Abeille Royale Youth Serum Firming Lift (Discontinued)
1 fl. oz. for $141
Category:Skin Care > Serums > Serums
Last Updated:06.11.2014
Jar Packaging:No
Tested on animals:Yes

This water-based serum is betting on bees as the fountain of youth. More specifically, Guerlain wants you to believe that royal jelly, a milky substance secreted by worker bees, can heal your skin while lifting and firming it along the way. Sigh. We thought royal jelly had fallen by the wayside; it didn’t work for wrinkles and signs of aging in the 1980s and it doesn’t work now, either. The fact that it’s French royal jelly may up its chic profile, but still doesn’t make this effective. Regardless of where the royal jelly is sourced, its chemical breakdown is mostly water, followed by proteins, sugars, and a tiny amount of fats. The rest includes trace amounts of vitamins, amino acids, and salts. None of this is the key to lifted, firmer skin, though components in royal jelly can function as water-binding agents (Source: www.naturaldatabase.com). Not surprisingly, topical application of this bee-produced ingredient can cause contact dermatitis and irritation.

Honey is the third ingredient, and it’s another by-product from bees. More so than royal jelly, honey has benefit for your skin, but its primary benefit has to do with wound healing, and wrinkles aren’t wounds.

Bottom line: you’re not getting anything spectacular for your money. In fact, beyond the honey, there’s far more fragrance and preservative in this serum than anti-aging ingredients. This serum also contains numerous fragrance chemicals known to cause irritation. The constant irritation such ingredients can cause will lead to collagen breakdown and hurt your skin’s ability to repair itself. Please refer to our list of Best Serums for several options that beat this on formula and, especially, price.


Employs the active power of bee products to repair wrinkles while lifting and firming skin. Through extensive research, Guerlain identified bee products as some of the world's most effective natural healing substances, and created Abeille Royale's key active ingredient: the Pure Royal Concentrate. This exclusive composition of Ouessant honey and French royal jelly stimulates the key mechanisms of the healing process within the skin to help continuously repair wrinkles caused by micro-tears.


Water, Glycerin, Honey, Caprylyl Methicone, Cetearyl Isononanoate, Pentylene Glycol, Methyl Gluceth-20, Polymethyl Methacrylate, Jojoba Esters, Phenyl Trimethicone, Butylene Glycol, Royal Jelly, Phenoxyethanol, Steareth-2, Steareth-21, Parfum, Glyceryl Polymethacrylate, Avena Sativa (Oat) Kernel Extract, Talc, Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylates Crosspolymer, Dimethicone/Phenyl Vinyl Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Tetrasodium EDTA, Silica, Sorbitol, Sodium Citrate, Tromethamine, PEG-8, Tocopheryl Acetate, Alumina, CI 77891, Algin, Xanthan Gum, Centella Asiatica Leaf Extract, Sodium Hyaluronate, Adenosine, Polyvinyl Alcohol, Limonene, Citric Acid, Benzyl Salicylate, Cellulose Gum, Mica, BHT, Sodium Lactate, Geraniol, Hydroxycitronellal, Vigna Aconitifolia Seed Extract, Alpha-Isomethyl Ionone, Citronellol, Linalool, Cyathea Medullaris Leaf Extract, Sodium Cocoyl Glutamate, Benzyl Benzoate, CI 77491, Citral, Palmitoyl Oligopeptide

Brand Overview

Guerlain At-A-Glance

Strengths: Lavish packaging (if that appeals to you); a good mascara; some excellent lipsticks.

Weaknesses: Very expensive; over-reliance on jar packaging; pervasive fragrance; overall mediocre to just plain bad skincare.

Guerlain's Paris pedigree, having evolved from a centuries-old fragrance house to a "lifestyle" line that prides itself on luxurious indulgences that promise to beautify (and perfume) almost every inch of you, still manages to hook plenty of unsuspecting women. Yet behind all of the enticing names and extraordinary claims lie some of the most unremarkable, overpriced skin-care products available. It may sound luxurious to find that gold is included in some of their formulations, unless you happen to know that when it's applied topically, gold is simply a potent allergen; there is no research showing it to have any effect on wrinkles or aging.

Guerlain's skin-care products contain a preponderance of ordinary cosmetic ingredients, with only a smattering of antioxidants, skin-identical ingredients, and anti-irritants, and most of these elegant ingredients are hindered by jar packaging. It's one thing to spend more than you need to on a skin-care routine, but at least if you decide to do so you should shop the overpriced lines that will reward you with far better formulations than what Guerlain offers. Guerlain is the very definition of style usurping substance. For example, there are dozens and dozens of moisturizers in this line that are at best described as mediocre and out of date, while the sunscreens have issues of their own, including low SPF ratings and potentially insufficient UVA protection due to smaller-than-usual amounts of avobenzone. And despite the specialty claims they make for each product grouping, repetitive formulations are the hallmark of the Guerlain line—too bad not a single moisturizer or serum formula comes close to beating the competition; more often than not they fail miserably.

Guerlain has been under the ownership of Sephora parent company Louis Vuitton-Moet-Hennessy since 1994, and is available in many Sephora boutiques.

For more information about Guerlain, visit www.guerlain.com.

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