Subtle aesthetic treatments with big impact – Elixir tries the latest

As we age it goes without saying that we will lose the fresh bloom of youth.  But that does not mean we have to let everything fall apart and then blame it on age and the inevitability of it all. That goes for looking after our general health with adequate amounts of exercise, a healthy diet and a fulfilling social life. This will help ensure that we not only look as good as we can for our age but also feel good.

But we must be kind to ourselves for not always doing what we should given the hectic pace of life in today’s multi-tasking digital global world! So what can you do when you look in the mirror and you have to admit you are looking a little world-weary? Well my advice is that you should not do anything extreme – that you may regret in a few years time. You only have to look around Harley Street – at some of the anti-ageing doctors themselves and the celebrity tabloids, to see  the results of this unrealistic obsession with youth.  Going under the knife is almost always an irreversible mistake where the unique beauty of a face and a personality is gone forever.

I am not against minimalist surgery – a little tweak here and there which can be undetectable.  But nowadays there is a lot you do instead. I am a fan of non-invasive techniques that can do a lot to restore skin quality, particularly of the face.  So what did I do a few months ago when I looked in the mirror and felt it was time to do something to give my skin a boost?

I turned to the experts who also favour minimalist non-invasive treatments and can demonstrate good results.

One of those is Dr Elizabeth Dancy of the Bijoux Medi Spa in Belgravia.  Elizabeth was one of the founders of aesthetic rejuvenation treatments in the UK when she introduced mesotherapy – the vitamin-boosting skin injections favoured by Continental ladies.


Dr Elizabeth Dancy of the Bijoux Medi Spa in Belgravia, London

A few years ago I tried Dermaroller when it first launched at her clinic  – this is a roller which delivers multi-punctures to the skin without making it bleed but damages the collagen, thereby encouraging it to repair and produce newer and younger skin. The skin goes a little red and it’s a bit painful I recall but this is gone by the following day and the process of renewal takes place over the next few weeks.

I really liked this treatment because the skin quality improves and any droop around the jowels lifts a little or a lot depending on age and lifestyle. But you do have to be realistic about what can be achieved.

My experience of this treatment was around five years ago as I am reminded by Faye Parke when I visit Bijoux to experience the latest form of this micro-needling treatment – eDermastamp.  This costs £360 for an area such as the face.  First of all a powerful topical numbing cream is applied 45 minutes before the treatment.

Electronic micro-needling is 50 times more effective than Dermeroller and suitable for most people.  After the numbing cream is removed the eDermastamp treatment begins. Faye uses a  small tip containing around  6 needles which penetrate 1.5mm into the skin causing minor trauma which stimulates what is known as ‘a blood red spot reaction”.  It all happens very quickly which I think makes it less painful

To get an even better results hyaluronic acid is applied to the skin – this optimises results by refreshing and plumping the skin.  The skin is only worked over once with the needle penetrating 50 times in each motion. As I’ve said this treatment is not without discomfort but on a scale of 1 to 10 Iwould say it was around 3 and I am sensitive. My skin was a little red and felt a bit hot but that was easily toned downwith a gel and some mineral make-up.

You can watch what happens in this video.

This is a treatment that I rave about if anyone asks me for a great anti-ageing result.  Clearly it’s better to start this kind of thing when skin just starts to look a bit tired – and that can happen to some people earlier than others, particularly if they smoke and take too much sun.  The results are immediate and carry on for months.  A course of three treatments is recommended every few years.

In my case it lifted my face overall and got rid of some fine lines which has started so I will be back for some more!

Another real results treatment is ULTRAcel which combines three different technologies to target ageing in three different levels of the skin. It can be used on the face and the body. The company also have evidence that it works from clinical trials so no photoshopped images here!

I had my treatment at the Rita Rakus Clinic in Knightsbridge. Donna Ofsofke, a technical expert in this technology, who works for ULTRAcel, carried out my treatment

She has a great ‘bedside manner’ and put me at ease.  I was a bit nervous as many years ago I had tried a laser treatment which had made by face feel and look as if it can been in a nuclear blast.  And to literally add insult to injury my skin looked no better than it did before.

ULTRAcel is the first non-invasive treatment to combine these three technologies in one to safely target all skin layers.  It happens in one simple procedure without any downtime, and its suitable for all skin-types and tones.


ULTRAcel works by harnessing three different anti-ageing technologies in one machine to rejuvenate the skin

The three technologies are radio frequency for the upper dermis, radio frequency micro-needling for the dermis and high intensity focused ultrasound for the SMAS – this are the muscles that are usually tightened by surgery in a full-facelift. They can be used along or in combination to achieve short and long-term results.

Find out more on this video:

Prior to the treatment a patient fills in an extensive medical questionnaire to verify their suitability for treatment. You may develop cold sores, for example, as it tends to trigger them in some people.

Donna carried out the radio frequency treatment first.  This causes an immediate lift and is warming and pleasant. The ultra-sound which penetrates down to the SMAS is a little more painful. This is caused by the ultrasound energy penetrating deep below the surface of the skin and is a temporary positive sign that the collagen-building process has been initiated – I am told!

In my case I felt as I had been slapped for about a week afterwards but it was ony a dull ache. The anti-ageing effect is seen right away but the impact of the ultra-sound continues for 2 months after with people remarking on the firmness of my skin.

The general downward droop of my face, particularly my chin and neck, was reversed immediately and I looked fresher and younger. As I left the Hans Crescent clinic more than happy about what I had experienced.

The treatment starts from £795. This may seem expensive but its a lot cheaper and safer than a facelift. There is a list of clinics providing this treatment on the ULTRAcell website

New! Shiseido celebrates new anti-ageing serum launch by offering you the chance to win The Perfect Pair worth £125 – now closed!

For over 140 years Shiseido has been caring for women’s skin; creating premium beauty products developed with the most advanced technology and the best of nature.


Shiseido Ultimune Power Infusing Concentrate -left – 30ml £60 and the new super serum Bio-Performance Glow Revival Serum – 30ml £65

Find out more:

To celebrate the launch of Shiseido’s NEW Bio-Performance Glow Revival Serum, we’re giving you the chance to win The Perfect Pair:

Ultimune Power Infusing Concentrate, 30ml
After 20 years of research, Shiseido has created a new world first. Ultimune’s multi-award winning formula works to strengthen, repair and reinforce the skin’s immunity, to resist the impact of future ageing.


NEW Bio-Performance Glow Revival Serum, 30ml
Discover an innovative, powerful new super-serum that treats multiple skin concerns at their source. The NEW Glow Revival Serum directly targets redness, dullness, uneven skin tone and ageing, with 93% of women reporting healthier, more vibrant looking skin. (Tested on 111 women, self evaluation).

Shiseido is available to purchase online and in select department stores: Bentalls, Boots, Fenwick Bond Street, Harrods, Harvey Nichols, House of Fraser and John Lewis. Plus,,,,,,, and

To win your Perfect Pair worth £125, simply answer the question below:

Win competitions at

Vinotherapy in the green heart of Italy


by Avril O’Connor

At Elixir we promote the anti-ageing properties of red wine – it is bursting with antioxidants, including resveratrol.  But we thought the only way to sample its  anti-ageing effects was to drink it! So you might perhaps understand my situation when I got to try vinotherapy for the first time.

Following one of the best massages ever I was relaxing in the vinotherapy bath tub, containing what I assumed to be grape extracts when my spa therapist uncorked a perfectly good bottle of red wine and poured its contents into my bath.

Seeing the look of pure horror on my face she relented and saved a glass, saying it wasn’t good to drink too much in the spa. So with glass in hand I not only tasted but relaxed and bathed in the revitalizing, antioxidant vapours of one of the finest wines of Torgiano – a pretty hilltop village in the heart of the famous DOC and DOCG wine region of Umbria.

