On paper, L’Elixir du Marabout by Garancia has everything I need.
A 2-in-1 treatment for both acne and anti-ageing, the composition is not bad at all with a lot of natural ingredients, the fact that it’s a French pharmacy product, so not too difficult for me to find (well, not really in Dubai, but I can find it easily when I’m in France on holiday or I can also use my good old Shop and Ship), all this was so tempting!
But I must admit that I had to ignore the very bizarre brand marketing. This “magic and witchcraft” universe is kind of a “hit-or-miss” situation. And for me, it has always put me off the brand. Not because of the universe itself, I have nothing against owls or witches, but because it doesn’t seem very serious for a cosmetic brand.
6 things you should know about Garancia
1. Saveria Coste, the founder of the brand Garancia, is a pharmacist but also a graduate of the HEC School, the most famous French business school.
2. The name of the brand is inspired by the madder root (in French: Garance), also called the red of dyers, a natural dye. It was used in particular for dyeing fabrics; the madder was used to obtain a beautiful red color. The uniforms of the French army have used it a lot until World War II (until they understood that red was maybe a little too conspicuous; kaki is a little more discreet for camouflage in most battlefields). It's also a nod to the founder of Garancia for her daughter Garance.
3. The very special universe of Garancia that mixes magic and witchcraft, is inspired by Saveria Coste's childhood imagination, who sees herself as an alchemist and imagines her product formulas like magical potions.
4. The first product launched by Garancia was the Pschitt Magique, an enzymatic exfoliating foaming cleanser, which can be used daily because it's very gentle. It's without grains or glycolic acid. It's always a best-seller of the brand and it will turn 10 this year.
5. The incredible success of Garancia interested Sephora France they referenced the brand two years after its launch without an exclusivity clause, which is very rare for a niche brand.
6. Garancia is distributed in 16 countries around the world: Europe, Singapore, and also in the Middle East (but not in Dubai unfortunatelysad ).
When I heard for the first time of the Pschiit Magique, Garancia’s first product 10 years ago (I was working in a pharmacy at the time), I wondered WTF it was. Yes, a product called “magic” always makes me super doubtful.
And then very quickly, the product became a bestseller and literally every customer who tried it, would rave about it. Believe me, it was so difficult for me to take the customers away from the brand (I was working for a competitor’s brand).
The brand continued to release products with the strangest names: Abracadabaume, (Abaracadabrabalm), Larmes de fantôme (Phantom tears)… but also to deliberately use very unusual cosmetic ingredients like snake venom or dragon’s blood.
And it was a massive hit! Garancia has been so successful with its products that they leave no one indifferent. Because it’s not (only) magic formulas, the quality is also there! wink
Word of mouth worked really well for Garancia and despite its UFO image and its apple green, red or black packaging, which clashes so much with the traditional pharmacy white (it’s a good strategy to get noticed), the brand has managed to become a real commercial success…
A few months ago when I went to France for my holidays my dear French pharmacies that I miss so much here were easily accessible. I started looking in pharmacies for a product that could finally overcome my imperfections / acne (yes, I’ve got high hopes smile ) but also have an anti-ageing effect, for that matter.
Elixir du Marabout was often featured in beauty blogs, but also was frequently mentioned in discussions on beauty forums.
The reviews on this product were generally rather good and I confess that even though I was not attracted by it’s ‘universe’, the Garancia brand intrigued me.
So I decided to give it a chance and see if this product really has magical powers on my skin! wink
L’Elixir du Marabout by Garancia, presentation:
What the brand says about it:
Through stress, pollution and hormonal cycles the skin can become prone to blemishes such as little spots and enlarged pores, and it can suffer from excess sebum. For this reason Laboratoire Garancia has developed L’Elixir du Marabout®, a beauty serum that helps purify your skin without drying it out or depriving it of anti-ageing action.
When clinically tested under dermatological control, L’Elixir du Marabout® helps purify the skin by up to 24% on average and up to 42% in just 10 days (average taken from the best third out of 22 participants – 2 applications per day). 91% of participants tested noted an improvement within 10 days. 95% of participants tested decided they wanted to buy the product at the end of the test.
The action of the Elixir du Marabout is very focused on skin cell regeneration, which allows it to work both as:
– an acne treatment: the exfoliating ingredients help to remove dead skin cells that clog pores but also facilitate the healing of the skin,
– an anti-age action: a regenerated skin is a skin that looks younger.
L’Elixir du Marabout by Garancia, my test and thoughts:
Remember, I am 36 (not for long though lol), I have a rather oily dehydrated skin, with dilated pores that get clogged easily and a persistent hormonal acne, since I stopped my birth control pill about 18 months ago.
I don’t have a lot of wrinkles yet but I tend to have a tired skin, especially when I don’t sleep enough. I don’t really have a lack of firmness, and not too much hyper-pigmentation (= spots due to the sun) if I protect my skin well enough (and I protect it every day with a high SPF since I live in Dubai).
