Author: Margit Rüdiger

CultureAndCream Author from Munich To travel during my profession as a beauty journalist was never enough for my. Also my six month on a world trip didn't do it. It always attracts me to other cities, foreign countries, on roadtrips and places I don't know yet. But I am not only interested in "culture" and "cream", I am also fascinated by people who have stories to tell .  Such unique experiences I want to share with you.

After visiting Slovenia, another Balkan region, Croatia, with a side-trip to Montenegro, was on my travel agenda this summer.

The Dalmatian coast, with its many small bays, rugged rock formations and the green-blue Adriatic sea, is stunningly beautiful. Countless islands dot the waters just off the almost 400-kilometer-long coastline. The back country, in contrast, is as monotonous as the coastal landscape is impressive. After hours of meandering past wide valley meadows, rocky, scrub-covered hills, the occasional lone cypress and a few scattered villages, we decide to stick to the coastal roads. It’s difficult to get around in Croatia without a car, especially if you want to drive the back roads and not only to the next bay or nearest city. There are buses and they do have timetables, but this these are rarely adhered to and standing room in the overcrowded public transport is the norm. So rent a car – a small one is will do just nicely. On foot we check out all of the local rental companies in Dubrovnik, where our flight from Munich had landed the previous day. Ultimately we find what we are looking for at Sixt, which offers the most reasonable rates (275 € per week incl. insurance). Now we’re independent and mobile. By the way: Although it is part of the EU, the means of payment in Croatia is still the national currency (Kuna) as opposed to neighbouring Montenegro. It’s worth noting that since the mostly two-lane coastal roads are narrow and winding, journeys by car can take quite a bit longer than distances in kilometers would suggest.

Hotels and their Star Ratings

It pays to do a lot of research before choosing a hotel. Unless you’ve booked into a luxury chain such as the Hilton or Radisson, the star ratings aren’t much to go on. We opted for a four-star hotel in Zaton, about 9 kms from Dubrovnik. A big mistake! There was no minibar in the room and if, as was the case three times that week, the group of Chinese guests had attacked the buffet like a swarm of locusts by 7 a.m., there was no (at the best of times very meager) breakfast either. Things improved after a chat with the manager but even then, for a week we felt like we were in a training camp for hotel staff: Please try to clean the bathroom floor without leaving a smeary film; please replace the used up shower gel and soap (there was nothing else anyway), and in the mornings, no riding up and down in the lift with the staff on their various cleaning days. Right of way is normally the privilege of the guests! But the pool on the roof offered a fabulous 360-degree panoramic view. And the small restaurant in the nearby bay of Zaton, run by the family grandmother was a blessing: friendly people (as almost everywhere else in the country), good quality, moderate prices. The latter is unfortunately not the case everywhere. In a snack bar on Stradun, the main boulevard of Dubrovnik’s old town, we paid the equivalent of 30 euros for an espresso, a soy latte, a Coke Zero and water!

The Old Town of Dubrovnik

… is a must for all visitors to Croatia. It is, however, also a must for the three to four cruise ships that anchor here every day. Finding the right time to visit is important, and this is usually in the afternoon, when most cruise guests have to be back on board. The massive, over 1,9-kilometer-long city wall was completed in the 16th century and is considered to be one of the greatest monuments to peace in Europe. For centuries it protected its inhabitants and more recently served as a backdrop for King’s Landing in the TV production “Game of Thrones”. There are even “Game of Thrones” excursions through the city, including a cruise on the “Karaka“, the ship used in the series. The tour visits the various film locations and the fan shop where one can pose for a photograph on the Iron Throne. The architectural styles of the well-preserved buildings are varied, ranging from the Baroque church of St. Blasius to the Renaissance style of the Sponza Palace and the Gothic Rector’s Palace, a historical museum today. Most shops and restaurants can be found in the limestone pedestrian zone Stradun or Placa. The best view of the Adriatic coast is from Mount Srđ, at 405 metres actually more of a hill. The trip to the top takes 4 minutes by the cable car which was built in 1969. Just like the old town, the offshore island Lokrum is a UNESCO Cultural Heritage site. Not only a nature reserve, the island is the scene of many stories and legends, and it is said that Richard the Lionheart stranded here in 1192 after his ship went down. The island can be reached by boat from the old harbour in Dubrovnik in 15 minutes.

Swimming in Cavtat

In contrast to the rather turbulent and bustling Dubrovnik, Cavtat, a mere 20 kilometers to the south and with only 2015 residents, is an ideal place to relax and swim. The picturesque little town, set on the tree-covered hill of the Rat peninsula, nestles among Mediterranean evergreen pines and cypresses. There are over seven kilometers of shallow coastline, with crystal clear water, sandy beaches and coves. In addition to the beautiful but more basic types of accommodation, new hotel complexes and luxury houses have now sprung up along the coast. Many yachts head for Cavtat where the administrative centre of the municipality of Konavle, with its own harbour captain and customs dock, is located.

