THE SKIN SHIELD
Estée Lauder Re-Nutriv Re-Creation
From $475 to $1,000
(Exclusively at Holt Renfrew)
The promise: Estée Lauder scientists mined the depths of the Antarctic Ocean to uncover the secrets of skin cell survival with its Re-Nutriv Re-Creation line of day and night regimens. Comprised of a Face Crème and Night Serum, along with an Eye Balm and Night Eye Serum, Lauder’s most luxurious skincare yet uses precious and rare ingredients to act as a ‘virtual shield’ against time to sustain more youthful skin, while the eye treatments help brighten and de-puff the eye area.
The technology: The brand’s latest wonder ingredient: Glacial BioExtract, a glycoprotein discovered at the bottom of a glacier, which has the ability to thrive in harsh conditions. After undergoing a rigorous, eight-step extraction process, scientists revealed its skin-renewing benefits: helping to boost skin’s natural elastin production and enhance its hydration levels. The new technology combines with Lauder’s signature Life-Renewing Molecules, from the original Re-Nutriv line, found here in its most potent concentration yet, which help repair and restore skin. Another gem of the sea, the brown algae padina, added to the Face Crème and Night Serum, regulates calcium levels and helps strengthen skin’s moisture barrier. “[Padina] enables the calcium in your skin to perform its natural age-fighting tasks, supporting the skin by protecting it from the effects of the environment,” says Nadine Pernodet, executive director of skin biology, research and development for Estée Lauder. Re-Nutriv Re-Creation’s cocktail of ingredients is seemingly endless: South sea pearls impart a dewy glow; Hawaiian deep sea water and colloidal gold help calm and soothe; and plant-based oils such as evening primrose, Tahitian Monoi, African Moringa and Amazon açai nut oil provide antioxidant protection, vitamins and minerals and intense moisture. “These three essential components – new nourishing oil textures, the Glacial BioExtract, and ReNutriv’s Life-Renewing Molecules – sustain the health of cells and slow down the aging process,” says Pernodet.
THE RADIANCE BOOSTER
Chanel Le Blanc
From $61 to $175
The promise: Inspired by Coco Chanel’s love of pearls (said to reflect a flattering glow onto the face), the Chanel Le Blanc line of products (containing a Brightening Concentrate, Moisturizing Cream, Moisture Lotion and Foam Cleanser) seeks to restore radiance and luminosity to skin, helping correct existing dark spots and preventing new ones from forming.
The technology: As we age, skin loses its natural radiance as a result of oxidation from environmental stressors such as UV rays and pollution, which can trigger the overproduction of melanin and lead to dark spots. Nine years in the making, Le Blanc’s potent TXC molecule, activated by naturally occurring enzymes in our skin, helps regulate this process and thereby visibly brighten skin, says Armelle Souraud, Chanel scientific communication manager. In addition, pearl protein extract, derived from the Japanese Akoya pearl oyster, targets the cell proteins carbonyl, found in the uppermost layers of the skin (and prime targets for UV exposure), which are responsible for dullness. With the oxidation process, “the skin becomes yellow, and light isn’t reflected well anymore. As a result, the skin is dull, and becomes less transparent and luminous,” says Souraud. “The pearl protein extract preserves skin from a dull tone by inhibiting the protein carbonyl.” Meanwhile, the natural complex conchiolin, found within the pearl protein extract, boosts hydration, thus enhancing the skin’s light-reflecting properties.
The results: Souraud recommends using the Le Blanc Brightening Concentrate and Moisturizing Cream together to see the best results. “After four weeks of treatment, dark spots appear reduced in size and number,” says Souraud. “The complexion is even in appearance, with a newfound clarity and brightness.”
THE SPOT REMOVER
Vichy Pro Even, $44
The promise: Targets pigmentation on all layers of the skin, including the dermis, to treat and correct all types of dark spots and uneven skin tone, even on sensitive skin types.
The technology: L’Oréal researchers made a groundbreaking discovery in the treatment of hyperpigmentation: oxidation at the dermis level – from sun damage, free radicals, acne and hormone changes – negatively impacts fibroblasts (cells that produce collagen). This process triggers them to send stress signals to melanocytes, causing them to overproduce melanin. Since oxidation starts in the skin’s deeper layers, treatment of hyperpigmentation should target all layers of the skin, say the researchers. “The number of fibroblasts in the dermis influence the amount of melanin produced: the less fibroblasts present, the more melanin is produced,” says Julie Chamoun, scientific and medical relations for Vichy Canada. Enter Pro Even, which acts on both the epidermal and dermal layer to target pigmentation. On the surface layer, lypo-hydroxy acid, a salicylic acid derivative, precisely exfoliates to whisk away dull surface cells. Ceramide Bright (a L’Oréal-patented ceramide) regulates melanin early in the pigmentation process “by decreasing the production of a protein required for the release of tyrosinase (the enzyme responsible for melanin synthesis).” Meanwhile, micronized mother of pearl optically blurs imperfections for a more even complexion. A cocktail of ingredients work on the dermis to protect fibroblasts: vitamin Cg, a more stable form of vitamin C, offers anti-inflammatory and antioxidant benefits while inhibiting the release of tyrosinase; procysteine, a synthetic molecule, brings depigmenting and antioxidant properties; and eperuline, an extract from the bark of the Eperua Falcata tree from the Amazon forest, reduces inflammation-induced pigmentation by decreasing the release of a neuropeptide (CGRP) which is released following exposure to external aggressors. “By controlling the inflammatory response, eperuline is able to provide a depigmenting action,” says Chamoun.
