Your ultimate guide to the hottest new tweakments and treatments
PCR TEST, ANYONE?
Just when you thought all was safe, the bastards are back — but this time they’re rather jollier. The GallineÌe Skin Health Test, £80, lets you stick a patch to your forehead for 10 seconds before asking you to roll it up into the familiar test tube and send it off to a lab in a pre-paid envelope. Why? The patch takes a sample of your skin microbiome, allowing analysts to see exactly how your bacterial population is affecting your complexion. In three weeks you get a detailed skin health report suggesting ingredients and products, along with advice, to restore balance and optimise skin function. If you want to do this with GallineÌe skincare, you can redeem £50 of the test price against your chosen products. Far cheaper than genetic skin tests, they’re pretty damn accurate, too. (gallinee.com)
MEET YOUR PERFECT MATCH
In an overcrowded skincare market, there is still ample room for targeted solutions that tend to the needs of darker skin tones. ‘Most efficacy testing on skincare actives was done only on light skin tones,’ says cosmetic scientist Amina Ajayi. ‘That’s not to say they can’t work for dark skin, but we don’t have the data to support it — while we know that darker skin tones have a different physiology.’ Among the characteristics of melanin-rich skin: a different microbiome, a thicker surface and it’s often uniquely sensitive. With melanin readily rushing to the aid of in amed sites, darker skins are hyper-prone to uneven pigmentation. Being sebum-rich but water-poor, they can su er from dehydration and acne at the same time. These were reasons enough for Noelly Michoux, CEO of 456 Skin, to create her brand and ‘skin tone research lab’ for the 40 per cent of the global population with phototypes 4, 5 or 6. ‘Rather than assumptions about darker skins, such as that they’re tough or need rich oils to nourish them, we need science,’ she says. ‘Real inclusivity means factoring ethnic nuances in skin needs into the formulation and marketing.’ Try 456 Skin’s Skin Bouquet Hydrating Treatment Mist, £25 (456skin.com) to moisturise without congestion and battle dark spots and dullness minus the irritation.
MEET THE NEW YOUTH JABS
Profhilo cornered the injectable moisturiser market, delivering hydrating, plumping hyaluronic acid (HA) into the skin at depths that topical skincare couldn’t reach. Now, a host of competitors are promising not just that, but fast reduction of ageing signs, too, thanks to the addition of bio-stimulating ingredients that kick-start skin repair. Cosmetic physician Dr Sarah Tonks takes us through the options (thelovelyclinic.com). Expect 12-20 jabs per treatment with two to three initial sessions (from £325) required.
‘This is cross-linked HA plus glycerol, which boosts the hydrating and plumping power of HA to quench, stimulate skin’s production of HA and help restore the skin barrier. It leaves faces luminous and softens hyperpigmentation.’
‘Full of polynucleotides, messenger molecules that get the skin to make more collagen, which in turn firms and softens wrinkles and brown spots. I’ve seen it work pretty well on stretch marks, too.’
‘HA with a blend of amino acids, it helps regenerate collagen as well as elastin. This makes it great for wrinkle and crepiness-reduction. You can use it anywhere, even in the forehead and under-eyes; it really improves skin quality.’
‘HA, amino acids and calcium hydroxyapatite, a mineral naturally found in the skin that really revs up collagen and elastin production. It firms, tones and sustainably hydrates all at once.’
THE WATER WAY
Did you know that much-hyped hyaluronic acid doesn’t make for a great hydrating serum alone? ‘For optimal quenching and protection, you want a blend of water-binding humectants that work on multiple levels, while also stimulating skin’s own HA production,’ says Amina Ajayi of 1611 Labs. So which should be in the mix?
‘This humble humectant hydrates as well as HA but is cheaper,’ says Georgie Cleeve of Oskia skincare. ‘You get real radiance without the HA mark-up. It also helps make lipids for a healthy skin barrier.’
‘Pro-vitamin B5 doesn’t just hydrate, it also soothes, fortifies the skin barrier and has anti-redness properties.’
‘Algae have incredible humectant properties,’ says Camille Paglia of REN. ‘Often sourced from extreme environments, they also fight free radicals and feed skin with vitamins, proteins, fibres, minerals and lipids.’
‘It’s more powerful than HA, so a tiny amount is required to significantly hydrate skin without oiliness,’ says Cleeve.
‘An anti-ageing humectant that hydrates, improves elasticity, and stops moisture leaching from the skin,’ says Ajayi. ‘It also helps form aquaporins, small channels that facilitate water transport between cells.’
FOUR PRODUCTS FOR OPTIMUM HYDRATION
KATE SOMERVILLE Hydrakate serum
LA ROCHE POSAY Cicaplast B5 serum
It’s not quite going to the cosmetic doctor with a picture of your favourite celebrity lips and declaring, ‘I’ll have what she has,’ but it’s getting close. Award-winning cosmetic physician Dr Sophie Shotter launches her Lip Rehab Menu on 6 July (‘International Kissing Day’, naturally). On offer? A trio of treatments with an ascending scale of transformation: Deep Hydration, from £450, features injectable moisturiser Volite to deeply hydrate lips for a softer, plumper look. Subtle Volume, from £450, uses Volbella filler to volumise and re-shape mouths gently, with ‘cherry lips’ or ‘lip corner lifting’ among your options, as required. Make Over, from £700, involves bespoke filler and Botox to plump and correct gummy smiles (‘lip flip’), droopy mouth corners and more. 10 Harley Street, W1 (drsophieshotter.com)
DESPERATELY SEEKING ONE-STOP SKIN?
Make-up with skincare benefits used to underwhelm, but the latest hybrid foundations deliver seamless coverage that’s four-fifths skincare. Seems like we can have our cake and eat it, after all. The Saie Glowy Super Skin Foundation with 15 per cent pigment hydrating serum leaves a distinct gleam. Melts into skin for subtle, buildable, dewy coverage. £36, at cultbeauty.co.uk
Laura Mercier Real Flawless Foundation Medium coverage with 80 per cent hydrators, blue light-shielding antioxidants and bamboo powderstoleaveasubtle,candle-lit glow. £38, at boots.com