If money was no object, E'shee Clinicals' ampoules would be the perfect travel set. They are tiny enough to be slipped into the most compact of toilet bags. And, if E'shee's Serum Cellular Repair is anything to go by, these little fellas punch above their weight so one's regimen isn't compromised in any way. So I have been traveling in the UK and France with a stowaway called Bota Therapy. I am now back with dry skin and a plethora of breakouts that, in all fairness, I haven't yet attributed entirely to Bota Therapy. When things have settled, I'll give it another try, but I fear that it may be no more than a holiday fling.

Like all of E'shee products, it is audaciously expensive. In fact, Bota Therapy even manages to top Serum Cellular Repair's £170 by asking an additional nine bucks for a mere 10ml or 0.34 fl oz. It arrived as free sample with another ampoule called Silk Rose Essence, which I dissed on sight on the grounds that - although it does live up to its name with silk protein - it does a lot of its smooth talking with silicone. The first two ingredients are silicone and there's another one stashed away in what seems to me to be an unexceptional product and undeserving of the $117 price tag for the same teensy amount. Bota Therapy, however, may prove to be as potent as Serum Cellular Repair.

They both have E'shee's signature growth Factor, FGF-1. Growth factors decline in our skin as we age and cosmetic growth factors and proteins considered to be potent wrinkle reducers. In Bota Therapy, there is also hydrolized collagen, Matrixyl, hyaluronic acid and the increasingly ubiquitous acetyl hexapeptide-3 (also known as Argireline). More unusually, E'shee has added gylcosyl trehalose.  Trehalose is made up of sugars that form a gel as cells start to dehydrate. This stops the cells from falling apart so that they perk back into shape as soon as they are rehydrated. Furthermore, trehalose is an antioxidant (as such it used as preservative by the food industry) and supposedly helpful in preventing degenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s.

The neuropeptide role of acetyl hexapeptide-3 is given a helping hand by hibiscus esculentus. This is okra. Those who detest okra’s glutinous texture will be thankful that it is good for something. It is a source of botanical peptides that work by inhibiting the movement of facical muscles responsible for the appearance of expression lines on the face. The other botanical here is bladderwrack, which is a very rich source of vitamin C.

I have already decided that Serum Cellular Repair works so well at smoothing my crows feet and the little lines around my mouth that I will swallow the cost of buying a replacement. Used carefully, it can be made to last at least three months. I was interested to see if Bota Therapy can hit the same high bar. Ten days later with protesting skin, I am not so sure that my little stowaway will be a fellow traveller in life.

In the meantime, if anyone wants to give the Silk Rose Essence a test drive (the full ingredients are below), just give us a shout.

Ingredients in Bota Therapy

Aqua, 1.3 Butylene Glycol, Sclerotium Gum, Hydrolyzed Collagen, Acetyl Hexapeptide-3, Palmitoyl Pentapeptide, Biosaccharide Gum-1, Hydrolyzed Hibiscus Esculentus Extract – Dextrin, Bladderwrack (Fucus Vesiculosus) Extract, Polysorbate 20, Hyaluronic Acid Sodium Salt, D-Panthenol, Glycosyl Trehalose, Perfume, Phenoxyethanol, Imidazolidi- nyl Urea, FGF-1 (Recombinant Human acidic Fibroblast Growth Factor)

Ingredients in Silk Rose

Cyclomethicone, Dimethicone, Dimethicone Copolyol, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Seed Oil, C12-C15 Benzoate, Phenyl Trimethi- cone, Polyglyceryl-3 Diisostearate, Squalane, Yolk Lecithin, Soluble Silk Protein, Tocopheryl Acetate, Phenoxyethanol, Imidazolidinyl Urea, Rosa Damascena (Rose) Oil.