Guerlain's super-pricey entry into the category of facial oils is a misstep on many levels, not the least of which is the fact that their contribution contains more skin-damaging alcohol than oil! The product is also highly fragranced and contains several fragrance ingredients known to be irritating. See More Info for the facts about daily use of highly fragrant products and how alcohol can damage skin. In essence, this doesn't come close to giving skin the royal treatment.
You may be wondering if you're getting any special ingredients for your money, or is the allure of this alleged treatment wrapped up in its fancy, decadent packaging? Sadly, it appears to be the latter, so it's a shame a pretty bottle won't help your skin! This product contains honey as well as royal jelly, and while honey can have moisturizing benefits for skin and, potentially, act as an anti-inflammatory, royal jelly is truly nothing special. But even if these ingredients were the end all, be all for anti-aging, they're swimming against a tide of potential irritation from the alcohol and excess fragrance.
Bottom line: This is not the facial oil to choose, regardless of your skin type or concerns. You can check out our recommended facial oils here.
Use of Highly Fragrant Products: 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).
Alcohol in Skin Care: Alcohol in skin-care products causes dryness and free-radical damage, and impairs the skin's ability to heal. The irritation it causes damages healthy collagen production and can stimulate oil production at the base of the pore, making oily skin worse (Sources: Biochimica et Biophysica Acta, May 2012, pages 1,410–1,419; Alcoholism, Clinical and Experimental Research, January 2011, pages 83–90; "Skin Care—From the Inside Out and Outside In," Tufts Daily, April 1, 2002; eMedicine Journal, May 8, 2002, volume 3, number 5, www.emedicine.com; Cutis, February 2001, pages 25–27; Contact Dermatitis, January 1996, pages 12–16; and http://pubs.niaaa.nih.gov/publications/arh27-4/277-284.htm).
Born from the exceptional repairing power of bee products, the cooling treatment oil, a concentrated elixir of specific honeys, instantly promotes firmness when massaged into the skin. The skin is invigorated, toned and perfectly sculpted.
Aqua (Water), Glycerin, Pentylene Glycol, Polyglycerin-3, Methyl Gluceth-20, Alcohol, Royal Jelly, Phenoxyethanol, PPG-26-Buteth-26, PEG-40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Mel (Honey), Xanthan Gum, Parfum (Fragrance), Sodium Citrate, Glyceryl Polymethacrylate, Citric Acid, PEG-8, BHT, Caramel, Limonene, Benzyl Salicylate, Sodium Metabisulfite, Geraniol, Hydroxycitronellal, Sodium Lactate, Alpha-Isomethyl Ionone, Citronellol, Ci 14700 (Red 4), Palmitoyl Oligopeptide, Tocopherol
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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