I have thought about attaching a “Keep Out” sign to my bathroom door, but “Enter at Your Peril” is probably more appropriate. Like a slovenly teenager trying to hide a messy bedroom from his mum, my bathroom is no longer a sight for the faint-hearted — particularly my own mother who keeps a duster rather than a hankie in her handbag.
Not that dirt is the issue — the pandemonium in my powder room is all about the bottles. And the lids. Oh, yes and the jars and the tubes, as I’m mad about beauty merchandise and have an indefatigable urge to buy every product out there — hence the clutter of creams.
Ever since my eternally-youthful grandmother introduced a younger me to Ponds face cream, I’ve been sampling lotions and potions, though these days it is more out of necessity as I’ve reached an age when history starts to show on the face. While I appreciate Judaism values the wisdom of years, personally I’d rather look smooth-skinned than sagacious, and thankfully so would Liz Edlich.
Liz, 49 and her sister, Rachel, 43 are the founders of Radical Skincare, which was brought to my attention when it arrived at Fenwick, Brent Cross a few weeks ago. Made in the USA, it already has a loyal fan-base of suitably “older” celebrity users that includes Demi Moore, Goldie Hawn and Jamie Lee Curtis. I’ve always been suspicious of endorsement from pampered, air-brushed stars, but it turns out that the Edlich sisters feel the same way and refuse to spend millions of dollars on packaging, marketing and promotion.
“If I’m spending a fortune paying Julia Roberts to be the face of a cream, there is no way the content of the bottle is worth more than two dollars,” says Liz, a former investment banker who is personally promoting her brand globally.
Effortlessly chic, wrinkle-free and with skin that shimmers even in dull London light, Liz is the perfect advert for her own products, which she says: “do everything except the laundry”. A similar boast is made on a lot of cream boxes, but where the Edlich sisters have the edge is in being the daughters of Dr Richard Edlich, a world-renowned professor of plastic surgery from New York. As children, the girls assisted in his lab at the burns unit he founded at the University of Virginia, and it was there they learned about the science of skin rejuvenation and wound repair.
“Being exposed to that at such a young age is radical,” says Liz, but this medical baptism of fire gave the sisters know-how, ambition and a name for their company. “We never planned to start one, just to find a cream that would help Rachel’s chronic rosacea after the birth of her second child and stop the effects of gravity for me. But there was nothing out there.”
“Nothing!” I say. Seriously? How had they managed to miss shelves stacked high with products for lifting, erasing and healing?
“By default I’d wound up working in the beauty industry developing creams for other companies,” explains Liz. “I knew the prime defect in most anti-ageing formulas is that potency diminishes when ingredients are put into a cream, but with access to so many chemists and scientists, we were able to develop a technology, called trylacel, which preserves potency.”
As someone who had “Brigit is no chemist” written on her school report, I tend to glaze over when science enters into the skincare equation, but evidently the combination of peptides (tiny proteins and active molecules) and 300 per cent more anti-oxidants (healthy skin preservers) to deal with annoying free radicals make this six-product range more effective than other similarly-priced brands.
It certainly does something as there were noticeable changes in the tone and feel of my skin immediately after using the seriously lush Anti-Aging Moisture (£100) and the peptide-infused Serum (£125). Two weeks on and pores are reduced, plus I look shiny (in a good way). I’m also hooked on the Age-Defying Exfoliating Pads which work as a miraculous make-up remover, but sadly at £65 a pop I’ll be returning to baby wipes in the future. As for my bathroom, it’s still a bottle battle zone, though the Radical range has seen off other serious contenders and has its own shelf. I think it’s safe for my mother to come in now.