Photo Credit: shoplapraire.com
Have you ever noticed that when you don’t get enough(or any)sleep,it shows all over your face?When you’re over tired,your skin acts tired too in the form of lackluster tone,texture,dark circles,and sagging.On the other hand,when you have had your full 8 hours,skin looks healthier,rosier,more vibrant,and even feels springier.Lisa Donofrio,MD“Lack of sleep causes blood vessels to dilate and leak,which contributes to dark circles.It makes you look sad and older,”says Lisa Donofrio,MD New York City dermatologist. Rubbing your eyes doesn’t help either. Burying your face in your pillow is also aging because it creates sleep creases that can later turn into wrinkles and pools fluids that cause puffiness and bags, she says. Train yourself to sleep on your back and get a soft pillowcase. Sleeping on your tummy creates more lines.
Getting enough shut eye is essential to your skin’s overall well being. “While you are sleeping, your skin renews itself. New cells emerge to replace older cells. What you put on your skin during the night is important because you have it on for the whole night of 6 to 8 hours, so it has a chance to penetrate,” says Beverly Hills dermatologist Monika Kiripolsky, MD, who suggests using retinoids at bed time for the best anti-aging benefits. “I recommend ZO Skin Health Ossential Radical Night Repair Plus for the most potent form of retinol available.”
Kiripolsky also says that stress and lack of sleep are complexion killers. Both stimulate your body to produce cortisol, which causes blood sugar levels to rise. This, in turn, can lead to gaining weight and even heart disease. In fact, in a clinical trial at University Hospitals (UH) Case Medical Center commissioned by Estée Lauder, researchers found that sleep quality impacts skin function and aging. The study demonstrated that poor sleepers had increased signs of skin aging and slower recovery from a variety of environmental stressors, such as disruption of the skin barrier or ultraviolet (UV) radiation. Poor sleepers also had worse assessment of their own skin and facial appearance. In addition, researchers found that good quality sleepers recovered more efficiently from stressors to the skin.
So there you have it. Beware that too much sleep is not good for your skin either, so maintain a healthy balance to keep skin in great shape.
To help your skin repair and restore itself, check out our top picks for bedtime beauty:
La Prairie Skin Caviar Luxe Sleep Mask ($300): Giving new meaning to the concept of beauty sleep, this uber luxurious mask optimizes the bodies own repair mode. Its signature caviar extracts plump and firm skin and smooth lines. Use 1 to 3 times a week.
ZO Skin Health Ommerse Overnight Recovery Crème ($95): Powered with retinol, which is clinically proven to decrease the appearance of lines, wrinkles, and uneven skin tone, this overnight treatment also helps prevent future damage.
Estée Lauder Advanced Night Repair Synchronized Recovery Complex II ($62): The newest iteration of the Lauder cult anti-ager, this serum addresses multiple aging concerns with a formulation that synchronizes the skin’s own repair process to perfect its natural timing.
elure Advanced Brightening Cream ($125): Spots won’t stand a chance with this overnight lightening cream. Powered by a natural enzyme derived from a tree fungus, elure gently reduces hyperpigmentation without the harmful side effects of hydroquinone.
Exuviance Age Reverse Night Lift ($72): Clinical studies show a 93% improvement in texture, firmness, and elasticity after 4 weeks of use. Ingredients include peptides, AHA/PHA bionics, and a broad spectrum, antioxidant complex.
Algenist Overnight Restorative Cream ($90): The signature ingredient in this rich moisturizer is the algae-derived alguronic acid. Consumer tests show that once daily use resotres skin density and elasticity by 83% after 4 weeks of use.
Fun on the slopes can do the mind and body wonders, but for our skin, not so much. The high altitude, sub-zero temps, harmful UV rays and heat indoors can all take its toll on our skin.
“During harsh weather our skin requires much more moisture to maintain the skins protective barrier,” says New York City-based dermatologist Cheryl Karcher. “The humidity is lower, the cold wind is harsher and sun exposure is more than one thinks.”
Dry, cold climates can do damage to all skin types. Karcher explains that when in cool harsh weather conditions, it’s vital to maintain the skin’s natural moisture protective barrier. “That means protection during the day from the elements and repairing the skin at night.”
The first steps are to make some adjustments to the products we use every day. That means swapping out lightweight moisturizers and facial cleansers for richer ones that contain humectants—glycerin, sorbitol, AHAs, niancinamide and hyaluronic acid—which attract water into the cells and plump the skin. It’s best to steer clear of products with harsh detergents and fragrances, which can only exacerbate dry, itchy skin and fuel conditions such as eczema and dermatitis. For the body, hands and feet, moisture quenchers with emollients—lanolin, petrolatum, shea butter and mineral oil—fill in spaces between cells and smooth and lubricate the skin.
Lincolnshire, Illinois-based dermatologist Amy Forman Taub says, “hot showers and baths during cooler temperatures is not good for skin, even though it can be tempting to warm up during the cold season.” Keep showers short, the water tepid, and apply moisturizer when skin is slightly wet for better absorption.
Even though the temperature has dropped, it’s imperative to slather on sunscreen and reapply throughout the day. “Many of us think that we do not need to wear sunscreen when in fact sunscreen should be worn year round,” adds Taub. “The reflection of the rays from the snow can be more damaging than the reflection of rays from water during the summer months.”
Look gorgeous and youthful when off the slopes with these après-ski skin and hair savers:
Olay Total Effects 7-IN-1 Anti-Aging Nourishing Cream Cleanser ($9) won’t dry out skin, yet effectively removes dirt and makeup while skin stays nourished and smooth.
