Best beauty fixes

Do you remember when your first pimple appeared back in your teenage years? It was, of course, the end of the world and you probably spent hours in front of the mirror trying to cover it up (or pop it).

But beauty concerns don’t stop when you reach adulthood.

Dry skin, brittle hair, wrinkles, uneven skin tone and even adult acne are all issues millions of women of all ages face every day. Lucky for us, the scientific types at the world’s leading beauty brands are constantly coming up with solutions to make our daily struggle that little bit easier.


The signs of ageing are some of the biggest beauty concerns among women so it’s no surprise there are countless lotions and potions on the shelves that all promise to eradicate wrinkles forever.

The scientists at Christian Dior have developed a complex in their Capture Totale range that targets adult stem cells in the deepest layers of the skin to encourage healthy cell reproduction growth.

“The role of stem cells is to replenish tissue by renewing themselves and producing daughter cells, which in turn generate new cells,” explains Dior’s guiding dermatologist Professor Carlo Pincelli.
“The ingredients [in the Capture Totale range] help to uphold this physiological process over time and bring stem cell regenerative functions back to their normal levels before degeneration.” The result is restructured and plumper skin.

Improved cell regeneration is also the aim of the Sublimage range by Chanel, where scientists have looked to nature for the secret to youthful-looking skin. Vanilla flowers sourced from the north-east coast of Madagascar and grown in a controlled environment in the region are processed immediately after picking. An essence extracted from the flower (it takes 14,000 fresh flowers to produce 1kg) is then used to create a complex known as Enriched Planifolia PFA – the basis of Chanel’s Sublimage La Creme, $440 and the new La Creme Yeux, $220.


Dry, flaky skin can quickly become red and irritated if not cared for properly. It could also be a sign of more serious problems including psoriasis or eczema. But the good news is, treating dryness is as simple as applying a natural, rich and targeted cream regularly.

“Some of the common aggressors of problem skin can be added colours, fragrance, fillers and chemical preservatives,” explains Tamara Eacott from local brand Eminence. “Take these ingredients out of the equation and you are more likely to achieve an exceptional result with problem skin.”

Eminence’s star product in this category is Linden Calendula Treatment Cream, $107. “Calendula is truly the miracle worker of the skin and can be used to treat everything from lumps or bumps to scabs that won’t heal, eczema, athlete’s foot, acne or nappy rash,” says Eacott.


After tackling those fine lines, correcting an uneven skin tone is the number two to-do on many women’s skincare hit-lists.“Pigmentation causes change from person to person, but some of the main causes are created within the skin due to hormonal imbalances, pregnancy, sun damage, irritations on the skin, some types of medication and even the misuse of harsh products,” explains Sofi Lewis from Priori.

One of Priori’s hero ranges is its CoffeeBerry line, which includes the Brightening Facial Complex, $160. “The potent polyphenol compounds found in the CoffeeBerry fruit have excellent brightening properties on pigmentation marks, evening the overall complexion,” says Lewis.

Australian company Jurlique has also borrowed from nature for its Purely White range, including the new Skin Brightening Spot Treatment, $50, to target pigmentation. The kakadu plum is a key ingredient thanks to extremely high levels of vitamin C, known to help reduce the appearance of skin discolourations and to even skin tone. Jurlique has also used citrus unshiu peel extract – a Japanese fruit extract, rich in tyramine. Tyramine has been shown to inhibit melanin sythesis, which can cause the appearance of dark spots.

At Estée Lauder, botanical ingredients are also the basis of their CyberWhite HD range, including the new Advanced Spot Correcting Essence, $140, and Moisture Lotion, $75, which hit shelves in March. The root of an anti-inflammatory botanical called scutellaria baicalensis forms the basis of the 90 per cent active Baicalin complex developed by Estée Lauder’s scientific team to target dark spots.

Known for its soothing and brightening properties, this concentrated extract is highly pure and helps neutralise irritation from pollution and UV, which helps minimise spot formation.


If you’re battling breakouts well past your teens, take heart in knowing you’re not alone.

“There are many people who had minimal breakouts in their teens that develop more blemishes later in life and there are also many people that have persistent blemishes throughout their whole life,” says Clinique’s executive director of biological research, Dr Tom Mammone.

There are many causes of adult breakouts but regardless, Dr Mammone says any treatment should be a “multi-prong approach”.

“There is no one dermatological treatment or ingredient that treats the dead surface cells that clog pores, increased oil production and the build-up of impurities and irritation – all the factors that contribute to blemishes,” says Dr Mammone.

“For example, retinoic acid will reduce oil but not impurities and salicylic acid will exfoliate but not control excess oil.”

The answer is to use a regimen of products, such as Clinique’s Anti Blemish 3-Step System, from $36, regularly to treat blemish-prone skin.

“The cleanser focuses on preventing blemishes, the clarifying lotion focuses on exfoliation and excess oil control, and the moisturiser focuses on reducing irritation and oil control,” he explains.


It’s not just skin issues that top our list of beauty concerns. Damaged hair can be caused by over-styling, heated hair tools, harmful chemicals used in bleaches and hair dyes, and exposure to harsh weather conditions.

“Consistent rough treatment to your locks will dry the hair out and the naturally smooth cuticle layer will become rough,” says Duncan Richards, Joico’s national education manager.

Look for products that contain keratin – a naturally occurring protein that helps restructure damaged strands.