Bears in Montenegro

Via Cavtat we continue along the Adriatic coast into Montenegro (in Montenegrin: Crna Gora), the smallest of the former Yugoslavian Republics: Rugged mountains, narrow beaches and medieval villages. It’s no wonder that Montenegro was chosen as the main setting for 2006’s “Casino Royale”, the 21st James Bond movie. It has also been the world’s first declared environmental state since 1991. But this miniature Republic on the Adria has long since ceased to be an insider tip. We bypass the capital Podgorica and the newly built Porto Montenegro, where super-rich investors set the tone, and visit the bay of Kotor instead. We are in luck and it isn’t too crowded. The scenery puts one in mind of a Norwegian fjord with many churches and fortified towns. Off the coast of the charming little town Perast lies the man-made islet of Our Lady of the Rocks. The Catholic Church, built in 1452, houses impressive masterpieces by Montenegrin and Italian artists. It is a traditional place of pilgrimage where, even to this day, seafarers come to pray to for a safe passage home. The secluded Durmitor National Park in northern Montenegro, with its bears and wolves, glacial lakes and the 1300-metre deep Tara Gorge is a breathtaking experience.

Europe’s longest stone wall

For those who haven’t yet visited the Great Wall of China, the “Ston Wall” is quite an impressive sight. Extending to a length of 5 ½ kilometers over the mountain, it ranks as the second largest preserved defensive fortification in the world after China’s famous wall. The small medieval town of Ston (approx. 2500 inhabitants) is located on the Pelješac peninsula in southern Croatia. Its history dates back to the 14th century, when the monumental stone wall was erected by the Dubrovnik Republic. It served to protect the salt mines and to maintain complete control of access to the peninsula. The quiet, narrow streets, historical monuments and landmarks such as Napoleon Street and the world’s oldest active salt marshes are definitely worth a visit. Not forgetting, of course, the traditional cuisine of the area with seafood specialties from the region’s own oyster beds and the local wine.

Relax in the Arboretum

The Arboretum Trsteno, hidden away about 18 kilometers northwest of Dubrovnik in southern Croatia is a haven of peace and quiet far away from the all of the hustle and bustle. This unique park, which houses a large variety of plants from around the globe and the oldest collection of exotic trees and plants in the country, is taken care of by the Croatian Academy of Science and Arts. The 28-hectare area is divided into different units: a Renaissance garden with a summer residence, a neo-romantic park from the 19th and 20th centuries, a historical olive grove and natural forest vegetation. In 1494, at the time of the Renaissance, the summer residence of the philosopher and politician Ivan Marinov Gucetic-Gozze was located in Trsteno.

Back to the big city

We go through passport control at the Bosnia-Herzegovina border to return to Croatia and its second largest city Split. Split is renowned for its beaches and although summers here are hot, the autumn weather was pleasant and ideal for bathing in the still- warm sea. The spacious promenade is reminiscent of the Promenade des Anglais in Nice and the city centre is dominated by the fortress-like complex of the Diocletian’s Palace. Built in the 4th century by the Roman Emperor Diocletian, it incorporated thousands of buildings in its heyday. Even today the ruin still encompasses more than 200 different structures. It’s fun to take a stroll within the white stone walls, to visit the cathedral and inner courtyards, browse through shops or simply relax in one of the many cafés, bars or restaurants.


The use of autologous (own) fat as a filler substance for wrinkles and sunken facial areas is essentially nothing new and own fat is certainly one of the oldest soft tissue augmentation materials known to mankind. Its advantages: The good and almost always unlimited availability as well as the optimal compatibility of the body’s own natural substance. Novel is that special consideration is paid to the anatomy, ensuring better aesthetic results and increased durability. Dr. Gerhard Sattler, founder and medical director of Rosenpark Klinik in Darmstadt explains the method and its advantages:

How does the Facial Lipo Reset (FLR) method work?

The harvested autologous fat is filtered and freed from connective tissue fibers, blood and the oil phase. The processed fat is then filled into syringes and, in confirmity with the patient’s anatomy, inserted into the tissue layers via thin (18 gauge) cannulas until the tissue or volume deficit has normalized. In contrast to the classical Coleman LipoStructure method, the FLR method uses the existing anatomy as the basis of the tissue architecture to avoid changing the individual appearance of the patient.

What is the fundamental difference between the two methods?

In the LipoStructure method, the subcutaneous tissue zone is intentionally mobilized, and the harvested fat incorporated diffusely. Within the framework of wound healing, the tissue conditions are then homogenized and harmonized. With the FLR method, on the other hand, the body’s own fat tissue is injected exactly into the space in which fat tissue is located or used to be located. This means that the fat is applied in an orderly manner into a fat chamber while preserving the architectural equilibrium and structure. The FLR method may, therefore, also be described as a targeted augmentation, while the LipoStructure method can be regarded as a destructive homogenization treatment. The latter is an anatomy-independent lipofilling without taking the recipient site, the anatomy and statics of the treatment zone into consideration. Simply put, the basic intention here was simply to “inflate” or fill out.

What is the advantage if the fat is injected in conformity with the anatomy?

Aesthetic anatomy allows the knowledge of fat chambers, retaining ligaments and various tissue layers. Injected fatty tissue has the best survival rate if it is injected into rooms in which fatty tissue is already located. Fat tissue placed between fasciae (connective tissue) or septa has no survival rate.

Which areas can be filled out?

Mainly the superficial fatty tissue layers of the face as well as the deeper localized fat chambers are augmented. If the concept is followed, the tissue situation to be corrected is restored almost by itself.

