The Story Behind Chantecaille – the Luxury Beauty House That Wants to Save the Planet

Chantecaille may be one of the world’s most luxurious beauty houses, but there’s much more to this environmentally minded, family owned business than meets the eye. 

It might seem like it’s only recently that indie beauty brands have made their way to the forefront of the beauty world, but it has been 20 years Sylvie Chantecaille founded her line from her children’s playroom in New Jersey. Alex Chantecaille, one of her daughters and vice president of sales for the burgeoning brand says celebrating their 20th anniversary last year was a bit of a surreal experience. “You just have to pinch yourself sometimes,” she says. “You’re so heads-down focusing on work that you don’t always look up to see what you’ve achieved but we’re competitive with some fairly big brands and to think we’re family owned and operated with no outside investors, it’s pretty cool.” Alex says the best part of it all is getting to share it with your family while evolving and growing together. 

Unlike a plethora of other beauty brands that either choose a luxurious approach over a sustainable one or vice versa, Chantecaille, from the very beginning, has combined the best of both worlds. “Being very French and having a background with Estee Lauder, my mother knows quality and sophistication and she wanted an exceptional formula right from the beginning,” Alex explains.

“For her, if the product doesn’t feel seamless on your skin, breathable or very comfortable, then she won’t make it,” she adds. So while Alex says Chantecaille has always been about creating the best possible formula first and foremost, it was a logical choice to make the brand clean too. “For 20 years now, there have been no sulfate detergents, no petrochemicals, no added fragrance or colour in the skincare, no GMO and no palm oil,” she says.

Nature also inspires the products Chantecaille creates and the ingredients they use. “The colours we create all reference flowers – a pink is a peony pink, not a Barbie pink, so it’s cohesive with colours that are found in nature.” To find the best formulations and ingredients the family has combed the globe. “The foundations are made in Japan where the formulations are bare none. The lipsticks, powders and eyeshadows are all made in Italy where you have exceptional craftsmanship and pigments that last and are very comfortable.” Rose petals are picked at dawn in the South of France and then dried by the sun and distilled to create Chantecaille’s rose water which is at the heart of the skincare line. 

 The Chantecaille Philosophy

While Chantecaille is undoubtedly up-to-date with the beauty needs of the modern-day women, they’re in no hurry to launch make-up and skincare simply because it’s what everyone else is doing or Instagramming. “Our new product philosophy is that the product has to wear many hats and be effective,” she says. The brands recently launched Blue Light Protection Hyaluronic Serum fends off the damage done by harmful blue light, but it also keeps skin hydrated with hyaluronic acid and helps cell turnover with botanical extracts that work like AHAs.

“We’re always thinking about the real world and places and spaces people are wearing our products in,” says Alex.
It’s this unique approach that focuses on wearability and comfort that she says sets the brand apart from others. “It’s elegant, it’s beautiful but it’s honest. And that connects us to the work we do with various charities,” she explains. “We’re so inspired by nature, sit seemed like a natural thing for us to support the conservation of wild places and wild animals that are becoming more endangered.”

For the past 24 collections which have spanned over 13 years, Chantecaille has created limited-edition collections to tell the story of endangered animals and help the plight of the not-for-profit organisations that work so tirelessly to protect the world’s most volatile species. The collections are often embossed with the very animals that Chantecaille hopes to help protect – a butterfly on a blush or a turtle on an eyeshadow.

Alex explains that it’s easy to get people engaged through something visual and beautiful. “And then we can tell the story. Whether it’s the sea turtle affected by plastic wastes, the butterflies affected by pesticide use or lion poaching.” She talks passionately about the charities Chantecaille works closely with. In fact, they’ve been so successful at getting the message across– I’m told that the lipsticks from the recent polar bear collection sold out the day they were launched – that the family decided to make certain pieces permanent so they could support the wildlife charities all-year-round. “As a beauty company, we realise there are so many problems in the world but we’ve decided we’re not going to let these animals go extinct,” she says. “We can use the interest around the beauty line to talk about the beauty of the animals and the fact there is only one planet and we need to protect it.”

Alex’s Chantecaille Travel Essentials


“The Rosewater is great on a plane to hydrate and heal skin. It’s created in a very artisanal way – like wine, it’s harvested annually. Rose petals are picked at dawn and then dried in the sun, so what’s in here is very pure. It’s great to put in your handbag, on your desk, have in your travel bag or use post-gym. Rosewater is really the heart of the brand.”

