The only secret about this formula is how utterly ordinary and boring it is. Actually, given the price the formula is downright insulting. This mineral oil- and wax-based cleanser uses synthetic beads to exfoliate skin. If it was only wax and exfoliating beads it would at least get an “average” rating but in this case the amount of fragrance is so wafting you can barely breathe. But even if you liked the aroma, fragrance isn’t skin care. In fact fragrance is a problem for all skin types (see More Info to find out why). You would be far better off using just plain mineral oil (it’s the first ingredient in this product) with a washcloth rather than this concoction. For additional details on plastic microbeads in cosmetics, see the More Info section below.
This product contains two extracts of lilies, one from the Nile and the other from India. As exotic as this might sound, they have no properties that are helpful for skin. Even if they did, the amount this contains is infinitesimal.
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).
Plastic Microbeads in Cosmetics: This product contains polyethylene beads, which is an ingredient that has come under controversy in the recent past. In December of 2013, research published in the peer-reviewed journal, Marine Pollution Bulletin demonstrated that although polyethylene beads are non-toxic to humans, they are not filtered during sewage treatment and are accumulating in waterways. This means the beads have the potential to negatively affect marine wildlife who mistakenly consume them (Marine Pollution Bulletin, 2013).
Additional research published in December of 2013 demonstrated that polyethylene beads have the potential to absorb pollutants while in waterways. This research was conducted to establish the potential of absorption, however, and was not conducted using samples from actual waterways (Cell, 2013).
Beautypedia does not take an ideological stance in reviewing skincare products; rather, our reviews are based upon each product's potential harm or benefit to skin contingent upon what independent peer-reviewed scientific research has demonstrated. On issues like polyethylene beads in cosmetics or animal testing, we present the facts without judgment so that you may make your own decision whether or not this product is right for you.
This gentle formula carefully sweeps away dead skin cells and other impurities.
Paraffinum Liquidum (Mineral Oil), Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, PEG-20 Glyceryl Triisostearate, Disteardimonium Hectorite, PEG-20 Glyceryl Isostearate, Aqua (Water), Dicaprylyl Carbonate, Nylon-11, Polyethylene, Propylene Carbonate, Parfum (Fragrance), Phenoxyethanol, Magnesium PCA, Xylose, Nelumbo Nucifera Seed Powder, Tetrasodium EDTA, Tocopheryl Acetate, Alpha-Isomethyl Ionone, Linalool, Citronellol, Hibiscus Sabdariffa Flower Extract, Butylphenyl Methylpropional, Silica, Geraniol, Limonene, BHT, Benzyl Salicylate, Nelumbo Nucifera Flower Water, Nymphaea Caerulea Flower Water, Mica, CI 77891 (Titanium Dioxide)
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.
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.
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