How high is the growth rate or degeneration of the fat cells?

The growth rate is generally much lower than generally stated. The lasting correction effect in all minimally invasive augmentation procedures is the stimulation of the fibroblast cells. This means that the metabolic cells of the skin form connective tissue around the injected material and, in this way, create a permanent, new framework of connective tissue. This applies to autologous fat as well as hyaluronic acid or other injection materials. The fat tissue actually injected is therefore not necessarily responsible for the built-up in tissue volume.

How swollen is the face after the treatment?

Since the FLR method only treats deficient parts of the face and works with blunt cannulas along anatomical layers, the face is barely or only slightly swollen. In most cases there is hardly any visible swelling the following day meaning that the so-called downtime is between one and a maximum of four days.

How long does the result last?

The durability of a treatment result is dependent on many different factors and is individual for each patient. One should start out with a reduced expectation on the part of the doctor and the patient and always with the option of repeating the treatment until the desired result has been permanently achieved. A period of three to four months should elapse between treatments.

Does fat have to be gathered each time or can it be preserved?

It used to be possible to freeze autologous fat if certain conditions were met. However, since the legal situation has changed in most federal states in Germany, the freezing of own fat is no longer permitted. This means that it must be harvested anew for every treatment.

Sponsered by Rosenpark Klinik, Photo: @up_n_co


German journalist Petra Springer has always been passionate about fashion and film. Here, she explains how, with this passion, she created her first film “Holy Sh*t, it fits”, and later, the Cartoon-Lady Holly:

I love films, but I never ever thought, producing my own.  After attending a workshop for visual communications, in which I was introduced to filming software such as Premiere and After Effects, I started “Holy Sh*t it fits“ as my graduation piece. I was fascinated! Now, I was able to combine my illustrations with moving pictures.

Heart and Passion

Already at the age of 12, I copied the fashion sketches from magazines and catalogs. Later, I attended the “Meisterschule für Mode“ in Munich and the “FIT Fashion Institute“ in New York. In the following years, I worked as Fashion Director for various Fashion Magazines. Nevertheless, I have always remained true to my passion for fashion illustrations. In 2017, I submitted my graduation movie to the La Jolla International Fashion Film Festival in San Diego. I have been a big fan of this festival for a long time, as it was one of the first to offer a platform for Fashion Film makers. Fashion movie, the culmination for me as a cineast. Fashion, my lifeblood, and film, my passion – all represented at a festival.

Nominated at the Festival of Fashion Film makers

Fred Sweet, the Festival Manager, has a feel for new trends. He recognized the importance of fashion films as an independent genre in the future. When he started his festival in 2009 everything was still in its infancy. Photographers started to create small videos during fashion shoots. All this was made possible by the new technology of digital photography. The Fashion Festival has established itself in the past 10 years and, according to, is now, not only one of the five best film festivals in the world but also considered the “Cannes of the Fashion Film World”.  A few days after I submitted my film, I received the exciting news from the US, that it was nominated in three categories: Best Creative Concept, Best Narration, Best Art Direction. Wow! This was amazing, a sensation for me! I was over the moon, being nominated. Four weeks later I found myself on the Red Carpet with my first film “Holy Sh*t, it fits“ as it was shown in front of a selected expert audience. Among others, there was Kean Etro from the Italian designer brand Etro in the audience. Commercials of big fashion brands were presented, and successful, well known film directors of the whole world attended the festival screenings. They liked my film; I received a lot of applause and positive feedback. Manager Fred Sweet encouraged me: “Keep sending me your films, I like them!“

Fashion Girl Holly was born

Back in Germany and after giving it some thought, I named my main character “Holly“. I started the “Holy Sh*t it fits“-series with short video films and a message: Holly is a Fashion Girl, she loves traveling, is crazy about fashion and dreams about Glitz and Glamour. Nevertheless, she is also interested in all new food trends, loves eating sweets and gets mad not having the perfect model body, as a tiny lady. So, she repeatedly falls for her “perfect model body delusion” and gets into her own personal fashion disaster. The basic idea behind this story is: this film should be seen as empowerment for all women worldwide and show us, fashion is fun, even if we do not have the “perfect size”.

Holly goes on

Since every animated film comes to life with its voices, I have been thinking about for a long time, who’s voice “Holly” should be. My choice was Katharina Schürf. We knew each other from the fashion business. Everybody appealed to her unique, exceptional voice; her funny laugh is her trademark. She didn’t hesitate and is now the voice-over of all my “Holly” Films. I could not make a more perfect choice. Katharina brought “Holly” to life with her brilliant voice, gave her soul and made “Holly” so unique.In 2018, my second film “Super-Holly“ won an Award at the LJIFFF, and in 2019 we were not only nominated in three categories, Best Creative Concept, Best Narration, Best Art Direction, but also chosen to hold a speech on stage. Festival manager Fred Sweet said it best: “Holly goes on“.

