Canyon Ranch is generally described as an upmarket (or celebrity) spa. In fact, the health and medical treatments are as much of a draw. There are some 260 medical practitioners, nutritionists and other experts. So when I met the medical director, Mark Liponis, a few months ago and he told me that Canyon Ranch's new skin care range would include something as revolutionary as sunscreen was when it was first identified as a skin saver, I took notice. That revolutionary something turns out to be Pro-NAD.

Pro-NAD is a system for delivering niacin (vitamin B complex). The problem with niacin is that it isn't easily absorbed by the skin and so, in the past, products that contained niacin were largely a waste of time and money. Pro-NAD changes that. It was developed at the University of Arizona and early trials in 2002 were supported by the National Cancer Institute. It not only delivers niacin topically, but can do so by time-releasing it over a 24-hour period. Pro-NAD's other claim to fame is that (unlike, say, a retinol) it increases skin cell turnover without weakening the skin barrier.

Pro-NAD used to be sold in creams under the name of Niadyne. This range seems to have been discontinued, presumably because of the Canyon Ranch deal. Canyon's Ranch's new skin care range has just started arriving in upmarket department stores. Another reason for taking a closer look at them is that they also contain Goji juice (a very powerful anti-oxidant derived from wolfberry). I feel a trip to Saks coming on.