We can hide from the sun, we can quit smoking, we can prevent expression wrinkles by injecting Botox, but when it comes to a new and sinister form of environmental pollution, we can run but we cannot hide. The new pollutants are computers and cell phones and never before, since the dawn of the industrial revolution, was working so capable of prematurely aging us. As I write this - on my radiation-emitting computer - it is a great comfort to know that Clarins can save us.

Toiling selflessly (no doubt having to input research data into computers and answering emergency calls from spouses on their cell phones), scientists at Clarins have come up with Expertise 3P. The blurb for Clarins Expertise 3P Screen Mist sums it up:  "Clarins created Expertise 3P, a groundbreaking, scientifically advanced skincare discovery that protects skin from the electromagnetic effects of today's modern-day conveniences like cell phones and computers. As pure and as clear as water, this delicate, refreshing mist gently, effectively and invisibly shields skin from the aging effects of electromagnetic waves and neutralizes the harmful effects of pollution and artificial lighting."

I tried to find out whether there was any evidence that computers give off harmful radiation. I couldn't find any at all. But I did find an article by an FDA expert on the Health Physics Society (specialists in radiation) website saying that all research to date indicates computer and television screens are not hazardous. Still, there could be a worldwide conspiracy to prevent widespread panic and the downing of tools in offices around the world leading to the downfall of capitalism. Hmm, it might be better to err on the paranoid and go with with Clarins.

At first glance, this 'breakthrough' mist is deceptively underwhelming with its butylene glycol (alcohol esters), sodium lauroyl sarcosinate (a potential irritant that can be used only in limited concentrations) and phenoxyethanol (a preservative with potentially unpleasant side effects).

However, we should keep faith and not underestimate the power of thermus thermophillus ferment. This is an underwater bacterium that when mixed with glycerin goes under the trade name of Venuceane. It is supposed to be a skin anti-ager, according to a study conducted by Sederma (the makers of Venuceane) on two groups of visitors to the island of Mauritius.

On the other hand, lapsana communis extract is something of a mystery. It goes by the name of common nipplewort (because of the suggestive shape of its buds). I haven't been able to find any evidence of its benefits. Even the Plants for a Future Database says there are no known medicinal uses for it.

Perhaps cell phones hadn't been invented when the Plants for a Future Database was written.

Ingredients in Clarins Expertise 3P Screen Mist

Water, rosemary leaf water, butylene glycol, sodium chloride, thermus thermophillus ferment, sodium lauroyl sarcosinate, lapsana communis extract, camellia sinensis leaf extract, biosaccharide gum-4, rhodiola rosea root extract, biotin, phenoxyethanol, disodium EDTA, potassium sorbate, glycerin, pentylene glycol.