Although technology has offered what should be a more convenient retail outlet, skincare shopping still ideally demands an experiential approach. Whether interacting with a trained specialist, sampling products in-store or indulging in a spa treatment, the selection process benefits from hands-on experimentation. But with the industry’s rapidly expanding options, the wide selection of product choices has been met with equally varied channels for purchasing them. Beyond traditional department store shopping, buyers are now met with freestanding concept boutiques, day spas and, of course, online networks. As a result, the growing market of products and seemingly infinite avenues for acquisition have turned skincare shopping into an overwhelming—and at times misleading—endeavor.
So where does one turn in this terribly confusing, rapidly evolving world of skincare? In this edition of Beauty Guru, we explore companies that have an outstanding brand philosophy as well as stand-out products in what is clearly an enormously competitive industry. Each product mentioned has also been thoroughly tested in order to provide the most objective and factual details and information. Most importantly, however, each brand should be individually recognized for creating highly effective formulations as well as for providing a satisfying and fulfilling experience whether online, in the retail arena or at a spa.
Natural Collagen Inventia
Natural Collagen Inventia is perhaps one of the most impressive and thoroughly effective product lines to boast the term “age-defying.” Utilizing a highly guarded proprietary process, it is derived from the skins of specially selected planktonophagous fish, which create a live collagen that’s compatible with human DNA and therefore allows for the most thorough absorption. The straightforward line consists of day and night creams, an under-eye elixir and the Nano Gold Crystal Mask. As its name suggests, the latter employs a nano gold particle that’s 1/2000th the size of a pore in order to easily penetrate the dermal layer. Developed exclusively by Inventia, it has been clinically proven to facilitate the production of collagen as well as aid in fighting free-radicals.
Kate Somerville delivers highly effective products that address every possible skincare issue—from acne to anti-aging—while maintaining a noteworthy presence in several retail arenas. Between her numerous live appearances on QVC as well as at several upscale department stores throughout the US, Somerville can also regularly be found at her flagship day spa in West Hollywood, where legions of fans flock to experience some of the best signature facial treatments available anywhere. Based around Somerville’s “Skin Health Pyramid” brand philosophy, her products and treatments uniquely address individual skincare needs as well as individuals’ shopping desires. The 360° Tanning Towelettes for face and body are extremely popular (and rather useful as we approach the warm weather months), while the Exfoli-Kate, Line-Release under eye cream and Beauty Guru’s favorite Quench Hydrating Face Serum are absolute must-have items.
Recognized as France’s anti-aging experts, Lierac was founded in 1975 by Dr. Leon Cariel before later being acquired by botanical hair product guru/Phyto founder Patrick Alès. The two most recent additions to the rather extensive Lierac range are the Initiatic Cream and Fluid For The First Signs Of Aging, specifically developed to meet the needs of women ages 30 and over. The rich but light formulations utilize Lierac’s exclusive Bio-Botanical Complex, which consists of a high-tech peptide and goji fruit extract for thorough hydration. The Initiatic products are ideal for someone with very dehydrated skin and who perhaps doesn’t wish to follow a complete regime. Regardless, the products are both highly effective and have a light berry scent that’s extremely refreshing.
Without any previous presence in the market, Liz Earle’s line of natural products completely sold out on its opening day when it was first featured on QVC in 1996. For any brand to survive such initial and instantaneous success would be a foreseeable challenge, but the label continues to evolve while also maintaining its philosophy for creating the most straightforward, yet highly effective natural products. Today, Liz Earle is a thriving lifestyle brand that boasts a full range of skincare for men and women, including aromatherapy products, haircare, fragrance and sun-care as well as three retail venues in the UK. The Instant Boost Skin Tonic Spritzer and Light Moisturizer in particular receive top marks, and the Nourishing Botanical Body Cream is perhaps one of the most effective in its category. Highly absorbent, extremely hydrating and the scent is divine!
Comprised of a highly advanced team of researchers and leading dermatologists, the Somme Institute was formed with the sole purpose of creating and developing a complete range of extremely effective anti-aging skincare products. Utilizing advanced UV technology to photograph the dermal and sub-dermal damage of over 5,000 subjects spanning a period of seven years, the brand’s researchers were able to develop a highly sophisticated (and exclusive) proprietary technology known as Molecular Dispersion Technology 5 (MDT5). The line consists of a very simple five-step regimen of products enriched with Somme’s revolutionary protein/vitamin delivery system to effectively help renew and repair aging, sun-damaged skin. The range works most effectively when used as a complete regimen and is ideal for anyone who has perhaps had a few too many summers on the beach. These products are extremely effective, easy to use and deliver great results—and the whimsical packaging is rather pleasing to the eye. Check out the Somme Institute’s website for informative/educational video footage as well as product information.
When searching for new products, a good bit of advice is to not only exercise a certain amount of self-discipline and perhaps do a little research, but to primarily focus on specific and individual needs. Try not to be swayed by any unnecessary product sales techniques and instead concentrate on the products that truly pertain to a specific personal requirement. The effects of any product are often more noticeable after a few days, so trial-sized kits are often a good and cost-effective approach—not to mention ideal for travel.
Lastly, it is important to know the basic function of any product as well as understand how to properly apply and use it. This is especially true for eye creams and exfoliants. Never use any product that doesn’t make a significant improvement in the condition or appearance of your skin.