Mountain life requires daily sun protection

On May 30thI turned 30. I celebrated with my friends and family in Nax, a village at an altitude of 1,300 meters in the Swiss mountains, where I am moving to next month. These past four days we discovered the area all together and it was amazing.

We hiked many trails around Nax. No need to take the car, you just come out the front door and start walking. We tasted delicious wines in the middle of vineyards at Simon Maye et Fils and Magliocco. We hiked our fist Via Ferrata, a protected climbing route. We swam in crystal blue mountain lakes and brunched outside in the yard of the house we had rented for the occasion.

The common theme linking this weekend’s activities was the sun. The region of Switzerland I am moving to, called the Valais, is known for many things, one of them being its micro climate. The sun shines more than 300 days a year.

I realized this weekend that if I want my skin to look as good at 40 than it does at 30, I’m going to have to change my skin care routine. I will no longer be able to use sunscreen only on vacation (as Ada describes it in her latest blog post) because I will be exposed to a burning sun on a daily basis. I need to integrate sun protection into my daily routine. Not only once a day, but every time I go outside or even get into my car (I just realized my car does not have UV protecting glass), and not only on my face, but neckline and hands as well.

I do not want to wake up in ten years and realize my skin is full of wrinkles, spots and redness I could have prevented by better skincare. Hence, the Alchimie Forever Protective day cream SPF 23 is definitely getting placed on my bathroom shelf and in my bag so I can reapply regularly throughout the day.





La beauté des préliminaires, la force de la poésie.

Je ne sais pas vous, mais moi j’adore les préliminaires. « Le commencement : on est à l’origine de quelque chose. L’attente : le principal est encore à venir. La préparation : en vue de ce qui est à accomplir. La fondation : sur laquelle la suite va s’édifier. Le jeu : on passera ensuite aux choses sérieuses. L’exploration : le temps des décisions viendra après. L’ébauche : de ce qui prendra une forme définitive. »

Voici les mots décrivant l’exposition Préliminaires montrée à la Villa Dutoit en mars dernier. Je suis tombée sous le charme d’une pièce en particulier, réunissant le travail de 2 artistes : Patricia Terrapon Leguizamon et Barbara Polla. L’une créant des sculptures de seins, l’autre un poème érotique qui retranscrit parfaitement selon moi la beauté des préliminaires (Just before Love, à lire ci-dessous et à retrouver dans le New River Press Yearbook 2019).

Les préliminaires poussent à l’imagination et à la curiosité. Il y a d’infinies possibilités de désirs et de jeux, de manières de découvrir son intimité et d’explorer son corps ainsi que celui de l’autre.

Les préliminaires sont romantiques. Ils obligent à prendre le temps. Ils font sortir des stéréotypes répétitifs et ennuyants qu’on retrouve partout en image dans notre société.

Les préliminaires offrent un moment de liberté. Un temps où on ose exprimer sa sexualité et tester différents désirs sans trop les avouer juste pour voir la réaction de l’autre, juste pour savoir si on peut continuer dans cette direction ou non. Si c’est non, on oublie et on passe à autre chose, sans jugement.

Les préliminaires c’est différent pour chacun et à chaque instant. Ils peuvent être doux, crus, lents, rapides… D’ailleurs dans de prochains blogs je vous parlerai de deux accessoires que j’aime tout particulièrement : la photographie et les sous-vêtements.

Just before Love me donne envie d’écrire des lettres enflammées à mon mari, comme James Joyce le faisait pour Nora Barnacle. La poésie a une force particulière avec laquelle elle arrive à nous faire voyager et à nous stimuler avec ses mots, ses sons et son rythme, d’une manière qu’on peine à recréer dans notre langage de tous les jours.

Bonne lecture !


