If the most recent offerings are any indication, beauty and wellness treatments are fast-forwarding into the future. The latest therapies will take you to Germany for a state-of-the-art anti-ageing cream, or over to Causeway Bay to spend a few minutes in an arctic chamber.
And for those worried about sun exposure, the newest smart technology is more than skin-deep—it also aims to save lives.
Photo: Courtesy of Dr Barbara Sturm
You’ve probably heard about the “vampire facial” made famous by Kim Kardashian, where platelet-rich plasma (PRP) is injected into the dermis to boost collagen production. Taking blood-infused treatments one step further, pioneering German physician Dr Barbara Sturm recently developed a customised cream for at-home care.
First, a sample of blood is taken. Sturm then extracts the plasma from the blood and stores it at -30C. The incubation period is designed to increase the production of growth factors, proteins and regenerative substances within the plasma.
After processing, the plasma can be injected into the skin during a facial or mixed into a shea butter cream, which can be taken home. At US$1,400, the MC1 cream is only available at the headquarters in Germany, where Sturm will tailor-make the formula herself following a private consultation.
While it may be a new addition to your beauty routine, processed plasma has been commonly used for medical purposes, particularly to speed up wound healing. When used in cosmetics, plasma is said to brighten skin, boost collagen production, reduce inflammation, smooth wrinkles and generally minimise signs of ageing.
Photo: Courtesy of Polaris Wellness
A blast of icy air might not sound like the most rejuvenating of beauty treatments, but cryotherapy could well be the new dry sauna. Brace yourselves—this involves stepping into a chamber pumping out dry nitrogen gas at sub-zero temperatures.
The resulting chill is said to trigger a natural reaction that increases collagen production, boosts energy levels, improves circulation, reduces inflammation and aids weight loss. Celebrities such as Demi Moore, Jessica Alba and Daniel Craig have incorporated cryotherapy into their health and wellness regimes too.
Polaris Wellness opened its doors in Causeway Bay last year. The 2,000sqft centre offers three options: Cryo Facials, Cryo Stimulation and Whole-Body Cryotherapy.
The facials are meant to tighten pores, brighten skin and reduce signs of ageing by applying freezing air on the face, neck and décolletage for about 15 minutes. Or you can have that icy air trained on specific areas of the body for short periods in the Cryo Stimulation treatment. The full-body option, meanwhile, takes a zippy three minutes, making this an easy wellness routine to fit into the busiest of schedules. Body treatments take place in a “cryo sauna”—a standing unit filled with dry nitrogen gas that plunges to temperatures of between -70C and -120C.
Photo: Courtesy of La Roche-Posay
Ultraviolet (UV) radiation from sun exposure is responsible for 90 per cent of non-melanoma skin cancers, as well as being a primary cause of premature ageing.
Dermatological skincare brand La Roche-Posay commissioned a study into public awareness of this major international health issue and found that of 19,000 women and men surveyed, only 26 per cent regularly wore sunscreen.
La Roche-Posay decided to try making sun protection easier and with the help of smart technology created the My UV Patch. This product debuted at the 2016 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, and it may well become your new best friend. The smart, stretchy sensor is designed to stick onto the skin to monitor your UV exposure.
The transparent patch measures about 1 square inch and is thinner than a human hair. So how does it work? The patch contains photosensitive dyes which change colour when they’re exposed to UV rays, making it easy to monitor your exposure throughout the day.
And it goes one step further by syncing your data with a mobile app. Simply scan the patch using the built-in camera function in the app to keep track of your UV exposure. The app also includes weather and UV information and an alert function to remind you to scan the patch and reapply sunscreen.
(Text by: Kate Springer)