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Chanel puts the glow of pearls — on your skin |

Fashion and Beauty

Chanel puts the glow of pearls — on your skin

CULTURE VULTURE - Therese Jamora-Garceau - The Philippine Star

Beauty-wise, Chanel is famous for its chic makeup collections and cutting-edge nail polishes, which typically set the trends for the rest of the industry to follow.

The house that Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel built is aiming to be a leader in yet another beauty segment, however: that of skincare. 

With state-of-the-art laboratories in Japan, Chanel Research and Technology is serious business, devoting almost a decade to developing its exclusive TXC (Tranexamic acid cetyl ester) molecule, the main ingredient used in its Le Blanc whitening line.

Chanel is set on capturing the hearts (and loyalties) of Asian women, in particular, with the recent launch of three new Le Blanc products in Seoul, South Korea, as well as a complementary makeup collection, Jardin des Camellias.

“Recovering flawless, even skin is now a huge trend,” notes Marie-Helene Lair, scientific communication director at Chanel. “Five years ago only Asian women were concerned with dark spots. In Europe they were not obsessed by it — treating wrinkles was more important. But now we notice a huge change within the US and Europe. Women want to recover even skin without dark spots.”

TXC: The white stuff

To address this demand, Chanel boosted its Le Blanc whitening range with TXC in 2011, after nine years of research. According to Nobuhiro Ando, managing director at Chanel Research and Technology, the molecule is poly-functional and poly-active, which means it regulates the production of melanin from start to finish.

“It works throughout the hyperpigmentation process on all the key steps of melanogenesis for brighter, more even skin,” Ando says. “Excess production of melanin leads to the formation of dark spots, so it acts on the seven factors responsible for melanin production. TXC is active for 12 hours thanks to the progressive release of the active ingredient. Existing dark spots are reduced and the formation of new ones is limited.”

Chanel Research also focused on the major role that inflammation plays in dark-spot formation. Every day our skin faces a multitude of environmental aggressors that subject it to stress. Ando explained that the cells that produce melanin, melanocytes, are left in a state of chronic inflammation that encourages increased melanin production.

“When skin is exposed to the sun, this accelerates pigmentation and dark spots appear more rapidly,” he says. “TXC also addresses this concern, normalizing melanin production by acting on the two main causes of dark spot formation: the pigmentation process itself and the stress in the melanocyte environment.”

An elegant chanel touch: The Pearl

If all this sounds super-scientific and not very Chanel, the company has also infused Le Blanc with its trademark elegance in the form of the pearl.

“Perfecting the action of the TXC molecule is the Two-Year Pearl Extract,” Lair says. “It’s another element associated with Chanel — the pearl. An elegant ingredient.”

Chanel Research selected the Akoya pearl from Japan, which is known for its exceptional luster, delicate color and perfectly smooth surface. The pearls are cultivated especially for Chanel over two years in Uwajima on the western coast of Japan. A high-quality Akoya pearl contains an exceptional amount of active, moisturizing molecules that Chanel has enriched both its skincare and makeup with. The pearl extract hydrates skin and traps water inside the cells, activates cell renewal and prevents skin from looking yellow or sallow. The end result is plumped-up, more refined skin that looks youthful and healthy.

Another ingredient is One Day Flower, which blossoms at dawn and fades at dusk — a potent antioxidant that, similar to the pearl extract, makes dull, yellowish skin more radiant and luminous.

Let there be light in a Serum

In an all-white lounge we got to try the new Le Blanc products: the Whitening Concentrate Double Action TXC is a pearly serum so fine it melts into the skin, imbuing it with a delicate fragrance. It’s meant to be applied after Le Blanc lotion morning and evening on the face and neck. Ophthalmologist-tested, you can even apply it around the eyes. After two months of testing on various Asian skin tones, complexions were evened by +43 percent, and brightened by +40 percent. The appearance of dark spots was diminished in intensity by -36 percent, and in contour by -35 percent.

