I was not looking my best the first time I tried Nu Skin products. I was bleary-eyed and tired after finishing a gruelling shift at 1.50am the night before. No matter; if the claims of the American skincare company - a billion-US dollar business listed on the New York Stock Exchange - about the effectiveness of its anti-ageing creams and gels were to be believed then it would be a good test of their effectiveness.
I chose to pay my way, so I was free to comment. Like many skincare products on the market, the treatment is not cheap. The Galvanic Spa pack of ageLOC gels (lasting a month) and applicator costs HK$5,000. But I was not disappointed with the results.
After the first treatment on only the right hand-side of my face, for no more than 10 minutes - first gently washing the skin and then applying two different gels (one with the company's ageLOC anti-ageing formula) - a look in a mirror showed a clear change.
The bags under my eyes and skin, from my forehead to my chin, had lifted; the whole half of my face felt tight and toned, as if it had just had a mini workout using tiny weights. I repeated the treatment on the left hand side of my face and the two sides matched.
The gels are applied with a lightweight battery-powered tool - the size of a mobile phone - called a Galvanic Spa. You feel nothing, save for gentle upward massaging and pressing as you move it over your face and around the eye and forehead.
Nu Skin says the ageLOC gel stimulates the skin's natural anti-ageing properties, which, as we get older, fade over time and become less effective. And over four weeks - applying the gels three times a week - they did seem to work. My face felt and looked tauter and more toned. And the lines around my eyes had begun to fade, too
Coming back from Shenzhen, midway through the treatment, the border guard held me back and called over his colleague as they looked at my passport photo and then at me. 'The picture doesn't look like you,' he said.
'It's me. But I'm older now,' I said. 'No,' he said. 'You are younger.'