Bright pink packaging and cheeky names for blush have their place on the beauty shelf, but there is a renewed interest in skin-care products with more streamlined, slick packaging—in architectural terms, think Frank Gehry over Karim Rashid. And inside these modern, polished bottles lie the results of years of research and development. “Pretty packaging catches the eye,” agrees Corina Crysler, co-founder and formulator of GliSODin Skin Nutrients, a line of ingestible skin-care products, “but it’s the ingredients on the back that motivate the consumer.”
Of course, research and clinical trials do not come cheap. Despite the prices of these creams, their proliferation shows that in the current economy, people want to know they’re making sound investments—even at the cosmetics counter. “Science drives educated consumers,” says Crysler, whose nutricosmetics contain cantaloupe melon extract and wheat polymer to hydrate the skin and prevent premature aging. “Today’s consumers are very savvy and look for products that have ingredients with proven efficacy and are used at therapeutic doses.”
Such customers may be interested in new offerings such as Clinique’s Youth Surge Age Decelerating Moisturizer SPF 15, which is packed with antioxidants and sirtuins—the latest industry buzzword—that extend the life of cells. Or Skin Vivo by Biotherm, which claims to stimulate cell rebirth by targeting DNA.
At the new Euoko store in Vancouver, skin-care aficionados can find Y-42 Fractional Neck Lift Concentrate, a cream that mimics a fractionated laser to repair lines and target sagginess. Six new peptides organize collagen fibres and reinforce epidermal cohesion, while biotechnological derivatives of shiitake and sweet chestnut improve the skin’s protective ability—all for a 350 per cent improvement in wrinkle appearance over three months.
But perhaps the most extreme example of science-as-beauty is Lancôme’s Absolue Precious Cells, which reflects 20 years of research showing that stem cells—yes, those of so much controversy—do not decrease with age; it is their activity that changes. As such, the cream acts on the environment surrounding epidermal stem cells, triggering the skin’s regenerative potential and minimizing the signs of aging. No surprise that it comes in a sleek, gold jar; you’ll be lavishing in it like El Dorado.