The newest Cartoon Film

Holly in Bavaria“ is playing at the Munich Oktoberfest. This year, the film was shown in the US at the La Jolla International Fashion Film Festival in front of a big audience. It runs in the category Animation and is from the award-winning series “Holy Sh*t it fits”. The music for the film was provided by the famous Bavarian-Rap-Band “Dicht & Ergreifend“. The commercial film “The Dream Dress”, my first work for Lorelei Shellist, was based on the “Holly” screenings. Lorelei is a Fashion Designer, an Ex-Couture-Model and host of the LJIFFF. She is an avowed lover and collector of fashion illustrations and was personally drawn during her couture career by Karl Lagerfeld and the American fashion illustrator Antonio Lopez.

Although from a medical point of view the brown spots are harmless, visually they can be quite disturbing. There are many methods of treating them and one of the most modern is fractional laser technology.

Pigment spots commonly appear on the forehead, the cheek area and above the upper lip. Most hyperpigmentation spots are caused by exposure to sunlight and for this reason, frequently develop on the back of the hand or on the forearms, areas which often less protected against light. If someone has spent a lot of time in the sun, the first brown spots may already appear at the age of 35 or 40. The skin then often looks blotchy and prematurely aged.

Hormones and sun

“As with genetically caused freckles, these are caused by an excess of the pigment melanin. In both cases of over-pigmentation, the dark spots are intensified by UV radiation,” explains Dr. Sonja Sattler, founder and senior physician at Bellari Rosenpark in Frankfurt and Hamburg. Hormones can also have a lot to do with the development of pigment spots. These are then known as melasma or chloasma and are common during pregnancy, menopause, or during a hormone treatment to increase fertility. It is not known exactly how hormones promote the development of spots, but it is a fact that the combination of hormones, sun and blue light as well as genetic predisposition is the trigger. Once the spots are there, they stubbornly remain, even after the hormone balance has levelled off again. Certain types of medication, such as some antibiotics or St. John’s Wort preparations, can also cause hyperpigmentation under UV influence.

Prevention and treatment

Dr. Sattler therefore advises: “Because UV light, in combination with our skin memory, is responsible for the unsightly spots, anyone with a tendency towards pigment spots should, in general, choose a skin care preparation with a high sun protection factor (e.g. SkinCeuticals Ultra Facial Defense 50+) for use during the day. If pigment spots are already visible and, depending on their severity, fruit acid peeling or laser combination treatments are suitable. “Bellari offers SkinCeuticals’ Pigment Balancing Peel as a professional cosmetic treatment. This is performed by trained beauticians who also provide recommendations for an appropriate follow-up care to achieve an optimal result. For more intensive effects, the most modern method is the fractionated laser. It can not only remove pigment spots, but red veins and wrinkles can be dealt with at the same time as well. “The fractional laser renews the skin surface and ensures the breakdown of increased melanin. In combination with a sieve-like damage of the dermis, the formation of new skin cells is stimulated without damaging the cells themselves. This results in a refinement of the facial skin – it appears fresher, smoother and thus also rejuvenated,” says Dr. Sattler.

Gentle to intensive

Depending on the degree of skin damage, the Bellari works with the gentle Emerge laser and the more intensive Icon laser. The light penetrates the skin to a more or lesser depth – with the corresponding effect. During the approximately 45-minute treatment, the dermatologist moves the laser handpiece several times in different directions over the face in order to achieve as uniform a result as possible. If a local anesthetic cream is applied beforehand, almost nothing is felt. After completion, the laser treatment is supplemented with the application of a high dosage vitamin preparation. Any ensuing slight redness or swelling can easily be concealed with make-up. Depending on the result and density of the pigment spots, laser treatment can be repeated. A strong sunscreen must be applied for four weeks before and after the treatment. Those who then wish to continue spending time in the sun will only remain permanently spot free with the consistent use of adequate UV protection.

Sponsored by Bellari

Her name is Leila Alaoui. The work of the French-Moroccan photo and video artist came to my mind for the first time at an exhibition next to the newly opened Musée Yves Saint Laurent Marrakech. They were portraits of Moroccans from different regions of the country – all life-size and in front of black background.

You stand in front of the pictures and believe that you would look the human directly into the soul. Or is it the other way round? I was so impressed that I wanted to learn more about Leila Alaoui. Unfortunately she does not live anymore. Sie died 2016 aged 33 from injuries suffered in a terrorist attack in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso. Alaoui was hired by UN Women and Amnesty International to work on a photographic assignment on women’s rights in Burkina Faso. Being one of the most promising photographers of her generation she is an artist to remember and will live on in her work. The Leila Alaoui Foundation was initiated and is run by her mother Christine. She has given herself the mission to preserve her daughters work and values. There are still two unpublished project from the years 2014 und 2015.

With the bus across Morocco

To realize her photo projects Leila Alaoui has spared no effort. For her series „The Moroccans“ she travelled between 2010 and 2014 the country with her mobile photo studio to capture the ethnic and cultural diversity of Morocco. She portrayed women and men in the manner of the traditional orientalist portrayal. Her style of presentation is often compared with Richard Avedon, one of the greatest portraitists of the 20th century. Alaoui’s life-sized images captured on a black background attracts you to look them into the eyes. The black canvas highlights the beauty of their facial features – no matter if they are young or old -, the sophisticated aesthetic of their dress, and the rich cultural traditions they stand for. Archaic people from a rudimentary, dusty environment. The book „The Moroccans“ I can highly recommend.

