I followed the trail on an online ad the other day and ended up on a website called youngeractingskin.com, which turned out to be an anti-aging skin care brand called Artistry. Its a fancy site that combines lots of videos with pseudo science. I was drawn to the 'skin age test' - one of those quizzes where you have check boxes on whether you exercise or drink alcohol, amongst other things. My skin age was deemed to be 42 (which I was rather pleased by since I am 49). However, if I had checked yes to using Artistry products I would have the skin of a 33-year-old. It was worth finding out more.

So I shone my spotlight on Time Defiance Day Protect Creme with SPF 15. But before we go into that, you need to know that the thing about Artistry (other than having an impressive video budget) is that it has its own skincare 'concept' called Derma Cell Exchange. As Artistry puts it: "Derma Cell Exchange keeps the network that connects the skin cells from losing elasticity by causing a continuous flow of communication".

Alright! A dermal phone system. Or twaddle.

The continuous flow of communication could conceivably mean something like one of those signaling molecules that tell cells to reproduce. They turn up in anti-aging products such as Skinceuticals, where phytosphingosine, a lipid precurser to ceramide, can signal to cells to get them to do something (like self-destruct). Artistry Time Defiance has soybean extract, which has a weak signaling molecule called genistein.

There are a few other things of interest in Artistry such as phospholipids, which are a component of cell membrane. There is also tetrahydrodiferuloylmethane. This is in the family of the equally unpronouncable tetrahydrocurcuminoids. And they, in turn are a derivative of the Indian spice turmeric. These derivatives are supposed to provide all the antioxidants without the orange stain that this spice gives to anything within its radius. As well as being an antioxidant, turmeric can help lighten skin.

Superoxide dismutase is beginning to show up in cosmetics after being tested out in the repairing of the skin of cancer patients damaged by the radiation treatment. The results are tentative, however. Still, it is an important component in antioxidant defense of the cells.

I've ended up with mixed feelings about Artistry. There are at least a third to a half of the ingredients that are fillers, silicones, preservatives and generally underwhelming. The other half or so are a good mix of antioxidants and things that may be communicating elasticity to cells. The other thing I don't like is that you have to buy into all things Artistry. Th products (cleanser, toner, day and night creams) can't be bought individually, but only in a set that costs $226.40.

But, ahhh, to be 33 again.

Active ingredients: Avobenzone 3.0% W/W P/P, Octinoxate 7.5% W/W P/P

Other ingredients: Water/Eau, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Phenethyl Benzoate, Butylene Glycol, Arachidyl Alcohol, Behenyl Alcohol, Glycerin, Squalane, Glyceryl Stearate, Isostearyl Palmitate, Peg-100 Stearate, Tocopheryl Acetate, Hydroxyethyl Acrylate/Sodium Acryloyldimethyl Taurate Copolymer, Cetyl Alcohol, Arachidyl Glucoside, Methylparaben, Benzyl Alcohol, Chlorphenesin, Ozokerite Dimethicone, Fragrance/Parfum, Hydrolyzed Rice Protein, Polysorbate 60, Glycine Soja (Soybean) Oil, Tocopherol, Panthenol, Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate, Tetrahydrodiferuloylmethane, Phospholipids, Disodium Edta, Bioflavonoids, Citrus Grandis (Grapefruit) Peel Extract, Stearyl Glycyrrhetinate, Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Seed Extract, Glutathione, Glycine Soja (Soybean) Protein, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Extract, Tetrahydrodemethoxydiferuloylmethane, Proline, Superoxide Dismutase, Lecithin, Tetrahydrobisdemethoxydiferuloylmethane, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Palmitoyl Hydroxpropyltrimonium Amylopectin/Glycerin Crosspolymer, Sodium Hyaluronate, Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Extract, Hydrogenated Lecithin, Ceramide 3, Beta-Sitosterol.