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The Bellavue Winetherapy Spa is indeed a gem. It is peaceful and beautiful, with indoor and outdoor pools, Turkish baths, a gym and outdoor relaxation areas surrounded by olive groves and views of the surrounding Umbrian Hills.

The spa is in one of the region’s most exclusive five-star hotels, the Relais Hotel Le Tre Vasalle. The hotel was once a 17th century house, whose name refers to the ancient ceramic wine jugs, and is in a narrow street in what was once a fortified village in the Middle Ages, near Perugia (5 miles) and Assisi (10 miles).

Surrounded by antique furniture and paintings, each of the 60 bedrooms is uniquely furnished, giving it has the feel of a grand country home – perfect for a romantic getaway. The restaurant, Le Melograine, reworks traditional Umbrian specialities such as pasta with black truffles, as well as diet menus served with delicious local wines.

Le Tre Vaselle, outdoor pool [320x200]

Le Tre Vassale brings together wine, art and hospitality. This is because the hotel is the passion of one family – the Lungarottis, first and second generation winemakers who have made Torgiano their own.

The family has filled the town. As well as the hotel, there is a wine museum and olive oil, museum and the nearby Cantine Lunggarotti which produces the finest red wines grown on surrounding slopes (Sangiovese, Anaiolo, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon), including Rubesco. The whites (Trebiano, Grechetto, Chardonnay, Pinot) are grown on cooler hillsides. And there is also an excellent sparkling Lungarotti Brut made with Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.

Giogrgio Lungarotti and his wife and Maria Grazia, an art historian run the winery business with daughters Chiara and Teresa and produce around three million bottles of wine annually.

A visit to the Wine Museum and the Cantine are a must. Housed in the 17th century Palazzo Graziani-Baglioni, it has one of the most comprehensive collections of viniculture artifacts anywhere in the world – from its earliest beginnings in the Mediteranean to the Middle Ages and beyond – covering five thousand years of winemaking history. The theme of the wine god Bacchus runs through the collections which are housed in 20 rooms, featuring working tools,  fine prints, drawings, antiquarian books and graphics by Picasso and a glass by Jean Cocteau (pictured below).

Wine Museum, Fondazione Lungarotti, Cocteau glass [320x200]

The hotel offers a range of activities including truffle hunting, cookery classes, as well as scooter hire.

I have always wanted to go truffle hunting. And it was not a disappointment.No need to get up at the crack of dawn.After a lazy breakfast we are driven to a nearby forest to meet our guide Matteo and his English setter Asia (pictured below).

AliceandTruffles [320x200]

The black traffles, known locally as “black gold” can fetch up to 150 Euros a kilo and the rarer white 3,000 Euros so the cost of buying your truffle dog – 4,000 euros in the case of Asia can pay dividends.

Asia was a star. She  sniffed around for a few minutes, driven by a reward of a cheese slice each time she found a truffle. Sniffing the ground and as if by magic she would start digging with her paws, finding truffle after truffle. Standing on her back legs she put her front paws on Mateo’s hips to claim her reward.

As we walked in the woods we passed groups riding horses – this is also riding country – people smile and wave at us.  And back at the minibus we were greeted by table laden with a feast of antipasti and red wine – and it was only 10.30am! A bit early even for me but sometimes a girl has to do what a girl has to do! After all it would be rude not to!


Hotel Le Tre Vaselle, via Garibaldi, 48. Torgiana – Perugia. T:+ 39 075 9880447
Double rooms from £194 ($297, €220), also look out for special packages and promotions on the website.
Cantine Giogio Lungarotti T: + 39 075 988661
For information on wine tastings contact
Wine and Olive and Oil MuseumsT: +39 075 9880200 museovno@lungarotti
Getting to Torgiano
Alitalia to Rome
Ryanair to Perugia

New anti-ageing kit from Dr Perricone is a facelift without surgery!

Dr Nicholas Perricone

Dr Nicholas Perricone MD

Nicholas Perricone, MD is a board-certified dermatologist, educator, best-selling author, award-winning inventor, scientist, and world renowned healthy ageing expert. He is the founder and creator of Perricone MD, the preeminent, trusted, global lifestyle brand that pioneered the concept of youthful beauty and health based on his revolutionary breakthrough technology.

Dr Perricone’s self-confessed “lifelong passion for science” and “holistic approach to ageing” has long been the foundation for his dedicated commitment to unlocking the secrets to healthy ageing, the basis of his esteemed skin care range Perricone MD.

New to the UK market is an exclusive kit of 4 different items – costing only £39.99 but actually worth £140 with key products to halt the droop and revitalise skin.

Perricone Sub-D Basic Kit

The Perricone Sub-D Basic Kit costs £39.99 (+£4.95pp) but is actually worth £140

Elixir is a big fan of this brand because it delivers tangible results straight away – skin literally sucks up this ingredients.

The new Perricone Sub-D Basic kit has been specifically selected to target the most common signs of ageing, designed to achieve optimal results, leaving skin renewed, rejuvenated, replenished and radiant-looking.

Technologically formulated with powerful ingredients suspended in a patented delivery system, and based on Dr Perricone’s unrivalled knowledge of the ‘science of beautiful looking skin’, the complete Perricone MD system includes 4 prestigious products (including hero product Perricone MD Cold Plasma Sub-D) to address the visible signs of ageing and deliver an instant lifting and firming effect to sagging skin in both the face and neck area.

Cold Plasma Sub-D, 30ml (worth £55)

Perricone MD Cold Plasma Sub-D is a proven*, effective, neck treatment formulated to provide a visibly firmer appearance to the chin, jaw line and neck areas. Containing powerful ingredients in a patented delivery system, Perricone MD Cold Plasma Sub-D is designed to address the appearance of loss of elasticity along the contours of the jaw line and chin while smoothing the look of vertical and horizontal wrinkles on the neck and décolletage.

The results
A tightened appearance of sagging, loose skin and improved appearance of double chin.
Visibly more defined appearance of the chin and jaw line, achieving an overall more youthful 
looking face.

Improved appearance of lines and wrinkles on the neck and décolletage with noticeable 
improvement in overall skin texture. 
*In a user group (39 participants) 87% reported an improvement in the appearance of firmness of the neck area, 82% felt the appearance of their chin/jaw line was more toned, tight and firm, 82% saw decrease in the appearance of (double chin) or sagging of chin/jaw line.

Dr. Perricone recommends applying on chin, along jaw line, and down to the neck and décolletage areas morning and evening, making sure to apply to the back of the neck and up behind the ears.

High Potency Amine Face Lift, (30ml, worth £40)

Perricone MD High Potency Amine Face Lift is a powerful cosmetic treatment scientifically formulated to help the skin appear more lifted and firm, visibly improving the contours of the face while smoothing the appearance of fine lines and minimising discolouration and age spots from sun damage.

Application: Dr. Perricone recommends applying to cleansed skin in gentle circular motions every morning. Avoid the eye area and follow with a daily moisturiser.

From the Discovery Collection
Citrus Facial Wash (59ml, worth £15)

Perricone MD Citrus Facial Wash is designed to gently wash away the impurities of the day without stripping skin of its natural oils. This beautifully scented cleanser leaves skin refreshed and perfectly prepared for treatment.

Application: Dr. Perricone recommends massaging onto damp skin and rinsing with warm water.

Cold Plasma (7.5ml, worth £30)

Perricone MD Cold Plasma is a cosmetic treatment formulated to help address the 10 most visible signs of ageing: wrinkles, sagging, enlarged pores, dryness, discolouration, uneven skin tone and redness, loss of firmness, smoothness and radiance.

Application: Dr. Perricone recommends applying on top of any Perricone MD treatment. Follow with moisturiser as needed.

