The science behind skincare is fast becoming one of my guilty pleasures.
I use “guilty” advisedly: I’m a firm believer, in my music/cultural life at least, that it’s a stupid phrase, as there’s no reason to feel guilty about the things that bring you pleasure. But when it comes to skincare science – well, if the product’s cheap then the claims are probably bollocks; and if the research stacks up then you can bet you will be paying for the privilege.
Plus, with 35 on the horizon, I’m becoming increasingly less bothered about masking the signs of ageing. Ageing is wonderful. It means that I’ve had opportunities to learn and grow, and to enjoy so many fantastic experiences – so who cares whether some of that shows up on my face as wrinkles?
Although, as we have discussed before, I am genetically blessed with pretty decent skin. So I would say that, wouldn’t I.
Here’s a skincare science fact I learned recently, courtesy of XYZ Smart Collagen Cream*: by the time you reach the age of 35, natural collagen production in the body has already halved. Collagen is the main structural protein in your skin, and it’s when your body stops producing so much that thin, sagging skin and wrinkles can start to appear. Developed initially as a post-tattoo skin recovery cream, XYZ Smart Collagen incorporates two plant-based ingredients in a way which, the manufacturers claim, boosts the skin’s natural collagen production without triggering the skin’s natural inflammatory response.
These days, the product is primarily marketed as an anti-ageing cream, to the surprise of nobody: the claim is that after 12 weeks of use your skin will look a creepily exact 7.5 years younger. However, this one is more than just another overpriced face cream: its collagen-boosting qualities point to its potential use on stretch marks, as well for skin recovery. Let’s face it: this neat little glass jar is a far more glamorous route to tattoo healing than a tube of nappy rash cream, even if you’re paying ten times the price for it.
I was sent the standard 60ml jar of the cream for review purposes. It’s a sleek, space-age looking thing and although the packaging and label aren’t much to look at from the outside, the foam-lined container adds a touch of luxury to proceedings. Since XYZ is only offering mail order at the moment this makes sense, and means you don’t have to worry about the product getting damaged in transit.
As I’ve only been using the cream for three weeks at last count, I’m not about to report any miracle transformations here. But I’ve been using it as an eye cream, something that I feel the product is perfectly designed for: I don’t like using thicker creams on my combination skin, but the velvety texture is perfect for the eye area. That’s also the part of my face in which I tend to see the traditional signs of ageing, such as wrinkles – particularly at the moment, when I’m one month into a sinus infection and feel as though my face is permanently screwed up from sneezing or peering at a computer screen.
I haven’t actually used a dedicated eye cream since my wonderful (and irreplaceable, at that price) La Prairie stuff ran out a few months ago, so take this with a pinch of salt if you will: but after three weeks of use, my under eye area is noticeably softer and smoother to the touch. It’s not miraculously erased my crow’s feet or anything, and nor would I particularly want it to, but I’m definitely impressed enough to work my way through the jar so who knows – maybe I’ll have my own skincare science session to report soon.
It was interesting to get more of a feel for how the cream works when I tried it on the back of my hand and saw it smooth out my skin by filling in those fine lines – like some kind of fairyland Polyfilla. Of course, that’s only the short-term results – whether this one does everything is says on the jar remains to be seen.
This post contains PR samples, but all views are my own and unbiased.