So I was looking for a product that can both:
– help me fight against my acne tendency,
– and regulate my oily skin.
But also something suitable for my age that would help the skin:
– to be protected,
– and which helps it to regenerate, so it looks less tired.
Here’s my 2 cents about L’Elixir du Marabout by Garancia:
This is a glass bottle with a pipette, which is a very vintage look, like an old vial of a pharmacist or an alchemist, to stay in the theme of the brand! wink
I am quite a fan of the pipette, which I find convenient to deliver the right amount of product (4-5 drops).
However, I still don’t understand why the brand had to put a graduation system on the label that covers the bottle because this same label prevents you from seeing how much product remains in the bottle. Totally useless! :/
It’s a watery solution, very fluid and penetrates very quickly into the skin. It has an immediate tightening/ lifting effect when you apply it.
A very botanical scent rather nice and not overpowering at all.
Personally, I like it. Although I see in the composition that there is some kind of synthetic perfume added, I feel like I’m smelling the ingredients with this perfume. And I prefer that to the very artificial scents of some of the other skincare products.
Here is the full list of ingredients:
AQUA (WATER/EAU)*, LACTOBACILLUS / PUNICA GRANATUM FRUIT FERMENT EXTRACT*, BUTYLENE GLYCOL, MALTODEXTRIN*, POLYSORBATE 20*, SODIUM DEXTRAN SULFFATE, GLYCERIN*, POPULUS TREMULOIDES BARK EXTRACT*, SYRINGA VULGARIS (LILAC) LEAF CELL CULTURE EXTRACT*, ARRABIDAEA CHICA LEAF EXTRACT*, DIMETHYLMETHOXY CHROMANOL, ACETYL DIPEPTIDE-3 AMINOHEXANOATE, PARFUM (FRAGRANCE), XANTHAN GUM*, PHENETHYL ALCOHOL, TOCOPHEROL, ETHYLHEXYLGLYCERIN
FYI, it’s formulated without parabens, phenoxyethanol, oils, silicone, it is also non-comedogenic (how fortunate!) and dermatologically tested.
A rather clean composition, 92% natural, with purifying and anti-age ingredients.
The ingredients that the brand highlight are:
- – a stem cell extract from Lilac (which contains Verbascoside): anti-seborrheic, detoxifying, purifying,
– a patented peptide: stimulates the natural antimicrobial defenses of the skin,
– Peps’kin®: antioxidant,
– an extract of fermented filtrate Granada: soft cell regeneration,
– an extract of beetroot: calming,
– an extract of Poplar: anti-bacterial,
– an extract of Crajiru leaves: antioxidant.
I was afraid the product would be a little aggressive (because the name freaked me out, I guess), or itchy (OK, I was afraid that my skin would start to melt, I admit lol) but in fact not at all.
The only thing you feel after the application is a smooth, and even soothed skin. Not bad at all! smile
I put about 5 drops of the product in my hand, and I then I apply it on my skin with gentle pressure and smoothing gestures over the face and the neck. I apply it morning and night before my day or night cream.
When you have a stubborn pimple, the brand recommends massaging one drop of product directly on the zit for about ten seconds.
I honestly didn’t see a huge difference with this technique, it doesn’t really make my acne disappear faster. However, the healing process was a little faster which is something at least! wink
I followed the treatment for 10 weeks (2 bottles) and the result was pretty good at the beginning, during the first 10 days.
I had less pimples the first few days and my skin also felt more radiant. And then there was additional lifting effect after applying the product, as well as smoothing the skin, which is great.
However, past these 10 days (the brand advertises a lot about the first 10 days in its communication, which I find a bit odd because it takes at least one good month for a product to actually change something on your skin), I didn’t find the results amazing on my acne.
The pimples were still there, with their good friends the blackheads. I saw a small improvement, but no major in depth changes, and I was quite hoping a little more from that product. sad
But I must admit that I find that the product accelerates the healing of pimples in general, which is cool.
Regarding the anti-ageing action, I don’t really feel that I look younger (lol) but I would say that I have a skin that looks less tired. And frankly, that’s all I was asking for! wink
– Value For Money:
The big cons of this product. It is awfully expensive for the quantity you get!
The 15ml bottle ($40) lasted me 5 weeks max, applying it morning and evening (as recommended).
L’Elixir du Marabout is mostly available in France but also in Europe, in Sephora.
Apparently, it’s also available in the Milddle East, but I have never seen the brand here. I sent an email to Garancia asking for the list of the different countries where the brand is available but they haven’t’ replied yet. I’ll keep you posted a soon as they send me the list! smile
In summary, I think this product is not bad if you do not have a lot of acne but I’m not sure it’s appropriate for me and my stubborn hormonal acne.
On the other hand, I find that its price is too high compared to the time it lasts. $40 per month, that’s not cheap at all!
And you, have you tried l’Elixir du Marabout by Garancia? What are your thoughts? Do you have any recommendation to beat acne and aging signs? I’m still thinking about trying the Sunday Riley range… wink
Photos credits: bonnie-garner.com