Why would anyone think that inducing fear and self-loathing is a good way of trying to sell something.  The people at Clinique apparently do. Go to the website for their new anti-aging product, Clinique Youth Surge, and take the Look Younger Quizz. This is what I did. Only to be told that I have a skin age of 56. Before I went off to slit my wrists, I noted that use of Youth Surge would win me back eight years, making me 48. I am actually 49. So first Clinique insults me and then it gives me one measly year!

The other thing that ticks me off about Clinique is that they are never very informative. You will never find a comprehensive list of ingredients on their website. Even Sephora, whose website is getting better and better  at providing product details, can't seem to get Clinique to open its kimono. I don't understand why anyone would buy a product without knowing what's in it.

What I can tell you is that Clinique's sercret sauce is not - despite the cute little guy in the picture - turtle soup. It is sirtuins. This is the new killer app from Estee Lauder and it is the centerpiece of the new Time Zone range. As Clinique is owned by Estee Lauder, it isn't surprising that they are sharing secrets from the lab. They probably got a discount on a bulk buy of sirtuins.

Sirtuins are, in fact, pretty interesting. Although its all a bit vague. They are so new that little is known about them. What we do know is that they came out of research into why it is that mice put on a subsistence diet tend to live longer than normal. Researchers have now found that calorific restriction triggers a biochemical pathway that involves enzymes called sirtuins. The main role of sirtuins is to regulate the activity of the genes responsible for metabolism, cell defense and reproduction. When food is scarce, the body’s sirtuins go into self-preservation mode.

A sirtuin activator has been found in the form of resveratol found in grapes and already known to be an effective antioxidant. No one seems to know if a topically applied sirtuins activator really works. But it would brilliant if it did since I would rather die young and wrinkled than go on a subsistence diet.


The only empirical evidence (outside of any trials conducted by Estee Lauder) I have is a reader review of a REN product with sirtuins. Our reviewer wrote: "So, after my 30+ days of faithful usage,  is my skin firmer, brighter, and in better condition? Regretably, the answer is……. no. And no. And no."

Perhaps Clinique will have better results. If I knew what else was in it, I might buy it and find out. But then, I am still sulking from being aged seven years.

Related posts

More on what sirtuins is and Estee Lauder's Time Zone

Reader reviewed and rejected: REN Sirtuin Creme