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A BOUNTY OF BRAND-NEW LOOKS

Bangkok has had several cosmetics and hair experts unveiling new products lately. Kupluthai Pungkanon makes the rounds

ELEMIS

Noella Gabriel of the 22-year-old British skincare-and-spa firm Elemis says the industry is now increasingly focusing on "high-performance skincare with results".

"The brief in 1989 was that we would develop products as close to nature as possible, with no expense spared - better formulations and better quality. When you start from that point, you're way ahead of any other brand.

"Every new product is a blank sheet of paper. We really think through what we're trying to design and what we'll deliver." The label's philosophy is "Defined by nature, led by science."

Gabriel was in Bangkok introducing two new products. Pro-Intense Lift Effect helps ageing skin retain its structure and hold moisture to avoid sagging. It works with the skin at the "dermal-epidermal junction", adding the hi-tech bio-complex Lupin and Papilactyl D and stem cells from edelweiss and tiger grass to prevent structural damage and firm the skin while reducing jowls.

Pro-Collagen Advanced Eye Treatment targets fine lines and wrinkles with active ingredients from plant and amino acids. It improves blood circulation to brighten the eyes.

Gabriel said spas are changing in response to clients' expectations. "They want to spend a minimum of time there but expect maximum results. They want to pick up the mirror and see an immediate difference.

"Five years ago they just went to relax and feel great, but these days they're looking for more. And this will change the spa world."

ELIZABETH ARDEN

Elizabeth Arden of New York's Visible Difference offers four new steps to beautiful skin - Skin Balancing Exfoliating Cleanser, Skin Balancing Toner, Optimising Skin Serum and Skin Balancing Lotion.

Regional marketing director Mathias Ogier showed off the product at the Oriental Residence, while admitting that the venerable brand that had every woman wearing red lipstick during World War II has, for the past two decades, "been kind of a sleeping beauty".

Visible Difference offers women 25 and up gentle hydration that lasts. The four-step regimen removes impurities, ensures moistness deep in the skin and thus maintains soft, supple skin throughout the day.

GREFAS

Japanese skincare brand Grefas, celebrating its 15th anniversary, had founder Akiyochi Hokata and chief researcher Katsuaki Dan at the Grand Hyatt Erawan Bangkok to unveil Refine Live Placenta.

The brand behind EST Sonic now has a product that for the first time utilises actual placenta extracted from pigs and flash-frozen, with no counterfeit scent or colour. Everything goes through strict hygiene inspections and disinfecting procedures.

The patented freezing process maintains the usefulness of the inherent protein, 1,000 kinds of enzymes and more than 8,000 growth hormones. All this goodness is rapidly absorbed into the skin.

Hokata said placenta is one of the richest known sources of cell nutrients and anti-ageing compounds. Its benefits to the skin include reducing lines and furrows, smoothing and softening and overcoming discoloration and dark spots.

THE GALLERY

The Gallery at the Gaysorn mall has a new hair treatment, the combination of Keratin Complex and Carbothera Soda Spa.

The "green" spa's owner, Thunyanun Thamathananun, says every customer can be assured of a healthy environment and a health-conscious process, from shampooing to re-bonding and colouring. The hair products come from Chi and are certified ammonia-free by the US government.

Keratin Complex deeply nourishes hair by restoring natural keratin to open the scales of the cuticles, reducing frizz and tangle by 95 per cent and adding a beautiful shine. It envelops the roots in filaments of keratin, a protein.

Thunyanun says that, in combination with the Carbothera Soda Spa, a Japanese concept, Keratin Complex can keep hair soft, sleek and healthy for three to five months.

The Carbothera Soda Spa restores hair health by infusing carbon dioxide into the molecules, boosting blood circulation in the scalp so that more oxygen and nutrients are delivered. As a result the scalp suffers fewer allergic symptoms such as dandruff.


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