OUT OF AFRICA:
by Marilyn Green
The South African sun is not kind to skin, so it is not surprising that out of Cape Town has come a line of skincare products that not only help prevent photo aging, but assist in healing its effects. South Africa's new Environ C-Quence line promises a great deal: it will rejuvenate the skin and effectively reduce the visible signs of photo aging. It keeps the promise.
Dr. Des Fernandes, a prominent Cape Town plastic surgeon, pioneered the introduction of Vitamin A in high effective doses very early. Each of his products also contains a highly absorbable form of Vitamin C and what the company calls a free radical scavenging system.
The product line was formulated after Dr. Fernandes' attempt to treat melanoma in two young patients, both of whom died before they reached 23 years old. He then started to research the mechanism of skin cancer and the skin and Environ was the result. Founded in 1990, the skin care company manufactures its products under strictly controlled laboratory conditions and the result had been an extensive distribution network in South Africa; they export to more than 30 countries worldwide. They now have seven product categories and more than 40 products.
The C-Quence line calls upon a combination of polypeptides, antioxidants, vitamins, ceramides and green tea to do its work; it is the most efficacious Environ home treatment on the market and must be used as directed to produce its dramatic results. The heart of the products is C-Quence Gel, a set of thin gels which comes in four progressively stronger versions, each one boosting the concentration of Vitamin A and Vitamin C. C-Quence 1, 2, 3 and 4 assist in enriching and protecting the skin, redefining the skin surface, reducing the uneven tone of dark pigmented areas, blemishes and scarring and enhancing skin texture. They help to thicken the upper layer of the skin and normalize the skin cells, firming the skin and smoothing wrinkles and fine lines.
The C-Quence Creme is a new moisturizing cream formulated to be sued with the gels to complete the Ionzyme home care treatment. Rich in antioxidants including Vitamin C, Vitamin E and Rosemary, it assists in protecting the skin against UV radiation, nourishes and moisturizes.
C-Quence Eye Gel is an eye treatment that uses three powerful peptides: Matrizyl, Dermaxyl and Agireline. Dermaxyl has been hailed as a breakthrough in stimulating cell communication and repair, one of the most potent anti-aging products available today. Daily use is said to give similar results to those from retinol, but without irritation. Agireline and Matrizyl are described by beauty and health experts as the most effective peptides available; they renew and repair skin and smooth away wrinkles.
I followed the directions given, cleansing and toning my skin morning and evening and massaging in the first strength gel, followed by the Eye Gel, the Crème and, in the morning, the RAD water resistant Broad Spectrum UVA and UVB Antioxidant Sunscreen (SPF 16 and very long lasting).
Each product was quickly absorbed into my skin and felt soothing and pleasant. After two weeks of use, I noticed (as did my family and friends) a real firming of skin in the neck and jaw area and around the eyes. My skin seems plumper and smooth, and there is absolutely no greasiness after applying the products. My makeup goes on beautifully over the C-Quence product and, after two weeks, I don't need as much; my skin tone has evened out.
The tall, elegant containers are dark blue, but a narrow window up the side keeps you informed of how much of the product is left. The gels and Crème come with special airless dispensers to protect the active ingredients, and one of these became somewhat clogged after two weeks of use. I removed the product from the bottle and rinsed the dispenser with warm water as directed, and it worked perfectly.
The company's sunscreen was a revelation. I religiously use sunscreen, but in general I don't like it - the smell, the feel of it on my skin. The Environ sunscreen feels wonderful and my skin looks moisturized and healthy as soon as I put it on. Whereas many sunscreen products seem to produce breakouts on my face, where the skin is especially sensitive, this would have been welcome as a moisturizer even without its effectiveness against the sun's rays. The product, which comes in a sealed laminated tube, contains sun filters and sun reflectants and is recommended for all skin types and suitable for all ages, including babies. Unopened, it has a shelf life of a year and a half; once it is opened, it should be used up within 6-8 weeks.
C-Quence Gel 1 is $110, C-Quence Gel 2 $115, C-Quence Gel 3 is $120 and C-Quence Gel 4 $130 C-Quence Crème is priced at $100 and the Eye Gel at $64.
The line is not recommended for problematic or acne-prone skin.
For an Environ retailer near you, visit www.environ.co.za or call (877) 337-6227 in the Eastern US, (866) 866-ENVIRON in the Western US; in Canada call (416) 923-5900.