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For thousands of years, historians, explorers, and aging men and women everywhere have been in search of the literal and metaphorical fountain of youth. While it’s said to exist in Florida, beauty and skincare brands continue to develop products, treatments, and technologies to increase elasticity, boost collagen, and overall slow the physical signs of aging.
Earlier this month, L.RAPHAEL, a luxury beauty brand that’s especially committed to the “science of beauty,” launched a new age-fighting duo: a Green Caviar Oxygen spa treatment and skincare collection. The occasional treatment paired with daily use of the products is said to tighten the skin, protect from free radicals, and increase the production of collagen, for starters. And the science behind it certainly sounds promising.
“[Green caviar] has the effect that I have been looking for for years,” explained L.RAPHAEL’s head of research, Professor Paolo Giacomoni, when we met in Geneva in early May. “It’s not just a buzzword.”
The headlining ingredient—sourced from the seas around Okinawa, Japan (with a population known for its health and longevity)—is not actually caviar at all, but Caulerpa lentillifera, a micro algae that grows as tiny spheres on a long, narrow vine. When applied topically, the seaweed stimulates the production of collagen IV, a short, quickly reproducing molecule that helps anchor the epidermis to the dermis, according to Giacomoni. On its own, connecting these two layers of skin might seem unremarkable. But coupled with the other ingredients—pure oxygen delivered in-spa with L.RAPHAEL’s proprietary high-speed jet technology and vitamin B3, which stimulates oxygen consumption to give cells energy—the anchored cells pull against one another and, instead of further wrinkling, produce firmer, tighter skin.
This kind of science, and a holistic approach to looking and feeling good, is what makes L.RAPHAEL remarkable in a sea of luxury beauty products. “The philosophy of L.RAPHAEL seemed fantastic,” Giacomoni said of his decision to join the team over one year ago. “For once I had somebody in skincare telling me that miracles don’t occur just by applying something on the skin once. We have to take care of aging while we age and not after we have aged.” And taking care of aging, L.RAPHAEL founder and president Ronit Raphael believes, comes in all forms, as defined in the brand’s Seven Foundations of Beauty (nutrition, physical activity, and stress management, to name a few).
I visited the brand’s flagship Temple of Beauty spa in Geneva a few weeks ago—seven glistening floors of treatment rooms dedicated to all areas of health and beauty—and experienced a taste of each of the Seven Foundations. In two days’ time, I did an electrical muscle stimulation (EMS) workout, met with a nutritionist, had a private yoga lesson, attended a session with an osteopath, had my hair and makeup done in the salon, and underwent various types of facial and body treatments (vacuum sculpting therapy, microdermabrasion, oxygen treatments, photo-radiance, massages). I can honestly say I left toned, tightened, and glowing—and I began to understand the appeal of such steep investments in one’s physical (and mental) health.
I work out consistently, wear sunscreen, take care of my skin, and keep a semi-healthy diet. Beyond these relatively inexpensive measures, though, I don’t spend a ton of money on my health or aesthetics. I’ve never visited a chiropractor; I stretch out my visits to the hair salon; and I would never dream of spending money on a skin-suctioning, cellulite-busting body treatment (the average L.RAPHAEL treatment will run you upwards of $1,200)—until now.
I see now, though, that my diligence in caring for my mind and body will make all the difference as I age.
“Aging starts when you’re born,” said Giacomoni. But we have the ability to slow the effects. “If you have [good] behaviors and treatments, you [can] delay the appearance of the signs of aging by years,” he explained. There’s no miracle, no fountain of youth. As Giacomoni says: “It’s up to us.”