WHAT I TRIED A duo of serums - Keratox and Pure Hyaluronic Acid - produced by the Japanese company ATP and distributed through salons and clinics in the UAE by Cosmetology Middle East. Nicknamed "Botox in a bottle", Keratox has as a core ingredient, a non-toxic, natural muscle relaxant. Hyaluronic Acid (HA) is best known as the main ingredient in fillers such as Restylane and is present in trace amounts in some skin creams. This serum is 100 per cent HA.
WHAT I WANTED Given that, at my age, what I really want (my 25-year-old jawline back) would be impossible without a surgeon's knife, I was happy to settle for what the product blurb promised: "glowing, revitalised skin with improved tone and texture" and a "smoothing out of the appearance of fine lines and reduction of the depth of wrinkles". So, a year or two younger, then? To be honest, looking a lot fresher and less tired would be a good start.
WHAT HAPPENED Following the instructions given, the application could not have been easier: twice a day, after cleansing, I had to gently massage in two drops of Keratox, then smooth two drops of HA over that (remarkably, two drops of each were enough for my whole face - plus a bit extra for my neck). After allowing it to dry for 30 seconds I then used moisturiser and make-up as usual. But after a few days, a strange thing happened: instead of using moisturiser "as usual" I found that I was using about half the normal quantity - with none of the "stretched" dryness that I so often feel.
As I had been led to expect, there was no visible change to the appearance of my skin for the first 10 days. However, when I saw my brother-in-law (a man not prone to dishing out compliments) for the first time in two months, he remarked that I looked "a lot less stressed" than the last time he saw me. I wasn't less stressed - but I was delighted that I looked it. Another friend (who knew that I was testing the products) also said that I looked "definitely softer".
By the 14-day mark I began to notice a glow to my skin - and this has steadily increased. Since I'm not in the habit of wearing my reading glasses to do my face, I couldn't really see any other change. But around day 20, in the interests of this trial, I did put my glasses on - and could see a definite softening of the lines around my eyes. My neck is beginning to look better too. THE VERDICT Definitely recommended. The products are ridiculously easy to use, adding less than two minutes to my twice-daily skincare routine, and the reward is becoming more evident as the days pass. Apparently, most people reach an "optimum" level of improvement in six to eight weeks and then maintain that level as long as they continue to use the product. I'm on week five now and, even if there's no more improvement, the results so far mean that I will definitely buy more product when this first batch runs out. The cost compares well with the price of a monthly facial and the results (so far, at least) seem superior.
The ATP anti-ageing treatment costs Dh1,500 for approximately two months' supply. To locate your nearest stockist, contact Cosmetology Middle East, 04 311 6767, @email:www.cosmetologyme.ae