Kit price: £39.99 + £4.95 P&P Perricone Sub-D Basic Kit includes:
–  HERO PRODUCT: Cold Plasma Sub-D (30ml/1oz) worth £55
–  FREE BONUS: High Potency Amine Face Lift (30ml/1oz) worth £40
–  FREE GIFT: Discovery Collection worth £45 (Discovery Collection consists of two products: 
Citrus Facial Wash (59ml/2oz) worth £15 & Cold Plasma (7.5ml) worth £30) 
The Perricone Sub-D Basic kit is available now from


Elixir’s test verdict:  As with all Perricone products, you will see an instant improvement in your skin.  And the improvement continues over the days that you use it.

These products are not sticky and unperfumed.  We loved them. Great value for money and although expensive when purchased individually, a little goes a long way. Tester’s award: 9/10

World-leading natural health expert Dr Brian Clement holds London workshop

Do you want to fight the effects of premature ageing? Don’t miss out on this top anti-ageing event being held later this month in London!

Join Dr Brian Clement, one of the world’s leading naturopathic doctors and nutritionists, for his one-off workshop at London’s Regents University on 21 June 2014. Find out his life changing tips on how to tackle premature ageing and disease, enhance longevity and maintain optimum health.

Brian Clements of the Hippocrates Institute

Known for his pioneering work as the director of the world renowned Hippocrates Health Institute in Florida and the author of more than 20 books, Dr Clement has been widely recognised for his contribution in the field of modern health care. His best-selling book ‘Living Foods for Optimum Health’ has been acclaimed as a ‘landmark guide to the essentials of living’.

During the workshop Dr Clement will enlighten you on which supplements are best for YOUR body and which ones can effect rejuvenation, delay premature ageing and support wellbeing. Come and learn the truth about health supplements, and discover how to distinguish between natural, effective supplements, and the toxic and chemical ones.

Find out about Dr Clement’s extensive clinical research and training in the field of disease and prevention and get the opportunity to ask him any questions on the subject.

You’ll also be given an insight into the Life Transformation Programme which has evolved over the last 60 years and which provides the ultimate approach to health, natural beauty and longevity.

Included in the day is a delicious Hippocrates inspired gourmet lunch box from Nama, London’s leading artisan raw food restaurant.

This event will book up fast so don’t delay and book your place today! Tickets are still available at the special price of £85.

During the workshop Dr Clement will talk about which supplements are best for your body and which ones can effect rejuvenation, delay premature ageing and support wellbeing.
Find out about Dr Clement’s extensive clinical research and training in the field of disease and prevention and get the opportunity to ask him any questions on the subject.
You’ll also be given an insight into the Life Transformation Programme which has evolved over the last 60 years and which provides the ultimate approach to health, natural beauty and longevity.

To book your ticket click here

Perfect for a Valentine’s Glow – Transformulas Hydration Gold

This is a wonderful product for special occasions when you want to give you skin that ‘wow factor’! It does exactly what it says on the packet – drenches the skin in 23 carat luxury!

Transformulas Gold -thumb-248x573-1076

We wouldn’t go as far as to call it the ‘fountain of youth’ but it does have a great list of anti-ageing ingredients – hyaluronic acid and 23 carat gold powder – so it softens the skin by hydrating it and you end up with a golden dewy glow.
And at £41.95 for 15ml it is not bad value considering it lasts for a couple of months. Buy at
If you want to know more and how to apply it here is a video:

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Immortality comes a step nearer with new longevity test

The first blood test to measure more accurately how fast our DNA is ageing has been launched in the UK.

The TAT (Telomere Analysis Technology) test, measures the length of telomeres, the tiny caps at the top of our DNA.  It’s already been scientifically proven that the shorter they become the closer we come to the end of life and/or likely to be suffering from life-threatening  diseases or accelerated ageing.
Until now the only commercially available tests have measured the average length of telomeres – not how many are ageing or the percentage that are getting shorter. The results from the test are used to measure chronological age against biological age, as indicated by the damage to telomeres. The patient would then work with his doctor to correct damage with various lifestyle and diet changes, taking another test in a year’s to check changes.
Telomere damage can be stopped and even reversed by making lifestyle changes such as taking more exercise, a healthier diet and vitamins. There are also some substances which are known as ‘telomere activators’ and promote telomorase, the enzyme which helps lengthen them. These incude some anabolic steroids and TA65, a supplement made from a plant source.
In humans, as cells replicate, the telomere length decreases, as part of the natural process of ageing. But those suffering from diseases will have far shorter than average telomeres which eventually leads to faster or total cell death.
The company behind this new development is a new Spanish biotech, Life Length, which has been spun out research by the Spanish National Cancer Research Centre in Madrid and specific work by its Director Dr Maria Blasco.
The company has been partly funded by the Spanish government and US venture capital. So far $20 million has been invested over the last five years in developing and refining the technology. The test, at £650 is being made available through doctors in independent practices, who will guide a patient through the process, the results and the changes that should be made to lifestyle. Patients will also be asked, to anonymously contribute to research through a questionnaire to further enable medical knowledge into ageing diseases.
The Doctors Laboratory in London, is providing front end sample preparation for  Life Length, who will process the blood samples in their laboratories in Spain.. Click here to mail the Doctors Laboratory about tests.
Patients undergo a simple blood test through their physician.   The blood is then frozen the same day and sent to Life Length’s Madrid laboratory, where a powerful microscope is able to map the numbers of ‘critically’ short telomeres. The process is very complex, involving the ‘mapping’ of every single cell in the blood, which is why is takes a month to get the results.
At the London launch, Life Length CEO, Steve Matlin, predicted that while the test was expensive at this time, it could eventually become as readily available as cholesterol testing is today.
Matlin, a former US investment banker, has already had himself tested – to find happily that he has a biological age of 37 at the chronological age of 43.
Find out more about this new development on this video:

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Exercise boosts benefits of calorie restriction on longevity

Exercise boosts the benefits of calorie restriction which is turn kickstarts the human metabolism to extend lifespan.

aerobicexercise [100x100].jpg

Scientists at the Buck Institute for Research on Aging report in the magazine Cell Metabolism the outcome of experiments, that suggest that it may be necessary to be physically active in order to derive maximum benefit from dietary restriction (DR). 
Significant restriction of the intake of a particular nutrient or total calories has extended the life span of numerous species in laboratory experiments; however, researchers are still clarifying the mechanisms involved in the techniqueIn research involving fruit flies, Pankaj Kapahi, PhD and colleagues observed that the insects became more physically active when their protein source was restricted. The increased physical activity observed in the dietary-restricted flies was associated with greater fat synthesis and breakdown. 
When fat synthesis in muscle tissue was blocked, so was the life-extending benefit of dietary restriction. And in flies whose motion was limited, the extended life span that normally results from a restricted diet did not occur. 
“Ours is the first study to suggest that for dietary restriction to enhance lifespan, you need increased fat turnover in the muscle and an associated increase in physical activity,” Dr Kapahi announced. “Furthermore, it also suggests that dietary changes may enhance motivation to exercise and help derive maximal benefits of exercise.”In flies genetically engineered to overexpress the hormone AKH, metabolism and activity levels were enhanced and lifespan was extended, even without dietary restriction.
 “Our data suggests that DR may induce changes in muscle similar to those observed under endurance exercise and that molecules like AKH could serve as potential mimetics for DR that enhance activity and healthspan,” remarked lead author and Buck Institute staff scientist Subhash D. Katewa, PhD. 
“A better understanding of the dynamics of fat metabolism is needed in order to clarify its role in aging and disease. These current results suggest that enhanced fat metabolism could help slow aging and the onset of age-related disease.
“Dietary restriction is known to enhance spontaneous movement in a variety of species including primates, however this is the first examination of whether enhanced physical activity is necessary for its beneficial effects,” Dr Kapahi added.
 “This study establishes a link between DR-mediated metabolic activity in muscle, increased movement and the benefits derived from restricting nutrients. Our work argues that simply restricting nutrients without physical activity may not be beneficial in humans.”
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Charles Eugster: the world’s fittest 91-year-old on spreading the Viagra-effect of exercise

London: When we meet Dr Charles Eugster, a former dentist, is wearing a stylish grey cashmere suit, with a white cotton shirt, complimented by a pink silk tie and matching pocket handkerchief. The suit doesn’t hang as it would on most men his age but fits perfectly on his trim and moderately defined muscular physique. He may be 91-years-old but unlike the majority of his contemporaries he has no superflous hair peeking from his nostrils or ears and has a decent haircut.