On search for destinies

Through this project, and all others, Leila Alaoui seemed to aim for the same social impact: one deconstructing the idea of hierarchy between culture and people. Her work shows a high degree of empathy for the people she portrayed. Born in Paris to a Moroccan father and a French mother, and grown up in Marrakech she has known the difficulties of a life between Europe and Africa. In her 2008 series „No Pasara“ Alaoui documents the life and dreams of young Moroccans who wished for a better future on the other side of the Mediterranean. Just one year before she died she had realised the video project „Crossing“. It aims to convey the traumatic experience of Sub-Saharan migrants who embark on makeshift boats to reach European coasts. In both cases she tried to analyse how the utopian paradigm of the old continent is constructed in the African popular imagination. Since the beginning of the Syria conflict in 2011 she has always traveled to refugee camps in Lebanon, Jordan and Iraq to bring the personal fates of the people there to life. When you look at their pictures you do not feel sorry but respect and admiration for those, she had portrayed. That was Leila Alaoui’s strength.

Because of its lack of appropriate methods, body skin tightening was once aesthetic medicine’s poor relation. Now there are two extremely effective technologies that can be used to tighten and smooth the tissues.

Renuvion – plasma energy for lasting firm skin

Renuvion, a process based on helium plasma with the efficiency of highly focused energy, is still very new. The Rosenpark Klinik is the first clinic in Germany and one of the first in Europe to use this method. It can be applied to tighten sagging skin on the legs, arms, buttocks, back or neck and décolleté in a very unique way. The dual thermal effect produced tightens the tissue so gently that the risk of side effects is very low in comparison with other procedures such as laser. Why? Plasma technology allows the connective tissue to be heated precisely and then immediately cooled back to skin temperature.

Local anesthesia and small incisions

Renuvion can be performed as a stand-alone treatment or, if necessary, directly after liposuction. Immediately after liposuction, the 4 mm thin handpiece is inserted into the same mini incisions made for the liposuction cannula. This means that no additional incisions are required. To ensure that the procedure is painless, the area to be treated is numbed using local tumescent anesthesia in the same way as with liposuction. Treatment with the Renuvion handpiece is fan shaped. The surgeon moves the device in opposite directions at one centimeter per second. The helium plasma beam penetrates the entire tissue, tightens it directly under the skin and stimulates the formation of new collagen. Four to six passes are necessary, requiring 20 to 45 minutes. But then it’s done. Only one intervention is necessary for a lasting result.

Potential immediate effect

In many cases, the effect can already be seen immediately after treatment. Significant improvement and smoothing of the skin occurs within the next six months which is the time it takes for new collagen to form. The adhesion of the tissue stimulated by the procedure ensures optimized wound healing and tightening of the tissues in all layers. In the first few days after treatment, slight wound pain, similar to that of aching muscles, is possible. Otherwise, the patient feels fit again right away, without significant downtime. If Renuvion is performed as part of a liposuction, one should plan three to four days of rest. Although there are no physical restrictions, wearing a compression garment is essential for about two to four weeks.

BodyTite – Radio Frequency plus Liposuction in one

BodyTite from Invasix , a technology designed to tighten the skin while eliminating fat deposits and cellulite, combines the advantages of radiofrequency skin tightening and classic a single procedure. It can be applied to almost every part of the body: BodyTite tightens upper arms, neck, thighs, stomach, lateral back and bottom. It is also used in body shaping and liposuction of the arms, back, stomach, thighs, hips, inner thighs and double chin. Cellulite can thus be removed, and lipedema reduced. Dr. Gerhard Sattler, medical director of the Rosenpark Clinic says: “BodyTite is the ideal procedure for the treatment of sagging skin over large areas, such as after severe weight loss or pregnancy.

Heat liquefies the fat

In the BodyTite procedure, a cannula equipped with an electrode is inserted into the fat layer directly under the skin. The electrode emits radio waves which generate heat in the fat and subcutaneous tissue. The effect is twofold: 1. the tightening of the connective tissue suspension of the skin. 2. the liquefaction of fat, which is then removed through the cannula. During the procedure, a further electrode on the outside controls the temperature in the subcutaneous tissue to prevent it from overheating. Local tumescent local anesthesia is also used here whereby large quantities of highly diluted anesthetic solution are injected into the tissue. The advantage is that the patient is alert throughout the procedure and able to follow the doctor’s instructions. For example, he can turn around, stand up to check symmetry or tighten individual muscles. The basic tension of the muscles makes the body silhouette easier for the surgeon to see.

Home after the operation

The procedure is performed on an outpatient basis and physical restrictions are not to be expected. However, this method also requires the patient to wear a compression garment for two to four weeks after the treatment which is how long the healing process usually lasts. A single BodyTite application is enough.


Sponsered by Rosenpark Klinik  
Leading pic: @upo_n_co

Customized or bespoke are THE keywords when it comes to something tailored specifically to a person. To explain why tailor-made skin care actually does make sense, Dr. Gerhard Sattler, founder and Medical Director of the Bellari Institute and the Rosenpark Klinik Darmstadt, uses the example of SkinCeuticals CUSTOM D.O.S.E., a machine which produces a personalized skin serum on site.

Does customized skincare make sense even if one doesn’t have problem skin?

