WHAT WOMEN WANT

Beau­ti­fully luminous skin that does not change with pass­ing years – find out how Chanel’s new sk­in­care ap­proach is chang­ing the beauty scene. Li Ying Lim re­ports ex­clu­sively from Taipei.

Harper’s Bazaar (Malaysia) - - Contents -

Chanel presents Resyn­chro­nised Sk­in­care for the mod­ern-day su­per­woman

Ali­cia Keys once sang of a “Su­per­woman” who fights “for bet­ter days to come ... try­ing to come home be­fore the sun.” Her lyrics truly res­onate with all new mil­len­nium women, who are ex­pected to be su­per women. Be­tween 36-hour days at the of­fice and the chil­dren’s de­mands, there is a greater re­sult of dull, fa­tigued skin and the un­wanted signs of age­ing.

At this point, it is most apt to in­tro­duce Dr. Armelle Souraud, a leggy Parisi­enne who is the per­fect ex­am­ple of a high-fly­ing ca­reer woman who does it all while still look­ing gor­geous. All smiles de­spite a long flight and nu­mer­ous press rounds dur­ing this re­cent launch, Chanel’s man­ager of sci­en­tific com­mu­ni­ca­tions first asks us, in her delightful, lilt­ing French ac­cent, to walk a mile in her shoes. With open minds feel­ing so peace­ful up in the ver­dant hills of Taipei, we obe­di­ently fol­low Dr. Souraud’s lead.

FIRST WORLD DILEMMA

We have heard it all be­fore, how a typ­i­cal “su­per­woman” sur­vives the daily grind. And as women, we can eas­ily iden­tify with that, whether we are stu­dents or mothers or en­trepreneurs. This is the in­evitable curse of tech­no­log­i­cal ad­vance­ment; we are never go­ing to be out of touch again, but we can never be out of reach, ei­ther. Now that there is no ex­cuse for find­ing one­self stranded out in the boon­docks, dis­con­nected from the world, how is a woman ever go­ing to find that pre­cious minute all to her­self?

Sure, we can all dream of get­ting eight hours of sleep – with real ef­fort – but the re­al­ity is a lot harsher. Be­sides suf­fi­cient rest, there are still other fac­tors to con­sider, such as nu­tri­tion. Even if you do man­age to squeeze in a healthy salad dur­ing your lunch hour, the good stuff we put into our bod­ies go straight to­wards pow­er­ing up the vi­tal or­gans first, leav­ing the skin for last. As for those who still as­sume that women are the weaker sex, con­sider this: apart from work­ing full-time seventy hours per week, women also jug­gle house­holds. A poll re­leased by the Amer­i­can Psy­cho­log­i­cal As­so­ci­a­tion in 2008 showed that 40 per­cent of women re­ported fre­quent hits of high stress lev­els, as op­posed to 35 per­cent of men. Add ex­haus­tion as well as lack of sleep and there is lit­tle won­der that the bi­o­log­i­cal rhythm of the skin is “desyn­chro­nised”, hence the signs of age­ing.

36-HOUR BEAUTY

As Dr. Souraud points out: “We know that our skin works on a cir­ca­dian rhythm. We know that in the morn­ing we have a peak in the bi­o­log­i­cal func­tions; at 12 your skin peaks in sebum pro­duc­tion; and dur­ing the night our skin un­der­goes the re­newal process. We all know this, but we have rarely looked into the so­cial rhythm as­pect. The mad­ness of our lives has thrown this sys­tem com­pletely out of tune.”

And so Chanel Re­search Labs set out to find con­crete data on th­ese claims. “We knew that way of life im­pacts the skin but there was no sci­en­tific data on this. There­fore, we car­ried out this clin­i­cal study that cov­ers

all the pa­ram­e­ters. It took place over 12 days,” Dr. Souraud shares. “The ob­jec­tive is to re­duce the sleep time of the women to see the ef­fects it has on the skin, and the con­clu­sion had in­ter­est­ing re­sults on a daily and weekly ba­sis.”

