MY FAIR LADY
Chanel’s new Le Blanc range is set to change the face of whitening worldwide. By Amelia Chia
Chanel makes its indelible mark in the whitening market
The walls were white, the couches were white, the candles were white… This was possibly the whitest room I’d ever sat in. As I sat waiting for the Chanel Le Blanc launch to start, I began to think that this was definitely not a place to be drinking red wine… Marie-Hélène Nair, Director of International Scientific Communications and Nobuhiro Ando, Managing Director of KK Chanel Research and Technology Development Laboratory took to the stage in Seoul to blind us with science.
Chanel’s Le Blanc whitening range, which first rolled out in 2011 has recently overhauled its list of fresh ingredients. And what’s more, they have added four brand new products. We’re staring like predators at the new line—the Whitening Concentrate Double Action TXC, the Whitening Moisturising Cream TXC in both fine and rich recipes, and a Light Creator Whitening Compact Foundation SPF 25/PA +++.
There is no shadow of a doubt that the French maison’s focus on Le Blanc ties in seamlessly with the market’s needs. Wander out onto the electrifying streets of Seoul, where beauty brands fill the malls, advertising hoardings and makeup bags of women walking by. Women in Korea are serious about skincare. They hoard sun protection and whitening products like doomsday preppers, and they book aesthetic treatments as easily as they would their manis and pedis. For, to them, being white is being beautiful.
What’s remarkable is this trend doesn’t just apply to Asia. The whitening trend has hit the US and Europe as well, as ladies ditch their anti-aging plans for even, flawless skin.
“Five years ago, wrinkles and fine lines were more important than dark spots,” explained Nair. “But we’ve noticed a huge change in the US and Europe. The ladies there now want to recover spot-free and even skin.” According to Global Industry Analysts’ latest report, skin lightening is set to boost the global market, and is projected to reach USD10 billion next year.
When Chanel first launched Le Blanc in 2011 after years of research, it revolutionised the whitening skincare market with its patented TXC molecule, a quasi-drug whitening active ingredient exclusive to the brand. It’s a known fact that excess melanin production leads to the formation of dark spots—and the brilliance of the TXC molecule
combats that. By acting on the factors responsible for the chain production of melanin production, from the skin surface to the heart of the melanocyte, it effectively regulates the production of melanin. This formula propelled Le Blanc to success three years ago when Chanel first put four skincare and two makeup products from its whitening line on the shelves.
Not one to rest on its laurels, Chanel continued to invest in additional research on the environment of melanocytes and the major role chronic inflammation plays in the formation of dark spots. Put simply, our skin is exposed to irritants from the environment even without UV exposure— which leaves melanocytes in a constant state of stress. This environment of chronic inflammation encourages increased melanin production, which causes pigmentation and dark spots in the long run or when exposed to sunlight.
The new Le Blanc counters that. Chanel has revealed that the TXC molecule can defy this state of stress by creating a calming zone around the melanocytes. This takes prevention up a notch as it now inhibits the main factors involved in the production of inflammation mediators and limits the overproduction of melanin.
By acting on the pigmentation process itself and the latent stress in the melanocyte environment, melanin production is controlled and complexion is lighter and more radiant.
BRAVE NEW WORLD
It hardly matters whether you’re living in an igloo or a tropical country, if you are dark- or fair-skinned, or in your 30s or 50s, we are all susceptible to sun spots. “It’s important for us to test our products on diverse climates and skin types, as we understand people can react differently to the same product,” said Nair. “There is a link between your beauty routine, the food you consume and your climate.”
Nobuhiro Ando added that their test panel of ladies spanned two generations of women, from ages 30 to 74, and similar results were obtained across the board.
They do this with the help of their new ingredients—Two-Year Pearl Extract and One Day Flower in order to illuminate dull complexions while injecting a boost of moisture for a luminous mien. The Two- Year Pearl Extract is taken from pearls that have been cultivated for two years—from oysters found in Umajiwa on the western coast of Japan. This precious extract hydrates skin, activates cell renewal and has a correcting action on yellow-toned skin. Previously a OneYear Pearl Extract was used, but even that pales significantly in comparison to the incredible luster of the Two-Year Pearl Extract. They combine this with the One Day Flower, a potent natural antioxidant, which brightens and plumps your skin.
“The key to Chanel beauty lies between innovation and elegance—formulation, quality of the product and the well-known practice of women,” concluded Nair. “We are a feminine brand, so we have to make sure all these beautiful products will meet the needs of women all over the world with exactly the same ingredients.”