I think this is a question of personal requirements. Prevention always plays a role in taking care of my skin, even if it is healthy. In this respect, personalized care is also helpful for those consumers who don’t have problem skin. After all, it contains not only medicinal substances, but skin nourishing ingredients which give support to the stability and health of the skin. What is special about the new SkinCeuticals product is the quality of how it is prepared. The machine is located here in the salesroom at the Bellari Medical Beauty practice and, in just a few minutes, produces a serum under highly sterile conditions, just as if it came from a laboratory. I find that remarkable and highly professional.

What parameters does the machine measure?

Since every skin has individual needs and problem zones, a precise anamnesis is essential. This is obtained by means of a personal conversation and a tablet-supported skin analysis which take place in advance. Based on the programme’s questions, the patient’s objectives are established, and problem areas noted and assessed. The SkinScope from SkinCeuticals is also used. By means of a special UV light, this reveals “weak points” in the skin such as hyperpigmentation, couperose, etc., which are not yet visible to the naked eye. The formulation is then determined using a tablet after which CUSTOM D.O.S.E (and this is what makes it special) combines the appropriate ingredients for the patient. Not all active ingredients can be combined, nor can an infinite number be included in one serum. Based on the answers, the system recognizes exactly which ingredient is the correct one, for example to minimize redness. Since each substance can have several properties, this depends exactly on the combination. The system automatically compiles the optimal dosage and mixes the serum individually right in front of the patient.

Who carries out the anamnesis with the patient?

The beauty of the Bellari concept is the combination of professional cosmetics and aesthetic medicine at one location. Our customers and patients receive precise information from our beauticians and doctors as to the skincare best for them, whether it be prophylactic or to improve the appearance of their skin. Medical treatments are always advised and carried out by a doctor who makes an individual recommendation. The patient is then familiarized with the latest possibilities and technologies, such as CUSTOM D.O.S.E.

The individual serum can contain up to 12 active substances. What are these?

The serum has two possible constituents which form its basis and are carriers for the highly concentrated active substances (so-called boosters). Depending on the type of skin, we recommend a hydroalcoholic, viscous base or a light, creamy emulsion base. To this, the respective boosters are added: For exfoliation, these are AHAs (glycolic, lactic and phytic acids), which support the natural exfoliation of the skin and remove dry, pale skin flakes. H+H (Hepes and Hydrovance) refine the complexion and moisturize the skin. LI+M (liquorice root and mulberry extract) have a brightening effect. They promote an even skin appearance and minimize hyperpigmentation as well as dark spots. Another brightener is SYM (SymWhite). PXN or RET is then added to improve the skin: Pro-Xylane™ (PXN) supports the skin’s protein matrix and improves firmness. Retinol (RET in 0.1%, 0.3% and 0.5%) provides a smooth complexion, stimulates cell regeneration and improves the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Since not every patient can tolerate Retinol, medical advice is extremely important here.

Why is there only one serum and not an entire care line?

Sometimes less is more. The serum is mixed with the exact active ingredients that the skin needs in its current condition, and in a particularly high concentration. Of course, it can be integrated into the usual skincare routine or supplemented with other products. For example, some CUSTOM D.O.S.E. combinations should only be used in the evening. Since the skin also needs care in the morning, the usual products or, if necessary, a new product that is better adapted to the skin can be used.

What is possible in skin analysis today?

Much more than ever before. In the past, dermatologists were only able use their eyes and hands for a skin anamnesis. Of course, there have long been useful analytical devices such as the dermatoscope for the detection of skin cancer. But with the SkinScope and the use of UV light, we can detect skin problems such as hyperpigmentation, freckles, sallow complexion, stubborn dark spots and the first signs of aging such as lines and wrinkles long before they become apparent. The logical consequence is that technologies are developed that provide a tailor-made skincare solution for the patient. For those of us in aesthetic medicine, this is another key element in attaining optimized results.


Sponsered by Bellari

The list of proms is endless. Grace Kelly, Audrey Hepburn, Marlene Dietrich were addicted to Krigler fragrances. Also the eccentric writer Ernest Hemingway and the legendary style icon Jackie Kennedy wore them.

Today Ben Krigler, a trained chemist, continues the tradition of the luxury perfume house in the fifth generation. With a lot of empathy and creativity as we learned during the C&C-Interview:

Do you remember your very first contact and experience with fragrance?

Yes, it was when I was a child and my mother was working on perfumes she was creating for a client. She was mixing essences and I couldn’t understand at first what she was doing. She then explained to me that she was creating scents we smell. For a while as a child, I thought that she was creating every scents in the world. The scent of flowers, the scent of the ocean, the scent of food. For a while, she was like God. Then I understood.

Which celebrities impressed you the most?

In our situation, our fragrances have been adopted by celebrities. Mostly, the fragrances were purchased by celebrities. Such as Grace Kelly who was a client of our house in New York in the 1950s. She purchased Chateau Krigler 12 when she was still a debutante and a young actress. At Krigler, the most important part is the story behind the fragrance and that is what touches everybody, celebrities or you. F. Scott Fitzgerald and Marlene Dietrich both wore once Lieber Gustav 14. It’s the perfect example of a story that inspires people’s mind and chemistry. The fragrance was created as a symbol of eternal love between two human beeings in Berlin and Provence. It was a bridge over barriers.