The results: After one month of use, 95% of women saw a reduction in the colour, intensity and size of their dark spots, while 100% had a brighter and more even complexion.
THE SKIN REGENERATOR
YSL Forever Youth Liberator
From $55 to $205
The promise: YSL taps into cutting-edge glycobiological research with a line of products that seek to unlock the keys to eternal youth, for more toned, firmer and smoother skin. The line is made up of the Forever Youth Cleansing Foam, Lotion, Serum, SPF 15 Fluid and Cream, and an Eye Cream.
The technology: The star ingredient is Glycanactif, a complex designed to recreate glycans that are lost with age. Glycans, sugar chains naturally present on our skin’s surface, work as vital keys that are able to transmit messages (some of them key to skin regeneration) to surrounding cells. We lose glycans as we age, and cells become locked as they lose their ability to communicate. In complexion terms, skin loses its ability to regenerate and in turn, wrinkles, uneven tone, and dullness rear their ugly heads. That’s where Glycanactif intervenes. “Designed like a cell key, Glycanactif unlocks access to cells in order to boost the skin’s youth functions,” says Caroline Negre, YSL scientific communication manager. “This recreates lost glycans, promotes the synthesis of matrix components in skin’s architecture and boosts the skin’s regeneration potential.” Composed of three plant-derived glycans, the complex acts on the skin’s three compartments (epidermis, dermal-epidermal junction and the dermis), “enabling the cells to re-function at top capacity and to reproduce key components, compartment by compartment.” At the dermis level, Glycanactif “boosts metabolism and helps structure the skin.”
The results: After one month of using the Forever Youth Liberator Youth Serum, 50 women in a self-assessment study said their skin seemed stronger overall and that their wrinkles were visibly reduced.
THE ANTIOXIDANT POWERHOUSE
Lise Watier Age Control Supreme
From $45 to $78
The promise: A trio of skincare products that taps antioxidant-rich Labrador tea to repair skin, boost elasticity and target wrinkles. The line includes a Crystal Day Elixir, the ultra-rich La Crème and the Black Night Elixir.
The technology: Labrador tea, a plant sourced from the Boreal (subarctic) forest known for its ability to withstand extreme weather conditions, is at the heart of Age Control Supreme. The plant’s leaves have been used for centuries by Native North Americans for treating burns and inflammation. Five years ago, Lise Watier joined forces with researchers from the Université du Québec à Chicoutimi to develop a highly concentrated extract of the tea to be used in skincare products. The findings: there’s very little this Northern wonder ingredient can’t do. Labrador tea is exceptionally high in antioxidant-rich catechins; it’s 20 times more potent in antioxidant power than idebenone and three times as potent as vitamins E and C. Rich in skin-repairing and anti-inflammatory ursolic acid, it helps skin keep its natural elasticity, protects collagen and promotes the production of ceramides. “These actions help delay and prevent skin aging, while ceramide synthesis allows proper moisturization of the skin,” says Andrée Veronneau, senior project manager and chemist, R&D at Lise Watier. The products also contain other actives such as hyaluronic acid, St. John’s Wort and damask rose in La Crème, oligopopetides and Vitamin F and omega-3-rich blackcurrant in both the Day and Night Elixirs. The essential fatty acids in the vitamin F and omega-3 “contribute to a healthy lipid barrier by controlling trans-epidermal water loss.”
The results: In clinical studies, after 28 days, 96% of women said their skin looked smoother and 84% said their skin looked younger. Overall, 100% of women who tested the products were satisfied with the results.
THE SKIN TIGHTENER
Clarins Extra-Firming Day & Night Cream
The promise: A duo of day and night creams that help fight skin slackening, reduce the look of wrinkles, firm and tighten the skin and promote a more even complexion.
The technology: Extra Firming Cream was first introduced in 1978 and since then, one cream is sold every eight seconds around the world. But the products have recently undergone a transformation after the discovery of the role of the links between dermal fibres and cells. The new formulas not only target the epidermis and dermis, but also the protein links between them, which decrease as we age and contribute to the aging process. “We have seen that we could improve [the creams’] efficacy by 38%,” says Lionel De Benetti, general manager of Clarins Laboratories. The creams boast a blend of plant extracts to help preserve the complex dermal structure. In the Day Cream, organic green banana encourages the synthesis of collagen and anchors collagen fibres to cells in the dermis; lemon thyme extract helps improve skin elasticity and protects emilin, a vital link between fibres; while bocoa extract, derived from the bark of an Amazonian tree, protects fibres against oxidation and glycation. Organic oat sugars deliver an immediate lifting effect by smoothing and tightening the skin’s surface. The Extra Firming Night Cream packs a peptide punch to help protect the skin’s stem cells in the epidermis: survixyl, a peptide, “maintains the balance of survivin, an essential molecule to keep stem cells in good condition,” says De Benetti. Meanwhile, stimulen, a combination of vitamin E and tetrapeptide, protects skin’s immune cells that deteriorate with age, and lotus root prevents the overproduction of melanin, which causes dark spots. Both creams are infused with hyaluronic acid to provide long-lasting hydration.
The results: In a study of 77 women aged 40 and over, 78% saw smoother skin after using the Extra-Firming Day Cream for four weeks. In another study of 72 women aged 40 and over, 89% saw firmer skin after four weeks.