Just Before Love

Just before love
He likes to smoke a joint
Then he looks at me
And wants me to play
With my eyes and my smile
As if I were to go
Far away with another
As if I were to dance

Just before love
He likes to watch girls
While touching his balls
And then he looks at me
At my mouth at my lips
Ajar and wet and pink
Playing with my tongue
And my fingers in my mouth

Just before love
He likes me to sniff
From neck to ass
Along his vertebrae
His axilla and to kiss
And to sniff him all over
As if I were an addict
And needs to feel the need

Just before love
His nipples erect
His hair on his thighs
He likes me to ignore
Just for a while then adore
That he is all erect
Erection everywhere
Now show me your tits

Just before love
He touches himself
And likes me to Watch
And let me know
I can do it myself
You know look at me
You from below
From everlasting snow

Just before love
Lick it all up
You know, there
Deep in the rainforest
And your tongue everywhere
Let me let me let me
Grasp and strangle
And drown in your night

Just before love
Close your eyes close the world
Comes the night comes the sky
Come, come baby come
Then leave me alone
Alone with myself
Unwillingly and slow
Waiting for death

And after love
Let me let me let me

… and dance again


Barbara Polla

The good sugar-fix

What you feed your skin is as important as what you put – or don’t put – on your plate. The secret is craving for the “right” sugars!

We all know now that sugars are bad not only for our teeth and waistline, but also for our skin. Ada recently wrote an article about « AGE », acronym for Advanced Glycation End-products, which are the toxic molecules produced in our cells after we eat sugars, and that denature the precious proteins we are made of (like collagen and elastin).

So to preserve our health and good looks, reducing our intake of sugars is non-negotiable. There is however one friendly sugar, that actually repairs ageing skin. Its name is Hyaluronic Acid. Ha ha! I refer to it as HA, for how HAppy it makes us, for establishing good HAbits, for the HArmony it restores to our face, for how HAndsome it can make us look, or just for « HAve some more »! Yes, we are allowed, and even advised, a new sugar-fix.

Nowadays, HA is used with great success in rejuvenating injection techniques and cosmetic products. According to my experience, the best approach is multi-layering.

Under the skin – as dermal fillers

I’m a fan of my father’s signature Softlift technique. It restores the face volumes that melt away with age, especially in the cheek area. In addition, it stimulates skin cells’ activity, like collagen production.

In the skin – by mesotherapy

Little droplets of HA enter the skin via microneedling. Since HA absorbs 1000 times its molecular weight in water, this technique provides deep and long-lasting hydration to the skin.

On the skin – with dermo-cosmetics

Using serums and creams that contain HA will ensure glow and protection against free radicals. Try our Pigment Lightening Serum, your skin will savour it!

So ladies and gentlemen, the final words are: what you feed your skin is as important as what you put – or don’t put – on your plate. The secret is craving for the “right” sugars!

I tested sauna and winter swimming.

Recently my sister Cyrille made me rediscover a magical place in Geneva called “Les Bains des Paquis”, which offers a multitude of activities, including sauna and winter swimming.

Each time I go back to Geneva (I now live in Lausanne), I include this new ritual in my visit: three 20 minutes sessions of sauna (90°C/200°F) broken up by swimming in the lake (7°C/45°F). I then take a hot shower and head to the relaxation room where I lather my body with Alchimie Forever products, curl up in a blanket, drink water and read.

Here is wat I love the most about this Nordic tradition.

It is invigorating. Every time, I come out much more energized than I came in and my body and my skin also feel and look healthier. Wim Hof, nick named the Iceman for his ability to maintain a constant body temperature in extreme cold conditions, has generated a lot of interest over the past years on the health benefits of the cold. Many interviews and scientific papers discuss effects on body fat, immunity, depression, muscles, inflammation and sleep.

It helps me with my body image. You can wear a swimsuit, but most people are naked. No one is there to judge. People are only interested in the physical and spiritual experience of the sauna and winter swimming. Being naked with others without feeling any judgment helps me love my body as it is.

