This Luxurious Cream from Chanel Is the Perfect Summer Moisturiser

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Chanel Hydra Beauty Camellia Water CreamPhotography by Daisy Walker, Set Design by Phoebe Shakespeare

White camellia extract and blue ginger make for protective and powerfully plumping skincare components, but naturally, Chanel understands that more elusive ingredient: Parisian luxury

From the niche new beauty brands doing something different, to the industry’s evergreen icons, Sophie Bew opens up AnOther’s dream vanity in a new series...

  1. Who should use it? Anyone in need of a little Parisian luxury first thing in the morning.
  2. How long until I love it? As soon as you’ve applied.
  3. How planet-friendly is it? Short answer please! Chanel invests in Finnish start-up Sulapac who devised a biodegradable, micro-plastic material made from FSC-certified wood chips – it has the durability of plastic sans the environmental downsides.
  4. How do I use it? Like your regular moisturiser: 3 pumps and a sweep.

Self-care is so often a state of mind. Just about any sheet mask, no matter its price tag, will bestow its user with an instant glow, a look and feel of improved zen and thus at least some sense of satisfaction. But I’m a believer that 50 per cent of the reward stems from the actual time taken to apply, pat, and lovingly stroke your skin – it’s a hyaluronic-boosted affirmation of your own worth. There are other factors like this: both packaging and scent have a similar, psychological effect on the way we feel when we use a skincare product, upping its mood-enhancing, stress-busting properties and therefore no doubt improving the appearance of our reflection, whether it’s imagined or not. 

The skincare stalwart Chanel ticks all of these boxes, not least with its new Hydra Beauty Camellia Water Cream. First of all, there’s the French maison’s distinctly chic, glossy black and white receptacle. Then of course there’s its scent, which more resembles its renowned perfume counter than the Wholefoods beauty aisle – not one for the fragrance-free faint-hearted. It’s a luxury Parisian affair, channeling its own house codes – just as the fashion branch always has – that remains entirely untainted by trends while keeping one foot in the contemporary beauty world. This particular cream harnesses the power of Mademoiselle Gabrielle’s favourite blossom, the camellia – the same ornamental flower which graces the boutique’s paper bags, signature tweed jackets, many a sandal and countless ultra-fine jewels.    

In a swift pump of the weightless lotion, I can’t help but conjure the image of the camellia’s supple, silky petals – dew-covered preferably – which I imagine that my skin will soon resemble. Here, Camellia Alba PFA, a white camellia extract, is combined with a hyaluronic acid derivative to help me down that path. But it’s not just hydrating: Blue Ginger PFA, a powerful antioxidant extracted from ginger, helps protect skin from free radicals and reinforce skin’s natural defense system on a daily basis – a key concern in the industry today, one of those it’s hard to determine the results of (unless you’re one of those lunatics who try products on just one side of their face) but feel like you almost certainly need to take into account. It’s not life-changing: it’s a perfect summer moisturiser – lighter than I’d use when in need of serious skin drenching but with presence enough to impart visibly dewy, plumping properties. Sometimes you can’t be exactly sure what a skincare product does – part of the work is done in your head after all – but you can be sure you like whatever it is.