The latest celebrity doctor to hit us with a new antiaging skincare line and how-to-look-younger book is plastic surgeon to the stars, Dr Gerald Imber. The theory of the Youth Corridor is that there is a 25 year period (30 to 55) when "much can be done to keep you virtually unchanged". I guess anyone 56-plus will finding reading the Youth Corridor frustrating and depressing.

I haven't read Youth Corridor, but the blurb suggests it is no nonsense advice that you've mostly heard before: Don't smoke, don't sunbathe, don't gain and lose quantities of weight, and don't run (it's hell on the elastic skin fibers). I did take a look at Dr Imber's serums, which come with nice origination myth.

Apparently, Dr Imber found himself involved in the launch of someone else's skincare line and then backed out. "I couldn't lie", he says. "The stuff didn't work." And so he launched his own line. Ironically, Dr Imber has long been a naysayer when it comes to antiwrinkle creams, oft quoted in magazines saying that "nothing works a miracle". It isn't really surprising that he should take this view since he makes his living doing nips and tucks. But what to make of his own line?

Antioxidant Boost Skin Serum with 10% Vit. C, Vit. E and Melatonin ($145) is basically what it says it is. Which is fine, but not very remarkable. Ascorbic acid (Vit C) needs to be at a 10% concentration or more to boost collagen synthesis. The problem is that it can irritate the skin at high doses and it is also very unstable, particularly in aqueous formulations (it is in water here). Melatonin is a useful ingredient. According to a study done by the University of Tennesee, melatonin, when applied topically, was found to counteract the effects of internal and external stresses on skin and help maintain its natural balance and integrity.

If the serum reflects a zen-like simplicity, the eye cream is the polar opposite. I can only conclude that Dr Imber went through an insomniac phase when he developed his Rejuvenating Eye Cream With Peptides ($85). I counted over 70 ingredients. The list reads like a botanical dictionary. The peptides in question are palmitoyl oligopeptide and palmitoyl tetrapeptide-7, that together make the potent collagen booster Matrixyl 3000.  I was curious as to what xanthophyll might be and it turns out to be lutein, a carotenoid.

Ingredients in serum:

Deionized Water, Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C), Butylene Glycol, Laureth 23, Ethoxydiglcol, Panthenol (Pro Vitamin B5), Tocopherol (Vitamin E), Sodium Hydroxide, Caprylyl Glycol, Caprylohydroxamic Acid, Glycerine, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Melatonin.

Ingredients in eye cream:

Water (Aqua), Glycerin, Boron Nitride, Leuconostoc /Rad-ish Root Ferment Filtrate, Rosa Canina (Dog Rose) Fruit Extract, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Extract, Oryza Sativa (Rice) Extract, Artemisia Princeps (Japanese Mugwort) Leaf Extract, Honey Extract, Prunus Serotina (Wild Cherry) Bark Extract, Melissa Officinalis (Lemon Balm) Extract, Viola Tricolor (Pansy) Extract, Foeniculum Vulgare (Fennel) Seed Extract, Camellia Sinensis (Green Tea) Leaf Extract, Zingiber Officinale (Ginger) Root Extract, Citrus Medica Limonum (Lemon) Peel Extract, Centella Asiatica (Gotu Kota) Extract, Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Seed Extract, Ginkgo Biloba Leaf Extract, Echinacea Purpurea Extract, Punica Granatum (Pomegranate) Extract, Lycium Barbarum (Goji Berry) Fruit Extract, Aspalathus Linearis (Rooibos Tes) Leaf Extract, Limnanthes Alba (Meadowfoam) Seed Oil, Borago Officinalis (Borage) Seed Oil, Rosa Canina (Dog Rose) Fruit Oil, Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate, Palmitoyl Oligopeptide, Palmitoyl Tetrapeptide-7, Xanthophyll, Ceramide 3, Soy lIsoflavones, Thioctic Acid, Ubiquinone, Squalane, Bisabolol, Polysorbate 20, Mandelic Acid, Lycopene, Soluble Collagen, Retinyl Palmitate (Vitamin A), Ascorbyl Palmitate (Vitamin C), Tocopheryl Acetate (Vitamin E), Tocopherol, Allantoin, Phospholipids, Wheat Amino Acids, Sodium PCA, Bioflavonoids, Superoxide Dismutase, Glycosaminoglycans, Hydrolyzed Silk, Sodium Polyacrylate, Mannan, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Elastin, Carbomer, Sodium Phytate, Glyceryl Caprylate, Sodium Hydroxide, Sodium Hyaluronate, Histidine HCI, Linoleic Acid, Oleic Acid, Maleic Acid, Lactic Acid, Tartaric Acid, Butylene Glycol, Dipotassium Glycyrrhizate.