A new well­ness-fo­cused ap­proach to skin­care is tak­ing over

The Kit - - THEKIT.CA -

When Na­tional Geo­graphic pub­lished a prob­ing ar­ti­cle, “The Se­crets of Long Life,” in 2005, the world took no­tice. Re­search con­cluded that the life­style in se­lect com­mu­ni­ties around the world, dubbed “blue zones,” led to ex­traor­di­nar­ily long av­er­age life­span—pic­ture gag­gles of cen­te­nar­i­ans do­ing tai chi on the beach in Ok­i­nawa, Ja­pan. Though sep­a­rated by vast dis­tances, the blue zones share many com­mon­al­i­ties: a healthy, mainly veg­e­tar­ian diet of mostly lo­cal foods; reg­u­lar ex­er­cise built into ev­ery­day tasks, such as walk­ing to do er­rands; low av­er­age stress; and strong com­mu­nity bonds. (On the Ital­ian is­land of Sar­dinia, for ex­am­ple, many lo­cals sit down to chat in the town square ev­ery day.) The study’s re­sults led to many best­sellers about how to ap­ply diet and health tips from seven ar­eas of the world, span­ning from Swe­den to Costa Rica. But one do­main re­mained un­ex­plored: skin­care.

Last year, Chanel sci­en­tists stud­ied four of the most fa­mous zones to see the health ben­e­fits of these life­styles first-hand. “What I found ex­tremely in­ter­est­ing is the so­cial link,” says Armelle Souraud, sci­en­tific com­mu­ni­ca­tions direc­tor at Chanel. “It’s quite ba­sic when you think about it, but it’s es­sen­tial to have deep con­nec­tions with those you love. It’s not about phone calls and Face­book—hav­ing deep con­nec­tions makes you healthy and hap­pier.”

Then a team of re­searchers looked to draw con­nec­tions to skin health.

They dis­cov­ered that cer tain key in­gre­di­ents from these ar­eas can help mimic the blue zone ben­e­fits on a cel­lu­lar level. Green cof­fee from the Ni­coya penin­sula in Costa Rica is es­pe­cially rich in an­tiox­i­dants cafestol and kah­weol, while olive oil har­vested in Sar­dinia is a po­tent source of es­sen­tial fatty acids and omegas 3, 6 and 9, as well as polyphe­nols and an­tiox­i­dants. The sap from the lentisk tree in Ikaria, Greece, is packed with oleano­lic acid, which helps the skin re­gen­er­ate. Blended with hy­dra­tors like hy­lau­ronic acid in a stream­lined serum that’s ap­pro­pri­ate for all skin types and age groups, these care­fully ex­tracted ac­tive in­gre­di­ents prom­ise to pro­tect the skin and soften lines, while adding ra­di­ance and mois­ture.

“We wanted to share the blue zone spirit. It’s not a dream—it’s a re­al­ity in sev­eral places,” says Souraud. “Women can think about what they can do to in­te­grate a lit­tle piece of it into their lives: ex­er­cise a lit­tle more reg­u­larly, man­age stress, be more pos­i­tive, have a bal­anced diet. You don’t want to cor­rect ev­ery­thing—you just want to feel like you at your best, and feel like you’re bloom­ing. Healthy is the new beauty sta­tus.” —Kathryn Hud­son


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