Photography: Vee Chin / Art direction: Sherli Chong

Whether you’re telling a joke, breaking bad news or making a major life decision, timing is everything. And it seems that this rule applies to skincare too, according to Chanel.

That’s why the beauty brand has reformulated its luxurious Sublimage La Creme moisturiser ($546), using a new technology known as Chrono-extraction. This technology involves harvesting extremely potent molecules from a plant at exactly the right moment. 

Image: Chanel

The plant in question? Vanilla planifolia – the star botanical ingredient in the Sublimage range. The first La Creme formulation, launched in 2006, was powered by vanilla planifolia Polyfractioned Active (PFA), a vanilla-fruit active extract packed with anti-ageing molecules. Then in 2011, the brand added an antioxidant-rich extract sourced from vanilla planifolia flowers. 

Now, Chanel’s scientists have figured out the exact moment when potent, fleeting molecules (they disappear within days) are created within the vanilla planifolia – April, right before the vanilla pod ripens. 

Image: Chanel

This is when pickers employed by Chanel at its exclusive open-sky nurseries in north-western Madagascar start the harvest. They detach specially selected pods and pack them carefully into boxes to be shipped directly to Chanel’s Research and Technology Laboratories in Pantin, France – this is done as quickly as possible, to ensure the potent molecules reach the lab in good condition.

Once the pods arrive, their molecules are used to create the latest active ingredient in Sublimage La Creme – Ephemeres de Planifolia. This new ingredient supposedly amps up all the benefits that the previous La Creme offered. On the reformulated cream’s list of promises: firmer, plumper and brighter skin with less visible pores and lines. 

The cream is available in two textures, Texture Fine and Texture Supreme. The latter has a richer consistency and the former, a lighter one that feels more suited to my oily-combination skin. I applied the cream twice daily for a week and saw that the fine lines around my mouth were less noticeable. My complexion appeared brighter and plumper too, just in time for a friend’s wedding. Now, how’s that for great timing? 

This story was originally published in the January 2016 issue of Her World magazine.