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In-depth: a look at the new skincare line from Stella McCartney and LVMH

Lauretta Roberts
31 August 2022

Last week it was confirmed that Stella McCartney and LVMH have created a new skincare line, which as we would expect from this pioneer of cruelty free fashion, offers a new natural path for luxury skincare.

McCartney and LVMH (which invested in Stella McCartney's brand in 2019) have dubbed their new approach to skincare as "Alter-Care" and it's something of an antidote to the multi-step skincare routines that have risen to prominence in recent years. The designer said her approach was to create a line, which has been three years in the making with LVMH's Beauty Division, that delivers only what users need.

The result is a tightly edited three-product range including a cleanser, serum and moisturiser that are all multi-taskers. "The line-up is a culmination of two years’ worth of innovation and exploration with LVMH’s research and development teams,” McCartney says.

“We set out with an idea, and because we didn’t want to compromise – on results, the origin of our ingredients, and, of course, ensuring we minimised our impact on Mother Earth – we kept on trying.

"Constantly evolving and aiming for what I felt was possible: rooted in nature, truly effective and responsible skincare. I believe the consumer needs to know there’s another way, that they have a choice,” she adds.

STELLA has been created to support the skin's regeneration and protection and uses only ingredients that are vegan; its forumulas have been certified by The Vegan Society. It has also been approved by the Cruelty Free International Leaping Bunny Programme.

The range has been devised so that it does not over-stimulate the skin and some 2,000 ingredients were banned from use, including slicones and carbomers due to their negative impact on the environment. To further underscore the line's sustainable credentials, the packaging is all refillable.

Stella McCartney

The line-up

The Reset Cleanser. A 2-in-1 cleanser that promises to melt away makeup and impurities, including pollution particles, from the surface of the skin – while respecting its pH. The gentle formula can be used over the eye area. Contains 99.7% natural ingredients. Price: £50. Refill: £38

The Alter-Care Serum. Amulti-tasking serum said to deliver outstanding clinical results on the face, décolleté and eye contour – replacing the need for an eye cream. Nurturing all skin tones, types and ages, it supports skin’s key functions to visibly improve tone and texture. It deeply nourishes and visibly renews skin while reinforcing the barrier with potent ingredients that are rich in essential nutrients. Contains 99% natural ingredients. Price: £110. Refill: £90

The Restore Cream. A lightweight but restorative moisturiser that delivers care and comfort, while hydrating skin. Daily use is said to help to strengthen the skin’s protective barrier and after a month of use, lines and wrinkles are visibly reduced and elasticity is said to be improved. Price £85. Refill: £70

The formulas

The formulas centre around active, natural-origin extracts to deliver clinically-proven results:

Organic Rock Samphire offers a retinol-like action. It is rich in unsaturated and saturated fatty acids and phytosterols to smooth fine lines and wrinkles.

Biotechnological Lingonberry Extract is a superfood skincare ingredient with polyphenols to help restore an even complexion and support elasticity and visible firmness.

Wild Organic Birch Sap helps to hydrate and restore visible firmness with minerals, sugars, and vitamin C.

Wild Harvested Dulse Algae Extract is rich in polysaccharides and helps to reduce the appearance of dark circles and restore an even skin tone.

Olive Squalane is naturally derived and helps to reinforce the skin’s protective barrier.

Natural-origin Hyaluronic Acid is a renowned hydrator that locks in moisture for smoother, plumper-looking skin. [6]

Cherry Blossom Extract containing polyphenols and glucosides which help to restore even skin while supporting the skin barrier.

The fragrance 

Noted perfumer Francis Kurkdjian created the High Cliff fragrance inspired by the designer's childhood in Scotland. Scent notes: Clove Leaf, Pine Resin, Mentholated Eucalyptus.

“At the very start of the process, I asked myself, what was the cleanest, freshest, purestfeeling moment of my life? And I kept returning to how I felt every time I dove into the loch in the Mull of Kintyre. Whenever I was there, I knew something good was happening… It was probably a challenge, but I wanted Scotland in a bottle. I was honoured that Francis accepted that challenge and created this scent,” says McCartney.

Stella McCartney

The Packaging and other eco-credentials

• Ingredients whose production or extraction process is considered to be polluting have been banned

• Use of virgin materials minimised; packaging is recyclable and refillable

• Maximised sea-freight for transcontinental transportation. By shipping instead of flying products to the US the carbon footprint of STELLA is lowered by over a third

• Removing the use of cotton pads and single-dose samples

• A reusable bottle made from recycled glass

• A reusable pump-kit that includes recycled social plastic ® from Plastic Bank

• An airless pump to ensure every last drop can be used

• Exclusive, super-light and soft refills for Alter-Care Serum and Restore cream

The range is available to buy now online. From September it will also be available to purchase from Space NK.

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