L’Occitane Immortelle Precious Serum ($70, amazon.com) is a blend of ingredients that promise to reduce wrinkles, smooth skin, and leave the users complexion brighter. With immortelle, a patented ingredient, the serum with its graceful navy bottle and floral scent feels very sophisticated.
This ingredient name is almost too good to be true: immortelle, like “immortal,” it implies an agelessness, eternal youth. L’Occitane even explains that the flower doesn’t fade even after picking. But not so fast, while immortelle — the extract of a flower known as Helichrysum italicum — is very promising, there are few tests that have been done to back up L’Occitane’s claims, aside from the company’s own research results.
L’Occitane found a six-fold increase in collagen production and was an excellent free-radical scavenger (L’Occitane Patent). While there are studies have been done to demonstrate the antioxidant powers of this flower — including one done on rat livers (Pharmacological Research) and this review, that explained that it had antioxidant activity and was not cytotoxic (Essential Oils Review), there have been fewer done on collagen boosting and wrinkle reduction.
Studies using various models of experimentation have, however, shown that Helichyrsum italicum works as an anti-inflammatory in addition to an antioxidant (Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmacology). It also has antimicrobial properties that have been shown to inhibit Staphylococcus aureus (International Journal of Antimicrobial Agents).
L’Occitane’s own research, written on the side of the bottle, says this that 72% of women had lifted skin, 85% had smooth skin, and 81% felt more beautiful after seven days. Within four weeks, 74% of women felt wrinkles were less apparent and 87% felt that their skin firmness seemed restored. Hopefully more studies in the future can back up what L’Occitane has found.
Found in Morocco, this oil is known for it’s excellent emollient properties and three times the Vitamin E of olive oil. Full of linoleic acid, which has medium-to-long-chain hydrocarbons, argan oil has the properties of a great emollient (Skin Therapy Letters). It also helps to protect skin from UV-rays, by absorbing, rather than reflecting them (Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry).
Sunflower Seed Oil
Sunflower seed oil also has linoleic acid, which is incorporated into skin lipids and helping to prevent water loss from hair (British Journal of Dermatology). Also like argan oil, it’s chock full of Vitamin E (Chemistry and Materials Science). Because of its antibacterial properties, sunflower oil has been found to reduce infections with daily usage (The Pediatric Infectious Disease Journal).
Personal Use and Opinion
L’Occitane Immortelle Precious Serum has a very potent scent — it’s a floral perfume smell of grand olfactory proportions. That’s not to say it’s not good. Those who enjoy flowers will undoubtedly love feeling they get using this product; however, those who are affected by strong scents, test this out before use, because this stuff is powerful.
Perfume scent aside, the serum absorbs into skin quickly, leaving behind no stickiness or residue. This makes it very easy to layer under other products, such as moisturizer. It does, however, maintain its scent somewhat.
After using the serum, my skin felt smoother and brighter. I can’t speak for wrinkles, but the super hydrating formula definitely made my skin look better.
L’Occtane Immortelle Precious Serum gets it preciousness from immortelle, a kind of flower that’s said to have great longevity. But just because you put someone on your skin doesn’t mean your skin becomes endowed with its properties, and while immortelle is promising for many reasons, there aren’t very many studies on its efficacy as an anti-aging ingredient. Still, with immortelle’s other admirable qualities, like anti-inflammatory properties and antioxidants, plus argan oil and sun flower seed oil, it’s sure to benefit the skin. Of course, if you’re sensitive to smell, you’re better off finding another serum.
Product Rating: 8/10
- High or optimized concentration of proven effective ingredients: 2.5/3
- Unique formulation or new technology: 3/3
- Value: 2.5/3
- SPF: 0/1