Dept of Daft: Lifecell, a cream fit for kings
Step One: Can't get a supermodel to endorse your product, settle for a supermodel's agent from one of those big modeling agencies. Darn it: can't get one of those either. Settle for someone who used to be a model's agent. In this case, Colleen Graham, aged 41 and a former director at the Ford agency. Don't get me wrong, I am sure she's a very pleasant woman who helps old ladies across streets. But the impressive public face of a skin cream? I think not.
Step Two: Rope in a royal. Now I willingly admit that I haven't kept up on my reading of Hello magazine and that may explain why I've never heard of Jennifer Hohenzollern. Baroness Hohenzollern, no less. According to the imaginative marketing people at Lifecell, she is a member of the European Royal Family. I hate to break this to them, but there is no such thing. Europe has not, despite coming together as an economic community, created a single, pan-European royal entity. Jennifer's father belongs to the "German Czar's nobility". We are helpfully informed that this is similar to the British Royal Family. I want some of whatever they are smoking. Guys, Germany has never had a Czar. Russia did, but that was many years and many Politbureaux ago.
Jennifer's pedigree goes on and on, but funnily enough - outside of references to Lifecell - she doesn't seem to exist. The only non-Lifecell reference I could find was on the very peculiar MySpace page of someone called Shana Carlsen.
Step Three: Call in the medics. Lifecell is also endorsed by a Columbia University-trained plastic surgeon called Dr Raj Bahyani. Can anyone else smell a whiff of StriVectin? And guess what an Internet search on him throws up? Nada (unless, of course, its in relation to Lifecell).
Lurking behind all this nonsense (and believe me, there is much, much more on the Lifecell website), there may actually be a decent piece of science to back up the active ingredient in Lifecell, which is nitric oxide.
In a discovery ten years ago that earned them a Nobel Prize, three scientists found that nitric oxide acts as a signaling molecule in the cardiovascular system. This uncovered an entirely new mechanism for how blood vessels relax and widen. Ultimately the discovery led to the development of Viagara.
The theory that extends the use of this molecule to skin care is that it stimulates blood flow to the skin. The same is supposed to be true for increasing circulation to hair follicles and encouraging them to grow. Potions with nitric oxide may. however, not be beneficial for rosacea sufferers. Indeed, some doctors speculate that those people with rosacea actually over-produce nitric oxide in their bodies.
Lifecell says there are "25,000 microlifters in every $189 bottle". Looking at the unremarkable (apart from the oxide), but serviceable set of ingredients, I still don't understand what that means.
Ingredients in Lifecell
Water, Capylic/capric Triglcerides, Ethoxydiglycol, Stearyl Alcohol, Stearic Acid, Peg-100 Stearate, Glyceryl Stearate, Dilsopropyl Dimer Dilinoleate, Magnesium Aluminum Silicate, Peg-40 Stearate, Oxide reductases, Soy Peptides, Cyclomethicone, Hydrolyzed Rice Bran Extract, Deanol, Dithiolane-3-Pentanoic Acid, Copper Gluconate, Magnesium Asparate, Zinc Gluconate, Acetyl Hexapeptide-3, Idebenone, Ascorbyl Palmitate, Fumed Silica, Silicone Dioxide, Propylene Glycol, Imidazolidinyl Urea, Methylparaben, Propylparaben, Fragrance