Harnessing a Nobel Prize-winning discovery – that ageing is reversible – Dr. Levy’s skin care is phenomenal; proven to revitalise the dermal stem cells that create essential collagen for smoother, firmer, stronger skin. 

An anthropologist-turned-trained medic-turned-dermatologist, creator Dr. Phillip Levy is a laser and wound-healing specialist (as well as the leading ‘Botox Doctor’ in Switzerland) who strove to develop a way to re-boot ‘worn out’ cells and kick-start the production of collagen. We were privileged enough to speak to him about his infinite skin care wisdom and learn more about his patented, age-reversing range which stars ArganCellActiv Complex - the first ever formula proven to stimulate, protect and nourish skin’s regeneration system...

{Cult Beauty} Hi Dr. Levy – thank you so much for agreeing to chat to us. Firstly, could you possibly share a little bit about yourself and your experience? What led you to develop your own skin care range, {Dr. LEVY Switzerland}?

{Dr. Phillip Levy} Well, I’m a dermatologist, anthropologist and fully qualified medic – the ‘real stuff’. It was while working as a consultant in the mid-80s that my Chef de Clinique came to me with a syringe of collagen and asked me to inject her lips. My initial reaction was ‘Get out of here…’ but she eventually convinced me (I didn’t dare refuse).

She loved the results and I had soon had her friends flocking for my ‘lip fillers’… the same happened with Botox, which I was the first to introduce into Switzerland more than 20 years ago, when there were max 5-10 doctors using it in all of Europe. And I eventually became one of the pioneers of CO2 laser resurfacing – it’s basically a treatment where you ‘burn off’ the uppermost layer of skin (in a carefully controlled way). I realised however, that if you could then find a way to master and control the repair, you could master the final result – which is why I set about investigating the best ways to ‘activate’ cells’ repair and regenerative processes… which is what’s led me to this point.

{CB} Which is…?

{PL} I started closely following stem cell research, to try and work out how best to repair skin after resurfacing treatments. In 2009, scientists located the ‘dermal stem cell reservoir’ – the ‘Holy Grail’ of quality dermis – and from there, it was a case of trying to identify the best ingredients to activate these stem cells; a quest to find the ‘Usain Bolt’ of actives. It’s like ‘Laboratory Olympics’ – putting a series of ingredients through their paces, to see which one works best/fastest.

{CB} Before we go much further, can we have a quick chat about stem cells? What exactly are they, and are they all created equal?

{PL} Sure! First, in layperson’s terms, stem cells are the mother cells; and each organ of the body has its own ‘type’ of stem cell. When it comes to skin (an organ in its own right, and the largest), this is then sub-divided into two; the epidermis (the top layer, which keeps ‘good stuff’ in and ‘bad stuff’ out), and the dermis, which is like the ‘factory’ where all the skin-essential ‘scaffolding’ (collagen, elastin and hyaluronic acid) is manufactured. So when you think of the key anti-ageing objectives, like density, firmness, radiance or (no) wrinkles, this is primarily driven by the quality and health of the dermis.

Above: before and after using ArganCellActiv Treatment for eight weeks

{CB} And what do dermal stem cells actually do?

{PL} Dermal stem cells – like all stem cells – reproduce themselves, and the cell-types they were ‘born’ to manufacture. The dermal stem cells’ job is to make fibroblasts – the ‘collagen factories’ which produce all of your skin’s collagen and elastin; both vital for maintaining skin’s youthful stretch, density and suppleness (which in turn, wards against wrinkles).

However, the activity and integrity of these stem cells deteriorates as we grow older, which is why the discovery of the ‘dermal stem cell reservoir’, and an ingredient to maintain stem cell viability, represents a pioneering anti-ageing breakthrough.

{CB} And this ingredient has now been found?

{PL} Exactly! We put several ingredients through their paces – testing each against a pool of human stem cells to measure the results. We looked for something plant-derived that had a hard time surviving – something incredibly resilient, such as edelweiss (which thrives in a harsh alpine environments), or argan (which grows in semi-desert climates). In the ‘Laboratory Olympics’, Argan CDV – a specific, concentrated extract of the stem cell of the argan tree that is exclusive to us – came out on top; activating and vitalising human dermal stem cells in vitro by 80%.

{CB} And that’s the core science of {Dr. LEVY Switzerland}?

{PL} Absolutely, because we can now go to the mother source of your skin’s factories of the most important fighters. On top, it is mixed with several other actives to help maximise its stem cell-energising properties. If you put Usain Bolt on the treadmill – with no nourishment, no water and no encouragement – he wouldn’t be the world class athlete we know him to be. The same principal applies to our exclusive Argan CDV – in order to work as effectively as possible – we’ve developed our patented ArganCellActiv Complex. The dermal stem cell booster Argan CDV works alongside two other, plant-derived epidermal stem cell boosters and a highly concentrated cocktail of antioxidants, vitamins, omegas, peptides and emollients, to correct and protect against all signs of skin ageing.

Above: before and after using ArganCellActiv Treatment for eight weeks

{CB} Who is your range recommended for? What’s the ‘hero’ product?

{PL} My supercharged {Intense Stem Cell Booster Serum} is the cornerstone of the entire range – packed with ArganCellActiv Complex, and with a silky texture that is powerfully penetrative. It’s suitable for anyone concerned about preventing, or reversing, signs of ageing; fine lines, loss of elasticity, expression lines and decreased density – this serum wages war on all the side-effects of cellular ‘slow down’.

Because the treatment is so active, it’s possible to experience a slight, pink(ish) halo until your skin becomes acclimatised (we recommend a ‘phased’ introduction to minimise reactivity), however, it doesn't hurt. If your skin is hyper-sensitive or you suffer from rosacea, you might find these treatments too intense for your complexion to cope with.

{CB} And how long does it usually take to see results?

{PL} We’ve conducted extensive independent clinical trials and our ‘Before & After’ case studies speak for themselves. Within just eight weeks of using our Argan CDV treatments, wrinkle depth was shown to decrease on average by an incredible 26%, while skin density showed a 12% improvement.

We recommend beginning your skin care ritual with our {3 Deep Cell Renewal Micro-Resurfacing Cleanser} which contains both physical and chemical exfoliants to ‘prep’ your skin to maximise absorption of the {Booster Serum}. Use just the serum and {Eye Concentrate} for the first 1-2 weeks – allowing roughly one minute (the “sticky” minute), for the products to penetrate fully – then gradually introduce the {Booster Cream} or {Enriched Booster Cream} and the {Décolletage Regenerating Silk} to accelerate the age-reversing benefits.

{CB} And finally, there are bound to be some cynics. What would you say to those who are dubious about a product’s ability to ‘turn back the clock’?

{PL} Due to my background in medical research, I am exceptionally detail-orientated and never make claims lightly. I’m my own worst critic and prize facts above all else. I can back up all my products claims (if you get specific questions, I’ll find you the relevant case study), and the recent ability to activate dermal stem cells is only the beginning of a new dawn in anti-ageing skin care. Research is advancing all the time and it is now actually possible in a lab to take a 100-year-old fibroblast, and restore it to its embryonic stage. There are some very exciting developments a-foot… watch this space!

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