“ The Nano Gold Energizing Eye Serum is like a really great eraser stick. It’s great because you can pop it under your eyes or under your lip lines or over your marionettes. It has 24-carat gold which is highly energising as well as raspberry stem cells which push collagen production and tomato stem cells which helps mitigate the aggregation of heavy metals in the skin. Heavy metals are very ageing to the skin so it’s very important to eliminate them and with the skin around the eyes being so delicate and thin, toxicity is that much more obvious.” 

“Because it’s so drying when you fly, the Rose de Mai oil which is 100 per cent natural and has four different types of roses, is very nourishing and brightening and also mixes with anything. So it’s like the shoes that you pack that you can wear with 14 different outfits. You can put a drop of this with a mask, a drop in your foundation, you can add it to your moisturiser and it gives it more radiance. You can pop it in a bath you can put in on your body. It feels lovely.”

Chantecaille is available from Mecca Cosmetica. Click here to shop.

The Dermalogica Active Clearing System Could be the Secret to Clear Skin

Adult acne is more common than ever before. Here’s how the Dermalogica Active Clearing System could help fend off imperfections for good.

If you’ve ever found yourself wondering why your skin is breaking out when your teenage years are well and truly behind you, you’re not alone. “Research tells us that women are more susceptible to breakouts in their adult years,” says Emma Hobson, education director for Dermalogica Asia Pacific. “As a result of ongoing stress, continual hormonal fluctuations, poor sleep, high glycemic and dairy-based diets, plus a rise in air pollution, many of us find ourselves battling with breakouts in adulthood,” she explains. Hobson believes stress is the primary aggravating factor for many women. “Dehydration is a result of increased cortisol within the skin, which then results in skin cells build up, the skin becomes rough, flaky in texture and clogged pores,” she says.

Hobson says that not only are the triggers different to teenage acne, but adult acne breakouts tend to manifest on the lower half of the face around the chin, jawline and neck.  “As adults, there is more redness and inflammation with persistent breakouts, there are fewer blackheads (comedones) than adolescent acne, the skin is less resilient which means breakouts are often angrier, hang around for longer and cause more pigmented marking on the skin,” she adds. Chronic stress, she says, not only contributes to acne but stops our skin healing which can lead to long-term skin damage. “Psychological stress can slow wound healing by up to 40%, slowing the repair of acne breakouts, along with the slower reparative capacity in older adults, leaving lingering skin pigmentation and scarring.”

Dermalogica Active Clearing System

Here’s why the Dermalogica Active Clearing System is Different to Other Skincare

What this all means is that skincare that has traditionally been formulated for acne-prone adolescent skin often isn’t suitable for more mature skin. “Because not only are the triggers different, so are the skin conditions you are treating – not only associated with acne but also premature ageing such as post-inflammatory hyper-pigmentation (PIH), dehydration and inflammation,” Hobson explains.

With this in mind, Dermalogica has formulated two new additions for the Dermalogica Active Clearing system. Active Clearing AGE Bright Clearing Serum uses a blend of salicylic acid and beta hydroxy acid that helps enhance cell turnover and fight breakouts while reducing the signs of ageing and AGE Bright Complex which contains actives and essential oils that work to clear and brighten at the same time. AGE Bright Spot Fader has been formulated to not only help clear up unwanted spots and breakouts but to minimise marks and pigmentation that they can leave behind.

“It’s important to use products designed specifically for adult acne that contain ingredients address the PIH marking,” says Hobson. Both of the new products include three actives ingredients that lighten the marking caused by breakouts.  Niacinamide offers a wide range of skin health benefits one being the reduction in pigmentation and improvement in skin tone; White Shitake Mushroom, boosts skin brightening and hydration; while  Hexylresorcinol addresses pigmentation marks post breakouts. “Research has shown that the effects of Hexylresorcinol can be amplified when used in combination with Niacinamide. When combined they work to brighten hyperpigmentation more effectively than if used individually.”

How to use the Dermalogica Active Clearing System

Active Clearing AGE Bright Clearing Serum and AGE Bright Spot Fader can be used to fight the occasional breakout out or help with prolonged skin conditions says Hobson. For those with more persistent and prolonged acne breakouts the system of products are used in a skin health program on a daily basis until the condition improves whereby the products are then modified, some replaced to then work with the improved skin condition,” she explains. “For those with more occasional breakouts that may only appear a certain time of the month, a few select products are recommended to use to reduce the incidence of breakouts as well as treat the spots that are currently on the skin and are worked into someone’s normal skin care routine.”

Active Clearing AGE Bright Clearing Serum and AGE Bright Spot Fader are available now. Visit to find your nearest Dermalogica stockist.

Now that you’ve banished your imperfections, click here to find out how to keep your skin radiant right around the clock.