The Truth About Looking Younger
Tuesday, 8.30pm, SBS One I think this is a terribly misleading title. The Truth About Looking Younger conjures up cheap pay-TV programs about women who have had too much plastic surgery and the ever-increasing cost of cosmetics. But this is an episode of the BBC’s estimable Horizon documentary program, and there’s nothing junky about it. We join plastic surgeon Rozina Ali on the cutting edge of skin protection technology. She makes it very clear that she has a personal interest in all of this. Incredibly, though she has had no plastic surgery done, Ali is 44 years old. She is the kind of woman with perfectly luminous skin who could pass for half that age. Ali begins her journey by interviewing and examining two perpetually self-amused Cockney truck drivers. Special technology allows us to see the damage in their skin, ostensibly from the sun. The sun? In London? Not so very damaging, you might think, since its appearances are rarer than Princess Anne’s. But soon enough we are off to really hot places such as Egypt, and then underwater, where a whole new approach to skincare can be observed in nature. Have you ever wondered why coral, which relies on the sun for photosynthesis and therefore can only grow in quite shallow water, protects itself from sun damage? What about the fish that inhabit coral reefs? How do they not die of skin cancer or shrivel up from sunburn? Could the pressurised eye of a squid save us all from the perils of summer? Truly remarkable viewing, with a very positive message for the future of skin health — especially as summers inevitably get warmer.