Unbelievable! Products like this make us want to scream, not only because of their exorbitant cost, but also because the formulas are so undeserving of your dollars and attention. This product wouldn’t be worth it even if it were free!
This water-based serum lists alcohol as the second ingredient, which means it will cause dryness, irritation, and free-radical damage. Of course, it cannot lift or sculpt an aging face in any way, shape, or form—unless you count the tightening effect from the film-forming agents (think hairspray for your face) as a remarkable benefit—it isn’t, and the effect is strictly cosmetic. Even fragrance is listed before anything of real benefit for skin.
Of course, Chanel’s claims are tied to yet another “star” ingredient they’ve unearthed (of course, it has to be a plant), something called elemi PFA, an extract from the Manila elemi plant (Canarium luzonicum gum). It’s supposed to restore tensin, a protein substance that regulates other substances to help keep skin structure intact (Source: The International Journal of Biochemistry & Cell Biology, January 2004, pages 31–34). Whether or not elemi PFA can effect tensin or any other part of the skin is something you have to take Chanel’s word for because there is no research showing that to be true. Even if it happened to be true, however, there are lots of substances that can help keep skin intact; Chanel doesn’t have the miracle, magic bullet that your skin must have to do this, not any more than any other cosmetic does. Overall, this is a poorly formulated product you should just ignore.
High-performing star ingredient elemi PFA stimulates the production of tensin, improving the quality of skin's collagen and elastin fibers, and helping to improve their bonds within the skin to create a firm supportive network. Lightweight silky gel, luxuriously textured and delicately scented, provides an immediate lifting effect.
Water, Alcohol, Glycerin, Cyclopentasiloxane, Octyldodecanol, Dimethicone, Ammonium Acryloyldimtaurate/VP Copolymer, VP/Dimethiconacrylate/Polycarbamyl Polyglycol Ester, Butylene Glycol, Propylene Glycol, Behenth-25, Glyceryl Stearate, Octyldodecyl Neopentanoate, Fragrance, Sweet Almond Extract, Methylparaben, Decarboxy Carnosine HCL, Canarium Luzonicum Gum Nonvolatiles, Dilsea Carnosa Extract, Tetrasodium EDTA, Carbomer, Citric Acid, Phenoxyethanol, Polysorbate 20, Butylparaben, Ethylparaben, Propylparaben, Sodium Methylparaben, Isobutylparaben, Palmitoyl Oligopeptide, Palmitoyl Tetrapeptide-3, Red 4
Strengths: Sleek and occasionally elegant packaging; the sunscreens provide broad-spectrum protection; a handful of good cleansers and a topical scrub; some impressive foundations with sunscreen; an assortment of good makeup products including concealer, blush, mascara, eyeshadow and bronzer.
Weaknesses: Expensive, with an emphasis on style over substance; overpriced; overreliance on jar packaging; antioxidants in most products amount to a mere dusting; no products to successfully address sun- or hormone-induced skin discolorations with research-proven ingredients; mostly mediocre to poor eye pencils; extremely limited options for eyeshadows if you want a matte finish.
The history of this Paris-bred line is steeped in fashion, jewelry, and fragrance firsts. The image-is-everything fashion sensibility and fragrance know-how have been loosely translated to Chanel’s ever-imposing skin-care collection, now divided into several categories, although most of them have overlapping, overly exaggerated claims and over-the-top pricing. The company likes to mention its research facility, referred to as C.E.R.I.E.S. (Centre de Recherches et d'Investigations Epidermiques et Sensorielles) as a way to give credibility to its products and the formulary expertise of Chanel's team of scientists, but its studies are not necessarily the kind of independent research that shows up in medical journals.
Founded in 1991 and funded by Chanel, the goal of this research facility is "to help provide a scientific foundation for the design of skin care products and to promote public awareness of the principles underlying maintenance of healthy, attractive skin." Examining Chanel's often lengthy ingredient lists reveals that they believe healthy, attractive skin requires mostly standard, banal ingredients coupled with lots of fragrance and just a smattering of anything resembling state-of-the-art ingredients. Designing skin-care products whose purpose is to reinforce healthy skin doesn't involve strong scents, irritants such as alcohol, or sunscreens whose SPF ratings fall below the standards set by major health organizations, including the American Academy of Dermatology and corresponding international academies as well. Furthermore, their Nº 1 products claim to increase skin's oxygen uptake, something that essentially puts skin on the fast track for more free-radical damage, and no one at C.E.R.I.E.S. seems to have any idea about how to treat acne-prone skin. (Well, let's face it, acne is never fashionable.)
Just like most Chanel skin-care products, the research facility and its ties to the dermatology community make it sound more impressive than it really is. Chanel's influence on fashion and luxury accoutrements is legendary and ongoing; but their skin-care products simply cannot compete with what many other lines are doing, including Estee Lauder, Clinique, Prescriptives, Olay, Dove, Neutrogena, and many others. Considering the couture-level prices, too much of Chanel's skin care is average, and that doesn't look good on anyone.
For more information about Chanel, call (800) 550-0005 or visit www.chanel.com.
Chanel pulls out all the stops to present their makeup in the most flattering light. Many of their products are deserving of the best status, but, frustratingly, an equal number disappoint, seeming to coast on Chanel's name and attention to upscale, designer-influenced packaging rather than providing true quality. For example, few companies have foundations with textures as varied and state-of-the-art as Chanel. However, most of their foundations with sunscreen are formulated without essential UVA-protecting ingredients, even though Chanel clearly knows about this issue, as evidenced from their numerous skin-care products that do contain avobenzone or titanium dioxide. Neglecting adequate UVA protection while going on about how the product creates younger-looking skin is not only inaccurate, it's harmful to your skin's health and appearance.
Beyond inadequate sunscreen, Chanel's eye and lip pencils have extraordinary prices, but ordinary to poor performance, and most of their "we're trying to be unique and clever" products don't do much to prove they're worthy of purchase. It's hard to ignore that much of what Chanel does well other lines do just as well (and sometimes better), and with a more realistic price range to boot. However, the overall situation is better than standard but well-dressed formulas with shamelessly affluent prices, because although it's not inexpensive, the best of Chanel's makeup is truly outstanding. What's needed to establish consistency is an overhaul of the many products that have fallen behind formula-wise. We doubt Chanel will reevaluate their pricing for the better, but given that, the least you should expect is stellar performance from everything you buy that bears the iconic double C logo!
Note: Chanel is categorized as a brand that tests on animals because its products are sold in China. Although Chanel does not conduct animal testing for its products sold elsewhere, the Chinese government requires imported cosmetics be tested on animals, so foreign companies retailing there must comply. This requirement is why some brands state that they don’t test on animals “unless required by law.” Animal rights organizations consider cosmetic companies retailed in China to be brands that test on animals, and so does the Beautypedia Research Team.
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!