When I compliment him by telling him he looks 30 years younger than his real age – which he does. He responds by saying that he doesn’t need Viagra nowadays (not that he took it before). And as a once-divorced widower he is looking forward to his next internet date.  His last relationship was with a 72-year-old synchronised swimmer.

The secret to his youthfulness is not down to any cosmetic surgery. His “elixir of life” is exercise.  And not a punishing regime either – just 45 minutes, three times a week.

Charles October 2010 2.JPG  Charles in competition – October 2010

His workout, is based on building and retaining muscle mass.  The dramatic fall in muscle mass in older people, known as sacrophenia, is a major contributor to frailty among the elderly.  He lifts weights and combines this with resistance training and cardio workout through rowing.  His regime has not only changed his body shape – his weight has decreased from 85 to 65 kilos,  but has also boosted levels of his youth hormones. It is scientifically proven, that levels of Human Growth Hormone – the main youth hormone – are boosted through exercise.

A blood analysis has also revealed he has the profile of an athlete and an absence of the nasty substances that usually accompany ageing such as high levels of bad LDL cholesterol. His resting heart rate is also in the 50s which is near athletic.

He also claims that exercise has also had an interesting affect on the colour of his body hair. He tells me that his once grey pubic hairs have returned to their original colour – although Elixir clearly cannot testify to this!

He claims to be the fittest nonogenerian on the planet.  And looking around on the streets of the UK where woman are now the most obese in Europe – he may well be right.

BILD1192.jpgCharles Eugster brims over with enthusiasm for life and is now on a one-man mission to not only get older folks off their feet to take more exercise but also to reinvent themselves in new careers.

“After all”, he says, “they have another thirty years to live.” And he believes this is where “vanity” has a positive role. “I am vain and it has its place as a motivator.  If you want to stay young then act young – join a gym, be competitive and find a new job.”

Charles doesn’t take hormone replacement, or expensive supplements, or even count calories. He does have a personal trainer who advices on changes to his exercise regime so that his body is constantly challenged. He recently decided to target his derierre which his personal trainer says is now “firming up nicely”.

As far as diet goes, he eats lots of fruits, vegetables and porridge. He also he takes whey protein which helps build lean muscle, confesses to the odd glass of wine and drinks green tea.

There is no question that Charles is a role model for older people.  He “retired” as a dentist and publisher of a newsletter for dentists well past the usual retirement age at the age of 75. And has now embarked on a career to promote positive ageing.  He has his own website , is a prolific Tweeter and is also in the process of writing an “inspirational book” about ageing. He is also a “Fitness Ambassador” for  INJOY, a gym chain in Continental Europe aimed at babyboomers.

Born in England but now living in Zurich, Switzerland, Charles has an accent that is “cut glass” British. His wealthy parents sent him to St Pauls, the London public school which is where he learned to row.

The turning point for his health came in his 50s when he discovered varicose veins on his legs and was diagnosed with low blood. His doctor said he needed to take more exercise so he took up walking and then jogging

 “To my surprise my first wife was not interested in sport at all so I tried to adapt to her lifestyle which was not good for me at all.” They later divorced and his second wife died tragically in a car crash in France.

At the age of 87, he decided to take up body building  to counter muscle loss.  Last year (2010) he won the Strenflex World Championship (an international fitness competition) in the over 80-age group with the highest number of points ever scored.  His winning performance featured 57 dips, 61 chin-ups, 50 push-ups and 48 abdominal crunches, each in 45 seconds!

Dr Eugster has won 31 International rowing Gold medals and added 5 more Gold’s at the recent World Masters Regatta in Canada.

He is a vehement supporter of the UK’s Government’s decision to phase out the Default Retirement Age (DRA). As a passionate evangelist for being fit in old age, he has clear views about making sure one has correctly provided for one’s later years and he points out that a healthier ‘old old’ population will make fewer demands on an exceptionally stretched health service.

Dr Eugster says:  “The aged are considered not only to be unproductive but to put an enormous strain on the health service. It is claimed that in the UK, services for the aged already cost £126 Billion or 60% of all social services.” He continues, “The blessings of work have been underestimated – those that work are statistically healthier and recover faster from illness. There is satisfaction in earning one’s keep.   The horror of retirement has also been underestimated – the prospect of no longer making a contribution to society, of loss of status, of loss of satisfaction of earning money and of slow mental and physical decline.

“The retirement age of 65 was first introduced at the turn of the century when life expectancy was 46.  In the meantime life expectancy has increased by about 74%, but retirement age has remained the same.  The enormous growth of the aged population has made the present pension system unaffordable.  An increase in retirement age and a reduced pension is politically difficult but would be made easier by encouraging work after retirement with training facilities with the object of learning a new profession or starting a new career- which could be full-time, part-time or temporary.”

Dr Eugster surmises:”It is absurd that we should spend about a third of our lives being unproductive and supported by other people’s children. The discovery of the enormous plasticity of the human body means that it is possible to rebuild one’s body and mental ability in old age through specific exercises and changes in diet.  This in turn cannot only prevent decline but can increase physical and mental powers.  Thus the possibility of work in old age together with fewer demands on the health services is feasible.”

And you only have to look at Charles to know that he is right.

To find out more about Dr Eugster

Interview by Avril O’Connor

Elixir of life drug found on Easter Island

New York: A drug has been discovered on one of the remotest places on earth andwhich scientists believe can reverse the effects of premature ageing and could extend human life by more than a decade.Researchers are looking at ways to market the drug. 

Rapamycin, which is being called the “forever young” drug, was created from a chemical found in the soil on Easter Island, 2,000 miles off the coast of Chile in the Pacific Ocean.

The drug is already used to supress the immune system, thereby assisting organ transplants. It was used in experiments on children suffering from Hutchinson-Gilford Progeria Syndrome (HGPS), a rare genetic condition in which ageing is hyper-accelerated and sufferers die at around 12 years.

HGPS causes a dangerous process whereby a protein called progerin builds up in every cell of the body, causing them to age prematurely, according to a report in the medical journalScience Translational Medicine.

Rapamycin cleaned the cells of progerin and left healthy cells.

Researchers in the US are expected to start looking at whether the drug could be used more widely, after similarities between HGPS and the normal ageing process were uncovered.

Dimitri Krainc, co-author of the study, said: “Even a small activation of this ‘debris removal’ system would extend the health and life-span of our cells and organs.”

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Scientific breakthrough in skin ageing from Vichy

London:A new scientific discovery, the fruit of 10 years research into understanding skin ageing, has resulted in the creation of a new generation cream.

Vichy LiftActiv Derm Source the skin cream that has been dubbed by the press as a ‘wrinkle cream first’ targeting the skin’s ageing process went on sale in Britain last week, following a wave of media and consumer interest in the product ever since scientific research on its breakthrough formulation was revealed at the beginning of the year.

femme_liftactiv.jpgThe breakthrough, backed by rigorous scientific testing and independent analysis, with the findings published in various medical journals such as PLoS ONE*, has seen scientists identify the key role of papillary fibroblasts in the Derm Source (also known as the papillary dermis), in the production of collagen fibres which keep the skin plump and elastic.

