Celebrity watchers claim that Glenn Close props up her Scandinavian cheekbones with the help of Botox. Of course, I’m far too busy listening to NPR to pay any attention to this kind of thing, but I did find myself sitting up and taking note when I saw that Glenn Close’s beauty secret is daily facial exercises.

This theory is based on a photograph of her apparently gurning in between takes on the set of Albert Nobbs. Gurning is a kind of extreme facial muscle stretching (and, believe it or not, a competitive “sport” for old men with no teeth in the North of England). Facial exercises are equally daft, in my opinion (and experience – I spent months and months trying them a few years ago).

My facial exercise guru of choice was Carole Maggio with a routine called Facercise. As well as looking stupid, they don’t really work and some experts claim that extreme muscle manipulation makes matters – specifically wrinkles – worse.

I preferred to think of the elegant and dignified Ms. Close with a more conventional regimen – slapping on some potions and lotions for example. I then read that she uses Chanel Sublimage La Crème Texture Supreme. Of course she does. After all, at $390, it’s in the Hollywood superstar price bracket. And it is as pared down as the austere beauty of Ms. Close, with only one active ingredient responsible for, as Chanel puts it, boosting a woman’s beauty and self-confidence.

Now, I bet you are dying to know what it is. I can reveal that it is vanilla. Yes, really. Although Chanel’s copywriters have dressed it up as “Vanilla Planifolia – a rare botanical found in the farthest reaches of Madagascar.” I’ve written about it in the past in relation to another high priced potion in the Chanel Sublimage range.

Apparently vanilla was selected by Chanel's scientists for its rich supply of polyketones. According to Wikipedia, polyketones are thermoplastic polymers (translation: plastic). I could not find any literature linking polyketones derived from botanical sources to skin rejuvenation (or any other skincare product), except of course, in articles about Chanel.

Vanilla extract does have its merits though. A study claims to “conclusively... demonstrate” that natural vanilla extract, the kind typically used as a flavorant “possesses antioxidant activity.”

Since, vanilla is worth adding to your beauty regimen, you will be most relieved to know that you can find it in products considerably less painful on the purse than Glenn Close’s favored cream. For example, check out Kate Hudson favorite 100% Pure Organic Coffee Bean Caffeine Eye Cream ($19),  Devita Shea Butter Brulee ($23.95), Me & The Girls Moon Beauty Serum ($38 in the shop), 100% Pure Sun Damage Corrective Cream ($35 in the shop), Tilvee’s Argan & Sea Buckthorn Age Defying Serum ($35 in the shop) and Pomega5 Healing Cream ($85).