Some time last quarter of 2015, we had the pleasure to be invited to L'Occitane and Melvita luncheon (here) and were introduced to their new addition to the L'Occitane Divine anti-ageing face care collection created in 2009, the 28 Day Divine Renewal Program, a skin detox regime that harnesses the power of the rare yellow flower, Immortelle, harvested from Corsica, and specially created to work in tune with skin's natural renewal cycle. We were immediately intrigued by that whole notion and concept, one that embraces natural approach to achieving beautiful, renewed and youthful skin, one that L'Occitane as a French brand is extremely proud of, and one we have come to appreciate.
Known as Helichrysum in Latin, which means "golden sun", this golden bright yellow hue flowers called Immortelle really pack a punch when it comes to its renewal power to the skin. Immortelle is known for its 'eternal life' property as the flowers never fade or wilt, even after they are picked. This type of rare flowers can be found growing in full glory in the Balagne region, which is also known as 'The Garden of Corsica'. Since its anti-ageing benefits have been discovered, they are harvested quite extensively (though it is good to help clean up the maquis and reduces wild fire) but not in a sustainable manner.
So, in order to guarantee the highest quality and traceability of these golden blooms, L'Occitane has invested in the very first large-scale, sustainable and organic Immortelle plantation program in Corsica. In 2004, a 50-hectare plantation was set up, involving six growers/distillers in the Balagne region and Eastern Corsica. Thanks to the brand, we are ensured that we will continuously be able to enjoy the goodness of this flowers have to offer.
The 28-Day Divine Renewal Program
According to Jean-Louis Pierrisnard, L'Occitane Scientific Director, the cells of our skin's epidermis have the ability to renew themselves, and a full cycle takes 28 days. However, when the skin is exposed to stress and harsh environmental elements, the natural renewal process is disrupted, causing damage to the skin's barrier and contributing to the acceleration of skin ageing. This is where the Divine Renewal comes in. Housed in a beautiful yellow box, one would discover that it comes with 7 small strips each (of rows of 4 in total) of golden looking single use oil stored in mini vials upon opening. They are nicely and clearly labeled according to the week of usage, so you would not get it wrong. If ever by any chance they got mixed up, each vial has its numbering as well.
To use, simply break off one vial, fold down the top, which has a line or marking, fold it back and forth once or twice, it will make it easier to break the seal. Do be careful to be gentle or the oil may splash a little. All one needs to do is pour the oil onto palm and apply. Note that the amount of oil can be quite a lot, we found that it is best to pour half of the vial first, work one round onto the face, neck and even décolletage. Let the first round of oil work its wonders and absorb into the skin more before you apply the remaining portion of the oil. That would be best, we feel.
This is a program which requires one to follow and should not miss a day. It is also more of an "overhaul" kind of regime for the skin, so it is preferably to be used once or twice a year only (or during the interchange of seasons). When one starts the program, this should be used only at night and alone by itself.
This first week of oil is to help the skin to rid itself of pore-clogging dead cells. This Pistachio lentiscus essential oil encourages skin's natural shedding process without irritating or aggravating it. We find that oil has a pretty runny texture and smells of grass, in some ways. We do love the consistency of it. Once we got used to the amount of how much the oil was for one time use, we have come to love it.
Hydration & Nutrition
Week 2 set in and we happily continued using the oil. It is supposed to help strengthen new cells. A blend of 4 plant oils, combined with Cistus essential oil helps to nourish and moisture the skin. This week's oil was not as grassy in smell, it is also a little less runny, felt more like facial oil and has a pleasant smell to it, which we like. One thing very strange happened by the 3rd day into our usage though, we noticed around the corner of our nose, the skin had a little peeling. It looked like dry skin being shed a little, which have never happened before in our lives. We wondered if this is the after effect from Week 1, which was the purging process of the skin, or was it that our skin was truly too de-hydrated? But that only lasted a day though. The following night, we noticed the small little dry patch got improved and by the next night, it was no longer visible. We were glad, to be honest *_^
This week's oil is to contribute to skin's wellbeing and prepare it for the final step. Myrtle and Rosemary essential oils act in harmony to rebalance skin and promote its wellbeing. By now, even though into the 3rd week of using ONLY oil at night, every night without fail, we have come to get used to it, and so was our skin. It felt rested, moist and comfortable to the touch.
We have finally reached the last week of the renewal program. We were super excited. At this stage, the oil is supposed to give radiance and plumpness to the skin. Carrot, Cypress and Immortelle essential oils work tirelessly to prevent signs of ageing. It did make us feel that way though. By this time, our skin felt like it has gone through a full cycle of detoxification. Skin is more supple, rested, its radiance restored, in a certain ways, and feels less stressful, in many ways.
1 ton of Immortelle flowers distilled can only yield 2 litres of essential oils (compared to 1 ton of Lavender can produces 8 litres of essential oil) and the flowers are handpicked in the morning and distilled the same day in the evening to preserves their wonderful properties. 1 hectare of land produces 4 tons of Immortelle flowers which in turn yields 8 kilos of essential oil.
Overall, even though there is so much oil to go through in the 28 days, we do enjoy the whole process. Some may find it pretty daunting or will take some time to get used to using just oil instead of your usual serums or creams in moisturizers. It is most definitely a program that is worth looking into if you find that your skin lacks the radiance, elasticity or hydration that make up a youthful looking appearance, in general. A new year, a new beginning, even for your skin, perhaps?
Thanks L'Occitane Malaysia for the love and the opportunity given to us to try out this program, a part of the bigger Divine collection which also includes their new Divine Cream Mask, among others. The Immortelle 28-Day Divine Renew Program is retailed at MYR588. Here to discover more of this program and the rest of the Divine collection here. You can also check out this video above to learn how to properly apply the oil to reap the best benefit out of them, as each week has different application method to it *_^
We shall share our experience using the Melvita Nectar Supreme range, which can be seen here, soon. Till then, have a luminously beautiful new week ahead, lovelies!