Off of the French coast, there’s a place called Ouessant, and along with it a proverb – “He who sees Ouessant sees his blood”.
This proverb is very familiar to all those who know Ouessant. Dangerous waves and stormy weather, this windswept island is surrounded by reefs and strong currents. One of the stormiest places in the world, Ouessant gets hit with enormous low-pressure systems that swirl eastward across the North Atlantic 6 months out of the year. During the summertime though, these waves and storms are a distant memory. The island is calm, quiet, and peaceful while these storms surrounding the island protects one of the world’s best kept secrets. Our adventure takes us from Paris to Ouessant with one of the most established perfume, cosmetics and skincare houses in the world – Guerlain. Rich in tradition and constantly striving for perfection, Guerlain takes us to the heart and soul of the brand by showing us how they bring beauty to their products while appreciating their clients and respecting the planet.
Ouessant is about 1 and 1/2 hours by ferry. I usually don’t get motion sickness, but this water ride was a different story. Stomach turning and head pounding, I understood immediately what that proverb meant. Even for a calm sunny summer day, the currents were strong and it rocked the ferry.
The secret to this island is about 15 mm long. A unique element of this world’s natural heritage, the black bees of Ouessant are particularly special.
Ouessant island is about 11 miles from the French coast. Due to this distance, there’s a natural barrier that protects it against pollution and diseases. The ecosystem on this island is one of the purest and most biodiverse ecosystems in the world. And it is home to the Apis Mellifera Mellifera, a native species of black bee. These black bees thrive on the island’s natural resources without the need for pesticides or chemicals, making the honey they produce one of the best and purest in the world.
For the last 15 years, Guerlain works in partnership with the Brittany Black Bee Conservatory on Ouessant to protect these black bees and to guarantee sustainable sourcing while seeking the rarest natural ingredients and best honey to formulate their products. Now the question… why honey?
According to Professor Bernard Descottes of the Limoges University Hospital with over 25 years of research, honey helps heal wounds more quickly and even regenerates the skin. Dating back to more than 4000 years, honey is one of the oldest skin-care ingredients. It’s a natural humectant, which means it pulls moisture into the skin thus providing incredible hydration.
Honey also contains antioxidants, antiseptic, and antibacterial properties (it’s very low on the pH scale). Using the purest honey from the Ouessant black bees creates Royal Jelly, which Guerlain uses to develop a skincare regime that is scientifically aimed to minimize the visible signs of aging on the skin.
My trip to Ouessant with Guerlain was eye-opening. I had the rare opportunity to see the native Ouessant black bees up close, to meet the passionate beekeepers, and to learn about Guerlain’s commitment to sustainability. And now the heroes on our vanity tables *drum roll*:
1. Abeille Royale Youth Watery Oil :: Formulated with Guerlain’s Royal Jelly, this face oil is a bridge between an essence and a serum. Combining the strength of a serum, the richness of an oil, and the freshness of a toner, this face oil is light yet powerful. It leaves the skin hydrated, silky, and smooth. It’s a great texture for those who find face oils too heavy and toners too light.
2. Abeille Royale Double R – Renew & Repair Serum :: The power of two serums in one! The Renew formula (the side with the gel base) and the Repair formula (the cream side) works together in tandem to create a soft-peel treatment to promote skin regeneration. And it smells like heaven!!!
3. Abeille Royale Mattifying Day Cream (will be launching later in August!) :: Honestly, this is one of my favorite creams! When you think about ‘mattifying’, the first thing that comes to mind is dull and dry. This cream is the exact opposite. It takes away the shine while leaving your face hydrated with a healthy glow. It’s also an incredible primer! I use it right before applying makeup and it helps minimize my pores and lines.
4. Aqua Allegoria Bergamote Calabria :: Their commitment to sustainability extends to their fragrances. These gorgeous perfume bottles can be personalized and refilled! This particular scent, Bergamot Calabria, is my favorite! I personally love natural bright citrusy scents (versus scents that smell artificial and sweet) and this one with notes of bergamot is unique, uplifting, and fresh. It’s such a great day and summer scent!
5. And last but not least, the Rouge G Customizable Lipsticks :: Taking recycle and reuse to a new level – an incredibly chic level! These Rouge G de Guerlain shades are sold without a case. Instead, customizable lipstick cases are encouraged to be reused once the lipsticks are gone with the goal to reduce waste. The cases have a double-mirror attached inside. The matte colors are not dry or dull, but instead have a soft creamy finish. My favorite nudes are No. 01 Matte, No. 04 Matte, and No. 17 Satin, and favorite summer red is No. 26 Matte.
I hope you enjoyed our travel & skincare photo story! From Bee to Bottle, Guerlain is thoughtful and purposeful every step of the way. Starting next year, they’re launching a digital platform that will trace each ingredient back to the source on each product. A scan code will be attached to each product and we can see an explanation on each ingredient, why Guerlain picked that particular ingredient, where it’s from, the factory where the packaging is made, etc. I truly appreciate Guerlain’s mission in bringing beauty to the products, people, and planet.
As always, thank you so much for reading!