Hydra Beauty Gel Creme

by Chanel  
Price:
$97.50 - 1 fl. oz.
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Category:
Skin Care > Moisturizers (Daytime and Nighttime) > Moisturizer without Sunscreen
Last Updated:
2/20/2013
Jar Packaging:
Yes
Tested On Animals:
Yes

This lightweight cream has a texture and finish best for normal to slightly dry skin, but the price is outrageous, the amount of fragrance is potentially irritating, and the jar packaging won't keep the most interesting ingredients stable once it's opened. This is not money well spent; see More Info to find out why excess fragrance and jar packaging are musts to avoid.

Chanel has crafted an elegantly textured moisturizer, but the ingredients they use to create this moisturizer's texture are commonplace, and certainly don't merit the price tag.

Pros:
  • Elegant texture with ingredients that help improve dry skin.
Cons:
  • Overpriced.
  • Jar packaging won't keep the plant ingredients stable once opened.
  • Contains more fragrance than proven anti-aging ingredients.
More Info:

Why Jar Packaging is a Problem:

The fact that it's packaged in a jar means the beneficial ingredients won't remain stable once it is opened. All plant extracts, vitamins, antioxidants, and other state-of-the-art ingredients break down in the presence of air, so once a jar is opened and lets the air in, these important ingredients begin to deteriorate. Jars also are unsanitary because you're dipping your fingers into them with each use, adding bacteria, which further deteriorate the beneficial ingredients (Sources: Free Radical Biology and Medicine, September 2007, pages 818–829; Ageing Research Reviews, December 2007, pages 271–288; Dermatologic Therapy, September-October 2007, pages 314–321; International Journal of Pharmaceutics, June 12, 2005, pages 197–203; Pharmaceutical Development and Technology, January 2002, pages 1–32; International Society for Horticultural Science, www.actahort.org/members/showpdf?booknrarnr=778_5; and Beautypackaging.com, and www.beautypackaging.com/articles/2007/03/airless-packaging.php).

Why Daily Use of Fragranced Products is Problem:

Daily use of products that contain a high amount of fragrance, whether the fragrant ingredients are synthetic or natural, causes chronic irritation that can damage healthy collagen production, lead to or worsen dryness, and impair your skin's ability to heal. Fragrance-free is the best way to go for all skin types. If fragrance in your skin-care products is important to you, it should be a very low amount to minimize the risk to your skin (Sources: Inflammation Research, December 2008, pages 558–563; Skin Pharmacology and Physiology, June 2008, pages 124–135, and November-December 2000, pages 358–371; Journal of Investigative Dermatology, April 2008, pages 15–19; Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology, March 2008, pages 78–82; Mechanisms of Ageing and Development, January 2007, pages 92–105; and British Journal of Dermatology, December 2005, pages S13–S22).

A light, fresh, cooling texture bathes skin in hydration for comfort, protection and increased radiance. Ideal for normal skin.

Water, Glycerin, Isononyl Isononanoate, Cetearyl Alcohol, Isostearyl Neopentanoate, Octyldodecyl Myristate, Glyceryl Polymethacrylate, Dimethicone, Pentylene Glycol, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter), Jojoba Esters, HDI/Trimethylol Hexyllactone Crosspolymer, Cyclopentasiloxane, Cetearyl Glucoside, Glyceryl Stearate, PEG-100 Stearate, Olus (Vegetable Oil), Butylene Glycol, Saccharide Isomerate, Parfum, Methylparaben, Caprylyl Glycol, Sodium Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Benzophenone-3, Propylene Glycol, Rosa Damascena Flower, Xanthan Gum, Phenoxyethanol, Ceratonia Siliqua (Carob) Fruit Extract, Camelina Seed Oil, Tetrasodium EDTA, Trihydroxypalmitamidohydroxypropyl Myristyl Ether, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Silica, Sodium Hyaluronate, Thermus Thermophillus Ferment, Pentaerythrityl Tetra-Di-T-Butyl Hydroxyhydrocinnamate, Propylparaben, Citric Acid, Lecithin, Phosphate Buffered Saline, Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Extract, Potassium Sorbate, Tocopherol, Ethylparaben, Biotin

The history of this Paris-bred line is steeped in fashion, jewelry, and fragrance firsts. The image-is-everything fashion sensibility and fragrance know-how have been loosely translated to Chanel’s ever-imposing skin-care collection, now divided into several categories, although most of them have overlapping, overly exaggerated claims and over-the-top pricing. The company likes to mention its research facility, referred to as C.E.R.I.E.S. (Centre de Recherches et d'Investigations Epidermiques et Sensorielles) as a way to give credibility to its products and the formulary expertise of Chanel's team of scientists, but its studies are not necessarily the kind of independent research that shows up in medical journals.

