Based on a biomimetic approach, skin tolerates best those formulae that most resemble it. French cosmetics company Clarins used this concept to develop its Double Serum, which debuted in 1985 in two separate bottles, one as a hydric phase and its non-identical twin, a lipidic phase.
"We aim to replicate the ratio of the hydrolipidic film and the dual nature of skin cells. With biomimetic skincare, more or less you add a copy of a hydrolipidic film on your skin. Basically we need to keep the skin in the right hydrolipidic balance, and this weakens with age, making the skin drier," said director of Clarins Laboratories, Eric Gooris.
Hence the twin serum became a potential anti-ageing treatment that has been been upgraded over the past 27 years and integrated into one product. Launched this month in Thailand, the fifth version, dubbed the Gold Double Serum, comes in a double-chamber bottle with a pump system to release both phases and their active ingredients.
Eric Gooris, director of Clarins Laboratories.
This enables the otherwise impossible combination of the hydric phase's water-soluble ingredients and the lipidic phase's oil-soluble ingredients, with the two phases mixed only upon application and in a balanced ratio.
Clarins explored the plant kingdom to find potential anti-ageing ingredients, and from hundreds of extracts of fruit, seeds, leaves, roots and saps, 20 were selected for their performance on the skin's five vital functions: hydration, nutrition, oxygenation, protection and regeneration.
"The Double Serum achieves what a single formula cannot as it provides skin cells with both water- and oil-soluble age control ingredients," Gooris said. "The previous serum featured 38 active ingredients and we could have done 50 for the new formula. But it's not necessary to break the record and we chose 20 because what's important is not the number but efficacy."
The plant extracts include those from burdock root, kiwi fruit, organic rosehip seed, pistachio tree sap, lemon thyme flower and bocoa bark. Listed for centuries in the Chinese pharmacopoeia, cangzhu provides an extract that helps boost the efficacy of the other botanical ingredients in the upgraded treatment.
"There's a lot to discover in the vastness of nature, and we're still discovering new plant extracts with new activities. More and more, we know what molecules a plant can provide, and today's advanced extraction technology has allowed us to incorporate novel plant ingredients into skincare products," he said.
The new Double Serum is recommended as a beauty essential for women from the age of 25. But isn't that a bit early to start adopting an anti-ageing regimen?
"The skin of older women obviously needs anti-ageing treatments, but for younger women, from 25, they need to focus on the prevention of the signs of ageing," he explained. "However, most of the time, we don't think about prevention but look for a cure when it's often too late. And it's also harder to sell preventive than corrective products." From the mid-20s, signs of premature ageing of the skin, particularly from sun damage, can start to appear on the face. A modern and more stressful lifestyle may also invite early wrinkling.
"Exposed to UV rays more than the body, the face ages faster, and day after day, the accumulated damage shows on the skin," he said. "So from a young age you need to use sunscreen and skincare products to protect the skin so that it has a 'capital' to counteract sun exposure, stress, pollution and ageing so that the skin stays in good condition."
Even before seeing the first fine lines emerging on facial skin, cosmetics companies encourage women to strengthen their defences against signs of ageing with a host of beauty serums that aim to help you look younger for longer.
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- Writer: Noko