If only beautiful packaging, exaggerated claims, and over-the-top pricing could determine quality than this offering from Guerlain would be a no-brainer for us to review well. As is, we would have to be brain-dead to recommend you do anything except pass this by and hope we saved you from wasting your money.
For $498 this product should be brimming with state-of-the-art, potent antioxidants and cell-communicating ingredients but it isn’t. On a positive note, this does have a beautiful, silky texture and would work well for normal to dry skin but that can be said for hundreds of skin-care products. However, what it lacks is far more significant than what it contains. Other than the orchid extract which has no research showing it has any benefit for skin, this contains more perfume and preservative than anything your skin truly needs to be healthy and younger. 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.
The only thing concentrated about this product ends up being the claims. Though not the worst product Guerlain sells it doesn’t even begin to out-do dozens and dozens of products from other lines with superior formulations costing far less. You’ll find those in our Best Products section.
The complete age-defying power of the Imperial Orchid Molecular Extract has been taken to “unparalleled heights” of performance in the new-generation serum- the Longevity Concentrate- a formula that boosts both a record concentration and exceptional absorption by the skin: all the visible signs of skin ageing diminish more quickly and intensely.
Aqua (Water), Glycerin, Dimethicone, Squalane, Methyl Trimethicone, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Butylene Glycol, Pentylene Glycol, Steareth-20, Cera Alba (Beeswax), Jojoba Esters, Decyloxazolidinone, Methyl Methacrylate Crosspolymer, Polymethyl Methacrylate, Orchid Extrac, Phenoxyethanol, Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Acrylates Copolymer, Glyceryl Stearate, Cetyl Alcohol, Stearyl Alcohol, Parfum (Fragrance), Diglycerin, Sorbitol, Laureth-23, Avena Sativa (Oat) Kernel Extract, Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Polyacrylate-13, Mangifera Indica (Mango) Seed Butter, Tetrasodium EDTA, Tocopheryl Acetate , Algin, Polyisobutene, Tromethamine, Butyl Methoxydibenzoylmethane, Dipalmitoyl Hydroxyproline, Sodium Hyaluronate, Xanthan Gum, Xylose, Lecithin, Polyvinyl Alcohol, CI 77891 (Titanium Dioxide), Hydrolyzed Soy Flour, Adenosine, Cellulose Gum, Mica, Lens Esculenta (Lentil) Seed Extract, Magnesium Asparate 20, BHT, Centella Asiatica Leaf Extract, Magnesium Aspartate, Sanguisorba Officinalis Root Extract, Citronellol, Geraniol, Alpha-Isomethyl Ionone, Limonene, PotentillaErecta Root Extract, Ethylhexylglycerin, Yellow 5, Tin Oxide, Red 4, 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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