Face the future

A few months ago we asked MiNDFOOD readers what their favourite technological invention was. It will come as little surprise that most answers centred on smart devices and mobile technology.

We invited some of these readers to join us at the beautiful new Clinique counter in Smith & Caughey’s Newmarket store in Auckland to test-drive a few exciting new technological innovations. First up were some great smart devices recently launched by Samsung.

  The slim new Tab S wowed everyone with its vivid display of colour and clear images, while the new Samsung GS5 appealed to everyone thanks to its waterproof feature – it can be submerged to a depth of one metre for up to 30 minutes – a bonus for those of us who’ve dropped phones into the toilet. The clarity of the photographs was also a highlight, showing the multi-tasking we expect of modern devices. So why were we playing with smart devices in a beauty department?

“My smart phone is my alarm, diary, the ability to communicate with family and friends, my GPS, online shopping, music player, recipe finder, newspaper, magazine articles, weather. I can’t live without it,” says reader Tracey Drinkwater (pictured, top left), a wellness coordinator and personal trainer. “I definitely need a smart face treatment to match.”

 In keeping with all these high-tech gadgets, Clinique has just launched a new device aimed at offering the skin a deeper level of cleansing. Designed to work in partnership with Clinique’s 3-Step Skin Care System, the new Clinique Sonic System Purifying Cleansing Brush uses gentle sonic technology with thousands of vibrations a minute to lift away impurities such as dirt and pollution.

Deep Impact

“The brush has five patents pending on it, so it’s truly innovative and has technology that hasn’t been done before,” Clinique associate consultant Jacqui Callaghan (pictured, top row, centre, left) tells us. “Babies’ bottoms have nothing on this because it leaves your skin feeling so soft.”

Trainee chiropractor Sara Luscombe (pictured centre), is the first to try the Clinique Sonic. “It’s so soft – it feels funny, like I’ve got my electric toothbrush on my face.” After the 30-second deep clean is over, she exclaims, “Is that it?” then touches her face. “Wow, it feels really clean,” she adds.

  Callaghan advises that it’s best to start off using Clinique Sonic three times a week, increasing to one minute twice daily.

“At Clinique we believe in treating skin gently, so we advise people to not overdo it.”

  Callaghan says users should first remove any make-up, then apply some foaming face wash directly to the brush before using on the skin to ensure they get the deepest clean.

“It feels very nice,” says virtual executive assistant Natalie Berle (pictured, top row, centre, right), who’s next to try the brush.

“I love the feeling of all the little bubbles,” adds Jacqui Watson, a stay-at- home mum (pictured, bottom right, far left). “The skin feels really nice almost from within, not just to touch with your hands, but from the inside-out.”

  While dermatologists came up with the concept, the Clinique Sonic was created by a team of Swiss engineers. A tilted head and two types of bristles allow for precision cleaning, with soft bristles for delicate areas such as cheeks. Shorter, firmer green bristles at the tip are designed for the T-zone.

  Brush heads are replacable, and Callaghan says members of the same family can each have their own brush head (she advises putting a dot of nail polish on yours so it’s easy to recognise).

Drinkwater also likes how the Clinique Sonic can conveniently be plugged into a USB socket to recharge. “I like the fact you can charge it in your computer because the bathroom gets so cluttered with toothbrushes, hairdryers and shavers.”

This is one beauty gadget you’ll want to make room for. It may not have built-in GPS, email or phone technology yet, but who knows what the future holds for this smart new device.

Samsung Tab S Titanium, $599-$899; Samsung GS5, $1049. Clinique Sonic System Purifying Cleansing Brush, $165, and $31 for a replacement brush head.

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Sun Smarts

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Summer is here, so now is the time to slip, slop, slap. But did you know that the way you keep and apply your sun care can make a big difference to the protection it provides.

  • “If your sunscreen is over 12 months old, bin it, it will be providing little or no protection at all,” says Kim Larsen, national sales manager at House of Camille, suppliers of salon brands including DNA EGF and Colin Resultime.
  • Larsen advises keeping sunscreens under 30C. “Otherwise it will alter the ingredients and again you are putting yourself at risk of sunburn. My advice is to keep it in a chilly bag especially if you are keeping it in the car or going to the beach.”

Generally sun protection products contain either physical or chemical sunscreens, and Emma Hobson, education manager of The International Dermal Institute (IDI) Asia, Australia and New Zealand, says that many contain a combination of the two.

  • Physical or mineral sunscreens include the physical compounds zinc oxide and titanium dioxide. These physical sunscreens sit on the skin and scatter or reflect UV rays.”
  • Chemical sunscreens typically absorb UV rays. These include ingredients such as avobenzone, oxybenzone and homosalate among others.”
  • Oleosomes are the next generation in sun screen technology. Capsules that can be loaded with active substances such as sunscreens that allow a product to deliver high volumes of SPF without the challenges of increased skin sensitization and allows for advanced formulating of sun screen products with improved skin benefits.”
  • Nanoparticles (particles smaller than 100 nanometres) of zinc oxide and titanium dioxide are commonly used in sunscreens to give a physical sunscreen without the chalky white look. Concerns have been raised about nanoparticles being able to pass through cell membranes and enter the blood stream when applied topically. The Cancer Council of Australia states: “To date, our assessment, drawing on the best available evidence, is that nanoparticles used in sunscreens do not pose a risk. However, we continue to monitor research and welcome any new research that sheds more light on this topic.” The Environmental Working Group currently judges nanoparticles to be safe, however adds that that loose titanium dioxide nanoparticles are considered a “possible carcinogen” if inhaled.