Skin Care

By Andrea Toochin

Outsiders may wonder how can someone continue to obsess over beauty products after their closets and counters are full, and their brains near saturation. The truth is a combination of two factors more complex than onlookers may realize. While some view beauty and fashion as fluff, insiders know they are complex, competitive industries that have a huge impact on the economies of developed nations. With the advent of the ubiquitous hotel spa, they will soon have an indirect impact on developing countries, too. However, at the heart of the beauty craze, each consumer is searching for the product that will deliver smooth, clear skin, the kind we took for granted in our youth.

Imagine four million women of different ages, backgrounds, and interests, all alone in front of the mirror at 11:30 p.m. on a Tuesday, picking from the array of potions on their dressers, night tables, and inside their medicine cabinets, in the midst of what I call ‘the moment of hope’. This moment of hope is the minute before application when you think perhaps this cream will erase signs of exhaustion and return the face to its original state – as it was when we were blissfully ignorant and well rested. The second reason for our pursuance of radiant skin is a matter of control. No matter where you live or what you do, you will inevitably experience the chaos that is life on earth, a tumultuous whirlwind that combines joy, success, and miracles with disappointment, competition, and tragedies. Surviving the roller coaster is partially due to our focus on small things, like finding sexy shoes at a Vivienne Tam sample sale, formally meeting your Missed Connection, hearing a song that perfectly verbalizes your emotions, or discovering a moisturizer that allows your beauty to shine through without gobs of makeup.

So, in our continued search for the perfect products, we bring you the latest line purporting spring water, vitamins, and nutrients to deliver glowing skin, free from the bounds of foundation and concealer. We bring you concentrated solutions from the company whose water is delivered in truckloads to famous models – Evian Affinity.

The main premise supporting the Evian skin care line is based on research performed by the Johnson & Johnson Global Research Team and UC Berkeley biology professor, Dr. Lester Packer. The research showed that the skin and the body share the same needs – water, air, and nutrients. Recognized for its healthy source of nutrients and its mineral composition, which includes calcium and magnesium, the Evian company utilized the water when creating cleansers and moisturizers. Then, they added vitamins B, C, and E; Trehalose, a sugar found in desert plants that functions as a moisturizer; and Arnica Montana, a plant known for its anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties.

The oil-free Original Cleansing Fluid is great for oily skin during the winter because the Arnica Montana wipes away impurities and the 7.2 pH balance of Evian water melds well with skin cells and helps restores moisture. The original hydrating lotion is made with Trehalose and comes in a few varieties: normal, dry, or sensitive skin, and with SPF 15. The original line also offers an oil-free toner, wipes, and the Intense Quenching Beauty Mask, a glycerin-based cream mask.

The Evian Affinity Smoothing and Lifting Line reminds us that while carbohydrates may not be good for our diet, they are essential to maintaining healthy, plump skin.

The Smoothing products all contain Melibiose, a combination of two sugar molecules, Galactose and Glucose, which diminishes wrinkles by stimulating cell regeneration and healing actions. The Exfoliating Smoothing Gel is a light scrub with Jojoba. The De-stressing Smoothing Lotion can be used in the morning or evening; it employs Magnesium to energize the cells and improve the elasticity of skin. The Re-energizing Smoothing Anti-Wrinkle Care is meant for nighttime use and employs Ginkgo to revitalize the skin because it is an anti-inflammatory that also improves circulation. The Eye Contour Lift Gel is a creamy, foggy looking hydrator that absorbs quickly and utilizes an amino-acid complex to lessen dark circles and bags.

The Oxygenating Line improves the appearance and texture of skin by cleaning oil and bacteria, and allowing the skin cells to absorb oxygen. The amino acid Carnitine and the energizing, anti-inflammatory Sodium Pyruvate her help the skin cells take in more oxygen. The Oxygenating Cleansing Wipes and the Micro-Exfoliating Oxygenating Gel both clean skin and prevent breakouts by ridding the skin of sebum, a fat produced by the sebaceous glands that mixes with sweat and bacteria, and clogs follicles. The two cleansing products also contain zinc, which regulates the production of sebum, as does the oil-free moisturizer.

The Evian Affinity line falls in the category of science-based products that also benefit from the healing and moisturizing properties of plants and minerals found in nature. They are drugstore priced products comparable to the Aveeno line, for women who don’t expect miracles, but who envision a day where makeup is unnecessary because natural radiance and full, healthy skin is beautiful as is. These are the kinds of cleansers that reveal smooth, fresh skin with a touch of glow in the cheeks, a flush around the apples. It’s fitting that nature-based products produce such a glow but it’s most similar to the flush that arrives when the body is experiencing fluctuations in hormones and adrenaline for good reasons, like creating life or experiencing pleasure.

Now, if a skin care line can create that kind of flush, isn’t it worth a trial?

Original line features seven products, $16 to $27
The Smoothing & Lifting Line contains six products, $16 to $33
The Oxygenating Line contains four products, $16 to $27
www.drugstore.com
www.evianaffinity.com

If you are planning a trip to Canada anytime soon, look out for Shoppers Drug Mart, London Drugs, and Coutu Jean Pharmacie locations across the country, where the Evian Affinity lines are sold.

Originally published January 2006
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