Back to beauty school

In search of the per­fect serum

Weekend Herald - Canvas - - BEAUTY - Tracey Strange

Ibe­lieve the con­nec­tion be­tween how we look and our ap­proach to life is un­de­ni­able. Who hasn’t suf­fered through a bad hair day, felt a lit­tle gloomy about blem­ishes or pig­men­ta­tion spots? With ma­tu­rity we’re more likely to ad­mire our­selves for our com­pe­tence and far less for our at­trac­tive­ness to others, but no one is im­mune to the buzz of a com­pli­ment. Re­gard­less of how old we are, be­ing no­ticed re­minds us we mat­ter.

And, af­ter more than 20 years on writ­ing about beauty, I am still sur­prised at how much. A prod­uct re­cently crossed my desk that I might or­di­nar­ily have put aside. For a start, it cost $720. There are great skin­care prod­ucts at both ends of the price spec­trum but $720 is a huge in­vest­ment. Made by La Prairie, prob­a­bly one of the most ex­pen­sive brands in the world, it of­fered lux­ury and pres­tige. It also of­fered to rem­edy pig­men­ta­tion.

For years I have had a no­tice­able band of pig­men­ta­tion wrapped, brown-stain-like, around my neck. De­spite proper proof, I blame years of spray­ing on per­fume and go­ing with­out sun­block. I’ve tried many things to fix it, in­clud­ing an IPL course, which was ex­pen­sive, un­com­fort­able and al­though it did make an ini­tial dif­fer­ence, the re­sults weren’t per­ma­nent. While I am con­vinced of the ef­fi­cacy of over-the-counter pig­men­ta­tion prod­ucts, they re­quire pa­tience and con­sis­tency, nei­ther of which I’m par­tic­u­larly good at. But that pretty, pre­cious-look­ing bot­tle looked tempt­ing.

A cou­ple of weeks or so into us­ing La Prairie’s White Caviar Il­lu­mi­nat­ing Pearl In­fu­sion I no­ticed a dif­fer­ence. The wide band of pig­men­ta­tion looked lighter, the dirty brown colour less in­tense. I started us­ing it morn­ing and night; the re­sults got bet­ter… and bet­ter. By the time the bot­tle was empty, the pig­men­ta­tion was barely no­tice­able. So was a lot of the red­ness that went with it.

The prod­uct con­tains a sta­ble form of vi­ta­min C, golden caviar ex­tract and a newish in­gre­di­ent called diglu­co­syl gal­lic acid, or DGA. To­gether, the in­gre­di­ents tar­get melanin pro­duc­tion and lighten and brighten and firm the skin, re­duc­ing brown spots and red­ness. Ac­cord­ing to La Prairie, once you’ve achieved the de­sired re­sults, it’s best to con­tinue use to main­tain them. (I’ll con­tinue us­ing it as a booster rather than reg­u­larly.)

“Your pig­men­ta­tion is al­ways lurk­ing be­neath the sur­face, wait­ing for the op­por­tu­nity to make an ap­pear­ance again, says in­ter­na­tional trainer Belinda Be­sant. “While any pig­men­ta­tion that re­turns will do so grad­u­ally, don’t give it the chance.”

Ad­ver­tis­ing is de­signed to per­suade. But as a long-time beauty ed­i­tor I’ve learnt that mir­a­cles don’t come in bot­tles, no mat­ter how pret­tily those bot­tles are pack­aged, and a lit­tle scep­ti­cism, es­pe­cially when it comes to pre­mium prices, is healthy. This, how­ever, is one of the best serums I’ve tried. Yes, it costs a for­tune, but the re­sults made me feel dif­fer­ent — in a spir­itlift­ing way that I would have de­nied pos­si­ble.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.