I recently headed in to the consulting room of the dashing Dr Marko Lens, creator of luxury skincare line Zelens to learn more about the range. Of the ‘Dr’ skincare brands out there, Zelens has been of most interest to me due to the fusion of biotechnology and botanics.
On the credentials front, Dr Lens is a renowned plastic and reconstructive surgeon and skin cancer expert. After becoming a doctor in Italy where he hails from, he gained a Master of Science degree from Harvard, a PhD in skin melanoma from Oxford, is a Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons England, currently works at King’s College and has a private practice in Wimpole Street. In short, this is a man who knows a hell of a lot about skin! All this knowledge goes in to the Zelens skincare formulations so I was all ears.
How it all began….
“Zelens was developed when I was looking at skin ageing. Skin cancer and skin ageing share a common pathway. As we age, our chance of skin cancer increases, due to an accumulation of sun damage. So when you study skin cancer, you in effect, study skin ageing. I wanted to see if I could apply this knowledge.
Clients would come in with a pot of a supposedly new miracle cream. If it works why are they here? I didn’t like the idea of having a “miracle” product. As a scientist it is hard to look at some of the claims that companies make. My idea was to develop a line based on science rather than marketing claims.
I also feel that as a doctor I should also be educating consumers and not just selling. The educational aspect is very important and also to be transparent and show clinical results.
People don’t realise that aging is a very complex process, there isn’t a single molecule responsible. There are so many mechanisms and molecules involved. Therefore I realised that there is no one single hero ingredient – it doesn’t work that way. That’s the reason why my range contains multiple ingredients working in synergy.”
The Natural Debate….
“I’ve seen so-called natural brands with dimethicone as the second ingredient so what is natural? I believe in results not whether natural or synthetic is better. I wanted to combine those ingredients where there is scientific proof that they do something for the skin. Zelens is a hybrid skincare range with a mix of natural and high-tech ingredients. There is no animal testing. We are an eco-responsible brand. We use glass wherever possible and all the packaging is recyclable. Apart from the environmental aspect, plastic packaging always reacts with strong active ingredients. Glass doesn’t interact with active ingredients.
When creating products, I apply the principles of Kampo medicine (traditional Japanese medicine based on plants). It is very strict about sticking to the exact combination of ingredients that do the job.”
Why Zelens Launched Makeup….
“I noticed that clients were wearing the wrong makeup that was ageing the skin so I thought there was space to introduce a skincare orientated makeup range with skincare benefits. That’s why we call it Active Colour. You’re getting makeup with active ingredients. You will never see makeup in the range just for the sake of colour. If there’s no treatment benefit then I won’t do it. At the moment I’m struggling to make eyeshadow. I’ve been working on it for three years. Putting active ingredients in to powder is very difficult.”
And now on to the latest Zelens launches:
ZELENS TREATMENT DROPS, 30ml, £110-£125
Highly concentrated, vitamin based, targeted treatments that can be incorporated in to existing skincare routines as a booster.
- Power A: high potency Vitamin A (retinol) to help skin renewal and resurfacing to smooth and clear blemishes. The retinol is encapsulated so that it does not irritate skin.
- Power C: 20% concentration of Vitamin C, the highest available on the market, to boost collagen, brighten skin and combat free radicals. To create a stable product that doesn’t exfoliate or irritate, an oil-soluble esther of Vitamin C in a base of botanical extracts rich in Vitamin C is used.
- Power D: concentrated Pro Vitamin D which the body converts to Vitamin D. This works to reinforce the skin barrier and boost the skin’s immune system for strengthening the skin. I’m intrigued by this product as I don’t recall seeing anything else similar.
ZELENS LIP TREATMENT OIL, 8ml, £40
Lips oils seem to be a hot trend. The Zelens lip oil is designed to be used as a treatment not makeup. It combines nine plant oils with repairing properties to reduce wrinkles, Hylauronic Acid, peptides and botanicals including ‘Kiss Me Quick’ (yes that’s a real plant!) to add plumpness. I will be putting this oil to the test and will report back.
Z DETOX CLARIFYING FOAMING CLEANSER, 150ml, £48
An exfoliating foaming cleanser made without foaming agents so it doesn’t strip the skin. The foaming action is produced by the pump not the ingredients. Active ingredients include fruit acids, fermented fruit enzymes, probiotics and botanical extracts including shiso leaf.
NEW ZELENS MAKEUP
There is now a brown version of the Flirt mascara, which contains peptides to help lashes grow. I also got a sneaky peek of a sample of the new darker foundation shades being worked on. This colour was a perfect match for me and there is also a deeper shade. I can’t wait to see the finished products!
Good to know I’m on the right track with basic skincare steps! The majority of my skincare uses natural ingredients however I certainly don’t believe that science and nature are enemies. Science is a wonderful thing that helps to understand nature. I like to delve in for targeted treatments and I want to know that there is solid research behind synthetic ingredients used. I’ve heard many glowing reports from people who’ve used Zelens products so I shall be putting to the test myself and will report back.
Have you used any of the Zelens range?
For further information on Zelens and stockists www.zelens.com