If you’ve popped by the Chanel counter or beauty boutique these couple of weeks, you may notice a brand new skincare product being showcased. This is the Chanel Blue Serum, a brand new product, targeted at all skin types and almost all ages. Early this month, I travelled to Taipei, Taiwan, to learn a little more about this, that Chanel calls a “Universal Serum”.
The concept behind the Blue Serum is quite an interesting one. In launching this product, Chanel is embarking on a holistic journey of wellness and longevity, a concept that we don’t really see addressed in mainstream cosmetics brands.
This isn’t a review (not yet). I’m here to share what the Blue Serum really is about (because it’s tricky wrapping my head around it too!) 😛
What is the inspiration behind the Chanel Blue Serum?
The ‘blue’ in the name refers not to the colour of the product (which is a semi-opaque white), but from where its key ingredients are sourced – from the “blue zones” of the world. These “blue zones” are areas in the world identified as having people with higher life expectancies and exceptional longevity.
The “blue zones” are identified as Okinawa (Japan), Greece, Sardinia (Italy) and Costa Rica. In these areas, people are known to live longer and research shows that this is due to 4 key factors – regular physical activity, a balanced diet, a close-knit social structure and better stress management. It probably isn’t a coincidence either, that in these areas people live closer to nature and do not have the pollution and stresses we experience in cities.
Inspired by these 4 key factors of longevity, the Chanel Research team were inspired to identify 4 mechanisms for skin longevity (‘anti-aging’):-
- Cellular energy (regular physical activity)
- Cellular metabolism (a balanced diet)
- Intercellular communication (close-knit social structure)
- Adaptation to cellular stress (better stress management)
The Blue Serum is therefore a product that addresses and boosts these mechanisms to promote healthier skin. It does it using 3 key ingredients sourced from the “blue zones”.
What are the key ingredients of the Chanel Blue Serum?
While there are 3 key ingredients in the Blue Serum that are sourced from 3 of the “blue zones” of the world, these are not the only ingredients in the product. It’s not that simple! 😀
Nicola Fuzzati, Chanel Director of the Active Ingredients Research team explaining why the 3 key ingredients were chosen
The 3 key ingredients are:-
- Green Coffee from Nicoya Peninsula, Costa Rica where the active ingredient is green coffee PFA is extracted using the PolyFractioning of Active Ingredients technique exclusive to Chanel to produce an extract more concentrated in cafestol and kahweol. The oil extracted is high in fatty acids, polyphenol and Vitamin E and acts as an antioxidant to repair the skin and boost skin suppleness.
- Olive from Sardinia where the active ingredient is the olive tree oleoactive extracted from the olive leaf. The oil extracted contains fatty acids beneficial to skin to boost collagen production and protect skin from environmental aggression.
- Lentisk from Greece where the active ingredient is the lentisk gum extract extracted from the natural tree resin through a CO2 extraction process to obtain oleanolic acid. The oil is rich in antioxidants and Vitamin E to calm, restore and regenerate skin.
I will tell you however, that on the list of ingredients, there is also alcohol, dimethicone and fragrance (known irritants) alongside niacinamide (known effective anti-aging ingredient) so, if you are sensitive to alcohol, dimethicone (silicones) and fragrance, that’s something you’d have to take note of. If you’re interested in the product, I’m quite sure there are samples available at the counter for you to test any skin sensitivity 🙂
What exactly then is the Chanel Blue Serum?
This was the question on the lips of every beauty editor in the room – What exactly is this Blue Serum? What is it used for? Believe me, because of the whole holistic and wellness approach, it all ended up being a little fuzzy.
Armelle Souraud, Chanel Internal Scientific Communications Director
Well, according to the folks at Chanel, this is what they call a “Universal serum”. Instead of producing yet another anti-aging serum (to be perfectly honest, in many ways, this is what this really is) that addresses problems with fine lines and sagging skin, with the Blue Serum, Chanel has taken on a more holistic approach to anti-aging.
What this serum does is to help you be the best version of you. It does not promise to even out skin, or to plump up lines or to make you look 10 years younger (even if that might be a beneficial side effect) but it contains some ingredients that are beneficial to your skin that will help it perform better. There are no promises made that your lines will decrease in X days, or that you will see Y% improvement in skin texture. You may, and you likely will.
Instead, Chanel now looks forward, taking a whole shift in their approach to the concept of aging and anti-aging. In many ways, I view it as a tacit acknowledgement that nothing and no one can stop the ravages of time, and the toll it takes on our skin. Instead of looking at ourselves and seeing the lines that need plumping, the sagging skin that needs firming and the dull skin that needs brightening, we should look at ourselves in the mirror and consider instead skin health and how we can protect that and improve it.
It’s rather like when you decide on a lifestyle and diet change, not because you want to be thinner and to fit into that dress 2 sizes too small for you now, but because you want to be stronger and healthier. I think that’s the concept that Chanel is going for – be happy in your skin, but there are ways that you can be a better version of you. It’s taken me 2 weeks to wrap my head around that idea – I don’t expect you to get it all at once either LOL! 😀
How do you use the Chanel Blue Serum?
The Blue Serum is stated as suitable for all ages and for all skin types. It can be used both day and night, and it is to be used as the first product after cleansing and toning.
Cleanser -> Toner -> Blue Serum -> Any other targeted serum e.g. whitening, firming etc -> moisturiser
While it can be used on its own (useful for those who’d rather only use 1 serum at any given time, or who may not need more than 1 serum) you can also combine it with other serums layered over. Lest you think this is a pre-serum (yes, the question was asked more than once) it isn’t made to be, nor positioned as one.
I’m following up in a month or two with a review so you can watch out for that. As a first impression, I’d say that the texture is very light, and absorbs quickly into the skin without any sticky feeling. While I noted the presence of dimethicone, it did not feel the way most products with silicone does. There is an almost light, watery feel to the serum.
The most immediate thing I felt was the slight boost in hydration, but I did have to layer on additional products to feel more comfortable. You can even add a drop of facial oil oil to make drier skin feel more comfortable. I’m not crazy about the scent, although most of the other beauty editors loved it. It’s not as strong as the scent in most Chanel skincare products, but it is definitely fragranced with the scent of white flowers. There isn’t much else I can report right now, as it’s still new in my routine so check back later (I’ll update this as well when my review goes up! 🙂 )
As a product, I found it a little challenging to understand it, since Chanel has opted to take a wider approach to skincare, as opposed to zeroing in on a problem and addressing it. They already have other ranges and products that do that. Instead, this one’s for those who want a general sort of product that helps with moisture, fine lines, firmness etc – a Universal Serum, to sum up 😛
Do you find this approach to skincare intriguing?
I’m afraid the whole concept is a little wishy-washy, but this is the best way I can understand it. I like how it promotes the idea that it helps you be a better version of you, without pointing out all your flaws. Yet, it does take some understanding, doesn’t it?
Chanel Blue Serum is available from January 2017
Price: RM400 | US$95 | £81 for 30ml
Where to buy: Chanel counters and beauty boutiques