FEED YOUR FACE
A new wellness-focused approach to skincare is taking over
When National Geographic published a probing article, “The Secrets of Long Life,” in 2005, the world took notice. Research concluded that the lifestyle in select communities around the world, dubbed “blue zones,” led to extraordinarily long average lifespan—picture gaggles of centenarians doing tai chi on the beach in Okinawa, Japan. Though separated by vast distances, the blue zones share many commonalities: a healthy, mainly vegetarian diet of mostly local foods; regular exercise built into everyday tasks, such as walking to do errands; low average stress; and strong community bonds. (On the Italian island of Sardinia, for example, many locals sit down to chat in the town square every day.) The study’s results led to many bestsellers about how to apply diet and health tips from seven areas of the world, spanning from Sweden to Costa Rica. But one domain remained unexplored: skincare.
Last year, Chanel scientists studied four of the most famous zones to see the health benefits of these lifestyles first-hand. “What I found extremely interesting is the social link,” says Armelle Souraud, scientific communications director at Chanel. “It’s quite basic when you think about it, but it’s essential to have deep connections with those you love. It’s not about phone calls and Facebook—having deep connections makes you healthy and happier.”
Then a team of researchers looked to draw connections to skin health.
They discovered that cer tain key ingredients from these areas can help mimic the blue zone benefits on a cellular level. Green coffee from the Nicoya peninsula in Costa Rica is especially rich in antioxidants cafestol and kahweol, while olive oil harvested in Sardinia is a potent source of essential fatty acids and omegas 3, 6 and 9, as well as polyphenols and antioxidants. The sap from the lentisk tree in Ikaria, Greece, is packed with oleanolic acid, which helps the skin regenerate. Blended with hydrators like hylauronic acid in a streamlined serum that’s appropriate for all skin types and age groups, these carefully extracted active ingredients promise to protect the skin and soften lines, while adding radiance and moisture.
“We wanted to share the blue zone spirit. It’s not a dream—it’s a reality in several places,” says Souraud. “Women can think about what they can do to integrate a little piece of it into their lives: exercise a little more regularly, manage stress, be more positive, have a balanced diet. You don’t want to correct everything—you just want to feel like you at your best, and feel like you’re blooming. Healthy is the new beauty status.” —Kathryn Hudson
CHANEL BLUE SERUM, $140 (30 ML), CHANEL BEAUTY COUNTERS