Taking its lead from the expert and scientific methodologies used in the pharmaceutical industry, researcher’s trialled 50 different compounds to identify the most effective ingredient to specifically target the Derm Source and actively stimulate the production of collagen fibres and through this testing, identified Rhamnose, a derivative of the Silver Birch Tree and Cat’s Claw (Uncaria) as the clear winner.

The product containing this active ingredient is called LiftActiv Derm Source by Vichy. It has been tested on 800 women, 40% of which have sensitive skin and there have been 6 clinical tests carried out plus 2 in vivo studies.

Dermatologists found a measurable decrease in the five leading types of wrinkles in the areas tested (face and neck).

Watch our video below to see how the product works and how the experts predict it will revolutionise the skin care industry.


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Weight-loss surgery reduces diabetes in obese patients by 50%

Obesitysurgery.jpgThey discovered that the average patient sheds nearly 60% of their body weight in the year following surgery, from an analysis of data from more than 8,700 operations carried out in the NHS and private sector.

It found two thirds of severely obese patients had three or more associated diseases by the time they reach surgery. A third have high blood pressure, over a quarter have diabetes and nearly a fifth have high cholesterol.

Patients who had a 12-month follow-up examination following surgery had lost some 58 per cent of excess weight, while cases of type 2 diabetes fell by 50 per cent.

After two years, 86 per cent of those affected by diabetes prior to surgery showed no signs of the disease. There was also improvement on all associated diseases.

The study which looked at operations including gastric bypasses and gastric bands – said the costs were recouped within three years as obesity-associated costs are eliminated.

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Walnuts – No1 for health nuts

New York: The crinkly walnut is full of potent and abundant antioxidants – more than any other nut, according to new research.

They contain healthy amounts of fibre, protein, vitamins and minerals and other trace elements necessary for a healthy diet.

Eating nuts regularly helps reduce the risk of a number of serious illnesses including heart disease, certain cancers, and type-2 diabetes.

Scientists recently analysed the antioxidant content of nine different types of nut: walnuts, almonds, peanuts, pistachios, hazelnuts, Brazil nuts, cashews, macadamias and pecans.

Lead researcher, Dr Joe Vinson, from the University of Scranton in Pennsylvania, US, said that Walnuts were healthier than all the other nuts.

He said that around seven walnuts a day was the right amount to obtain maximum health benefits.

Dr Vinson’s team found that walnuts not only had more antioxidants than other nuts, but more powerful antioxidants.

Those in walnuts were between two and 15 times more potent than vitamin E, renowned for its antioxidant properties. And unlike other nuts which are generally roasted and loose nutrients as a result, walnuts are generally eaten in their raw state.


Nuts account for just eight per cent of the daily antioxidant consumption in an average person’s diet.

Dr Vinson said many people were put off nuts because they were thought to be fattening. But he pointed out that nuts generally contain healthy polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats rather than artery-clogging saturated fat.

Eating nuts did not appear to cause weight gain and might even reduce over-eating by making people feel full.

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Xmas gifts – get 20% off everything at Club Cleo

Cleo are the pioneers of non-invasive anti-ageing devices using electrical stimulation. There are two main gadgets the Cleo Q Facial Toner which costs £375 and the Cleo Q body toner which costs £525 – buy as a New Year treat for you or your friends.  Elixir has got together with Cleo to offer you 20% off these excellent devices. If you have any Cleo Q items in your shopping basket you can get 20% off those and any other Cleo items at All you have to do is enter the code ELX20 when you place your order.

CleoQ [320x200].jpg

Fuss about food – A new series on nutrition

tomatoes.jpgWe are always hearing about the latest superfood, essential fats or good carbs but what do they actually do for you? Every week a new study tells us we should be eating more tomatoes, or how much more important omega 3 oil is than omega 6.

Sadly, with each bit of new information we find ourselves just that little bit more confused. In addition to the announcements of what we should be eating each week, there are also regular reports and scare stories on how fat we are all getting.

Diet food is getting us nowhere fast. Levels of obesity are going up as fast as the amount of money we all spend on the latest meal replacement, shake or appetite suppressant. We have also recently been told that extended periods of time on low carbohydrate diets can be extremely damaging for our bodies.

That news is going to be a ‘body’ blow to many of us: the revelation that cutting out carbohydrates was an easy way to a flat stomach meant many of us could get ready for a holiday or wearing a tighter dress in a couple of weeks rather than months.

It is not hard to see where the problem lies If you walk around a supermarket and pick up random items off the shelves, how many ingredients do you actually recognise? Most foods have extra salt and sugar added to them as standard – even so called diet or reduced-calorie foods.

This has a worrying effect on our health and energy levels. The only answer is for us to learn how food affects our bodies on a chemical level. In the coming weeks Elixir will break down each of the superfoods, oils, essential vitamins and magic ingredients into small manageable pieces of information which can help us lead a healthier (and skinnier!) life.

So look out for our future ‘fuss about food’ articles, starting next Monday – we promise you will be an expert on glycaemic load and complex carbohydrates in no time at all. Monday: All the fuss about…. Omega 3

Joan’s Way: Looking Good, Feeling Great by Joan Collins

JoanCollinsbook [320x200].JPG Joan Collins is one of the most flamorous women in the world, and in The Art of Living Well she reveals the secrets of how to look amazing, whatever your age. Now in her 70s she still maintains an eviable diet and exercise regime – so she does what she tells others to do. The book includes sections on Glamour and how to achieve it with examples from the women she most admires such as Audrey Hepburn, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Ava Gardner, Marlene Dietrich and her own mother. On exercise, Joan’s programme is suitable for all women. She is photographed step-by-ste; as the works out with her daughter Katy. Looking good takes discipline and organisation and Joan does these exercises several times a week wherever she is in the world. Joan also reveals her makeup secrets: She is photographed from bare-faced to fully made up. The chapter also includes tips she learned from leading Hollywood makeup artists. Joan’s top tips on eating super-healthilty for super-youth and super-energy. This includes recipes from top restaurants around the world.

Cost £5.13p Buy here  Joan’s Way: Looking Good, Feeling Great

The Bonus Years Diet by Ralph Felder MD

The Bonus Years Diet by Ralph Felder MD


BonusYearsDiet final [640x480].jpg

On doctor’s orders you can indulge in the finest dark chocolate; enjoy a glass of red wine with dinner; snack on some tasty almonds.Miraculously, with every delicious bite you are lowering your blood pressure, keeping your cholesterol in check, and preventing clots that can easily cause a heart attack or stroke.

Make this routine part of your lifestyle, and soon you’ll be reaping the bounty of the Bonus Years Diet-an expanded lifeline and shrinking waistline!! How it is possible that such a great tasting meal can do so many good things for you? What is the secret behind all of those bonus years foods?

Well to answer those questions you need to know a bit of the history and science of the Bonus Years. Based on revolutionary research over the past twenty five years, doctors now routinely prescribe a drug cocktail consisting of aspirin, a statin to lower cholesterol, and medications to decrease blood pressure and reduce inflammation. All of these drugs have been carefully chosen because they all also help to protect the lining cells (endothelium) of the body’s blood vessels, cells which we understand after decades of intensive medical study are critical in preventing the formation of those dangerous fatty clots which can cause strokes and heart attacks.

