Orchidee Imperiale Toner
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.
- Basic toner formula for most skin types.
- Overly fragrant.
- Minimal beneficial ingredients.
- Overpriced for what is easily replaced by less expensive far better formulated toners.
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.
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.