Christa D'Souza explores the Epionce 'cult' and the wonders it can work on your skin

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The older I get, the more scared I get of the cosmeceutical industry. I know I’m the one who always said I’ll do anything BUT the knife, but increasingly I’m beginning to think that’s the purest, least harmful, least interventionist way to go. I keep coming back to this image that my friend the beauty director Kathy Phillips once shared with me, of an apple with its skin peeled off, all brown yucky and mealy the moment it is exposed to the elements. The combination of abrading and penetrating my skin with all the latest resurfacing and depigmentation treatments combined with not being exactly fastidious on the sunscreen  front… well, it’s a miracle, frankly, that I don’t look more brown and yucky and mealy than I do (or, frankly, that I’m not dead).

Far be it from me to push anything, but it could be because of this product I’ve been using for a couple of months now called Epionce . Invented by American dermatologist Dr Carl Thornfeld (who was taught at university by my hero and Nobel Prize winner, Linus Pauling), Epionce is a skin care line, clinically proven to repair and strengthen the external skin barrier (which in my case was letting in a whole cocktail of stuff including UV radiation, hydroquinone, retinols, and all that other gunk you get in certain skin products) without causing any irritation.

I found out about it last year while undergoing The Obagi System , and if it hadn’t been for Epionce’s barrier cream and intensive nourishing cream I wouldn’t have been able to get out of the house for two weeks (that’s how much I felt and looked like Freddy Krueger). So, anyway, in lieu of my normal Eve Lom, I’ve been using the milky cleansing lotion , £25.50, followed by the intense defense serum , £120, the nourishing cream , £79, and the factor 50 sunblock , £40.50. Oh yes, and then there’s something called Lytic TX , £50.50, which comes in four strengths, contains no retinol (orhydroquinone, the “magic formula” skin lightener which the FDA has not yet ruled out as a potential carcinogen), but is so effective at smoothing the texture of the skin and clearing the pores that it is used for acne, rosacea, and even psoriasis.

The drawbacks? Well, if you’re big on packaging, forget it, it couldn’t be less sexy. And if you’re hoping to buy it in the shops, ditto.  Dr Thornfeldt, who has a big clinical practice in the desertland of Idaho where prune skin is endemic and who reminds me a little of the dad in American Pie, says that’s not going to happen. So go ahead. Be part of the Epionce “cult”.  And perhaps be thankful that it is not and never will be in somewhere like Harvey Nicks.

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