The Bonus Years Diet distinguishes itself from every other diet or “super foods” book because its eating plan is based on a proven medical protocol, which includes exactly which foods- and in what precise amount (“dosages”) -are needed to receive their full medical and longevity benefits.  The result is seven Bonus Years Foods, recommended in exactly the right amounts to provide maximum cardiovascular benefit. They are:
                                                      Red Wine
One five ounce glass of red wine daily reduces overall cardiovascular risk by 32%. Red wine helps to increase the good cholesterol (HDL) and prevent the formation of fatty blood clots.
                                                     Dark Chocolate
A two ounce serving of chocolate daily reduces blood pressure due to its plant chemicals called flavonoids, leading to a 21% reduction in cardiovascular risk.
                                                 Fruits and Vegetables
Eating four cups (measured raw) of fruits and vegetables reduces cardiovascular risk by 21% due to  blood pressure lowering effects.

Eating three five ounce servings of fish each week reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease by 14% because it helps to prevent heart rhythm disturbances and the formation of fatty clots in the blood vessels.

One clove of garlic a day helps to lower cholesterol and reduce cardiovascular risk by about 25%.

Eating two ounces of nuts daily reduces cholesterol and cardiovascular risk by about 10%.

The result, The Bonus Years Diet, features thirty days of meal plans and more than 125 recipes, which include the Bonus Years Foods along with Booster and Bonus Compatible foods.

The Bonus Years Diet: 7 Miracle Foods–Including Chocolate, Red Wine, and Nuts — That Can Add 6.4 Years on Average to Your Life costs  $29.95 (£15,50, €22)

Buy Here:

Bonus Years Diet: 7 Miracle Foods That Could Help Add 6.4 Years on Average to Your Life


Skin Serums

View imageSerums are one of the miracle elixirs for the skin, with higher concentrations of active ingredients they are ideal for getting your skin looking healthy after the long winter months.

Here we look at three of the latest serums on the market and give our verdict:

KARIN HERZOG Glyco Rose Serum

One of the greatest anti-ageing serums on the market. But also perfect for helping to minimise scarring such as that caused by acne. Key ingredients include Glycolic Acid – a type of Alpha Hydroxy Acid (AHA) with a small molecular structure allowing it to penetrate the surface of the skin. Apply Glyco-Rose Serum to entire face twice per week .
If the skin is dry and over 30 and has scarring; apply the gel then leave for 30 minutes. Apply Vita-A-Kombi Oil then your recommended Oxygen product (Vita-A-Kombi 2).
If under 30 and has scaring just apply Gel, leave for 30 minutes then apply Oxygen Face Cream on top.KarinHerzog gel [320x200].jpg



OUR RATING 9/10 £40 (30ml) Buy at or for stockists call 0800 056 2428.

BOOTS No 7 Protect & Perfect Beauty Serum
This is from the Boots range that has been proven scientifically to restore the skin’s structure and appearance and reduce deep lines and wrinkles by up to 50%.The magic ingredient is Vitamin A. 


Boots serum [320x200].jpgGreat for mature skin that needs perking up – and for optimum effect use for six months. A light creamy, silky serum that sinks into the skin, it softens and freshens right from day one. A brand your can trust to do what it says. Rating 8/10. £19.75 30ml

VITAL C Hydrating A C E SERUM from Image Skincare

An advanced polypeptide anti-oxidant formula of the three most important vitamins to protect skin from ageing A,C, E  as well as the antioxidant super oxide dimutase. Suitable for all skin types but principally targeted at environmentally damaged and sensitive rosacea-prone skin.

102196 0075b [320x200].JPGThis serum has a great orange smell and soaks into the skin with an instant tightening and rejunveating effect.  Apply to skin after cleaning night and morning. The skin feels taut and radiant.  This is a very light serum – non-greasy or oily. Fantastic – we loved it. Rating 9/10. £44 for 14.8ml

New anti-ageing serums – we give our test verdict


Serums are one of the miracle elixirs for the skin, with higher concentrations of active ingredients they are ideal for getting your skin looking healthy after the long winter months.

Here we look at three of the latest serums on the market and give our verdict:

KARIN HERZOG Glyco Rose Serum

One of the greatest anti-ageing serums on the market. But also perfect for helping to minimise scarring such as that caused by acne. Key ingredients include Glycolic Acid – a type of Alpha Hydroxy Acid (AHA) with a small molecular structure allowing it to penetrate the surface of the skin. Apply Glyco-Rose Serum to entire face twice per week .
If the skin is dry and over 30 and has scarring; apply the gel then leave for 30 minutes. Apply Vita-A-Kombi Oil then your recommended Oxygen product (Vita-A-Kombi 2).
If under 30 and has scaring just apply Gel, leave for 30 minutes then apply Oxygen Face Cream on top.

OUR RATING 9/10 £40 (30ml) Buy at or for stockists call 0800 056 2428.

BOOTS No 7 Protect & Perfect Beauty Serum
This is from the Boots range that has been proven scientifically to restore the skin’s structure and appearance and reduce deep lines and wrinkles by up to 50%.The magic ingredient is Vitamin A.

Great for mature skin that needs perking up – and for optimum effect use for six months. A light creamy, silky serum that sinks into the skin, it softens and freshens right from day one. A brand your can trust to do what it says. Rating 8/10. £19.75 30ml

VITAL C Hydrating A C E SERUM from Image Skincare

An advanced polypeptide anti-oxidant formula of the three most important vitamins to protect skin from ageing A,C, E as well as the antioxidant super oxide dimutase. Suitable for all skin types but principally targeted at environmentally damaged and sensitive rosacea-prone skin.

This serum has a great orange smell and soaks into the skin with an instant tightening and rejunveating effect. Apply to skin after cleaning night and morning. The skin feels taut and radiant. This is a very light serum – non-greasy or oily. Fantastic – we loved it. Rating 9/10. £44 for 14.8ml

Sun is No1 cause of skin ageing, say cosmetic doctors


London: As the nation prepares for summer, think twice before soaking up the sun or jumping on a sun bed to accelerate your tan as you could be one of the many people having to seek help from a cosmetic practitioner for their sun damaged skin. Despite the growing awareness of the dangers of sun exposure the message is still not getting through.

According to a new survey carried by Cosmetic News magazine at the launch the first Cosmetic News Expo conference and exhibition, 55% of cosmetic doctors cite sun damage as the most significant cause of ageing in the patients they see and a staggering 84% believe that sun beds should be banned. And while prevention is better than cure, 88% of women and 61% of men are having non-surgical injectable treatments to fill in lines and wrinkles, lift the face and hold back the years, but the frozen look is out with the majority of doctors predicting that the biggest trend for 2010 is a more natural look.

Survey Highlights:

· The most popular cosmetic treatment for women is botulinum toxin injections such as BotoxÒ/VistabelÒ and DysportÒ/AzzalureÒ (47%) followed by dermal fillers (31%) and Sculptra (10%). Botulinum toxin was also the most popular treatment for men (47%) followed by dermal fillers (14%) and laser hair removal (9%). Significantly 89% of doctors would not use permanent fillers because they deem them too risky and 39% did not think that mesotherapy works.

· 76% of cosmetic doctors were opposed to remote prescribing to nurses or beauty therapists stating that the practice was too risky with unexamined patients being treated.

· 71% think that newly launched IHAS Shared Regulation scheme will work.

· 29% of doctors surveyed stated that improved dermal fillers to treat the face were the biggest innovation in aesthetic medicine over the last five years and Sculptra (26%) and Juvederm Ultra (17%) were selected as the two treatments that had revolutionised cosmetic practices

· 84% believed sun beds should be banned and 55% cited sun damage as the most significant cause of ageing, followed by smoking (33%) and genetics (9%)

· The biggest trend in aesthetics for 2010 was predicted to be the natural look with treatments that stimulate natural collagen production.

