Natural born fillers

Contouring’s a buzzword in make-up – now it’s set to transform your skincare too

We’re seeing the next generation of skincare arriving, and it’s all about contouring – creams and skin workouts to give a new definition. The parameters of exercise, and the trend for ‘“fit not thin”, working to get a strong, healthy body, is extending to our faces. We need to apply the same rigour as we do to our bodies, say the skin experts at Clinique, where the new focus is what lies beneath – beneath the chin, that is, and the unwelcome thickening that happens with age. It’s an irony that, as we lose volume in the upper part of our faces, we gain it around the lower half – the jawline loses definition and those dreaded “double chins” build up. It’s partly due to gravity – muscles and fatty deposits atrophy and sink as we get older. But our skin’s arch-enemy, the sun, plays a part, too. “Sun exposure and stress affect the deeper tissues, causing changes in muscles which mean the profile of our face changes,” explains Clinique’s head of Research and Development, Dr Tom Mammone, whose team has been looking into the 3D changes beneath the skin. “It’s also due to Infrared Radiation (IR) from the sun. IR is the culprit in a lot of structural change in the face. Fifty per cent of the sun’s light output is IR and these rays can penetrate very deeply – even to the muscle and bone – causing a lot of these changes affecting the volume of the face.” 
Clinique’s team has been talking to plastic surgeons about ways to tone, lift and firm the jawline, but naturally. “To make a difference, you need to not only tighten skin, but also the bone structure below,” says Mammone.  This is where “facial fitness” comes in. Clinique has developed a new head for their Sonic Cleansing Brush, the Massaging Treatment Applicator (€25), which is a workout tool for the facial muscles – the equivalent of PowerPlate. “The fact is, massage is good for the face,” says Mammone. “It enhances blood flow, the penetration of actives and accelerates the benefits of products.” Use it to apply the Lift & Contour Mask (€48) all along jawline and neck: it aims to tone, contour and sculpt as well as increase the skin barrier. Clinique’s new Sculptwear Lift & Contour Serum (€58) is powered by soy extract, a natural lipid that’s found in the body and set to be the new beauty superpower: “It’s one of the strongest growth factors we know,” says Mammone. It’s also a strong healing agent and helps to tighten and contract skin, while coffee seed and clary sage help diminish accumulation around the jawline.
The serum and mask work as a super-powered cellulite cream for the face, in effect, but with added “matrix enhancers” to build up ever-diminishing collagen and elastin supplies, plus tightening polymers. First impressions are that it certainly firms the neck and jaw area, as well as making skin look a whole lot more radiant and smooth. It also makes you pay attention to a generally forgotten area. At Brown Thomas from July 31; nationwide from May 2016.

This story appears in the July/August issue of The Gloss. Find more features like this in our next issue, out Saturday September 5