Being a woman – sometimes it sucks. We bleed, for starters. Then our bodies create the cottage cheese-like substance called cellulite that seeps like malevolent sludge outwards and downwards from our thighs. And in the cruelest joke of all, our entire history of binges, diets and babies can clearly be traced in the stretch marks that scar our bellies, breasts and buttocks, flaunting our deepest secrets like tattoos or age circles in the trunks of trees.

I remember when my first stretch marks appeared around the age of 16. “What happened to you?” asked a boy I met on the beach in Italy, inspecting the curious scratch-like white markings on my otherwise tanned and toned thighs. “I was attacked by a ferocious dog,” I explained. He fell for it, but inside, I was crestfallen.

Stories like this were common among women of all ages – then along came StriVectin. A miracle, it was. Suddenly women in their thousands were lining up at Barney's to purchase the wonder cream capable of vanishing away – or at least somewhat fading – our nasty go-faster stripes.

Now, the same company has come up with a range of new wonder products –  an anti-wrinkle facial serum which, they claim, is so good it will eliminate the need for Botox. (Anything that deters my fellow sisters from injecting biohazardous bateria into their faces is a good thing, in my opinion. Plus it costs a sexy $130 – so it must work.) I tested a little of the StriVectin Hydro-Thermal Deep Wrinkle Serum on the back of my hand at a press lunch thrown by the company at the Mondrian Hotel a few weeks ago. I have never felt a baby's bottom aside from my own, but that's kinda how my hand felt after I applied the serum and held a warm towel over my skin. So far so good.

Then there were products designed to take years off aging hands. Craggy, wrinkly hands with parchment-like skin are a problem, especially here in L.A. where our hands are constantly exposed to the sun, even while driving, the company rep explained. Just take a look at Madonna, he said. She has the face of a 30 year old but her hands give her away. They have come up with special non-scented creams (so guys don't feel funny using it too) called 'Ultra-Concentrate Cream for the Hands' and 'Self-Heating NanoExfoliant'. And for older customers, a special potion called Lumedia that apparently fades away age spots, those tell-tale brown dalamatian marks that appear on the hands as a person gets older.

I gave that to my mom, who is embarrassed of the age spots on her hands, so much so she even had laser beams blasted on them to make them go away. Not all them did, so I gave her my sample of Lumedia to test. 15 minutes later, she came running in waving the backs of her hands at me. “Look, it's working!” I explained that it takes up to a month for results to appear, but she was convinced she had already seen a difference. She'll be sending me her 30 day report soon…

Lumedia ($90) is available at saks Fifth Avenue or call 1-800-253-8163

StriVectin products are available at Macy's or go to

Posted by Caroline Ryder

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