As women, we understand that calcium is our friend, unless we want our bones to make like the Berlin Wall and crumple into a dusty heap on our best-
before date. So we add cream to our coffees, eat our dark, leafy greens and dutifully gulp spoonfuls of yogourt between bouts of weight-bearing exercises.
Still, as life on mother earth decrees it, with age, our spines shrink a bit, our skin and hair thins, and we lose our compulsion to brave the crowds at H&M to buy Stella McCartney’s new collection. Enter Lancôme, which has opened up an entirely new demographic for high-performance skin care: the fledgling baby boomer who is pushing 60.
Warning to reader: a science moment!
Platinéum is the first high-tech treatment cream based on a proprietary
calcium-delivery system targeted at the unique problems facing mature skin, namely the loss of skin density and a compromised barrier function. According to Dr. Peter Elias, a no-nonsense professor of dermatology at the University of California at San Francisco who developed the research on which Platinéum is based, “A calcium gradient is a key regulator of the skin’s barrier function. All the key functions of healthy skin, such as solidity, resistance, suppleness and softness, depend on the barrier to work well.”
Next to bone tissue itself, calcium levels are highest in the topmost layers of the skin. We need it for creating protein to form building blocks for epidermal cells like keratin, for regulating lipids and for cell renewal. Sadly, once we hit 60, our skin calcium levels drop dramatically, and all the pilates sessions in the world can’t help. (Al-though it should be noted that taking a young lover did wonders for Georgia O’Keeffe.) Elias and his team of researchers, however, strongly believe that hydroxyapatite, a form of calcium that naturally occurs in our bones and that is also a molecule used in microsurgery for bone reconstruction, is just the ticket for replacing some of that lost calcium in our epidermis. With the application of hydroxyapatite to an acidic skin (our
natural pH balance), calcium is released, making our skin more resistant to external stressors. In addition to the hydroxyapatite particles, Platinéum also contains ginseng and purified yeast extracts. The compound helps keep mature skin firmer, better hydrated and less susceptible to the negative effects of chemicals, bacteria and other toxins.
Platinéum is not only revolutionary in its ingredients but also in its marketing. Until now, skin care companies only focused on products that claimed to prevent wrinkles or sagging skin in youngish women. Once women pass their 50s, manufacturers lose interest in their needs — be they in apparel or skin treatments. The 60-something woman suddenly simply falls off a cliff, as far as most advertisers are concerned. Finally a company has twigged the fact that millions of mature women believe that good skin health — and appearance — is for life.
For the latest in fashion, beauty and culture, sign up to receive ELLE's daily newsletter.