Beauty

Inside the Chanel lab

Whether at the Paris flagship store, or the laboratory in Pantin, the spirit of Coco Chanel lives on.

chanel boutique rue cambon

The Chanel boutique on rue Cambon.

 

If you ever have the chance to visit the Chanel boutique in Paris, located on the narrow Rue Cambon, you’ll be impressed by the feeling of quality — it’s as if Coco herself is overseeing every little detail. And whether you purchase the iconic quilted handbag or a tube of lipstick, you will be treated with the same professional courtesy. Ah, France! Ah, luxury!

I wonder if Coco would have guessed that her little shop would grow into such a huge business and that a whole world of scientists, pharmacists and chemists would wear her name on white lab coats.

About 40 minutes from the flagship store is Chanel’s newest facility, in Pantin, one of three laboratories dedicated to the research and development of skincare and makeup formulas. True to the brand, the interiors of this shiny tower are Chanel beige and black, minimal and pristine. Naturally, as you walk through the sunny hallways, there’s a faint hint of perfume in the air.

Botanicals have always been an important part of the world of skincare, and the experts at Chanel have spent decades studying the power of plants. They’re pros at extracting the purest and most active ingredients from fresh flowers to develop their scents, and they’re using these same techniques to create powerful skincare products.

Pollution, stress and UV rays generate toxins that interfere with healthy skin- cell function. This leads to a reduction in collagen and elastin, which contributes to the appearance of fine lines and the loss of skin density. Our skin has its own toxin- elimination system, but — like everything else, it seems (sigh) — this slows down dur- ing the natural aging process. So, after all the studies and research, the newest break- through is formulated to provide just the boost skin needs to look truly luminous. I know Coco would approve.

coco chanel portrait

Photo,© Lipnitzki/Roger-Viollet.

“IN ORDER TO ANTICIPATE THE NEEDS OF WOMEN, WE WORK WITH EXPERTS ALL OVER THE WORLD, FROM DIFFERENT CULTURES AND ORIGINS.” – Marie-Hélène Lair, director of scientific communications

What’s new?

The latest secret weapon from the labs at Chanel is a state-of-the-art serum from the beloved Sublimage line.

It contains two active ingredients: Vanilla Planifolia, which grows in Madagascar, and golden flower from the Himalayas. Both work to stimulate skin’s natural detox system, while harungana-leaf extracts speed up cell turnover to improve skin texture.

sublimage l'essence chanel

Photo, Erik Putz.

The theory is that if you remove the toxins where they are formed, skin will look radiant, free of dark spots and wrinkles. This delicate serum is light enough to be used alone—just a drop or two—or in tandem with other products. The silky texture is key, according to Chanel’s formulation experts in Asia, where consumers love to layer multiple products. Rejuvenating your skin has never been so luxurious!

Sublimage l’essence, $460, Chanel.

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