There’s something lacking in the lives of women worldwide; something key for health, progress and beauty. Time. So precious has this entity become, it is now more widely considered a luxury. It is exactly this idea that the scientists and beauty experts at Dior have explored in their newest Prestige skincare releases: Le Nectar and La Crème.
Formulated to reverse the effects of environmental aggressors on the skin and improved by the investment of time, these products are pioneers in the luxury skincare game. The hero ingredient in both Le Nectar and Le Crème is the Rose de Granville. First found on the hill of Christian Dior’s childhood home in Granville, the French maison decided to capitalise on its capabilities. “It was kind of a wild rose bush,” explains Edouard Mauvais-Jarvis, Dior’s environmental and scientific communication director. “It was extremely resilient and resistant, almost indestructible. It was wild, so it needed to be tamed in a way. So, we worked with a rose specialist who, by crossbreeding various rose varieties across seven generations, was able to keep the vitality, the resistance and the strength of the original bramble bush but turn it into something that has fewer thorns, more flowers, flourishes twice a year, is more domesticated and easier to understand,” Edouard says.
To call this process, and subsequently the products for which it acts as the base and heart, a labour of love seems somewhat insufficient. The result of 10 years of research, trials, clinical studies and production, the Rose de Granville packs a serious beauty punch. “Rose has been used for centuries for its soothing properties,” says Edouard. “The evidence was there so it was obvious to us that we needed to work with it.”
In addition to breeding a custom rose, Dior also created a patented form of extraction, called dynamic enfleurage. “Our original method of dry-freezing the petals and then grinding them was not allowing us to access all of the petal’s potential, so we added an ultrasound phase whereby the petals were placed in oil and then pulsed with intense ultrasonic waves so that all of the cells and membranes kind of explode and release everything contained within them. When this is done, we can access these precious molecules, extract the ones we want and begin to purify them.” By gaining access to these previously inaccessible molecules, Dior, in partnership with the Université d’Orléans and the French National Centre for Scientific Research, was able to identify eight that were unique to the Rose de Granville and possessed unprecedented regenerative properties.
When purified, these eight molecules produce a rose nectar that is 40 times more concentrated than any other product the brand has created. Its main function is to fight the signs of chronic skin inflammation and ageing, known as inflamm’aging. During their research, the team discovered two key markers of this process: IL-8 and Desmoglein. As the former increases, the latter decreases, leaving skin more susceptible to microinflammation. “The problem with chronic inflammation is that you don’t see any signs,” Edouard explains. “If there was redness or swelling or the presence of something painful, you would know it’s there, but with this, you have destruction that is extremely deleterious because it’s so sneaky.” Both products aim to neutralise this unseen micro-inflammation and prompt cellular regeneration to restore a healthy, plump, petal-like softness to the skin.
This plumpness and new-look skin is further enhanced by the sculpting petal, designed specifically to complement the nectar and créme and gently and non-invasively remodel facial tissue. It’s also designed, Brigitte Noe, Dior’s formulation innovation director, tells us, to encourage women to take time to apply the products properly. Her reasoning is two-pronged: it helps the products to absorb better, plus it’s “a luxurious cream that demands a luxurious amount of time.” She explains, “You have to enjoy it. As a comparison, when you go to a restaurant, you go through the routine of having the starter, the main course and the dessert. It’s a ritual, just like skincare. Women these days want instant results. Of course the inner layers of the skin will take time, but using the nectar or the crème with the petal will produce a noticeable glow immediately. And the more time you put into practicing the ritual of application, the greater the results you will see.”
In a beauty landscape filled with quick fixes and new products created daily, Dior is redefining exceptional standards of skincare... Proof that good things come to those who wait.
Words: Maddison Glendinning. Styling: Nina Ross. Photography: Richard Hall