The other day a reader wrote to me to discuss the skincare products he has been using and some new ones he has been looking at. He had felt the compunction to upgrade from the basic Zihr range and started by looking at Zihr's new (and expensive Platinum range). The problem is that Zihr's website (and just about every other internet source) is suspiciously coy about what is in Platinum. It makes a big deal out of a melon grown in the Kalahari. Since the Kalahari is a desert this is seems like an oxymoron at best. Anyhow, he somehow alighted on to Cellbone and its Super AOX moisturizer. The potion gods must have been smiling on him because this is, all in all, a very good looking product. It is big on Matrixyl 3000, a  peptide combination that is a powerful anti-oxidant, with a 10% concentration. It is, in fact, the second most dominant ingredient.

Then there is some CoQ10, lycopene (from tomatoes and another anti-oxidant) and some vitamin C and E. All of those are helpful, but I was especially intrigued by the addition of a plant extract called Inchi. It is grown in the Peruvian Andes and is supposed to  be a  super  source of omega  3. I approve of alternatives to fishy sources of omegas - less mercury in our systems and fewer assaults on depleting fish stocks. This plant is also a good wound healer and regulates keratin, so could be a helpful moisturizer.

And there is nothing not like, apart from a touch of a preservative called phenoxyphenol that can be an irritant for the super sensitive.

My correspondent is also trying out Cellbone's vitamin C serum. I am less impressed with this because the form of vitamin C it uses is one of the weakest and least stable. Just because it is used in a fairly high concentration doesn't make it any more potent than one of the better formulations of vit c, such as ascorbyl tetraisopalmitate.

In the meantime, I'm going to have to go to Sephora to find Zihr Platinum, don my reading glasses and attempt to note down the small print - while fending off the assistants. Pass the valium please.