· The age group having the most non-surgical cosmetic treatments was 40-50 years olds with botulinum toxin injections being the most popular procedure for mum’s post pregnancy followed by weight reducing treatments such as radio frequency and VASER Lipo (15%)

· 50% of doctors currently use non-surgical radio-frequency treatments for body contouring with 7% using VASER Lipo. 29% believed that VASER was the biggest innovation in medical aesthetics in the last five years.

· Laser hair removal was the most popular laser treatment for patients (50%)

· 86% of cosmetic doctors have their own private clinics but 59% are still working within the NHS.

Dr Patrick Bowler, Co Founder and Fellow of the British Association of Cosmetic Doctors says:

“Non surgical treatments are the most popular and fastest growing area in aesthetics. This survey shows no real surprises but it is pleasing to note the trend for natural looks rather than the overdone, overcooked appearances of the last decade. Subtle use of botulinum toxins and the latest fillers is the way forward. However I was rather disturbed that 24% of doctors thought it OK to remote prescribe to nurses and beauticians. There seem to be a significant number of doctors treading a dangerous path in the pursuit of commercialism.”

The survey was carried out in association with the British Association of Cosmetic Doctors (BACD) and Cosmetic News readers.

Tried & Tested – Elixir investigates the lastest serums


At Elixir we love serums. They usually contain higher concentrations of anti-ageing ingredients in a format that sinks into the skin – ideal when your skin needs an extra boost during times of stress and the winter months.

Here we look at three of the latest serums on the market and give our verdict:

SKIN DOCTORS Skin Doctors Potent-C+ Triple Strength Serum

A great doctor-brand from Australia but without the usual astronomical price-tag, Skin Doctors contains all the latest ingredients
This potent serum is jam packed with ingredients to improve the texture of the skin, reduce photo ageing and discoloration leaving you with an even, more youthful complexion.

Key ingredients include Glycolic Acid – a type of Alpha Hydroxy Acid (AHA) with a small molecular structure allowing it to penetrate the surface of the skin, Salicylic Acid – a type of Beta Hydroxy Acid (BHA) to slough of dead skin cells and penetrate into the pore, Retinol – plumps the skin and thickens the epidermis, Vitamin C & E – naturally occurring antioxidants which help prevent further UV damage and Green Tea Extract -natural source of antioxidants.

OUR RATING 8/10 £23.95 (30ml)Buy at or for stockists call 0845 612 2070.

BOOTS No 7 Protect & Perfect Beauty Serum
This is from the Boots range that has been proven scientifically to restore the skin’s structure and appearance and reduce deep lines and wrinkles by up to 50%.The magic ingredient is Vitamin A.

Great for mature skin that needs perking up – and for optimum effect use for six months. A light creamy, silky serum that sinks into the skin, it softens and freshens right from day one. A brand your can trust to do what it says. Rating 8/10. £19.75 30ml

VITAL C Hydrating A C E SERUM from Image Skincare

An advanced polypeptide anti-oxidant formula of the three most important vitamins to protect skin from ageing A,C, E as well as the antioxidant super oxide dimutase. Suitable for all skin types but principally targeted at environmentally damaged and sensitive rosacea-prone skin.

This serum has a great orange smell and soaks into the skin with an instant tightening and rejunveating effect. Apply to skin after cleaning night and morning. The skin feels taut and radiant. This is a very light serum – non-greasy or oily. Fantastic – we loved it. Rating 9/10. £44 for 14.8ml

Look younger – get firmer and plumper lips


London: Fuller and firmer lips help a woman look younger, according to new research by scientists.

The scientists, in a study funded by Unilever, studies the faces of 102 pairs of white Dutch female twins aged 59-81 and 161 Individual British white women aged 45-75.

They found that ageing manifesting in wrinkles, sun damage and age spots was influenced by genetic and environmental factors in equal amounts. But lip height was genetic.

Most ageing of lips begins between the ages of 30 and 40 when shrinking first starts.

David Gunn, a research scientist at Unilever said they study noted that women who looked young for their age usually had fuller and firmer lips.

He added: “It is a feature that is strongly genetically determined and relatively easy to measure.”

He also said there was little advantage in middle-aged and elderly woman getting lip implants as it did not counteract the impact of ageing on the rest of the face.

The research was carried out by seven universities, including St Andrew’s in Scotland.

Clinique La Prairie – inside the world’s most exclusive anti-ageing clinic


image image

Montreux, Switzerland: For decades, the rich, famous and powerful have come to the Swiss town of Clarens, on Lake Geneva, in search of the elixir of youth.

Charlie Chaplin, Marlene Dietrich, King Ibnsaud of Saudia Arabia, Charles de Gaulle and even one Pope (Pope Pius Xll) are just a few of the world elite who have sampled rejuvenation from a serum created exclusively at the world-famous Clinique La Prairie.

Recently I followed in their footsteps to sample what CLP has to offer to today’s discerning client. In an era of advancing medical discoveries such as stem cells and the manipulation of DNA which make reversing ageing a real possibility, does Clinque La Prairie still live up to its reputation as a world’s leading medical spa?

My anti-ageing journey, began at Geneva Airport where I am met by one of the Clinque’s chauffeurs, holding a CLP board with my name on it. I am driven at high-speed along the motorway that skirts the edge of Lake Geneva in a black Mercedes. I pass the time during the 45-minute journey by trying to prise out any secrets of the celebrity patients from my Italian chauffeur, but he is no more revelatory than a Swiss Bank on client financial disclosure to Interpol.

CLP recently underwent a $40million renovation – the original building, the Alpine-style Residence, built in 1928; the Château, build in 1865 as a girls school and the Medical Centre – are now all linked to a new spa centre and reception.













Architecturally stunning – CPL’s Swiss owner, Armin Mattli, had the new complex designed by Jacques Richter and Ignacio Dahl Rocha – creators of the stunning Néstle HQ building in nearby Vevey – it is built into a hillside so it melts into hillside. Each floor of the building having access to the outside.

I am checked into the original building, Residence, which reminds me of an Austrian skiing chalet from the outside. But the bathroom is marble, the sheets are of the finest linen and the press of a button changes the position of my bed.
The view from my balcony is spectacular. I look across classical Italianate ornamental gardens enveloped between the high mountains that surround this part of Lake Geneva. The view from the indoor pool also looks directly onto the mountains.

CLP first opened in 1931 offering patients its signature treatment, Revitalisation Therapy, an anti-ageing cocktail made of fresh animal cells. This cellular revitalisation therapy has since been refined and is now made only of fresh liver cells from fetal sheep.

These days CPL attracts a mostly European, Russian and Chinese clientele. During my two-day visit, most of the other guests were either Russians or Arabs taking those famous sheep extract shots, alongside cosmetic surgery and weight-loss packages.

The Clinique has a state-of-the art medical centre (pictured below) equipped to carry out the most sophisticated medical diagnostics including MRI, CT and ultrasound scans. The operating theatres carry out all kinds of procedures , including cosmetic surgery. As well as non-surgical aesthetics, it also specialises in the latest surgical hair replacement procedures.
Clinique La Prairie (New building)

There are 59 rooms, which can accommodate up to 100 guests and 200 staff, most of whom speak three languages. There are also some 60 consulting doctors, whose specialities range from cardiology and neurology to dermatology and cosmetic surgery.

Every patient at La Prairie undergoes a two day complete medical examination to check on current disorders and to pin point any risk factors such as cardiovascular disease, metabolic or cancerous problems and osteoporosis. It also includes detailed blood tests, genetic testing, an electrocardiogram, as well as a full dental examination.

Chief Physician, Thierry Wälli explains: “’We do routine tests such as for cholesterol and diabetes but our approach to every patient is individualised. It would be inconceivable for us to prescribe or administer care without understaking a thorough preliminary basic checkup.

