Once upon a time, beauty was all about beauty: Add a little pop, a little shine, a little color, a little romance. These days, it seems, beauty is all about science.

Today's beauty products don't just make you look good. They "penetrate," "hydrate," "nourish," "replenish" and "protect."

Who knew we needed so much help?

Scientists and researchers did. And we have them to thank for a bevy of new products, all designed to fix what ails our skin and hair.

Looking good afterward is just a happy side-benefit.

Vichy Laboratories

Created in 1931 by a physician and a cosmetologist, Vichy Laboratories' skin care combines the latest innovation stemming from dermatological research with Thermal Spa Water from Vichy, France, which is scientifically proven to soothe the skin and reinforce its natural protective function.

Vichy Thermal Spa Water -- renowned for its therapeutic properties and officially recognized by the French Academy of Medicine -- is used and recognized by dermatologists nationwide.

Now it's come to Maryland.

At participating CVS pharmacies, a trained skin-care adviser will provide personalized advice, using Vichy products for lips, body, face and hands. There's even a thermal spa water facial spray -- rich in 15 mineral salts and trace elements, perfect for rejuvenating the skin after a long day in the office or on an airplane.


Good hair relies on a healthy scalp.

So when the hair-care experts at Bumble and bumble joined forces with researchers at Estee Lauder, the result was a line of products that help address many scalp-related hair problems -- dryness, damage from chemical processing, dandruff and hair loss.

Bb.Treatment uses advanced skin-care technology to relieve stressed and irritated scalps. The company says Treatment is "holistic in its approach," helping the hair and scalp, not just by relieving symptoms, but by providing long-term repair and protection.

Find Bb.Treatment at About Faces Salon and Day Spas in Towson (410-828-8666) and Timonium (410-560-6600).

Hydroderm Fast-Acting Wrinkle Reducer

Bye-bye, Botox. This new anti-aging product claims to do what Botox does -- help reverse the signs of aging skin -- without intrusive, painful and scary needles.

Until now, the company says, delivering collagen below the skin's surface was only available through direct injection. But Hydroderm's patented "collagen infusion delivery system" allows collagen and proteins to be transferred directly below the top layer of skin through a simple, liquid-based solution.

The product is available at many General Nutritional Centers nationwide. For more information, go to www.hdermskin.com or call 800-381-8071.

Clinique's Superdefense Triple Action Moisturizer, with SPF 25

While sunscreens remain a crucial part of our daily skin-care regimen, according to Clinique, scientists have discovered that we need to go beyond SPF to protect against skin cancer and the premature signs of aging. That's why Clinique's laboratories have developed Superdefense, a multipurpose, power-packed formula that helps protect skin from environmental assailants: UV rays, pollution, cigarette smoke, the sun.

It's available at Clinique counters this month.

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