MY FAIR LADY

Chanel’s new Le Blanc range is set to change the face of whiten­ing world­wide. By Amelia Chia

Harper's Bazaar (Singapore) - - CONTENTS -

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.

FRESH FOR­MU­LA­TION

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.”

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