Most weeks, a press release for a beauty product claiming to be “innovative” and “game-changing” drops into my inbox. It usually turns out to be something perfectly nice that is probably beneficial to most skins – but truly innovative? Very seldom. In this issue, though, there are two groundbreaking skincare developments to report, both with serious scientific clout.
First comes the offering from Professor Christofer Toumazou, Regius Professor of Biomedical Engineering at Imperial College London and a Fellow of the Royal Society (he is the man behind the cochlear implant, the artificial pancreas for Type 1 diabetics, wireless heart monitors and lots, lots more). Professor Toumazou has launched Geneu, the first company to give an in-store DNA profile of a client’s skin, which in turn enables its lab to deliver two tailored serums (to be applied one on top of the other) in 30 minutes.
It works like this: a customer books into the space-age New Bond Street store, where a genetic scientist takes a swab from their mouth. The scientist performs a DNA test using microchip-based technology in order to assess two things: how fast the skin breaks down collagen and how well it is able to repel free radicals (in other words, how good is its antioxidant protection). The test and two weeks’ supply of serum costs £600; after that, it costs £300 per month for refills.
I was found to have high antioxidant protection (good), but the level of collagen breakdown was fast (bad, very bad). The genetic scientist talked me through Geneu’s in-depth clinical trial results, which were very impressive, particularly for mature skin (they will be published later this year). Geneu is already attracting male as well as female fans, and women are now bringing their daughters in for the test – proof they feel it works.
The second breakthrough comes from Singapore, where CellResearch Corp, a biotechnology company working with cord-blood banks to collect umbilical-cord tissue, has produced Calecim, the first consumer skincare product that uses stem cells from umbilical-cord tissue. (There are other stem-cell beauty products on the market but they derive their technology from plants.) The point of using umbilical-cord tissue is that it is rich in mesenchymal and epithelial cells. The proteins from these cells aid tissue recovery and encourage the user’s own skin cells to “behave” like young skin to become plumper, renew cells more frequently and discard old cells more competently.
In consumer trials, after two weeks using the Multi-Action Cream, 95 per cent of the 120 respondents (who all had a skincare routine that included a moisturiser) felt the condition of their skin had improved. Of the 44 women aged 35 and over (32 aged 35-45 and 12 aged 45 and over), 91 per cent found their skin looked more radiant and even-toned and 89 per cent felt the appearance of fine lines had improved.
Calecim can only be bought online. Its 4-Week Serum Program costs $300 and includes four 5ml bottles of serum and a 30ml pot of the Multi-Action Cream, while a single pot of Multi-Action Cream costs $130 and the Moisturing Cream is $150.