“After women, flowers are the most divine creation,” said Christian Dior, who used them to inspire his fabrics and collections. The legacy of Dior’s flower passion may be the reason his couture house is likely the only one with its own gardens—eight flower plots scattered around the world. Today, the rare and exotic varieties grown in these gardens aren’t just for fashion inspiration; they provide the active ingredients for the company’s line of skincare products and can also be found in its fragrances and cosmetics. The extracts from two recently discovered plants, longoza and opilia, harvested in Madagascar and Burkina Faso, respectively, form the basis of Dior’s new skincare product Dreamskin, the natural extracts from longoza added for antiaging benefits; opilia to help correct the skin’s color imperfections.
It’s unusual for a skin product to be both corrector and wrinkle treatment. But antiaging skincare, perennially a white-hot product category, had to evolve from just treating wrinkles—with numerous varieties of injectable fillers, there are many ways to get good, quick results. Recent studies showed consumers wanting products that mitigate aging’s other side effects—uneven texture and pigmentation, for example—as much as they want over-the-counter wrinkle solutions.
BrigidNoé, director of Product Development and Innovation for Dior, says developing a product that improves tone and minimizes wrinkles was no easy task: “Usually formulas must contain a significant amount of powders and pigments for immediate, visible color imperfection results. But those with a lot of pigments don’t always allow for deep absorption.” Noé and her team tried hundreds of combinations, while studying how facial skin absorbs and reflects light. Under the microscope, it appears as a collection of small colored dots.
The reason we all don’t look like pointillist renderings? The epidermal cell structure is unique in how light interacts with it, according to EdouardMauvais-Jarvis, scientific communications director for Dior. Epidermal cells provide a natural optical filter, their diffusive properties helping to even out color and texture. “But aging impacts cells that act as filters,” he adds.
For its new product, Dior scientists sought to mimic how healthy cells filter by adding special mineral powders found in Japan—one with mica platelets, another with silica particles—to the flower extracts. The powders tested well for their light diffusion properties, minimizing redness and other age-related textural imperfections. As importantly, they didn’t prevent the longoza essences from deep absorption. What’s interesting about Dreamskin is how it appears creamy pink (from the color-correcting mineral powders), but applies transparently. It’s designed to be worn during the day, or under makeup. So there’s a clever bit of trompel’oeil at work in this latest wearable magic from Dior. Nordstrom, 55 E. Grand Ave., 312-464-1515