Beneath the surface: Valmont’s Agnes Teffaud tells us why our skincare routine should be both efficient and sensual
The Swiss skincare brand's international PR manager reveals how to combat the most common causes of problem skin
I have worked for cellular cosmetics brand Valmont for more than 25 years and, in that time, efficacy has always been our law – but we also believe in cosmetic pleasure. Valmont was born in the heart of a Swiss beauty clinic, and the philosophy of [founders] Sophie and Didier Guillon is really at the heart of all our formulas. Sophie never follows fashion movements or trends; she is a woman who travels a lot and inspired by the needs of the people she meets. She always wants to create something different for women of different ages – we just need to understand how to rebalance our skin as we enter different stages of our lives.
The menopause is just one factor that changes women’s skin, and so it’s important to nourish and heal the skin by finding creams that are rich but not greasy, sensual but not sticky.
At the core of Valmont’s philosophy is our Swiss glacier water. We use 20% glacier water in our products because, scientifically, it’s a well- balanced mineral water with the right trace elements for stimulating cell exchanges in the skin. When we created the Elixir des Glaciers collection 20 years ago, we also realised that the purity of the glacier water is the perfect added value for our brand.
We now have three collections of l’Elixir des Glaciers. The Precious collection uses plant extracts and glacier spring water, the Majestic collection uses elements of the beehive for healing and nourishing, and our new Essence range uses the DNA of the gold sturgeon for powerful radiance. It was Didier who inspired the Essence line – he called me out of the blue and said, “I want to create something precious and exceptional – from the DNA of sturgeon.” Our laboratory team answered: “Why not?”.
During their research we discovered that the DNA of the male sturgeon has a level of active cells that penetrates deeply and quickly into the skin to effectively combat skin ageing, and another that stays more on the surface and works on hydration and glow. We work with an organic farm that really takes care of the fish, so it’s very eco-responsible.
The three important causes of any skin aging are dehydration, loss of energy and poorly cleansed skin. Valmont’s rituals focus on these elements, offering a range of 150 sensual products that work together to thoroughly cleanse, moisturise and stimulate all types of skin.
It’s so important to take the time to clean our skin every day, particularly if we’ve being wearing makeup. Cleansing really is 50% of the work done. We understand that different cleansers suit different skin and different lifestyles – so if you want to create a sensual
Skin deep: Valmont founder Sophie Guillon (right) is inspired by her travels 15-minute ritual or spend less than five minutes a day on skincare, there is something that will fit into your lifestyle and still be a pleasure to use.
Weather also takes a huge toll on our skin. In recent months, the UK has experienced hailstorms to heatwaves in a matter of weeks, and those sudden changes will naturally unbalance our skin. My first advice would be to hydrate, because stable hydration helps to rebuild our skin’s hydrolipidic film, which is like an invisible veil protecting our skin. So, moisturise every morning and drink plenty of water.
In the evening we need to nourish and help regenerate the cells of our skin, so we need to know how damaged our skin is to best oxygenise and energise, while younger skin should focus on hydration in the evening, too.
When it comes to skincare, there is also a misconception that men require distinct products of their own, when in fact “masculinity” is just a marketing tool. As women age, their skin becomes thinner than men of a comparative age, but this just means men should look for products designed for combined skin with a thick epidermis, combined with something to soothe the skin after a shave.
We want to change the mentality that men don’t need to moisturise, and instead encourage everyone to care for their skin, and take pleasure in their skincare routines. For us, cosmetics shouldn’t be something we just put on our skin: it should work with our skin. That’s really the definition of cellular cosmetics.