Orchidee Imperiale The Cure 3rd Generation Cure Treatment
We wish there was a cure for this degree of cosmetics marketing insanity because it truly approaches crazy to charge this much for what amounts to exceptionally standard (and we mean really standard) cosmetic ingredients. Guerlain labels this 2-formula treatment as containing "benchmark dermatological ingredients" which sounds impressive until you find out there are no such standards anywhere on the world for what those benchmark ingredients should be! And if Guerlain is referring to the majority of ingredients in this treatment, then many other skin-care products are using those alleged benchmark ingredients, too—including lots of lines sold at the drugstore!
This set includes four vials of product, with two formulas: Renew and Revitalize. The Renew formula has a thinner, serum-like texture while Revitalize has a lotion-like texture. The two formulas have more in common than you might think, with the chief distinction beyond product texture being that the Renew formula contains the AHA ingredient glycolic acid and BHA ingredient salicylic acid. The problem? Just like the Revitalize formula, Renew contains far more fragrance than state of the art ingredients, including glycolic acid. Moreover, the amount of glycolic and salicylic acids plus Renew's pH won't permit either to work as an exfoliant.
We cannot overstate how over-fragranced this so-called "treatment" is. Fragrance isn't anti-aging; in fact, it can be pro-aging due to the irritation it can cause—even if you cannot see or feel the damage taking place. See More Info to find out why regular use of highly fragrant product is a problem for all skin types.
What about the Gold Orchid technology, which seems to be the only unique element of these overpriced, lavishly packaged concoctions? Gold or not, orchid is not a miracle, turn-back-the-clock ingredient for skin, and it certainly cannot "accelerate the natural renewal cycle of skin" or enhance skin's firmness. The only published research concerning orchids and skin comes from LVMH, the company that owns Guerlain. Their research concluded that orchid stem extracts seem to have chemical compounds (known as stilbenoids) that, at least in a petri dish, can cause fibroblasts (cells that make collagen) to survive longer than they do once we age and accumulate sun damage. We're fairly certain this information, however one-sided, doesn't need to mean charging consumers over $1,000 for half an ounce of product. We're talking plant extracts, not platinum!
In the end, this treatment isn't recommended for any generation. For what it costs, you could buy a brilliant anti-aging skin-care routine plus have a cosmetic corrective procedure like dermal filler or Botox done, and look much younger, all without orchids, which you can purchase from your local florist and display in your home.
- Contains a handful of beneficial, though standard, skin care ingredients.
- Shockingly expensive yet what's more shocking is how mediocre both formulas are!
- Contains more fragrance than proven anti-aging ingredients.
- Orchid extract isn't a miracle worker for skin (and skin care is never as simple as one ingredient anyway).
The quintessence of age-defying efficacy: the Treatment combines the new Gold Orchid technology capable of reviving cell vitality* with benchmark dermatological ingredients.
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.