Is there a fragrance you have created exclusively for yourself?

I have created Sierra Vista 2142 specifically for myself. But I launched it in 2014.
I just wanted to have a fragrance in the collection that embodies everything I like on me. What I do is I mix a lot of fragrances together on me, that’s my kind of exclusivity even though, anybody could do it.

Please name a fragrance ingredient which will never be used by Krigler?

Well today, I would say anything coming from animals. And I’m so glad for that. The industry has luckily evolved a lot.

Which questions do you ask the person before you create a customized fragrance?

There are about hundreds of questions we ask. But my favourites are: Where do you come from? What flavour do you like the most? What scent-memory of your childhood do you remember the most?

Have you ever refused to work for a private client and why?

The only time we refused was when a Russian client brought some oil, that was obviously coming from an animal. We told him, that we couldn’t use that to make a fragrance.

How much do I have to pay for a bespoke Krigler fragrance?

We have different offers. The pure Bespoke perfume starts at 50.000 Euros. The timeframe to create it is a minimum of nine months, usually, and it could take up to two years. For that, you meet for a minimum of six sessions to create a scent. You also get a personalized trunk, which we design for you and have it made in Paris by our artisan. A crystal bottle, that could be engraved with your initials. You may also order a fragrance from the archives, since Krigler has over 600 fragrances in our archives. You may lease a perfume for a minimum period of six months and be the only one to wear it. This is a faster way to get an original perfume historical, and that only you would be wearing in the meantime. This cost starts at 5.000 Euros.

Can you tell from the scent that someone has choosen on his personality?

Kind of yes, we kind of tell what scent will please someone better than another. Also, it has to do with the place people live in.

If you have to choose something to express yourself, would it be an exclusive fragrance or an exclusive piece of fashion?

Well, I would choose a fragrance, because I’m always wearing the same kind of clothes. A fragrance is more personal and symbolic. It can be actually correlated with fashion. For instance, abroad, I love to wear my Trachten Jacken and I gladly wear it with Eleganter Schwan 06. The fragrance created for the Schloss Neuschwanstein. I actually like to wear local or traditional clothes somewhere else. And I mix them together. I have my jackets from Japan that I love to wear with a note of Gardenia. And only abroad. I cannot fit the locals, I always want to be different. It’s so much fun to be yourself when you want it. (on IG @benkrigler)


I may have found the famous postcard motif, but the myth of Santorini still evades me.

I am torn between the goodwill I normally extend to a holiday destination that is new to me and the gut feeling I trust that when something just doesn’t seem right. And since I took this trip at my own expense, I am free to write the truth as I see it. So, my opinion: Santorini is completely overrated. Yes, the picturesque little villages with their white houses nestling on on the slopes or clustering around a hill are lovely. But this is the case on every Cycladic island. And yes, there are glorious sunsets to watch. But aren’t these to be found everywhere? Even at home in Bavaria?

Volcano born

In terms of geography and history, Santorini or Thera – as the Greeks call it – is an anomaly. The 92.5 km² large archipelago in the south of the Cyclades consists of five islands, formed by volcanic activities 3,600 years ago. The main island Thira, and the islands Thirasia and Aspronisi are grouped in a ring around the water-flooded Caldera, a kind of huge cauldron said to be around 400 meters deep. In its centre lie the two islands Palea Kameni and Nea Kameni, where the last volcanic eruption took place in 1950. So much for history.

Donkey tour, no thanks!

In aiming to do some relaxed exploring of Santorini at the end of June, I perhaps just picked the wrong month, It was not relaxed at all. Hordes of people pour off the cruise ships and, at a time, up to seven of these ocean giants can be found at anchor in the Caldera just outside the capital Firá. Once on land, passengers are carried up the steep path by donkey or mule. The “donkey tour” is also popular with those tourists not on cruise ships. This is just incomprehensible to me which is why I wasn’t tempted to take any photos. How can one enjoy such a ride, seeing the distraught animals toiling in the blazing sun, pressing themselves against the rocks in desperate search of shade. Without water, without food. After all, for a mere 6 Euros, the 220 meters to the top and back can easily be reached by cable car. Or one can walk up the 588 steps of the serpentine-like Karavolades stairs connecting Firá with the old port. Once at the top, the masses jostle their way through the narrow, winding alleys. Here a selfie, there a group photo, Gyros in hand.

Skin-to-skin sunset

The small village Oia (pronounced Ia), at Santorini’s northern tip, is considered one of the most beautiful on the island and it is here, at its highest point, that armies of tourists converge to marvel at the sunset. Not one inch on the narrow viewing path do they budge until the sun has sunk blood- red into the sea and the obligitory photos have been snapped. There are exquisite boutiques, fine restaurants and classy bars, but the Mediterranean joie-de-vivre has its price everywhere on Santorini. In Oia I find what I’m looking for – the postcard motif typical of every image of Santorini. There is a specific spot here where three blue domes lying close to each other can be captured on one photo. Other than that, the luminous blue church roofs behind the snow-white bell tower in the Cycladic style of architecture are more scattered.

