Friday, June 22, 2012

Want a US$13,000 Beauty Tip?

Waking up one morning and miraculously looking like Amanda Seyfried (above) is about to get a little easier for three women in the world. All it seems to take is a willingness to shell out US$13,213 for a 50 gram jar of high performance night face cream, brought to you by the beauty-minded people at Japan’s Cle de Peau (a brand under Shiseido). It is a limited edition of their La Crème product, to be rolled out in September to commemorate the company’s 30th anniversary. Each of the three jars are designed by French designer Olivier Severe and features 30 layers of crystal topped with three platinum ring. What’s inside the jars that sets the limited edition cream apart from the company’s every-day version of La Crème is still unclear - the company hasn’t said. Perhaps they’ve stumbled on the secret Coca-cola-equivalent formula for achieving permanently supple and smooth facial skin. Or perhaps the crystal bottles are simply filled with liquid gold. Let’s hope that the latter is not true, since the cream costs five times more than gold on a per-gram basis. That would be highway robbery, even for a cosmetic company. The second most expensive face cream currently on the market is Sisley's Sisleya Anti-Aging Concentrate Firming Body Care, priced at a mere $415 per 150 ml pot. Cle de Peau’s forthcoming product is definitely on a different planet. Probably Venus de Milo.

It will be interesting to see whether the three jars to be sold are purchased by Asians or Western women. Given that the three will be on offer in Tokyo, and given Asian women’s obsession with clear, fair, ever-youthful skin, I’m guessing Asian. No other country goes gaga for skin-care products quite like the Japanese and Koreans. The Chinese are not far behind.

Much research has been done on how Asian skin differs from that of Westerners. On the plus side, Asian skin tends to feel and look smoother because of fewer hair follicles. Secondly, it is more age resistant and less prone to wrinkles, since Asians generally have a thicker dermis that contains greater collagen. On the negative side, Asian skin (1) is more prone to irritation since it has a thinner stratum corneum (the outermost layer of skin, according to dermatologist Dr. Anthony Rawlings), (2) scars more easily, for the same reason, (3) tans more readily due to more photo-protective pigment melanin but also produces freckles and sun spots, and (4) can be alternatingly both more oily and drier. For all these reasons, many Asian women consider their skin a desirably advantageous but high-maintenance companion or investment.

But $13,000 for a fancy jar and questionably fancier skin conditioner?? Couldn’t Shiseido come up with anything more beneficial to humankind to mark 30 years of business? Maybe the world will indeed be a better place if three more of us look like Ms. Seyfried. You’ll have to ask the people at Shiseido for confirmation of that opinion.

Details Here

1 comment:

  1. Can't wait to read your new book!