If your face cream hasn’t been custom-blended, you could be missing a trick. From DNA-bespoke skincare to rejuvenation using your own blood plasma, beauty and grooming just got personal, for men and women
Words: Trish Lesslie
You regularly work out with a personal trainer and have a nutritionist to oversee your dietary needs. You may even have a yoga instructor on speed dial or your own fragrance made for you by one of the world’s top noses. But what about your skincare?
Your bathroom may be lined with some of the priciest products on the planet, but if your face cream hasn’t been custom-blended, you could be missing a trick. Step forward Geneu, a company that will create a serum to address your complexion’s very own needs. Using technology developed by a Regius Professor at Imperial College London with a background in electrical engineering and medical technology, the company formulates personalised products based on the results of a DNA test and a lifestyle questionnaire.
You simply have a swab taken at Geneu’s Mayfair HQ and within 30 minutes you’ll have a DNA reading from which clinicians can calculate how quickly your body is processing antioxidants and breaking down and creating collagen. Technicians are then able to produce a bespoke potion that addresses your complexion’s specific needs, using high quality active ingredients at the right concentrations to enhance your natural antioxidant levels and support your collagen production.
Even more personalised is Platelet Rich Plasma therapy (PRP), a technique that uses your own blood plasma to rejuvenate the skin. A small blood sample is taken and spun in a centrifuge to separate the plasma, which is then injected into the skin of the face, neck or body.
‘The plasma releases growth factors, increasing circulation, stimulating elastin and collagen production,’ explains Dr Terry Loong, who carries out the procedure at her North Audley Street clinic. ‘As the product is derived from the patient’s own blood, it avoids any risk of transmissible infections and other diseases,’ she adds. You’re likely to look a little red straight after treatment but your skin should revert to normal within a day or so and its appearance will improve over the following months.
Platelet Rich Plasma therapy uses your own blood plasma to rejuvenate the skin, releasing growth factors, increasing circulation, stimulating elastin and collagen production
If that all sounds too invasive, you could head to the Cadogan Clinic on Sloane Street for a bespoke facial. Your skin will be assessed using a Visia scanner, which shows up everything from sun damage to blocked pores, before your therapist selects suitable products from the clinic’s comprehensive range. Exactly what’s involved will vary according to your skin’s needs, but you can expect lymphatic drainage massage during the hour long facial.
If you can’t make it to a salon or clinic, expert skincare advice is now available without leaving your desk. At facethefuture.co.uk, highly trained aesthetic professionals offer Skype and online skin consultations, giving tailored advice to help you choose the skincare that’s best for you. Over 70 brands are stocked including Environ and Jan Marini, so you can be sure you’ll be getting products that are right for your complexion.
With your skincare sorted, it’s time to turn to hair. While any professional woman worth her salt wouldn’t dream of having her tresses tended to by anyone but her chosen coiffeur, men have often been less likely to build a mutually beneficial relationship with their hairdresser. There are signs things are changing, though.
Men like to look a lot more polished than 10 years ago
‘Men like to look a lot more polished than 10 years ago,’ says Gary Evans, senior art director at Taylor Taylor, which recently opened an atelier in Liberty, plus a designated men’s area in its stately home-style salon in Spitalfields. ‘I work with a lot of men to formulate a long term plan passing down the looks from the catwalk and those in the public eye,’ says Evans.
‘Men tended to just sit down and get a haircut whether it suited them or not, but we always offer a full consultation taking into consideration lifestyle, work, sartorial style and interests as well as a client’s face shape, hair texture and growth patterns.
‘All of my gents come in every two weeks to keep their hairlines looking sharp,’ adds Evans, who says he has also seen a steep rise in the number of men requesting Brazilian blow-dries, the long-term solution for frizzy or unruly hair. ‘There used to be very limited style options for men’s hair – it was either very short or very long. But high profile stars such as David Beckham and Daniel Craig are now major role models when it comes to hair and have given men the confidence to try something new and get away from looking like their fathers.’
Of course, when it comes to aesthetics, there is nothing more individual than your smile. If you feel yours needs improvement, then a bespoke approach is the only way forward. From whitening to braces and veneers, cosmetic dentists have an array of techniques at their disposal but will need to consider a whole host of factors before embarking on a treatment plan.
‘I get people clutching pictures of celebrities saying “I want to look like this,” but you have to strike a balance, fitting the look to the patient’s personality,’ says top cosmetic dentist Dr Uchenna Okoye. ‘You want to avoid giving a shy person the smile of an extrovert as it could make them feel more self-conscious.’
Hair colour, skin tone and the shape of a patient’s face all need to be taken into account, too. ‘I wouldn’t give wide teeth to someone with a round face as it would leave the face looking wider,’ says Okoye. ‘Smaller teeth will look more elegant. It’s like creating a couture gown. The designer needs to look at the whole person, not just the body.’
Many aesthetic dentists now use Digital Smile Design to create an image of how the end result of their work is likely to look. Dr Okoye prefers to create a 3-D mock-up that can be placed on a patient’s teeth. ‘It’s no more work and it gives a truer representation than a flat picture,’ she says.
‘It’s not like buying a car. You can’t test drive a new smile, but we can give a good idea of how the finished result will look and refine the treatment plan at this stage if the patient has any concerns,’ she says. ‘At the end of the day, we all want to look ourselves, but better,’ she says.
In other words, one size most definitely doesn’t fit all.