Joico has just released an update to its popular K-Pak range, from $27.95, comprising everything from shampoo and conditioner to styling products

“In 2011, we introduced a keratin peptide in K-Pak Revitaluxe to target the exact peptide chain missing in damaged hair. We’ve now taken it to the next level with the bio-advanced peptide complex that can penetrate deep into the hair cortex to anchor deeply and reconstruct from within,” he explains


A family tradition

There are not many beauty companies that can say they were founded 10 years before Abraham Lincoln campaigned for presidency. Nor are there many that follow the ethos that they would rather make a friend than push a sale. Then again, Kiehl’s is no ordinary company. What began as an apothecary in 1851 has now grown into an iconic American beauty brand with stores in 38 countries and a cult following around the globe unlike any other.

A long-standing New York institution, Kiehl’s was founded by the eponymous John Kiehl. It began its life as a typical 19th-century apothecary – supplying old-world pharmaceutical tonics and medicinal salves created from natural ingredients. Early remedies included jars of blood-sucking leeches as well as concoctions with promising names such as Love Oil and Life Everlasting.

The original store was located in New York’s East Village on 13th Street and Third Avenue – the same location where the flagship store continues to serve today. It is one of the oldest existing businesses on Third Avenue and was once known as Pear Tree Corner, in reference to a pear tree that had been planted there in 1647. For 220 years, the tree thrived, bearing fruit and providing shade for Kiehl’s customers until its demise in 1872 when it was struck by a wagon.


At John Kiehl’s retirement in 1921, his apprentice Irving Morse (a pharmacology graduate) purchased the pharmacy. He retained the well-established Kiehl’s name and expanded the business into a full-service pharmacy stocking teas, herbs, tinctures, honeys and the first-ever Kiehl’s branded products.

Irving Morse became the first of three generations of the Morse family to own Kiehl’s. In 1961, his son Aaron succeeded him and then in 1989, Aaron’s daughter Jami Morse took over the position of President and CEO with her husband, Klaus Heidegger, a former ski champion.

Like his father, Aaron Morse studied pharmacology at Columbia University. Before going on to own his own pharmacy and then later taking the helm at Kiehl’s, Aaron served in the military during World War II. While stationed in New Mexico he formulated America’s first fluoride treatment. Additionally, he supplied the US government with a special aloe vera cream for use on radiation burns.

Matching his love of science with his passion for adventure, Aaron was known for flying aerobatic stunt airplanes, racing cars and riding vintage motorcycles. He  collected the motorcycles and eventually displayed them at the Kiehl’s store to entertain the men while their female counterparts shopped. Today, a number of Aaron’s motorcycles are displayed in the flagship store in New York and most stores around the world feature a motorcycle from the collection.


In the 1970s many of Kiehl’s preparations were inspired by the vibe of the era and remain among the most popular today. These time-tested star products include White Eagle Shave Cream, Ultra Facial Mositurizer and Musk Oil essence. In 1979, Kiehl’s sponsored an expedition to China with the Smithsonian Museum. Rare and exotic herbs were discovered which are still used today in many of the formulations. Altogether 103 Kiehl’s products were exhibited in the Smithsonian Institution’s 1979 Public Health and Pharmacy Exhibit, many of which have since become part of the permanent archive.

By the time Jami Morse took over from her father in 1989, Kiehl’s was no longer preparing pharmaceutical or   homeopathic treatments, but instead was continuing to develop its own line, including skin and hair preparations made with efficacious, natural ingredients. Responding to customers’ fervent requests for easier access to its popular formulas, Kiehl’s started a mail order service and opened new accounts abroad, as well as introducing Kiehl’s popular ‘try as you buy’ sampling philosophy.

Inspired by Klaus’s years as an athlete, Kiehl’s launched an All-Sport line specifically for sports enthusiasts, and then in 1991, after the birth of their first daughter Nicoletta, the babies and children range was introduced. This was followed by an equine line of grooming products and a canine range.There is also a dermatologist solutions range, a hair stylist series and a range specifically for men.


By the late 1990s, the company’s growth was so vast that while internal efforts were being made to control this growth, it had become increasingly difficult for Jami and Klaus to keep up with the increasing demand for Kiehl’s preparations. Vowing never to sacrifice quality for quantity, Kiehl’s decided to join forces with L’OrĂ©al in 2000 – a company renowned worldwide for its commitment to quality and its extensive resources in research and development, both of which are synergistic with Kiehl’s core values and philosophy.

In 2001, Kiehl’s opened a store in San Francisco – the first Kiehl’s store 
to be opened after the flagship store was founded in 1851 in New York. Since then, stores have continued to open around the world, depending on where the demand has been. In 2006 Kiehl’s opened a stand-alone store in Sydney’s Paddington and for the first time ever, from late February 2010 Kiehl’s will be available in New Zealand at Smith & Caugheys, Auckland.

On November 12, 2003, Kiehl’s replanted a pear tree at the same location in New York City in honour of the original tree, officially marking the north-east corner of the intersection once more as Pear Tree Corner. In recognition of this historic moment, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg proclaimed November 12, 2003 as ‘Kiehl’s Day’. A day that is now celebrated in Kiehl’s stores around the globe each year with various events and festivites.

As relevant today as they were 
150 years ago, Kiehl’s remains committed to upholding the values established by 
the Morse family, ensuring exceptional service provided worldwide and products 
of the highest quality. These standards, espoused and preserved throughout the years, are the reason Kiehl’s has flourished for well over a century and continues to be so sought after.


Highest quality, most effective natural ingredients

Formulated with sensitive skin in mind

– Minimal preservatives

– No animal testing

Simple and recyclable packaging

– Informative product labelling

– No false product claims

– Try before you buy sampling

– Exemplary customer service

Philanthropic support to various non-profit charitable organizations


Philanthropic support is a cornerstone of the Kiehl’s philosophy with the company contributing to various non-profit organisations such as:

AIDS awareness, prevention and education

Environmental conservation

Children and community outreach programs