Founded in 1991 and funded by Chanel, the goal of this research facility is "to help provide a scientific foundation for the design of skin care products and to promote public awareness of the principles underlying maintenance of healthy, attractive skin." Examining Chanel's often lengthy ingredient lists reveals that they believe healthy, attractive skin requires mostly standard, banal ingredients coupled with lots of fragrance and just a smattering of anything resembling state-of-the-art ingredients. Designing skin-care products whose purpose is to reinforce healthy skin doesn't involve strong scents, irritants such as alcohol, or sunscreens whose SPF ratings fall below the standards set by major health organizations, including the American Academy of Dermatology and corresponding international academies as well. Furthermore, their Nº 1 products claim to increase skin's oxygen uptake, something that essentially puts skin on the fast track for more free-radical damage, and no one at C.E.R.I.E.S. seems to have any idea about how to treat acne-prone skin. (Well, let's face it, acne is never fashionable.)

Just like most Chanel skin-care products, the research facility and its ties to the dermatology community make it sound more impressive than it really is. Chanel's influence on fashion and luxury accoutrements is legendary and ongoing; but their skin-care products simply cannot compete with what many other lines are doing, including Estee Lauder, Clinique, Prescriptives, Olay, Dove, Neutrogena, and many others. Considering the couture-level prices, too much of Chanel's skin care is average, and that doesn't look good on anyone.

For more information about Chanel, call (800) 550-0005 or visit www.chanel.com.

Chanel Makeup

Chanel pulls out all the stops to present their makeup in the most flattering light. Many of their products are deserving of the best status, but, frustratingly, an equal number disappoint, seeming to coast on Chanel's name and attention to upscale, designer-influenced packaging rather than providing true quality. For example, few companies have foundations with textures as varied and state-of-the-art as Chanel. However, most of their foundations with sunscreen are formulated without essential UVA-protecting ingredients, even though Chanel clearly knows about this issue, as evidenced from their numerous skin-care products that do contain avobenzone or titanium dioxide. Neglecting adequate UVA protection while going on about how the product creates younger-looking skin is not only inaccurate, it's harmful to your skin's health and appearance.

Beyond inadequate sunscreen, Chanel's eye and lip pencils have extraordinary prices, but ordinary to poor performance, and most of their "we're trying to be unique and clever" products don't do much to prove they're worthy of purchase. It's hard to ignore that much of what Chanel does well other lines do just as well (and sometimes better), and with a more realistic price range to boot. However, the overall situation is better than standard but well-dressed formulas with shamelessly affluent prices, because although it's not inexpensive, the best of Chanel's makeup is truly outstanding. What's needed to establish consistency is an overhaul of the many products that have fallen behind formula-wise. We doubt Chanel will reevaluate their pricing for the better, but given that, the least you should expect is stellar performance from everything you buy that bears the iconic double C logo!

Note: Chanel is categorized as a brand that tests on animals because its products are sold in China. Although Chanel does not conduct animal testing for its products sold elsewhere, the Chinese government requires imported cosmetics be tested on animals, so foreign companies retailing there must comply. This requirement is why some brands state that they don’t test on animals “unless required by law.” Animal rights organizations consider cosmetic companies retailed in China to be brands that test on animals, and so does the Paula’s Choice Research Team.

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About the Experts

Paula Begoun is the best-selling author of 20 books on skin care and makeup. She is known worldwide as the Cosmetics Cop and creator of Paula's Choice. Paula's expertise has led to hundreds of appearances on national and international television including:

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The Paula's Choice Research Team is dedicated to helping you find the absolute best products for your skin, using research-based criteria to review beauty products from an honest, balanced perspective. Each member of the team was personally trained by Paula herself.

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