It is beautiful. The sauna is on the lake, which makes you feel like you are in the middle of nature even though you are in the middle of the city. From the sauna’s windows, you have a beautiful view on Geneva and the lake regardless of weather or time of day.  The saunas are extremely clean (each part of your body needs to be resting on your towel) and it always smells good thanks to the eucalyptus water regularly pored over the hot stones (no sweaty smell).

I truly recommend this experience to everyone, even those of you who do not like the cold, you’ll be surprised, I promise.



I tested laser hair removal

Laser hair removal is one of the first treatments I tried at Forever Institut. I started feeling self-conscious about my body hair around the age of 12. By then I had already set my mind on shaving, since I had had a traumatic experience with waxing. When I was 8 years old, my older sister Cyrille thought it would be fun to wax my legs as one of her “experiments”. It might have been fun for her, but definitely not for me. Thus when the time came to take matters into my own hands, I bought a razor.

Personally, I find shaving to be tedious and repetitive, it is a “to-do” that neither enriches my day nor teaches me anything. It feels like a waste of precious time. That’s one of the reasons I love laser hair removal; once it’s done, it’s that much time I get back for things I actually enjoy. Trust me, these few minutes per day in the shower add up…

My legs, underarms, and bikini have been hairfree and soft for 15 years now. I’m always ready for a last-minute pool party, always feeling my  best. My skin looks much more beautiful because it never shows that shaving “stubble”.

I’ve converted many of my friends to laser hair removal since. Here are the tips I have shared with them:

  • Winter is the perfect season for laser treatments because most of us have lost our summer tan. We have been hiding our arms and legs in sweaters and pants, and our skin has had time to come back to its natural color. This is essential in order to avoid side effects from this laser treatment.
  • Tanned skin is not to be confused with dark skin. If your skin is naturally dark, you can use the Nd:Yag laser for hair removal.
  • Don’t hesitate to use anesthetic cream (Emla), it really makes a difference. I don’t prescribe to the “no pain no gain” philosophy!
  • It takes about 7 to 9 sessions (one session every 6 weeks) for a definitive result but each treatment provides soft and hairfree skin.
  • After a laser treatment, your skin can be a little irritated. Nothing works better than the Alchimie Afterlase body milk to help to soothe that inflammation and restore comfort and softness.


Photo: Guillaume Varone

La beauté du corps

Le corps humain me fascine. En tant que médecin, tous les jours, je l’examine et je le touche de manière systématique, j’en retire des informations et cela me permet de déterminer de quoi mon patient souffre.

Mon amour pour l’art potentialise cette fascination de la chaire. Je l’ai ressenti de manière particulièrement forte ces deux dernières semaines en allant voir le dernier spectacle en date du Ballet Béjart, Mounir Fatmi au Musée de l’Elysée lors de la Nuit des Images et Laetitia Dosch au Théâtre de Vidy.

Ces trois évènements m’ont rappelé, chacun à leur manière, que le corps humain est extraordinaire.

Les corps des danseurs du Ballet Béjart pourraient servir de support de cours d’anatomie, tant ils sont sculptés avec précision. Puissant et élégant dans leurs mouvements, ils nous montrent à quel point le corps est un langage universel

Les corps filmés par Mounir Fatmi nous rappellent notamment qu’ils sont une source inépuisable de résistance et de plaisir.

Le corps nu de Laeticia Dosch, sur son cheval, évoque jeux, pouvoir, séduction et échange. Il lui permet de s’exprimer et de casser les barrières autour d’elle. Grâce à lui, elle peut se mettre à nu, littéralement.

Rappelons-nous que nous n’avons qu’un seul corps, qu’il a la gentillesse de nous supporter toute notre vie, alors soyons reconnaissant et traitons-le en conséquence. Il faut le chérir, en prendre soin et l’aimer. C’est notre arme la plus puissante. Je pense que pour vivre sa relation au corps dans sa plénitude, il faut allier médecine et art, transcender l’organique et se rappeler qu’il est aussi une matière première d’expression. Alors allons-y, exprimons-nous.

Photo: Guillaume Varone