For the first time, the Chanel Research Evaluation department worked with a gemologist from Chanel Jewelry to compare the luminosity and translucence of a pearl to that of the skin after use of the Le Blanc Whitening Concentrate. An expert trained for one month carried out the evaluation in Japan. After one and two months of using the serum, he found that skin translucency improved by +30 percent, while luminosity improved by +26 percent.

Crème de la cream

Another product launched was Le Blanc Whitening Moisturizing Cream TXC, which you apply after the concentrate in the Le Blanc ritual. The cream comes in two textures: Crème Fine is a more delicate, lighter formulation for our tropical weather. It feels refreshing upon application, keeps skin hydrated for 12 hours and leaves a smooth, silky feel. Crème Riche is more velvety, suited to drier climates and drier skin. Enriched with a high concentration of TXC and dermatologist-tested on Asian skin, the cream is also very soothing and non-comedogenic (it won’t cause pimples).

After one month of application, dark spots were visually reduced in intensity by -24 percent, and in contour by -21 percent. Complexions were brightened by +27 percent and skin tone evened by +19 percent. Thanks to the hydration provided by the cream, skin also felt more “comfortable” by +36 percent, smoother (+27 percent), and softer (+17 percent).

Light-creating makeup

The whitening benefits don’t stop with the skincare. Le Blanc Light Creator Whitening Compact Foundation SPF 25/ PA +++ contains a new generation of luminizing pigments — Active Enlightening Ceramic pigments — an optical complex that reflects light and actually creates it. Two-Year Pearl Extract is added to the formula to reinforce the action of the skincare products, while licorice extract helps even out the complexion further. Available in six shades to suit all Asian skin tones, the foundation stays matte all day long, and contains mineral sunscreens for UV protection.

Evenness of the skin was evaluated after a single application of Le Blanc Light Creator Whitening Compact, with results that showed a more radiant (+34 percent), luminous (+17 percent) and translucent (+29 percent) complexion. Skin texture improved by +25 percent, appearing smoother and allowing for better light reflection.

For you completists out there, the entire Le Blanc range includes 12 other products: Le Blanc Immediate Brightening Oil-Gel Makeup Remover, Fresh Brightening Foam Cleanser, Soft Exfoliating Pre-Lotion, Brightening Moisture Lotion, Targeted Whitening Spot Corrector TXC, Whitening Moisturizing Fluid, Intensive Night Whitening Treatment, Light Revealing Whitening Makeup Base SPF 35/PA+++, Light Revealing Whitening Fluid Foundation SPF 30/PA+++, Light Mastering Whitening Concealer SPF 30/PA+++, Fresh Glow Brightening Loose Powder SPF 10/PA+ (Opaline), and Pearl Bright Brightening Loose Powder SPF 10/ PA+ (Cristalline).

A garden of Camellias

Of course, it wouldn’t be Chanel without an accompanying collection of fashion-forward makeup. From the Chanel Makeup Studio comes the Collection Jardin de Camellias, inspired by Coco Chanel’s favorite flower and designed specifically for Asian women. The exclusive Ombres Tracées  Jardin Zen eye palette contains four pearly shades that enhance your Le Blanc complexion: a soft pink, satiny golden beige, violet-plum gray and shimmery black.

The Illuminating Powder stamped with a Zen garden of camellias softly lights up the face with a pearly sheen. Joues Contrast blush in Sakura adds a healthy touch of pink to the cheekbones.

Illusion D’Ombre Fantasme in Rose Des Vents is an iridescent eye shadow that can be applied as a wash of color to brighten the whole eye area.

Ligne Graphique Noir Scintillant is an intense black eyeliner with silver sparkle to accentuate the eyes.

Two new Chanel Rouge Allure lipsticks are Charmeuse, an elegant beige, and Fleurie, a flattering raspberry, which you can top with Aqualumiére gloss in four shades: transparent, pearly Eau de Rose; peach Rosace with silver shimmer; opalescent raspberry Pink Pivoine; and intense pink Baie Rose.

Chanel once said, “A woman is only as good as the light and peace she radiates.”

With the new Le Blanc collection, there’s no more excuse not to lighten up.

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Chanel Le Blanc is exclusively available at Chanel counters at Rustan’s The Beauty Source.



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