The science of saving face

The science of saving face
A woman receiving a facial treatment at the medi-spa in L’Oreal’s Professional Derma Center located at Westgate mall.

'DERMA skincare", "bioactive compounds" and "medi-aesthetics" - the de rigueur buzzwords for the beauty business appear to be geared towards geeks with biomedical degrees rather than your average Jane, keen to banish a wrinkle or two. These days, rather than ads covered with the airbrushed visages of starlets, celebrity doctor endorsements, futuristic ingredients and products with names that sound more clinical than cosmetic reign when it comes to peddling jars of hope.

With lunch-time Botox injections and weekly laser treatments becoming beauty regimen fixtures, the growth in aesthetics treatments have in part led to a resurgence in cosmeceuticals - a loosely-defined skincare category that is projected to ring up sales of US$12 billion in 2015 in the US alone, according to a report by Research and Markets. And a recent study conducted by the International Society of Aesthetics Plastic Surgery revealed that Asia boasts the highest concentration of plastic surgeons by continent as well as the highest concentration of plastic surgery procedures carried out as compared to the rest of the continents. Non-invasive procedures also account for a large percentage of treatments carried out.

"Aesthetic treatments are an investment. To maintain the benefits of these treatments, it is important for patients to be on a strong maintenance programme," says David Colbert, a New York-based dermatologist whose clientele includes stars such as Naomi Watts and Rachel Weisz. "My brand was created as a form of aftercare for my celebrity clientele. It was designed as the perfect complement to the Triad Red Carpet facial laser treatment but has been so successful that it has evolved to become a substitute for people who are uncomfortable with aesthetic procedures or who can't afford them."

While on one end of the cosmetics spectrum are organic beauty marques, touting the use of all-natural ingredients and traditional remedies, high-tech potions are nevertheless leading the pack in the survival of the prettiest. Coined in 1980 by dermatologist Albert Kligman, "cosmeceuticals are designed to have clinical benefits and are typically built around active ingredients that are supported by scientific evidence", explains Dr Colbert. His cult, eponymous skincare label is available at upscale department stores and multi-label boutiques such as Barneys, Colette and Space.NK, as well as IYAC Aesthetics and Anti-Aging Clinic here at Camden Medical Centre.

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