Beauty Talk: Dr Daniel Stangl, Director of Innovation for La Prairie, on the Science of Luminous Skin
With cult beauty treatments like the Hollywood EGF facial—nicknamed the “penis facial” for the use of cells from the foreskin of circumcised Korean newborns; the vampire facial made famous by Kim Kardashian West; and Rejuran healer injections that use salmon sperm DNA, caviar is hardly a ground-breaking skincare ingredient by today’s standards. And yet, there still appears to be much-untapped potential from this luxurious delicacy.
“More than 30 years ago, in its quest to create the most indulgent skincare, La Prairie unveiled caviar’s unique power to nourish and rejuvenate the skin,” said Dr Daniel Stangl, director of innovation for La Prairie.
“Caviar is a source of life. La Prairie’s mastery of the science of caviar has allowed us to bring forward Golden Caviar Extract, Caviar Water, Caviar Absolute, and most recently, Caviar Premier, designed to harness caviar’s full lifting and firming potential.”
Indeed, the Swiss luxury skincare brand is almost synonymous with caviar, the power anti-ageing ingredient which is rich in vitamins and amino acids and headlines its Skin Caviar and White Caviar collections.
Just last year, La Prairie introduced a revolutionary eye serum to its product line—the Skin Caviar Eye Lift, which combines two formulas containing the brand’s iconic caviar beads and Caviar Premier to lift and firm the entire eye area.
This month, the brand introduces White Caviar Eye Extraordinaire, an illuminating eye cream inspired by “The Science of Light”. We speak to Dr Stangl to find out more.
What is the Science of Light?
Daniel Stangl (DS) The appearance of dull skin is the result of lack of luminosity or light. The Science of Light as defined by La Prairie seeks to understand the various factors that impede skin’s luminosity. In our quest to seize light, La Prairie introduced the Equation of Light for the face in 2019, which expresses skin luminosity as a function of colour and reflection.
For the eye’s three-dimensional architecture, however, an additional element, “shape”, needed to be introduced to the Equation of Light: Light = f (Colour + Reflection + Shape).
Colour and reflection determine the quality and intensity of light as a function of skin conditions. Shape orchestrates the spatial distribution of reflected light, creating a pattern of contrasts between shadows and light.
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How does White Caviar Eye Extraordinaire brighten skin differently compared to similar products in the market?
DS White Caviar Eye Extraordinaire differs from other products in the market as it addresses the three aspects which impact skin luminosity in the eye contour area: colour, reflection and shape, to achieve extraordinary skin luminosity.
In addition, White Caviar Eye Extraordinaire contains, for the first time in an eye product, our extraordinary molecule: Lumidose. This patented molecule outperforms existing well-known illuminating ingredients, achieving never-before-seen results.
What are the benefits of Lumidose?
DS Lumidose works best and fast to reduce age spots and hyperpigmentation of the skin. The most efficient way to reduce the formation of melanin is by inhibiting tyrosinase. The potency of such tyrosinase inhibitors is represented by the IC50-value—the concentration needed to inhibit tyrosinase by 50 per cent. The lower the IC50 value, the more potent it is. Lumidose has the lowest IC50 value of all known tyrosinase inhibitors. In this respect, Lumidose is the best illuminating molecule on the market.
What were the biggest challenges in creating the White Caviar Eye Extraordinaire? How long did it take to finalise the product?
DS The sensorics of a product is affected, amongst others, by the selection of the active ingredients which determine the formula’s performance. One of the main challenges was to balance performance versus sensorics without compromising on either aspect—a challenge that resulted in numerous trials in the lab to achieve the final formulation.
The development of White Caviar Eye Extraordinaire took approximately two years, following the 15 years of research and development that led to the creation of Lumidose.
The Skin Caviar Eye Lift Serum was released just last year. How differently do these two products enhance the eye?
DS Skin Caviar Eye Lift, the first eye-opening serum for the whole eye area—is the gentle yet effective answer to eye lifting and firming concerns. The combination of two formulas —one encapsulated in La Prairie’s iconic caviar beads, the other in an innovative gel-cream emulsion—is enriched with Caviar Premier and La Prairie’s exclusive Cellular Complex. It has been designed to redefine the eyebrows, lift and firm the complete eye area, including the upper lids, reduce crow’s feet and smooth lower lids whilst diminishing under-eye bags and the appearance of puffiness.
White Caviar Eye Extraordinaire is a powerful illuminating cream for the extended eye contour area. Enriched with Golden Caviar Extract, the potent illuminating molecule Lumidose, as well as with our exclusive Cellular Complex, White Caviar Eye Extraordinaire helps fight chromatic disturbances, re-shapes the eye architecture and smoothes and firms the skin to enhance the reflection of light.
What does the Cellular Complex do for the skin and how does it work?
DS La Prairie is the pioneer in cellular science. Inspired by Dr Paul Niehans’ pioneering work on rejuvenation conducted at the storied Clinique La Prairie—where he developed the concept of “cellular therapy”—the Exclusive Cellular Complex gives new life and energy back to the skin. It targets essential cells and components of the extracellular matrix for a rejuvenated appearance.
What do you think will be the next breakthrough in cellular skincare?
DS Essential players of cellular science are adult stem cells resident in the different skin layers. These cells maintain the rejuvenating and regenerating power of the skin. I’m convinced that they are key to the ultimate rejuvenation of the skin.