Bill Kenny is a big name in the beauty world at the moment. As a small boy when he got badly burnt his mother put him on her bike and quickly cycled to the bog where she wrapped the burns with peat.
When the bandages were removed a few days later, there were no blisters, just healed skin. Bill grew up believing that there was something very special about peat and even more so when, in 2003, a 3,000 year old body was recovered from a bog just five miles from his home. The man - later known as Croghan man - had been preserved by the peat and Bill thought if peat could preserve a prehistoric man, what could it do for a living person? Some years later, while working in Romania, he came across a book detailing the benefits of peat an, on returning to Ireland, decided to find out scientifically what it was all about.
Thus OGRA was born. OGRA (meaning youth in Irish) is a peat-based skincare range with a nutrient-rich formula that helps fight ageing at a cellular level using natural, organic components, such as vitamins, minerals and trace elements to treat, hydrate and restore the skin.
Peat is formed from plant remains that only partially decompose due to the existence of an anaerobic condition in bogs. It is this same condition that also preserved human bodies in bogs for thousands of years.
The range includes cleansers, cucumber and orange toner, monoi tiare petal exfoliant, anti-ageing moisturiser and - my favourite - a peat, face and body mask. Every house in Ireland should have this mask. If you have experienced a dry patch of skin that drove you insane, this is your answer. Sometimes users will experience a tingling sensation, which is perfectly normal as the science of peat is to promote the blood flow to come to the surface of the skin and encourage an exchange of ions between the skin, resulting in a tingling effect. Apply weekly to cleansed skin, avoiding the eye and lip area. Leave for 10 minutes and wash off with warm water. If your skin appears red, that is caused by the increase in blood flow on the surface of your skin. I advise to apply the mask a few days before a special occasion. Be prepared for the results - a real heroproduct!
Lord Andrew Lloyd Webber chose Ogra as the skincare regime used for hosts and stars alike in his reality show Jesus Christ Superstar. These included BGT star Amanda Holden and Neighbours star Jason Donovan, both of whom are avid users of Ogra's anti-ageing facial moisturiser. Nearer to home , Pippa O'Connor Ormond also favours Ogra products. If you were watching this year's celebrity salon Ogra was featured a lot - from a mud fight to a day in the bog. Celebrities who trained in the skincare treatment were Glenda Gilson and model Nadia Forde. All the celebs loved the body treatment.
Modern men will love the packaging. The black and high-shine gold looks luxurious. And, ladies, the containers will transform your dressing table.
So what can you expect to see from regular use. There will be an increase in collagen production, which increases cell re-generation which slows down the ageing process, always a good thing. It binds together skin tissue giving your skin a smoother look. Peat removes dead skin and dead skin is never a good look. The natural abundance of essential oils, fatty acids and lipoids penetrate into the skin, re-establishing the skin's natural PH balance.
As well as products Ogra has salon treatments which include body wraps, peat baths, hand and foot treatments and hair and scalp treatments. 2013 is going to be big year for Ogra as they are expanding to the USA and they expect 80 per cent of their business will be from the international market.
Next week is all about hand care.