Can a mask made of algae really perk up your breasts?
Revolutionary beauty therapy promises to bring out the best in your bosom
Apparently, we Brits are blessed with the most impressive breasts in Europe. The average size in the UK is between 36C and 34E, and it is increasing every year.
So, how best to look after these most prized of assets? Especially at this festive time of year, when we are busy showing off our curves in more revealing cocktail dresses.
Enter the Cellcosmet Swiss Bust Contour Defining Treatment, an apparently revolutionary beauty therapy that promises to bring out the best in your breasts without resorting to scalpels or needles.
Anything with the word Swiss in it gives me faith. There’s something bracing and no-nonsense about it.
And they really do know their stuff when it comes to clocks, chocolate and anti-ageing — all those rich ladies flocking to spas on Lake Geneva could afford to go anywhere in the world in their bid to hold back time, but they opt to put their bodies and money in the hands of Swiss expertise.
So I arrive at the Aldo Coppola salon on London’s swanky Sloane Avenue — the only British clinic to offer the treatment — in an optimistic mood.
My therapist, a sensible-looking lady called Sharon, leads me downstairs to the treatment room where she instructs me to take off my shirt, bra and necklace, then gives me a towel to cover my breasts — which is sweet, if a bit unnecessary seeing as she was going to spend the next hour doing much more than just looking at them.
It is essential, Sharon explains, to take good care of your breasts because there are no muscles there that do the job of maintaining them for you.
Your breasts are supported by a kind of natural bra of connective tissue that goes from underneath the chest to the neck, so it’s important to make sure this skin is in as good a shape as possible.
‘When you start to sag, it begins from the back of the neck,’ she says. ‘So don’t forget to bring your cream all the way back there when you apply it.’
The treatment starts with a gentle exfoliation, with Sharon applying a grainy scrub designed to take off dead skin and prepare the area for the treatment ahead.
I worried that this might be painful, but it isn’t at all.
I regularly exfoliate my face, legs, arms and even my stomach, but it has never dawned on me that my embonpoint could benefit from a bit of exfoliation, too.
Then, Sharon removes the excess with a hot towel, but she’s careful to leave some grains there for the massage process — ‘the breast area is never exfoliated, so it needs to be done more than once’. After the hot towel, Sharon sprays a toning spritz on my breasts, which certainly wakes me (and them) up. Massage oil is next, a mixture of rosehip, borage, evening primrose, carrot and geranium essential oil.
After the oil it’s time for the mask, which contains a marine algae complex to help slow down the loss of collagen and elastin (the two most important ingredients in keeping a cleavage pert), spirulina, amino acids, flavinoids and other nutrients that are good for cell regeneration and tissue repair, along with dry witch hazel extract and carrot essential oil, which will soften the skin.
Before it is applied, Sharon mixes a concentrate into it that includes kigeline extract, which has an anti-slackening, contour- ing effect while improving the skin’s elasticity, and lilac floral water, which has toning properties.
This is what you might call a ‘smart mask’. It was left on for half an hour or so and it dries into a greenish rubbery mass.
The treatment, which arrived in the UK relatively recently, has been a must-have in Switzerland for ladies of a certain age for around 30 years. ‘Hormonal variations throughout the menopause can result in changes in the breasts,’ says Sharon. ‘Alongside this, fluctuations in weight, an ill-fitting bra, not having the correct support during exercise and sun damage can cause a slackening of the breast, which the treatment can really help to improve.’
After 45 minutes, Sharon peels off the mask in one go, rather like a sheet of thick greeny- grey blancmange.
Instantly, my skin looks glowing and hydrated, the fine lines in my cleavage are plumped out and the whole area feels extremely smooth.
I feel slightly guilty to have been neglecting it all these years, and it is glowing after its first ever 45 minutes of salon attention.
There’s definitely a difference afterwards, especially on my décolletage; the skin texture is much better and it even seemed less sun-damaged than before. I tell Sharon how pleased I am with the result, but add that surely this effect won’t last. She disagrees.
According to Sharon, the effects can last for two to three months — if you adopt their homecare routine, too. I’m sceptical, but scoop up the ‘revitalising cellular bust cream-gel’ all the same.
It’s reminiscent of caramel sauce in colour and texture.
Two weeks later, I’ve been using it religiously: you rub it around and on your breasts and up to the back of your neck on a daily basis — ideally twice daily.
The effect has been two-fold. My skin looks clearer and is in much better condition than before. And my bust really does look firmer.
It could just have perked up as a result of all the attention it’s been getting — don’t we all — but whatever the reason, it’s working.
Cellcosmet Swiss Bust Contour Defining Treatment (45 minutes, £110), Aldo Coppola, London, aldocoppola.co.uk. For nationwide stockists and retail products, see cellcosmet.co.uk. Helena Frith Powell’s book, Smart Women Don’t Get Wrinkles, £12.99, is available from mailbookshop.co.uk or call 0844 571 0640.
Helena Frith Powell was born in Sweden to a Swedish mother and Italian father, but grew up mainly in England. She is the author of eleven books, translated into several languages including Chinese and Russian. She wrote the French Mistress column The Sunday Times about life in France for several years. She is a regular contributor to the Daily Mail, Mail on Sunday, The Times, Daily Telegraph, Tatler Magazine and Harper’s Bazaar.
Helena has been the editor of four magazines, including M Magazine, a supplement for the Abu Dhabi based National Newspaper and FIVE, a high-end fashion glossy, also published in Abu Dhabi. Helena was also editor in chief of 360 Life, a quarterly glossy magazine published with the Sports 360 Newspaper in Dubai, part of the Chalhoub Group.
Helena contributes regularly to UK-based newspapers and magazines and holds a Masters in Creative Writing from the University of Cambridge. Helena is working on a thriller called Thin Ice that will be published in 2021 as well as a novel about the relationship between Virginia Woolf and Katherine Mansfield called Sense of an Echo.
Her latest non-fiction work Smart Women Don’t Get Wrinkles came out in hardback in 2016 and in paperback in April 2018.
Helena, who was educated at Durham University, lives in the Languedoc region of France with her husband Rupert and their three children.
More France Please, we’re British; Gibson Square 2004
Two Lipsticks and a Lover 2005; Gibson Square (hardback)
All You Need to be Impossibly French; (US version of above) Penguin 2006
Two Lipsticks and a Lover; Arrow Books (paperback) 2007
Ciao Bella Gibson Square; (hardback) 2006
Ciao Bella Gibson Square; (paperback) 2007
So Chic! (French version of Two Lipsticks) Leduc Editions 2008 (also translated into Chinese, Russian and Thai)
More, More France; Gibson Square 2009
To Hell in High Heels; Arrow Books 2009 (also translated into Polish)
The Viva Mayr Diet; Harper Collins 2009
Love in a Warm Climate; Gibson Square 2011
The Ex-Factor; Gibson Square 2013
Smart Women Don’t Get Wrinkles; Gibson Square 2016
The Arnolfini Marriage; Amazon Kindle December 2016
Smart Women Don’t Get Wrinkles (paperback); Gibson Square spring 2018
The Longest Night; Gibson Square spring 2019