Investing in a skin regime can be risky business, especially if you’ve not already tried and tested a few of the hundreds of different brands out there to see what works for you.
Firstly, it’s not exactly cheap to invest in skin products, especially since you can’t just buy a face wash without feeling tremendous amounts of pressure to buy the matching cleanser and moisturizer, too, for instance.
A lot of the more pricey skin care brands promise you money back if you’re not happy with their products, say within 30 days, but even when you’ve been using it for almost a month – there’s no way of knowing if it’s actually doing your skin any good. Should you stick with it, or try another? The look and feel of your skin can be a good indicator, of course, but sometimes having some scientific proof to backup your assumptions can be all you need to make up your mind.
3D skin analysis
Late last year, I was invited to try out a brand new skincare regime “formulated by a top-secret panel of skin care doctors and experts” by a company called Mienology Cosmeceuticals ahead of its official launch this month. When I was asked, it was all top secret, and I wasn’t even allowed to know what the branding would look like.
The people behind the mystery products wanted me to be a guinea pig and trial the regime to prove how well it worked. AS part of this, they promised me they’d use “cutting-edge, medical grade skincare ingredients” to “nourish, restore and improve” my skin, replacing the cleansing, toning and moisturizing routine I had at the time in place of the Mienology regime for an eight week period.
But what I found really interesting was that the team said they’d back it up using technology, with a “before and after” 3D skin analysis, taking an in-depth photo of the skin on my face, to prove the skin treatment worked.
The 3D skin analysis basically involved analyzing my face thoroughly in order to determine my current skin age, and highlighting where there might be any cause for concern in the health of my skin, and the state of my pores, redness and wrinkles.
So I temporarily dropped my beloved Kiehl’s regime, which I was completely happy with, and gave Mienology a pop in the name of science (and journalism, of course!).
The Mienology regime
So what was the deal in being the guinea pig for Mienology? It was essentially ensuring I used their six skin products as part of an eight week protocol. Each product had to be used at different stages throughout the day so they could work “synergistically” with aesthetic treatments; such as micro-needling, peels or the use of botulinum toxin and hyaluronic acid filler. Here’s what it consisted of, and yes, it’s by no means a light treatment, but it doesn’t take more than a few minutes to do every morning and night.
The first product I had to use every day was a face wash entitled Before Breakfast, which claims to be “formulated with natural skin calming properties and fragrant sweet orange oil to care for your skin while cleansing dead skin and toxins naturally”. It’s also an anti-ageing cleanser containing jojoba oil, which Mienology says has been clinically proven to have beneficial antioxidant and skin softening properties.
The second of the six-step regime was a vitamin C serum called Fan-C, consisting of 10 percent Vitamin C and claiming to offer daily antioxidant protection thanks to “stabilized L-Ascorbic Acid”, a form of Vitamin C which is easily and quickly absorbed by the skin for greater potency.
This had to be immediately followed by a natural hyaluronic acid active serum called Never Too Young. Mienology says this is a powerful humectant to attract moisture into your skin. This active serum is said to help “reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles while promoting an even skin tone and a youthful complexion”. It also is supposed to help heal and soothe any inflammation you might have.
The last product to use in the morning was a tinted physical sunscreen called Never Too Old, which was my favorite of the bunch because of how creamy it is. It contains a combination of clinically proven filters to protect the skin against the effects of UV rays and is also water resistant, containing clinically proven AHAs, which stands for alpha hydroxy acids; chemicals that are proven to have a good effect on the rough layer of our skin and to help with exfoliation. You have to wait a minute to use it after applying the Never Too Young, though, to give the previous product time to settle in. This was the only slightly annoying aspect of the trial. Ain’t nobody got time for that!
At night time, the regime wasn’t quite as rigorous, and simply involved applying two products to my face before drifting off to sleep. The first was a face wash called Before Bed, which doubles up as a masque if you fancy it. The big thing about this is that it, again, contains clinically proven AHAs, glycolic and citric acid to remove the buildup of dead skin cells together with salicylic acid to remove impurities and excess oil.
“This combination will cleanse the skin and increase cell turnover revealing new younger-looking cells whilst preparing the skin for the further application of recommended daily care,” Mienology says.
Once this is washed off, the last of the Mienology daily skin treatment to apply of the day was a moisturizer entitled Sleep-In Beauty, which is an intensive “repair cream” containing retinol, which is supposed to help repair and renew skin from the stresses of the day while you sleep thanks to its high antioxidant activity. The process wasn’t too time consuming despite sounding it, and my skin felt really nice and smooth after applying the products, both in the morning and at night. I experienced no irritation or anything like that, either.
Eight weeks later
So, I did the eight week Mienology trial religiously, missing only one or two of the night routines throughout the whole process. After the eight weeks was up; I was finally introduced to the team behind the product, which turned out to be cosmetic doctor and facial anatomy expert, Dr. Vincent Wong, as the founder, alongside dermatologist, Dr. Shyam Raichura, aesthetic practitioner Tracy Cullen, and cosmetic dentist and facial aesthetic practitioner, Dr Pamela Benito.
I was then immediately taken to have a second 3D skin analysis done to showcase the results. This session confirmed the improvement in my skin quality and skin health, after using the products. For me, the biggest improvements were in the size of my pores and reduction in redness.
See below for the before and after 3D skin analysis shots.
The skin-tech behind it
So what was the actual science behind the success of this trial, other than the 3D skin analysis, a technology to aid you in providing you with data and evidence that your skin is improving?
The innovation behind the product is something Mienology call “the Universal Skin Concept”, which looks at targeting the space between skin cells, the extracellular matrix as opposed to the skin cells themselves which can limited cell growth. The former, utilized by Mienology, is said to go to the root of the problem when it comes to skin care, almost like watering a plant from the root instead of by the leaves.
“We wanted to create a skincare line that would be suitable for everyone – hence, we came up with a list of clinically-proven ingredients and combinations of ingredients that would work on all skin types and all skin colors, regardless of the initial state of the skin,” Mienology says.
“Through this process, we developed MienoMatrix, a unique combination of active ingredients that work to induce the extracellular matrix. The efficacy of MienoMatrix is further enhanced when used in combination with Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Hyaluronic Acid and Retinol.”
If you want to give Mienology a try, it’s available now via the website only at the moment. The total price for six-piece skincare set is £350, which sounds expensive compared to high street brands’ skin care ranges but when you consider there’s six products involved (that actually give benefit), it’s not that bad. You don’t get a 3D skin analysis like I did, but at least you can use my results as a guide that it works. I have combination skin, too, so it’s likely to work for most people.