The Skincare Ingredient You Need in Your Routine This Spring

Not all skincare ingredients are created equal. We discover the secret behind Guerlain Abeille Royale and get acquainted with the collection’s newest additions.

Deciphering the sheer abundance of skincare ingredients and which ones you need to be using and which ones you don’t can be tricky business. But if it’s skin-transforming results that you’re after, you’ll want to make sure you’re using skincare that harnesses the power of the most potent skincare ingredients available. 

Honey is at the heart of Guerlain‘s game-changing Abeille Royale collection. However, it’s not by sheer chance that this remarkable ingredient has become the star of the skin health-enhancing range – for over a decade skincare scientists at Guerlain have been closely studying the extraordinary properties and powers of honey. 

Honey’s Healing Properties

Much more than just a golden treasure hiding inside the beehive, nutrient-rich honey is an invaluable skincare ingredient. As one of the world’s oldest food sources, honey has long been cherished right around the world for its impressive natural healing powers. With this in mind, Guerlain decided to take its research into the prized golden elixir further. With Doctor Frédéric Bonté at the helm and with the collaboration of Professor Desmoulière, professor of physiology and specialist in tissue repair at the University of Limoges’ Pharmacy Faculty, Guerlain has been able to unlock the full potential of honey.

‘s research revealed that the scar-healing process and the way signs of ageing are repaired share common features. Thanks to this groundbreaking discovery, Guerlain has been able to harness the power of honey and other ingredients from the beehive to formulate Abeille Royale – a complete range of youth-restoring skincare products.

18 kilometres off the French coast, lies the French island of Ouessant – the home of one of the purest forms of honey and where Guerlain‘s research comes to life. As a UNESCO-designated landmark, Ouessant’s unique and rare bio-diversity has allowed black bees to produce one-of-a-kind honey that has become an integral part of BlackBee Repair Technology’s powerful honey and royal jelly blend.

Abeille Royale

The Innovation Behind the Skincare

Ten years of research have gone into the BlackBee Repair Technology that powers today’s Abeille Royale collection. Over the years, the powerful properties of the BlackBee Repair technology have been used to fight wrinkles, prevent the loss of skin firmness, enhance the skin’s protective barrier and boost luminosity and skin smoothness.

By 2017 Guerlain turned its attention to neuro-ageing, the impact the environment has on skin, how it impacts its resilience and youthfulness and disrupts cell function. As a result, Guerlain has been able to unlock the potential of BlackBee Repair technology as a way to encourage the skin to repair itself. In 2019, the game-changing new iteration of BlackBee Repair’s technology is at the core of the new line of Abeille Royale creams that have been designed to fend off the visible signs of ageing.

A Solution for All Skin Types

Aware that no two complexions are the same and that everyone has unique requirements where their skincare is concerned, Guerlain now offers three Abeille Royale day creams that target the signs of ageing. 

If you’re prone to blemishes, the all-new Mattifying Day Cream means you no longer have to choose between a moisturiser that fights imperfections or banishes the signs of ageing. Instead, the new addition to Abeille Royale combines the best of both worlds. The lightweight formula hydrates skin, controls shine and leaves the complexion velvety smooth. A powerful propolis complex helps to regulate excess oil production and minimise the appearance of enlarged pores.

Guerlain‘s two existing day cream offerings get a reformulation too. Formulated with normal skin in mind, the Abeille Royale Day Cream glides onto skin and is quickly absorbed to give skin an immediate boost and feeling of flawlessness. Abeille Royale Rich Day Cream has been formulated especially for those with dry skin. A nurturing combination of beeswax, light oil and soft butter deeply nourish and hydrate the skin without weighing it down. All three of the day creams are powered by BlackBee Repair technology which has been partnered with a revitalising Vitamin C derivative. Together the two awaken the skin’s cells and kickstart the skin’s healing process. With repeated use, skin appears plumper and more luminous.

No thorough skincare routine is complete without a restorative night cream. Abeille Royale Night Cream melts into skin immediately working overtime as you get your much-needed beauty sleep. The star BlackBee Repair technology is paired with vitamin E which works to enhance skin elasticity and Ouessant honey that combats the enzymes that lead to the deterioration of the skin’s elastin. The result is a formula that provides optimal night-time repair and renewal so you rise and shine with plump, youthful, well-rested skin.

The new Mattifying Day Cream and relaunched Day Cream, Rich Day Cream, and Night Cream join Guerlain’s existing skincare must-haves from the Royale Abeille collection including the iconic Double R Renew & Repair Serum and best-selling Youth Watery Oil.

A Sustainable Statement

Given that it’s a natural resource that is at the heart of Abeille Royale, Guerlain has created various partnerships and programmes that are dedicated to protecting and understanding bees. The on-going commitment to bees and the environment include: a partnership with Observatoire Français d’Apidologie (French Bee Observatory) to help develop beehive stocks across Europe and promote the importance of beekeeping as a profession; the Guerlain Bee University, which is an annual event that brings together leading conservation specialists to identify new solutions and establish best practices; and the Bee School, a programme created to raise awareness with primary school children about the importance of bees and why we need to protect them. 

The Guerlain Abeille Royale Collection is available now from leading department stores Smith & Caughey’s, Ballantynes and David Jones. 

How to Care for Your Neck and Décolletage

The skin of the neck and décolletage is one of the first places on the body to show signs of sun damage and ageing. Help to maintain a youthful, healthy appearance with our expert tips on caring for this delicate area.