““The majority of patients come to us in their mid-40s or 50s and they are probably thinking that they would like to stay as healthy as they are now or they are starting to feel the first symptoms of ageing: maybe they don’t recover from illnesses as quickly, or they feel tired all the time or they may just have a feeling that something is starting to go wrong.””

There are several kinds of packages on offer, mostly lasting six days, including Revitalisation, Beauty, Thalassomed, and Relaxation. Beauty therapy is also taken very seriously here.

La Prairie’s famous anti-wrinkle creams

And as you would expect staying at CLP does not come cheap. Revitalisation Therapy costs up to $25,000, £12,500, 26,000CH per person. But this does not bother the super-rich – I am told an Arab princess stayed here for a year to loose weight.

Dieting at La Prairie is virtually painless. Every patient gets a bespoke programme, with lunch and dinner served in an elegant restaurant. I meet with the dietician, Cynthia Oulevay, as part of my “Journalist’s Programme”.

She puts me on the “Menu Minimal”, some 1,200 calories. You would hardly think this was enough for any kind of gastronomic experience. But you would be wrong. Lunch and dinner are based on a form of “light” Cuisine Minceur. There is a menu with several choices and I pick three courses, which would not be out of place in a Michelin Star restaurant: Cream of San Marzano tomato soup with mint, Canadian Lobster with a light Bisque sauce with tomato, truffles and artichoke, Gold Kiwi Flan with yogurt, flavoured with vanilla.

Days are structured, with lunch and dinner served at specific times and if you are late you get a phone call reminder. You need an appointment to go to the gym. There is a bar but few guests imbibe and in any case it closes by 9pm, by which time most of the guests have gone to bed – as two Middle Eastern gentlemen discovered when they wanted a drink. I saw them later that evening sitting outside the brasserie of the Montreux Palace with large whiskies in hand.

Each morning begins with breakfast in your room at 8am. Mine is scrambled eggs and wholemeal bread, with tea. I can hardly believe it’s within the calorie count I am allowed!

Then I wander down to the Spa for my programme, in my robe. In the corridor I pass by cabinets of sparkling jewels and stop to look at the diamond studded dominos. There are gold and diamond watches and other fine jewels from the Haute Hologeries in Geneva. I am told at reception that they will come to the Clinique with a selection if there is something I require…

Large Pear Shaped diamond and two pear shaped Emeralds in necklace with white diamonds

tissot pocket watch     stock# 034m

The spa is minimalist except for a four foot high brass Buddha. I have a body peel and chromotherm – an individual Turkish bath which bathes the body in seaweed, essential oils and mineral mud

I am also treated to a very special Ayurvedic massage from Alain, a pony-tailed yoga teacher, who has 38-years experience as a practitioner. He tells me he is a vegetarian so has not tried the sheep liver cocktail.

In the gym I get a check-up from François Victor, the Health Club Manager, who measures my BMI and other biomarkers. The bad news: he tells me that I only need 1,200 calories a day to stay the same weight and the good news: if I exercise I will build good muscle tone.

And so I retire to the pool where the heat makes me soporific .. I wonder where the other guests are as I am the only person there. I gaze out at the mountains and dream of treating myself later that evening to a glass of champagne!

The next morning its time for me to go. I depart feeling pampered and rested. True Clinique La Prairie offers rejuvenation at a vey high price but a price paying for your health wealth …

Revitalisation Therapy

CLP is best known for RT; injections of an extract from fetal sheep liver cells. The treatment dates from 1931, when the Clinique’s founder Professor Paul Niehans, injected calf parathyroid glands into a woman who was suffering from tetany (muscle spasms associated with deficient parathyroid secretions). She recovered and lived another 31 years and Niehans concluded that animal cells might alleviate other conditions.

In 1953 the Vatican summoned him to treat an ailing Pope Pius Xll. His success put the Clinique on the map and brought in the big name patients.

For the first 50 years, the extract was a cocktail of organs, but in 1987, the clinic began research to lend scientific credence to its claims. Its tests determined that liver cells were the most effective component, and in 1988, they became the basis for the CLP extract. The cells are taken from unborn sheep that are bred on the clinic’s own farm, and the extract is produced refined, and purified at its lab, under the supervision of the
Swiss public health authorities. It used to be given as a series of 14 injections, which meant most patients had to recover in bed. Today it is given as a drink and there are plans to turn it into a pill.

While CPL Extract was originally given to heal diseased organs, it’s now used to slow the overall ageing process. Promised results include renewed energy, less fatigue, heightened mental powers, and improved immune resistance.

Studies carried out at CLP’s Research Institute support these claims and have been published in medical journals such as Immunlogy and Experimental Cell Research.

The revitalisation treatments are meant to slow and reverse ageing, reverse mental decline and the symptoms of the menopause and andropause, which is why they are only given to people in middle age or older –not to anyone aged under 40.

Side effects are rare, and after being monitored for two hours in case of allergic reactions or anaphylactic shock patients are free to use the other services. Patients are encouraged to repeat the treatments every 18 months to two years and maintain the effects by eating well, exercising, not smoking, drinking moderately and managing stress.

I did not take the extract myself so I cannot say how it feels. In theory, at its most basic, the benefit of CLP-Extract, is that it kick starts the cells, giving them albeit temporarily, the characteristics of younger cells and boosting the immune system. So if I could afford it would I be revitalised – the answer is yes why not?

A picture show of Montreux, Switzerland


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New laser treatment for age-related sight loss launches


London: A new laser treatment to correct the need for reading glasses in ageing adults has been launched in the UK.

Ultralase has launched the new laser-based procedure, UltraRenew, which will be available for the first time in the UK to treat presbyopia, the age-related condition resulting in the need to wear reading glasses. The treatment, available to men and women, corrects the problem in just 15-20 seconds.

Staggeringly, this common condition affects everyone during their 40’s. Symptoms, including eye fatigue, increase the need for reading glasses as the eye’s natural lens starts to harden and the focusing mechanisms naturally decrease.

With reading glasses voted amongst the top five premature ageing factors, approximately 4.5 million Britons* could soon be binning their ‘readers’ in a bid to turn back the years as a result of this breakthrough.

Mark Korolkiewicz, Clinical Services Director, commented: “This truly is a revolutionary treatment which will make a huge difference to many individuals lives. It will appeal to people’s vanity, as well as to those involved in reading or detailed work as part of their professional life.

“It’s a real first to be able to offer this laser treatment to men and women in the UK who are generally in their 40’s. The procedure brings a host of advantages over existing treatments, essentially offering a solution to presbyopia without affecting distance vision.

“The advanced technology, linked with the fact that the treatment is carried out by surgeons certified by the Royal College of Ophthalmologists, the very highest industry accreditation, means patients should be able to throw away their reading glasses within 24 hours of surgery.”

As part of the development into the treatment, Ultralase questioned over 1,000 individuals into their feelings around wearing reading glasses to reveal that almost half of short-sighted Brits feel self conscious wearing them in public. Reading glasses were highlighted as one of the top five ageing factors alongside hairstyle, posture and dress sense.

Many stressed vanity as the reason for not wanting to wear their ‘readers’, with one in ten stating it makes them look old and an unlucky 13% highlighting they feel unfashionable. Interestingly, when broken down by gender, it is actually men who feel more conscious about reading glasses aging their looks than women.

Hassle was stated to be the key annoyance helping to drive the requirement for the treatment, with one in five fed up with constantly having to take reading glasses on and off during the day.

With prices starting from £2,195 per eye, free consultations for UltraRenew are available at all 31Ultralase clinics throughout the UK and Ireland.

Treatment is available from the Ultralase Hammersmith clinic with plans to expand UK wide by 2010. For more information about Ultralase and to book a free consultation visit www.ultralase.comor call 0800 9888 237.

*4.5 Million, based on total number of people needing reading glasses, approximately 42% of 45-62 year olds.



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