unsanitary because you’re dipping your fingers into them with each use, adding bacteria which further deteriorate the beneficial ingredients (Sources: Free Radical Biology and Medicine, September 2007, pages 818-829; Ageing Research Reviews, December 2007, pages 271-288; Dermatologic Therapy, September-October 2007, pages 314-321; International Journal of Pharmaceutics, June 12, 2005, pages 197-203; Pharmaceutical Development and Technology, January 2002, pages 1-32; International Society for Horticultural Science, www.actahort.org/members/showpdf?booknrarnr=778_5; Beautypackaging.com, and www.beautypackaging.com/articles/2007/03/airless-packaging.php).

Jar Packaging: Yes
Tested on animals: Yes

This precious skincare product for the delicate neck and dcollet area contains the Imperial Orchid Molecular Extract, offering the skin the orchids secret to longevity. It is an essential step in the OrchideeImperiale beauty ritual which helps redefine and enhance the beauty of the neck and decolette.

Aqua (Water), Cetearyl Isononanoate, Ethylhexyl Palmitate, Isohexadecane, Pentylene Glycol, Jojoba Esters, Hydrogenated Coco-Glycerides, Butylene Glycol, Glycerin, Steareth-21, Stearyl Alcohol, Cera Alba (Beeswax), Dimethicone, Aluminum Starch Octenylsuccinate, Decyloxazolidinone, Orchid Extract, Glyceryl Stearate, Phenoxyethanol, Polyacrylate-13, Steareth-2, Parfum (Fragrance), Bis-Behenyl/Isostearyl/Phytosteryl Dimer Dilinoleyl Dimer Dilinoleate, Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Tromethamine, Avena Sativa (Oat) Kernel Extract, Polyisobutene, Cetearyl Alcohol, Mangifera Indica (Mango) Seed Butter, Cetyl Palmitate, Disodium EDTA, Tocopheryl Acetate, Sorbitol, Cocoglycerides, Sodium Hyaluronate, Xanthan Gum, Algin, Silica, Mica, Centella Asiatica Leaf Extract, Sorbitan Isostearate, Hydrolyzed Soy Flour, Ci 77891 (Titanium Dioxide), Adenosine, Polysorbate 20, Polyvinyl Alcohol, Glycyrrhiza Glabra (Licorice) Root Extract, Linalool, Cellulose Gum, Geranium Robertianum Extract, BHT, Citronellol, Geraniol, Alpha-Isomethyl Ionone, Limonene, Iron Oxides, Palmaria Palmata Extract, Bertholletia Excelsa Pericarp Extract, Tocopherol

Guerlain At-A-Glance

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 linetoo 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.

About the Experts

The Beautypedia team consists of skin care and makeup experts personally trained by the original Cosmetics Cop and best-selling beauty author, Paula Begoun. We’re fascinated by skin care and makeup products and thrilled when they meet or exceed our expectations, but we’re also disappointed when they fail to perform as claimed, are wildly overpriced, or contain ingredients scientific research has proven can hurt skin.

Our mission has always been to help you find the best products for your skin, no matter your budget or preferences. Beautypedia’s thorough and insightful reviews cut through the hype and provide reliable recommendations for all ages, skin types, and skin tones.

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