A steep uphill climb

On a chain of rocks opposite the volcanic island lies Imerovigli, less picturesque and less crowded. The fact that there is less hustle and bustle here can certainly be attributed to the arduous climb. From the bus stop at the main road leading to Oia, it’s a steep 20 minute walk, a 10% gradient according to the road sign. Those who live up there or who want to savour the Buddha-Bar’s fantastic view of the sea and the setting sun, as well as its great drinks, would be well advised to rent some means of transport. I like Firostefani, a neighbouring village on the way to Firá, the best. This is where our hotel, the Santorini Palace, is located. It’s a little removed from the mass tourism and one can amble through the alleys without all the pushing and shoving. Instead of chic boutiques there are cosy little restaurants and cafés with a fabulous view of the Aegean Sea and the Caldera.

Photogenic after all!

Lying embedded in rugged towering rocks, the black beach of Kamari certainly is a romantic spot. If only it weren’t for the neat rows of pink, and in the next beach section, yellow, couches that almost hide the black lava sand from view. “From October onward it’s more pleasant on our island”, a boutique owner in Firá tells me: “It’s still warm then and only locals are here, except for the Chinese of course. They come all year round.” Oh well. But I do have to admit one thing. Santorini really does look lovely in the photos…

Unfortunately, when the eyebrows lower, this is usually the result. Often a small injection can help but sometimes more is needed.

After an eyebrow lift, however, the face can look years younger. The eyebrows act as a sort of frame and give contour to the face. If they start to droop, the effect on the facial expression usually isn’t very positive “Many people look tired, exhausted or even unfriendly, even though they may feel fit, active and alert,” confirms Dr. Stefan Kalthoff of the Rosenpark Klinik in Darmstadt.

Genetic predisposition or lifestyle consequences

Such visible changes usually begin at the age of 40. “Our genetic predisposition plays an important role in this respect, but lifestyle can also influence the elasticity of the skin,” says Dr. Kalthoff. Because they press on the upper eyelid, sagging eyebrows can also cause the eyelids to droop and the field of vision may even be impaired. Since the muscle that lifts the eyebrows must constantly work against gravity, more wrinkles form on the forehead. The problem can be solved with a brow lift. This is a small, often underestimated operation with a huge effect, making the face immediately appear fresher and more open. It is essential, however, that the treatment be carried out by an expert and that a detailed consultation takes place beforehand.

Browlift with Botox

The easiest and quickest way to lift the eyebrows is with Botox. The botulinum toxin is injected above the eyebrow into the muscle which is responsible for its sinking. This creates a lifting effect that raises the eyebrow by about one to three millimeters. As the brow moves upwards, the eyelids also droop less. Since the change is minimal, it is not suited to cases where there is an extreme degree of sagging. The effect does not set in until about seven to ten days after the injection and wears off after four to six months. The advantage of this minimally invasive method is that the procedure is quick, painless and low risk. At the most, there may be small bruises and slight swelling at the injection site.

Microfocused ultrasound

Ultherapy is a non-invasive method for lifting the eyebrows which, on average, can achieve 2 to 3 millimeters. Dr. Sonja Sattler: “With Ultherapy’s microfocused ultrasound, the eyebrows, and thus the upper eyelid as well, can be gently lifted and shaped without surgery. Either the entire brow or the outer area alone is treated. Lifting in the inner area is also suitable for some types of brows”. To ensure that that no nerves or important structures are injured, the doctor first marks the precise treatment zones. This includes the edge of the eye socket, the extension of the eyelid crease outwards and the extension line upwards from the center of the pupil. “The nerve region to be avoided is specially marked,” says Dr. Sattler. After applying the contact gel, the Ultherapy head is moved line by line over the skin within the marked areas. To ensure precise treatment, a control monitor shows the exact skin layer or depth being worked on. The patient only feels a slight sting and the skin is a little reddened afterwards. The lifting effect is fully developed about four to six months after the Ultherapy treatment.

Lifting the forehead and brows

“If the lowering of the forehead is more marked, the eyebrow correction is usually combined with a complete forehead lift under general anesthesia, after which a permanent and natural result can be expected” explains Dr. Kalthoff. This can also bring about an improvement in drooping eyelids. However, this procedure requires that an incision be made in the hairline. Dr. Kalthoff: “I then detach the skin and fatty tissue up to the brows from the muscle layer. Excess skin is removed, and a fine, thin suture made without tension”. Since the seam is very delicate and hidden by the hair, there is no need to worry that it will be visible afterwards.

Risks and pain

In addition to the general surgical risks, there may be a minimal height difference in the position of the two eyebrows. However, many people already have this without ever noticing it. There may also be a temporary feeling of numbness in the forehead. The scars usually heal very well. In rare cases, hair loss may occur around the surgical suture, but this can be easily concealed by a hair transplant. Although there is only a slight amount of pain, patients are advised to stay in the clinic overnight. The stitches can be removed after eight to ten days and one can then be fully socially active again. It is advised that physical exertion be avoided up to four weeks after the operation and taken very slowly at first. Dr. Kalthoff: “For an altogether more alert and friendly look, eyebrow correction in combination with other procedures such as upper or lower eyelid lifting can be very worthwhile.”

Leading pic: @up_n_co

Sponsored by Rosenpark Klinik

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