In the beauty world, it’s often said that it’s the delicate skin around the eyes that reveals the first signs of ageing. And after slathering on eye cream to keep fine lines and wrinkles at bay, it’s our visage that tends to get all of the attention where our skincare routine is concerned. But as Clinic 42’s Dr Lynn Theron explains, after the eye area, it’s actually the skin of the upper chest that is most prone to showing the signs of sun damage and ageing. “Part of the reason for this is the difference in the architecture of our skin in this area, compared to, say, the face,” she says. Unlike the skin on our face, Theron says there are fewer hair follicles and a relatively low density of sebaceous glands. This means the area has reduced oil production, heals more slowly, and is generally more prone to scarring. “The neck and upper chest skin also contain fewer elastin fibres than facial skin, resulting in a weaker supporting structure to the collagen matrix,” she says. “Furthermore, there are fewer fatty structures under the skin to help support the less-elastic overlying skin.”

Skincare Solutions

As well as the changes that happen in our skin – for example, menopause and biological ageing – Theron explains there are a number of external factors that dictate how the skin on our neck and décolletage behaves. “Aside from … exposure to UV, movement of the skin envelope and the weight and position of breast tissue will also affect these wrinkles,” Theron says. Fortunately, fending off the signs of ageing and caring for the neck and décolletage isn’t all that different from caring for our face. Unsurprisingly, great sun protection is key to keeping the neck and chest skin healthy. “Our first ‘prescription’ would be a broad- spectrum, high sun protection factor sunscreen,” Theron explains. “At a minimum, SPF50 should be the go-to for this area. And when possible, cover the skin with clothing – bring on the polo-neck bikini!” she jests.

The second step is investing in good-quality skincare. “The key is using active, appropriate skincare for your skin type and concerns,” Theron explains. “Skincare that is loaded with … peptides and vitamins that protect, repair and rehydrate the décolletage area is crucial.” Vitamins A and C are must-haves in any thorough skincare routine, and Theron says they should be extended beyond the jawline as well. “Vitamin A helps to repair free radical damage caused by sun exposure, pollution and inflammation, whilst vitamin C treats and helps prevent pigmentation, and builds collagen – creating plumper and healthier skin,” she explains.

As for the steps you should be taking, just mimic what you’re doing with your face: cleanse, exfoliate, and use a treatment serum, moisturiser and sunscreen during the day. Theron also says it’s important to consider your skin type and concerns when it comes to the routine you’re intending to use. “Depending on the condition of your skin, in terms of its texture, hydration, discolouration and laxity, there are different treatment approaches available,” she says. She explains that women in their forties and fifties can benefit from the use of a more potent range in this area, due to the hormonal changes that tend to be occurring during this time. “As a result of hormone changes relating to menopause and comparative oestrogen deficiency, women in their forties and fifties are particularly prone to ageing in this area. There’s accelerated collagen and elastin breakdown – resulting in skin thinning, dryness, and other less desirable changes,” Theron says. As with any skincare concern, prevention is better than treatment – so Theron says if possible, it’s ideal to have a robust skincare regime sorted in the neck and décolletage area prior to these hormonal changes commencing.

Going Deeper
Once you’ve got your neck and décolletage skincare routine down pat, Theron says there are a plethora of in-clinic modalities that can help improve the appearance, texture and other features of ageing skin. “A common concern in this area is skin discolouration, sun damage and broken capillaries,” Theron says. “In the first instance, this is best targeted with an energy device approach, such as Intense Pulsed Light (IPL). This introduces wavelengths of light to the skin, which can target the pigment or vessels.”

Injectables, such as Botox and hyaluronic acid-based fillers, can be used to help reduce the appearance of fine lines in the area, too. “Botulinum toxin can have a smoothing effect on the décolletage by weakening the platysma bands,” Theron explains. “Hyaluronic acid fillers help replenish moisture in the top layers of the skin and reduce the appearance of fine lines, whilst plumping the skin.” Other modalities that can help minimise the appearance of ageing include radiofrequency devices, which help tighten skin through stimulating collagen production; threads, which are placed in the skin to form a structural matrix that stimulates cellular activity; and platelet-rich plasma, a brand-new modality that encourages healing and plumps and rehydrates the deeper layers of the skin. “As can be seen, all the modalities aim to stimulate and increase collagen production – the process that rapidly declines from your forties onwards,” Theron says. “Invest in this area. It will pay off hugely in the long term.”

Try these for a healthy, luminous neck and decolletage: Shiseido Benefiance Concentrate Neck Contour Treatment Concentré ($96); Chantecaille Bio Lifting Neck Cream ($286 from Mecca Cosmetica); Murad Rejuvenating Lift for Neck & Décolleté ($125); Guerlain Orchidée Impériale The Neck And Décolleté Cream ($605).

Sleeping Beauty

If you’ve ever woken up with more wrinkles on your chest than what you went to bed with, you’re not alone. “Morning wrinkles are likely due to your sleeping position,” Theron says. “If you sleep on your side, and your breast/chest tissue droops past your midline due to the effects of gravity, these lines will be more prominent. Sleeping on your back or on two or three pillows can decrease these lines, as can silicone pads that are affixed to the area at night.”

Scents & Sensibility

When we reach for our favourite perfume, it’s usually our neck or décolletage that gets the first spritz. But Theron says that it might be time to rethink how and where you apply your fragrance. “Some perfumes – for example, bergamot – may directly stain the skin, and for many, the high alcohol content of perfumes can cause mild contact dermatitis or inflammation within the skin,” explains Theron. Certain fragrances can also cause photosensitivity – UV light can interact with ingredients in fragrances which can cause allergic reactions and increase sensitivity to the sun.