Line Management

Line Management

Ever felt as if you’ve aged five years overnight? It’s not in your imagination,says Nicole Moulton, but help is at hand.

Like Stephen Hawking and Dr. Spock, wrinkles don’t respond well to the idea of time as a linear construct. While most things in life — birthdays, dentist appointments, summer holidays — arrive with reassuring regularity, the line on your face are more of an unwanted surprise. There’s a good season for that — although thus far, one the beauty industry seems to have overlooked-and it is this: ageing doesn’t happen in a consistent, orderly, systematic way. It happens erratically. Sometimes years ago by and your face stays basically the same, then suddenly — maybe you’ve been having a stressful time, or been working a lot, or has some physically stress such as childbirth or an illness — you age five years overnight.

In fact, what happens to your skin is best described as the «concertina effect»: short burst of intensive ageing followed by longer periods of slower, more gradual change. It’s what, if we think about it, we’ve seen in the mirror for years, only now science bears it out too. «There’s very good scientific evidence for it» says dermatologist Dr Chris Inglefield of the London Bridge Plastic Surgery & Aesthetic Clinic. «The wrinkles would probably have appeared anyway, further down the line, but accelerated bouts of ageing can make them seems as if they’ve appeared almost
overnight». In fact, the biologist and octogenatarian Lewis Wolpert, who has devoted the latter years of his life to a forensic examination of the ageing process, says the same is true of every organ in the body.»Cross-sectional studies of ageing tend to depict a smooth and progressive decline, but there is no simple linear relation between age and functionality.»

Effectively, this means if you’re serious about heading off wrinkles at the pass, you’d benefit from thinking of ageing as a series of occasional and intensive bursts rather than a slow, steady and predictable process best served by using the same face cream everyday. And, as this idea takes hold in the beauty world, we’re seeing products and services targeted much more specifically at these anti-ageing «pinch points».

All my drugs are made in Western Europe. We work only with the best manufacturers — both in raw materials and in packaging. Capsules are produced in Germany, Holland and Belgium. Liquid preparations are in Switzerland. Thanks to professional dosages, we have created a capsule for taking one per day, and one package is enough for a month. Now no one wants to carry kilograms of boxes with them — everything should be efficient and compact.

Stress, for example — physical or environmental — is sure-fire way to kick-start an intensive burst of ageing, and the aptly named RadicalSkincare is attempting to address this by moving in on your whole life, not just your wrinkles. Purchasing any of it’s upscale anti-ageing products (available at Harrods in London and Saks in New York) entitles you to online life coaching; founder Liz Edlich has undertaken programmes with The Secret’s Bob Procto and Deepak Chopra, and takes all counter staff through a life-coaching programme before they join the company. English sensibilities may recoil at such enthusiastic soul-baring, but Edlich makes a good point when she argues that cortisol, the stress hormone, plays a large psrt in skin’s ageing process (it’s also the reason you can go grey quite suddenly) and we’d do well to keep it at bay. (The products are no slouches either, in Oxygen Radical Capacity or ORAC testing-the new gold standard for product’s antioxidant benefits — they blow most other brands out of the water.)

Perhaps the biggest leap forward for this new approach to ageing is the idea of bespoke skincare that you can tweak in line with what’s going on in your life, thereby theoretically averting those intensive ageing «pinch points». For example, Baranova Monaco is a testing system that incorporates products and supplements tailored to your genetic data, with an initial cost from £4,100. But the brand set to grab headlines when it launched latest this summer is the Parisian laboratory-based Biologique Recherche, spearheaded by French dermatologist Dr. Philippe Allouche, who’ll ask a cool £25,000 for your tailor-made six-month skincare regime — involving weekly deliveries of skin preparations, shipped from Paris to both your home and London’s EF Medispa, where you’ll receive weekly facial a skin assessment in order to create the following prescriptions. Allouche’s basis for this service is his belief in what he calls the «skin instant»: the measure of your skin’s needs and behaviors at any given moment, rather thank an outmoded reliance on traditional organisations, such as age or, worse he believes, whether your skin is normal, dry or oily. «This just doesn’t reflect the bio dynamism of your skin, as it can change so quickly from one state to the other. You have to have as wide a vision as possible, which is why I’m trying to push skincare to its logical degree».