• The new active toners?


    Granions. I can already hear you moaning: what the hell are those? And most importantly, why should I put it on my face? I had the same questions.

    I’ve read snippets about granions on various sites but never payed too much attention to it and didn’t investigate further. That changed when I found out about french makeup artist and Estée Lauder global beauty director Violette on Into The Gloss. She has amazing skin and a great makeup ethos of enhancing what you’ve got and being creative and more intuitive.  Researching her, I came across her nighttime skincare routine (you can watch it here). She follows the advice of renowned french facialist – Joëlle Ciocco – whom she calls “skin’s Dr. House” (amongst her clients are Catherine Deneuve, Carine Roitfeld, Monica Belluci and Laeticia Casta). Enough said, I had to try this for myself.

    Granions are actually a brand name of oral solutions made from trace elements. It is based around oligotherapy, a natural therapy that uses the ingestion of trace elements to improve general health, balance the body and remedy deficiencies. For example, it helps compensate for a lack of certain trace elements that we don’t always get from our diet- as we should- due to soil depletion. So, they are usually ingested and used as a form of supplement. Their range of benefits is quite wide depending on the trace element (or combination of) that you choose: gut and skin health improvement, detoxification, antioxidant effect, sleep promotion, combating fatigue…

    I didn’t find much on their topical use. However, I know that trace elements can be found in a lot of skincare products such as the Oligo range from Anne Semonin (she even has a Firming trace elements intensive complex). There’s also the Serozinc spray from La Roche-Posay which uses zinc for its cleansing and soothing properties. Generally, their topical use is balancing and has an antioxydant and anti-inflammatory effect (good for soothing irritated skin).

    To be quite honest, that’s about how much I knew when I decided to try them. As you’ve probably gathered, it’s actually hard to find more information on the use of Granions as skincare because that’s not their intended purpose. However, looking at the benefits of each specific trace element can help you choose the right one for your skin. At any rate, I ordered the ones Violette uses from my local french pharmacy (granted, it was a bit of blind trust).

    I’ve been using Granions in my skincare routine for about two months now, alternating between Selenium, Manganese and gold. To release the solution, you just have to break both ends of the vial. It’s really watery. I apply it with my hands after my hydrating toner at night. I give it a minute (a few seconds really) to absorb and follow through with my serum and oil. I use them as I would an active toner.

    So far, I’ve found that they make my skin more balanced (with less irritations and breakouts). They seem to boost the skin barrier function. It’s difficult to tell the difference between the three but if I had to, I’d say that selenium is calming and balancing, manganese soothing and gold purifying and healing.

    I would love to find a more detailed guide for the topical use of all of the different elements. I believe they should be adapted according to your skin’s particular needs of the moment, and maybe, used as a seasonal treatment. I like their effect on my skin and they are a great, inexpensive find. So, I’ll keep them in my routine!


    1. November 1, 2017 / 3:10 pm

      Love this. I, too, ordered the Granions based on Violette recommendations! I had a tremendous allergic reaction to retinol over the summer that left my skin burning, itching, and bumpy for months (even after I stopped using it). I begged Isabelle Bellis’ assistant to fit me in for a facial (a disciple of Joelle’s) if she had any cancellations and she used Zinc and Manganese on me. It soothed the relentless burn in seconds when she applied it. It’s only been a week of using the Zinc (plus pure jojoba oil) she gave me and it already looks like the miracle I’ve been searching for. Manganese and Selenium are shipping from France at this very moment, and I hope it gets here soon! I will be begging my British boyfriend to go to France with me next year when we visit England in January, if for no other reason than to spend a full day in French pharma territory! So happy to have stumbled upon your blog.

      • Gayush
        November 1, 2017 / 4:58 pm

        Sounds like I need to try the Zinc one now! Gold is great for healing my skin (especially breakouts). If you can come to France during the pre-christmas period, you’ll find amazing deals at french pharmacies, especially with the gift sets (I’ve just bought one from Caudalie with their full size body scrub and body butter for 24 euros!). I love Isabelle Bellis too. Did you know that she made great videos for Into the Gloss about cleansing and moisturizing the face? They are very instructive. Glad you’re enjoying the blog!

    2. Khadeja Ibrahim
      November 22, 2018 / 7:25 pm

      Just came across this post! Really want to try out these toners but it seems that they do not ship to the US. 🙁
      Would you happen to know if any American retailers have them?

      • Gayush
        November 25, 2018 / 1:29 pm

        Hi! I just did a bit of research and couldn’t seem to find american retailers for Granions. However, I came upon a few sites that do ship them to the US: Mon coin santé, Soin et nature and Pharmashop discount. Hope you can get your hands on these, they are truly great! X

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