A G+S Review of No.1 De Chanel
Chanel has entered the clean beauty space, here’s what we think
By Jenny Ringland
When we first started Green + Simple we used to talk about our sustainable product magical unicorn, the ultimate discovery on our quest for uncovering what it means to live a sustainable life. It would be an item we loved and adored for its design, functionality and efficacy, for the way it made us feel, for the ritual; and it would happen to be sustainable too.
That was almost five years ago and the landscape has changed more than we could have imagined. Every other week we discover a new brand that measures up to our criteria of doing their best for the planet and for us.
But it’s the global brands we know and (want to) trust which have the power to make the most significant change and nothing makes us happier than when brands we assumed would never innovate change, do just that.
Chanel beauty is one such company. Earlier this year No. 1 De Chanel was launched, an entirely new range of skincare products, with a strong message in sustainability and natural skincare innovation, almost 10 years in the making.
Given the wonder and longing associated with anything the luxury fashion and beauty house creates, by prioritsing a cleaner and more sustainable approach to its product development, it’s started a ripple effect difficult to measure.
In the case of No. 1 De Chanel, from its packaging, to the ingredients, and the plant science, it’s as if the Chanel as we know it has been sustainably streamlined, taking its loyal customers on a much needed journey to a cleaner, more sustainable destination.
Does it all add up?
For starters the weight of the jars and bottles (80 per cent of the product line is packaged in recycled glass) have been reduced by between 30 per cent to 50 per cent, the plastic wrapping normally associated with luxury products has been removed and there is no inner product leaflet. The inks used on the packaging are organic and where possible the use of ink has been replaced with engraving. The hero product, the Revitalizing Cream, is refillable, and the lid is made using seed shells from the camellia used to make the cream.
When it comes to skincare, beauty and anti-ageing, sacrificing on efficacy, results and ritual in the name of sustainability is a genuinely hard sell, for anyone. What’s inside your recycled, recyclable jar of moisturiser, that came to you in a compostable mailer really matters, because if it doesn’t have the desired results, it won’t get used and will sit at the back of the bathroom vanity, and eventually be tossed aside destined for landfill.
No. 1 De Chanel is a formulation that Chanel says is the result of almost a decade in research and development. It comprises 95 per cent plant based ingredients, with the star ingredient the camellia flower, chosen for its skin repairing properties which come from its ability to bloom in even the harshest conditions.
So does it live up to unicorn status, is it bridging the seemingly impossible gap between luxury beauty and sustainability?
With the recent launch of two new products to the range, see here my review:
No. 1 de Chanel Revitalizing Cream
I’m constantly experimenting with products, especially moisturisers as I have yet to find a natural and sustainable one that I truly love. I have dry, sensitive (ageing!) skin and as such am most passionate about the oils and serums I use, I interchange moisturisers to seal it all in. But I could see No.1 slotting into my repertoire more permanently, it’s brilliantly hydrating enough for my skin, and I love that 70 per cent of its ingredients come from the camellia plant.
No. 1 de Chanel Revitalizing Serum-in-Mist
We are really big proponents of multi-tasking skincare here at G+S both for the obvious time saving factor, but also for the potential emissions saving thanks to one set of packaging, transport and product production. So a serum that can be used as part of a daily skincare routine, that can also be used over make-up to revive, especially during our humid Sydney summers is exciting. I’d definitely use this again and keep it in my handbag for an instant refresh on long work days.
No. 1 de chanel Revitalizing Essence Lotion
Rich in red camellia the No. 1 Revitalizing Lotion has a gel-like in texture, it absorbs quickly for instant bounce, leaving the face and neck bouncy and illuminated. I’m not used to a gel based lotion and to begin with I thought it might feel a little sticky, but it gave me a level of glow I have been missing lately, which means I am into it!
No. 1 de Chanel Body Serum-in-Mist
Thanks to afore-mentioned dry skin, I am a lifelong twice daily body moisturiser, to such an extent that in winter when I’m the most dry, I find it hard to keep up with the amount my skin needs. As such the No. 1 Body Serum-in-Mist, which is designed to soften the body skin before moisturiser, has been a revelation in the dry winter months adding the missing hydration link.