Denise Shamlian doesn’t miss a heartbeat when asked which in the Murad product lineup is her favorite.
“It’s this one, the one thing I’d take away if I get stranded in an island,” she says, smiling broadly, as she clutches the skinny gray tube that said Time Release Retinol Concentrate for Deep Wrinkles.
“I make sure that I always have it on me. It really works!”
Shamlian is the director for international education of the California-based Murad Inc., which claims to be the first American “authentic” doctor-developed brand.
Murad’s recently released Time Release Retinol Concentrate for Deep Wrinkles claims it visibly reduces the appearance of deep wrinkles by “45 percent in six weeks” with its youth-building peptide that helps rebuild collagen to fill lines and crow’s feet.
Retinol, well known as a potent anti-wrinkle ingredient, is delivered evenly throughout the day and night, to stop the breakdown of collagen and aid in improving cell turnover.
“Time release” is a term that means constant and uniform delivery of active ingredients the longer you use it. You’ve probably encountered pills and medicines labeled as such. The term now also appears in topical cosmetic products. This is the exact opposite of another popular marketing promise, which is instant result.
While some Murad products may, in fact, deliver instant gratification, Shamlian says results may vary for every individual and product, and some may take from two to three months to see optimal results.
Shamlian, who marks her first year at Murad on this visit to the Philippines to meet with the brand’s clients, says she has found Murad to be the right fit for her own beauty and wellness philosophy. She is also a holistic nutritional educator who previously headed Clinique’s global education, and has also worked at LVMH and Chanel.
Murad is one of the most popular skincare brands at Rustan’s, where it also has a spa on the fifth level of the Makati store.
Founded in 1989 by dermatologist Howard Murad, the Murad brand represents its founder’s belief in “inclusive health,” which, put simply, means the holistic, total body approach to youthful health.
Dr. Murad’s “science of cellular water,” or his discovery of cellular water loss being the culprit to aging and illness, and how cell membranes can hold water to maintain youth, is the core of the brand.
On this visit, Shamlian also makes a pitch for two recent releases in the Murad Resurgence line: the Age Diffusing Firming Mask, and the Rejuvenating Lift for Neck and Décolleté. She points out that, apart from the hands, women often tend to neglect the entire area under their faces.
“We only apply treatment on our faces. As we get older, the skin on our neck and décolleté thins and sags, and develops age spots.”
The serum is a concoction of botanicals and retinyl palmitate that claim to improve elasticity and texture, as well as lighten discoloration. (Shamlian adds that age spots and discolorations top the skincare concerns of many women, alongside lines and wrinkles.)
She also discusses hormonal aging, which is typically associated with menopause. As estrogen production declines, a woman may experience radical changes to her skin texture and appearance, not just on her face but the entire body. Apart from dryness and thinning skin, she may also develop sensitivity and become prone to redness, acne or spider veins.
Murad Age Diffusing Mask, also from the Resurgence line, is specifically designed for hormonally aging skin. A once-a-week treatment—leave on skin for 10 minutes and rinse—claims to enhance skin elasticity and firm up skin to reduce the appearance of lines and restore natural contours. The mask has phytoestrogens (plant-derived estrogens) and firming agents.
A native New Yorker who has moved to California where youth and looks are currency, especially in Hollywood, Shamlian is not a fan of extreme nips and tucks in the name of beauty.
“We all want to look good and young,” she says, “but I think it’s nicer to hear that you look good for your age. You don’t want to end up looking strange.”