Skin is beau­ti­ful at pH 5.5 but when desyn­chro­nised, this level can in­crease to 6.1. “That’s when the skin is not func­tion­ing very well, es­pe­cially the en­zymes. The skin bar­rier there­fore, is then com­pro­mised, which means that the skin will not be able to adapt as fast to re­spond to en­vi­ron­men­tal ag­gres­sions,” she ex­plains.

This af­fects the four ma­jor points that define ex­cep­tional skin qual­ity – lu­mi­nos­ity, plump­ness, skin sur­face smooth­ness, and com­plex­ion even­ness. “We saw that we needed two days to al­low the skin’s pH to re­turn to its nor­mal level to func­tion well.” The re­sult of th­ese re­search find­ings is a rev­o­lu­tion­ary beauty pro­gramme that aims to cor­rect the con­di­tion of the skin on a daily and weekly ba­sis, fol­low­ing its nat­u­ral bi­o­log­i­cal rhythm.

ESSENCE OF TIME

All three prod­ucts tar­get dif­fer­ent times of the day, mainly be­cause of the “time­set­ting” in­gre­di­ents used. Firstly, there is Le Week­end, the two-day re­set­ting for­mula that in­cludes argi­nine to al­low a “drop by drop re­lease” of gly­colic acid.

“Le Week­end is meant to be a gen­tle, weekly re­set, and not to be used daily. The for­mula is very spe­cific.” By drop­ping the pH level of the for­mula to 4 and us­ing six per­cent of gly­colic acid, “we can re­ally nor­malise the pH of the skin. It is a lit­tle bit like putting the skin into re­hab.”

Women who par­took in a prod­uct trial ob­served over half of their dead cells were sloughed away while the skin re­mained per­fectly hy­drated.

With its abil­ity to get the com­plex­ion glow­ing, this ra­di­ance-boost­ing moisturiser is the per­fect way to get cam­era-ready. “Be­cause your skin is now thin­ner and re­newed, you don’t need to use other ex­fo­li­at­ing prod­ucts on the week­end or th­ese two days. But dur­ing the week, if you’d like to scrub or ex­fo­li­ate, and mois­turise with a mask, you can.”

For daily use, Dr. Souraud rec­om­mends Le Jour de Chanel, which is a bit like a pre-serum. “It is quickly ab­sorbed, and its sal­i­cylic acid is great for re­fin­ing pore size.” Over 90 per­cent of the women in the prod­uct trial claimed eight straight hours of un­fal­ter­ing lu­mi­nos­ity.

To com­plete the set, La Nuit was for­mu­lated for night­time use to “calm down in­flam­ma­tion and en­cour­age nat­u­ral re­gen­er­a­tion.” La Nuit de Chanel is a creamy fluid that im­me­di­ately sinks in to be­come a soft, vel­vety co­coon for the skin. “That’s the hy­drolic acid work­ing its way through­out the night.” 100 per­cent of the wwomen who tried it said their com­plex­ions

looked rested af­ter a night’s use.

ADAPT, ADAPT, ADAPT

The sea­soned trav­eller may ask: What does one do when time dif­fer­ences mess up the rou­tine? “The most im­por­tant thing is to fo­cus on the en­vi­ron­ment; that will de­ter­mine what is best to con­di­tion your skin. That’s why if you have to go out­side, if you flew in the morn­ing and ar­rived at your des­ti­na­tion dur­ing day­time, it is bbest that you still use Le Jour for op­ti­mum pro­tec­tion.” Could it be that su­per­women fi­nally have a saviour? Con­fi­dently, Dr. Souraud de­clares: “I would say that Chanel has cre­ated a new cat­e­gory in sk­in­care with prod­ucts that aren’t here to re­place any­thing; rather, th­ese prod­ucts are here to ad­dress unan­swered needs. Our ob­jec­tive is to per­son­alise the beauty rou­tine. It’s a new ges­ture to im­prove the mod­ern woman’s way of life.”

Diane Kruger as the face of Chanel Sk­in­care

An il­lus­tra­tion of a typ­i­cal 36- hour “Su­per­woman’s” day, which was nar­rated by Dr. Armelle Souraud

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