Standfirst: Today’s beauty creams work overtime for us and they promise youth. The breakthrough ingredients target the main offender – ageing – and they seem to be working. Maybe these scientifically designed creams can actually turn the clock back.

When it comes to the latest in the anti-ageing process, we are told that youth is a commodity we can buy. Prevention has become better than the cure in the world of new millennium beauty and today’s face creams make big announcements. They claim to be the source of life, the elixir of youth and promise to restore the skin so it is almost as good as new. Scientific research in combination with vitamins and vital plant extracts has led to a new breed in skincare. Phrases like “cell activation”, “mapping” and “dermal-epidermal junction” written on super slick packaging guarantee entry into the youth club. These miracle creams are plied with new “buzz” ingredients, such as vitamins A, C and E, Alpha Lipoic acid and more. The question that remains to be answered is “do they really work?”

Vitamins play the most important role in the protection, correction and renewal of the skin according to leading dermatologist, Dr Apichati from Siriraj Hospital in Bangkok. Dr Apichati has found that Vitamins A Retinol, Vitamin C-ester, Ascorbyl Palmitate, L-Ascorbic acid, Alpha Lipoic acid and Vitamins B, E and F are all vital. They have been scientifically proven to play an important role in the preservation of the skin. Skin health preservation also occurs when the production of free radicals is limited. Put simply: it is best that we avoid sunlight, pollution, smoking, alcohol, poor diet, stress and lack of sleep. These are the main factors involved in ageing. With pollution levels in our cities reaching highs, we are at risk. Kanebo has been using a breakthrough ingredient that is derived from spinach beet and has been proven to restore the energy in the skin depleted by exposure to free radicals. Kanebo’s Sensai Cellular Performance Advance Recovery Concentrate proved its worth in just one week. Tests showed that there was an increase of 200 percent to the skin’s moisture content and also improved elasticity.

Over time, the skin’s collagen – a protein, (which gives skin its youthful suppleness) is broken down. Skin is extremely susceptible to harm from free radicals. It is these free radicals that play havoc with the protein molecules. These molecules support the skin’s structure. In beauty terms, the skin will experience dehydration, uneven skin tone and dull saggy skin when exposed to these harmful radicals. The latest anti-ageing creams penetrate more deeply into the epidermis, (which is the skin). Resilience Lift, by Estee Lauder contains ingredients that actively fight free radicals. The cream was formulated as a result of major new research into the skin’s biorhythms. It aims to prevent redness, lock in moisture and extraordinarily enough there are essential oils to promote sleep.

Thanks to the powerful properties in these wonder creams they work to repair any signs of ageing. A lot of women are discovering the miracle of the serum. Sisley’s Sisleya-Elixir is a treatment attracting a lot of attention. It is special because it is applied over a month – morning and night. The malt in the serum is used to stimulate the dermal-epidermal junction into repairing itself while other plant extracts help to revitalise the skin. These anti-ageing creams are now being touted as “jars of hope” that contain unique delivery systems for moving vitamins and anti-oxidants into the skin. This means we stay younger looking. Chanel’s Precision Eclat Originel, likewise, promises a radiant and youthful flush. It is a serum that operates with the combination of plant extracts and sea algae. Their qualities boost cell metabolism and improve the skin’s micro-circulation; hence, a glowing and pinky complexion. Tests have proven also that Lancome’s Impactive has proven its ability to combat free radicals. This uber product contains lycopene, which combined with the marine ingredient biodefensine aids in protecting the skin’s natural defences.

The super concentrated anti-ageing moisturisers and serums of today are aimed at all ages. But the new word in youth beauty is Cosmeceuticals. Cosmeceuticals equals cosmetics plus pharmaceuticals and the beauty world has become hooked. This is taking youth beauty one-step beyond. RegimA is one of the products of the future in revolutionary skincare. It is a powerful and scientifically up-to-the-minute range, (so up-to-the-minute it is not yet available in Australia as yet). Its high-powered cream, Alpha Lipoic + Vitamin C helps to increase Gluthiaone, a major repair enzyme that provides and protects the skin from premature ageing.

Stronger than cosmetics, but not so powerful that they require regulation by the Federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA), these intelligent creams deliver the goods. This is positive news because the treatments are showing faster results than therapies and traditional over the counter products. La Prairie’s The Smart Cream can be purchased over the counter and it gets nutrients into the skin fast and at exactly the right points. The Smart Cream is a cellular moisturiser that contains clever micro-sponges, which time release ingredients into the skin. It’s almost as if the products are ahead of us. The impact that these high-tech result based treatments are having on the beauty industry is phenomenal. It has also opened the door to an exciting new field of skincare treatments, which give exceptional results. The new science in anti-ageing works, quite simply because the makers have a better understanding of how the ageing process works.

Could these ingenious potions actually save us all from going under the knife? Lucy Whittaker, managing director of The Beautiful Skin Centre Group says, “Absolutely, yes. In 20 years time cosmetic surgery won’t be what it is today. People will use preventative treatment such as anti-ageing creams instead.” Good news for beauty devotees. No downtime anymore. All we will have to do is find a cream that suits our needs. No Surgetics Givenchy might just be the answer. Givenchy’s scientists have been hard at it working out ways to translate the mechanisms of procedures like Botox and dermabrasion into a cream. The result of their work is a cream, which contains Vitamin A, and an ingredient called hydroctyle. This is a plant used in Ayurvedic medicine to hasten the action of Vitamin C and stimulate collagen production. It also contains a miracle ingredient known as elhaibin-a soya-protein extract used for its protective qualities.

Guerlain has managed to move beyond itself with its latest product, Serenissima Absolute Skincare Concentrate. Serenissima is a serum that contains Or Bleu, which is the rarest concentrate of gold, originally used by the Egyptians to preserve the skin. This exotic serum also contains loquat (for moisturising) and deep-sea algae. With so many age-defying products on the market that work, it is hard to imagine the necessity for going under the knife in the future. Through science’s perseverance by delving into the past, it might just have saved our future skin. Skincare has moved way beyond us and it seems that a glowing, rosy complexion is no longer the preserve of the young. How lucky are we for the friendship of science and beauty?