A No­bel Prize for Cos­metic Science?

Starkville Daily News - - FORUM -

Warn­ing: What fol­lows here is of no na­tional con­se­quence what­so­ever.

I don't know whether I should take this per­son­ally or it's a func­tion of my age, but when­ever I walk the aisles of a high-end depart­ment store, arms shoot out of the shad­ows of­fer­ing sam­ples of beauty serums.

These things cost a for­tune to buy, and their claims are equally ex­trav­a­gant. Let me con­fess that I've suc­cumbed after sales­peo­ple ap­plied the po­tions and hyp­no­tized me into see­ing vast im­prove­ment. Or was it the trick light­ing?

Bot­tom-line ques­tion: Do these po­tions do any­thing? Bot­tom-line an­swer: Prob­a­bly not much.

Nowa­days, many of the elixirs you smear on your mug rely on as­sur­ances of cut­ting-edge science be­hind the for­mu­la­tions. Some may have been de­vel­oped in a se­cret lab at Los Alamos.

Clar­ins now of­fers Dou­ble Serum, a "hy­dric + li­pidic sys­tem." You, of course, know what "li­pidic" means.

I Googled, and the best I could find was a schol­arly ar­ti­cle ex­plain­ing, "Li­pidic cu­bic phase (LCP) is a mem­brane-mimetic ma­trix suit­able for sta­bi­liza­tion and crys­tal­liza­tion of mem­brane pro­teins in li­pidic en­vi­ron­ment." Sounds promis­ing.

L'Oreal sells a Re­vi­taLift cream with "triple power." Its space-age com­po­nents are "pro-xy­lane + hyaluronic acid." The com­pany's To­tal Re­pair 5 (for hair) fea­tures "pro­tein + ceramide."

A magazine ad as­serts that StriVectin's Ad­vanced Acid skin treat­ment takes "skin­care su­per­pow­ers to the next level with patented NIA-114 tech­nol­ogy."

These lo­tions prom­ise ex­tra­or­di­nary trans­for­ma­tions: They re­de­fine, sculpt and resur­face, all with­out sharp tools. An­other Clar­ins serum is called Shap­ing Fa­cial Lift. Won­der what face shape they have in mind.

Per­haps there should be a No­bel Prize in cos­metic science.

I've al­ways been skep­ti­cal of putting food on my face, how­ever healthy. Blue Serum, from Chanel, "com­bines three nat­u­ral in­gre­di­ents from the di­ets of the blue zone pop­u­la­tions for the first time in a break­through serum," the ad says.

And how about that Ara­bic cof­fee fruit in Her­bal Essences sham­poo?

There's a whole world of beauty uten­sils, and they, too, pro­mote their high-tech fea­tures. Ulta mar­kets a new "Sil­i­cone Sonic Fa­cial Cleans­ing Brush." Why not su­per­sonic? Dyson has the "Su­per­sonic" hair dryer.

Need­less to say, the Food and Drug Ad­min­is­tra­tion does not re­quire proof of claims for most cos­met­ics.

Der­ma­tol­o­gists con­cede that many of these prod­ucts' mys­te­ri­ous el­e­ments, glam-

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FROMA HARROP

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