The latest skin care innovation to come from CHANEL is for women who wish to preserve and develop their beauty while remaining true to themselves. CHANEL drew inspiration to create the BLUE SERUM from atypical locations, called blue zones, characterized by remarkable ecosystems and populations with exceptional longevity due to their maintaining healthy lifestyles.




Chanel’s research team has brought to light four mechanisms essential to longevity: cellular energy (comparable to daily physical exercise), cellular metabolism, (just as important as a balanced diet), adaptation to cellular stress (essential in facing the onslaught of stress brought on by daily life), and intercellular communication (essential to the skin’s wellness). In keeping with their storied expertise, the Chanel’s research team combined the power of nature (the green coffee of Costa Rica, the olives of Sardinia and the lentisk evergreens of Greece) with avant-garde technologies to create pure, powerful active ingredients.




To demystify CHANEL’s latest innovation, Nicola Fuzzati, Active Ingredients Research Director, and Christian Mahé, Senior Vice President, Research Beauty and Innovation, answered some questions about the Blue Serum.


How does CHANEL Research approach skin aging? Why talk about longevity today?

Christian Mahe. CHANEL Research was one of the first cosmetic centers to create a human sciences division and to develop a holistic approach to beauty. This approach gave a new direction to the studies that we carry out on aging and led us to focus on longevity. We do not define longevity by the ability to live longer, but rather by the ability to age better. Longevity is therefore a logical extension of this thought process by CHANEL Research, a move from anti-aging to a voluntary, pro-active initiative encouraging women to take care of themselves.


How does BLUE SERUM allow women to play a role in their longevity?

Christian Mahe. Longevity is a life process and this life process has different facets: a physical facet, a social facet, a nutritional facet and a facet linked to skin. BLUE SERUM is part of the approach to longevity, because item powers women when it comes to their beauty of course, it is backed by CHANEL Research all the know-how in terms of skin aging, acquired over many years.


How did BLUE SERUM come about?

Christian Mahe. BLUE SERUM is the illustration of a specific approach that we initiated at CHANEL i n 2006. It is an integrative strategy that includes three major sectors biology, human sciences and technology in terms of technology, this notably involves the active ingredients, raw materials and formulation. So, we integrate data from very diverse fields in order to respond to the complexity of beauty factors and offer the most adapted solutions. In this context, we travelled to Okinawa in Japan in 2013 for research. During our time there, we discovered the singular environment of Okinawa, where there is a high concentration of centenarians who live healthy lives in an isolated area. Fascinated by this phenomenon, which exists in four regions in the world, called blue zones, we tried to find out more about the lifestyle of this population, and read expert studies in many scientific publications about these regions all over the world.

What did you learn from these blue zones?

Christian Mahe. These centenarians live in very particular conditions and it’s easy to identify them because they are isolated on a geographic and genetic level. In these areas, they pay special attention to their diet, they know how to manage their stress, they exercise regularly and there is a constant intergenerational social bond.

Is the proximity of the sea an important factor for these zones?

Nicola Fuzzati. Blue zones are not always located on the coast, even though in Sardinia, Greece and Japan, they are on an island and in Costa Rica on a peninsula. However, all of these zones have a hilly landscape, requiring the inhabitants to exercise regularly as it takes more of an effort for them to walk in this area than in a flat region.

How did you cross-reference this information with what you know about skin?

Christian Mahe. The first scientific publication about the blue zones dates from 2002. In 2007, CHANEL began an unprecedented study of 524 women. We cross-referenced our results with a bibliographical study carried out on 801 healthy centenarians, which allowed us to pinpoint the similarities between the biological mechanisms involved in longevity and those of lastingly youthful skin.

What were these similarities?

Christian Mahe. We already knew that physical exercise, a healthy diet, stress management and a social bond were important in order to age well. Our studies allowed us to establish a parallel between the cellular communication observed in skin cells and the act of not living in an isolated manner, but rather in a social group.  For a healthy life, physical exercise is essential and it requires energy, just as a cell needs energy to function properly. This is why we have to take special care of the mitochondrion, the mini “power plant” inside each cell. The same can be said of nutrition. These populations have a healthy, balanced diet and we were able to make a parallel with the importance of a good cellular metabolism. As for the need to manage stress on a daily basis. We made the link with the key role played by antioxidants.



How did you select these ingredients?

Christian Mahe: It made sense to us to start by listing the ingredients eaten in these blue zones and to examine them with the scientific data that we possessed about them on a medical, dietary and dermatological level.

Nicola Fuzzati: We concentrated on plants already recognized by the scientific community for their health benefits. Based on our knowledge of phytochemistry, we selected three ingredients capable of acting in synergy on our four pre-defined targets.


For each of the raw materials, olive tree, green coffee and lentisk, you selected specific extraction methods instead of simply using already existing extracts. Why?

Nicola Fuzzati: While many cosmetics use olive oil in their formulas, BLUE SERUM features an absolutely unique olive tree extract. We knew that the olive tree leaf, long recognized by the pharmacopoeia, contained hydrophilic antioxidants (including polyphenols). Yet, they only exist in infinitesimal amounts in olive oil derived from cold-pressed olives. Our idea was to come up with an extraction method able to combine the antioxidant power of these leaves with the rich Omega–3, -6 and –9 content of the oil. We used a patented French technique called oleo-eco extraction. The olive oil serves as a solvent in this extraction technique. The cryopreservation of the leaves, as well as the use of microwaves and ultrasounds, makes it possible to insert polyphenol-rich micro-droplets in the oil. Everything comes from nature, but nature is reinvented.


And what about green coffee?

Nicola Fuzzati: We are familiar with the properties of green coffee. It is rich in diterpenes, which are lipophilic molecules. So, we began with a first pressing of the green coffee beans to obtain the 011. Then, we used Polyfractioning to extract the active ingredients that interested us from this oil.


Why did you obtain lentisk from Greece, when it exists in France?

Nicola Fuzzati: Lentisk (mastic) has been used for thousands of years as a food and medicine in many regions of the world. But the tree that produces a gum is found in Greece. We use an extraction process with supercritical C02 gas. This is the first time that anyone has applied this extraction method to lentisk gum. A real green chemistryprocess, the advantage of this type of extraction is that it makes it possible to extract the active ingredient of the gum without causing any pollution.


How did you formulate the texture?

Christian Mahe: First of all, in order to guide the work of our formulators, the laboratory dedicated to sensory evaluation at CHANEL Research surveyed women about the texture they look for in a serum. The conclusion was that women wanted a rapidly absorbed and almost evanescent texture. Furthermore, since 2009, CHANEL Research has possessed a department devoted to the study of emotions. Its objective is to use scientific methods to evaluate the emotions perceived by women upon applying a product. In this way, we tested the BLUE SERUM formula in France, the United States and Asia. We observed that it was perfectly in line with the hedonistic desires of women and that it stimulated positive emotions on application.


How do you measure the compatibility of this formula, designed as the first step of a daily skincare ritual, with other creams that are applied?

Christian Mahe: As with all of our formulas, we carried out compatibility tests between this serum and all of our existing formulas, including our foundations. This serum can be used on its own or before any cream, as the first step of a woman’s usual skincare routine.