Wednesday, 9 March 2011

Talkin' About My Regeneration

Talkin' About My Regeneration..

I'm a total sucker for anti-ageing creams (actually, if I'm honest, I'm a sucker for anti-ageing everything). I'm a firm believer in the old adage "prevention is better than the cure". Being resolutely anti cosmetic surgery (with the exception of instances such as surgical reconstruction for individuals who genuinely need it). Anyone who tuned in to Channel 4's hard-hitting documentary series "Beauty and The Beast: Ugly Face of Beauty" will know what I'm talking about. How can we justify so many plastic surgeons performing medically unnecessary procedures on the emotionally and psychologically vulnerable, when there are so many people in the world who are living with disfigurement, either through birth, or through tragic accidents. If it was a case of having to decide between changing the life of a car-crash survivor and inflating the lips of an insecure yummy mummy, I know which one I'd choose.

My mother instilled in me at a young age, the importance of a good skincare regimen, wisdom I in turn, extol the virtues of through my writing. For me to have any integrity in my craft, it's of paramount importance to practice what I preach. As such, I cleanse and moisturise religiously, cleansing twice at night, once to remove environmental pollution and make-up, and a second time to clean my pores. On the days when even good skincare isn't enough, I rely on the artful (and subtle) application of sheer illuminating foundation, concealer and bronzer (my cosmetic holy trinity), to fake the glowing skin I wish I had. I'd much rather fake it, than turn to botox and fillers (who wants a frozen chipmunk face). Eyelash curlers and clear mascara are another favourite, to cheat the wide awake doe-eyed look, when in reality I've been up all night writing features.

My fastidiousness is obviously working. I'm hitting the big "THREE ZERO" this year, and on the rare occasions I try to purchase wine for special occasions, I'm more often than not, asked for ID. Even yesterday morning, at a slap up pancake breakfast at Cecconi's in Mayfair, Sasha Wilkins (aka Liberty London Girl) was sat opposite me, while the author of Beauty And The Dirt was on my right. At the end of the meal, Beauty And The Dirt (a woman perhaps in her early 40's at most), turned to me and said; "it was a pleasure meeting you young man". Though in hindsight, the comment was a little patronising, I choose to take it as a compliment, and it only serves to reinforce the fact that it pays to look after your skin.

So naturally, when I was sent a sample of Bakel Oxyregen Regenerating Oxygenating Cream For Aged Skin (pictured above), the beauty geek in me was itching to give it a whirl. Oxygenating treatments have been on my beauty radar for years. When Marcia Kilgore's Bliss Spa launched in London back in 2001, their signature Triple Oxygen Facial soon had A-List stars such as Madonna clamouring for an appointment (the treatment itself was launched in 1996). Bakel Oxyregen promises to oxygenate skin at home (which, quite frankly, is far more convenient).

The cream has a pump dispenser, which I absolutely love, as it prevents waste and is also infinitely more hygienic than dipping your fingers in a pot. As a professional make-up artist, hygiene is of paramount importance. Celebrities such as Alexandra Burke have come to me to make them look like the most glorious versions of themselves, not to walk away with an eye infection! The cream itself is divine, the texture is rich without feeling sticky, heavy or greasy. I have oily skin, especially on the T-Zone, so normally I would opt for lighter lotions, gels or emulsions, but this didn't make my face feel oily at all, just beautifully hydrated, comforted and plump.

I also adore the fact that the product can be used on the delicate eye area, negating the need for an additional eye treatment. It is designed for "aged skin", but I found it to be equally efficacious on mine, and I'm 29. I do think that the late 20's is a good time to upgrade to a beefier moisturiser. I'd rather not wait for the deep wrinkles to set in, again, prevention is better than the cure. The original Creme de la Mer cream is something I'd only use on longhaul flights or at night, however, I found Bakel Oxyregen to be far lighter on the skin, without compromising on the hydration front. As with all cleansers, serums and moisturisers, I always advocate taking at least 3-5 minutes to massage the product into the neck, behind the neck and ears, then working up the face in firm circular motions, ending at the forehead and temples. Facial massage will always boost the efficacy of any skincare product, by increasing blood flow (and oxygen) to the skin. It will also provide an instant boost, relaxing the facial muscles and imparting a youthful glow.

Given the economically strained times, a lot of people not only have less disposable income, they are also working twice as hard, which is why we all need products like this, that work just as hard as we do (if not harder). Why bother with a zillion products for your "basic" skincare regimen, when you can have a serum, moisturiser and eye cream, all in one simple product (and one that actually does what it says on the tin). The packaging is lightweight to boot, meaning you could carry it around with you in your handbag / manbag / professional make-up case, without requiring the services of an osteopath.

Being the holistic whore that I am, I revel in the fact that this wonder product is devoid of synthetic fragrance, silicones, colourants, PPG, preservatives, PEG, alcohol, sulfates and petroleum derivatives. London is toxic enough, the last thing I'd want to do is to smother my skin with all of those nasties. It contains 10 active ingredients and "zero useless substances" (these are my kind of statistics).

Meet The Maker

Dr Raffaella Gregoris (pictured above) is the founder of Bakel. An Italian researcher, specialising in skincare chemistry at the University of Milan, she has a Master's degree in skincare chemistry and cosmetology from the prestigious University of Bologna. She could easily be the poster girl for her own brand, given the remarkably smooth appearance of her own skin (bellissima).

The Ingredients

Saccharomyces Lysate (an oxidising yeast) is the premium ingredient, stimulating cellular oxygenation and skin regeneration, leaving skin perky and plumped. Tocopherol (Vitamin E) nourishes and provides antioxidant protection from free radicals while Pentylene Glycol and Xanthan Gum boost water retention and condition the skin's texture, making it smoother.

Witch Hazel is most commonly used as an astringent, brilliant for soothing redness and irritation as well as for treating blemishes and minor nicks and grazes. An antioxidant, it prevents cellular damage from exposure to free radicals and environmental aggressors, whilst also helping moisture retention by reinforcing the natural barrier function of the skin.

Jojoba nut oil is rich in fatty acids, essential for maintaining smooth, plump and youthful looking skin.

Cetearyl Olivate and Sorbitan Olivate, derived from olive oil, are natural emulsifiers, boosting moisture and skin elasticity.

Avocado oil is a powerful antioxidant, rich in Vitamins A, B and D, protecting against the ageing effects of free radicals and solar radiation. With a higher penetration rate than olive or almond oil, it is more readily absorbed into the deeper layers of the skin.

Roman Camomile is known for its soothing properties, ideally suited for the nourishment of even the most sensitive of skins.

Bakel Oxyregen - £85

Available exclusively from Space NK

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