Slather on CeraVe Facial Moisturizing Lotion AM with SPF 30 ($13.99) before and after hitting the slopes. This non-comodogenic day cream maintains the skin’s protective barrier with hyaluronic acid, glycerin, dimethicone and ceramides as well as SPF 30 to protect from harmful UVA and UVB rays.
Joanna Vargas Rejuvenating Serum ($100) quenches parched aging skin with a blend of five oils—argan, neroli, olive, rosehips and jojoba—all rich in antioxidants and fatty acids. Apply under moisturizer during the day and after cleansing before bed for plumped, dewy skin.
Repair weather-damaged skin while you sleep with ZO Skin Health Ommerse Overnight Recovery Crème ($95). This rich cream works to rebuild the skin’s barrier function containing ceramides to nourish, calming agents to reduce inflammation and retinol to help minimize fine lines and wrinkles and even skin tone.
Avene Cold Cream Hand Cream ($15) provides long-lasting relief to dry cracked hands with a blend of 63 percent thermal spring water to calm irritation, sucralfate to heal and glycerin and mineral oil to soften and hydrate.
Heal and protect dry cracked lips with Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment SPF 15 ($22.50). Real sugar, a natural humectant, and moisturizing oils help to zap dryness while grapeseed polyphenols and Vitamins A, C and E fight free radicals.
Apply a rich body moisturizer like Kiehl’s Crème de Corps Soy Milk & Honey Whipped Body Butter ($36) right after the shower for smooth, supple skin. Moisturizing squalane and shea butter restore skin while beta carotene and Vitamin E fight free radical damage.
The dry air and cold weather can also wreak havoc on our hair. Apply a few drops of KeratinPerfect PerfectShine Keratin Oil ($40), a concentrated conditioning oil that gives great shine and repairs hair against breakage, flyaways and frizz, before and after the slopes.
Now that we’re well into 2013, it’s time to take stock of your resolutions and see what worked and what still needs a little tweaking. It’s also a perfect time to reevaluate your skin, now that the holidays are nothing but a dim memory. If your skin is looking a little uninspired, dull, dry, or lackluster lately, have no fear. There is a mountain of new and time-tested anti-aging products to try, appearing everywhere from drugstore shelves to department store counters and piled high in the windows of beauty retailers. We just can’t get enough of the promise of reversing fine lines and wrinkles, obliterating sun damage, and lifting our saggy bits, can we? But how do you know what works and what is just another me-too cream?
Look for products that contain the ingredients actually proven to produce noticeable improvements in all signs of aging.
One of the most tried and true age reversers, retinol is an over-the-counter cousin of the prescription only Retin-A®. Both are derivatives of vitamin A and work to reduce lines, wrinkles, and unwanted pigmentation. Retinol stimulates cell activity and the production of collagen, and helps to renew and exfoliate the skin. It appears in a variety of beauty products at various strengths. When using products with a higher percentage of retinol, it is best to build up tolerance by slowly increasing the number of days you apply the treatment.
ZO® Skin Health Ommerse Daily Renewal Crème ($95) – Much more than a hydrator, this functional moisturizer is packed with retinol, antioxidants, and soothing agents to repair the skin barrier and reverse signs of aging. The retinol works to decrease the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, even skin tone and increase epidermal thickness. Use daily as part of your ZO Skin Health anti-aging regimen. Described as a “functional moisturizer,” this cream goes way beyond mere hydration.
SkinCeuticals® Retinol Refining Night Creams ($54 – $59)– Available in two strengths—0.5% and 1.0%—these creams give you control over the intensity of your treatment. Both increase the rate of healthy skin turnover and collagen production to reduce fine lines, wrinkles, enlarged pores, brown spots, and even acne. If your skin is sensitive, try the 0.5% version first. The 1.0 Maximum Strength version could cause redness and flaking, which will subside as you get used to the product.
You might have read a lot about hyaluronic acid as the key ingredient in injectable fillers like Juvederm® and Restylane®. It also works wonders as a topical ingredient, adding moisture and suppleness to skin and reducing flaking in dry skin. Naturally occurring in our body tissue, hyaluronic acid has no known reactions. It’s included in many skincare products because of its powerful hydrating and plumping benefits.
NeoStrata Exuviance AGE REVERSE Hydrafirm ($72) – This luxurious cream’s unique combination of AGE REVERSE ingredients targets all visible signs of aging—poor texture, discoloration, loss of firmness and wrinkles—and replenishes optimal hydration levels to dramatically transform skin. Hyaluronic acid attracts moisture and instantly quenches dryness. Available nationwide in March 2013.
Natura Bisse The Cure Sheer Cream ($170) – This daily SPF 20 moisturizer give you double benefits—it boosts hydration and reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles—and features “self-adapting color technology,” which provides light, sheer color that works with all skin tones. You can use it in place of a foundation and hydrate and smooth your skin at the same time.
Growth factors, along with stem cells, are some of the most buzzed about and promising ingredients to hit the cosmeceutical market in a long while. They are inspired by the natural growth factors created by the cells of the dermis and epidermis. A type of protein, growth factors play an important role in promoting healthy tissue repair, forming new collagen and elastin, and working with other proteins to mend injuries. Products that contain growth factors can even out skin tone, enhance elasticity, smooth skin, and reduce lines and wrinkles.
Regenica Skin ($150 – $175) – A three-product line by Suneva Medical, Inc. Regnica is powered by growth factor technology that was inspired by the uncanny ability that embryos have to heal. The Regenica technology tries to set up similar conditions in the skin. The lineup features Advanced RejuvenationDay Repair SPF 15, Advanced Rejuvenation Overnight Repair, and Facial Rejuvenation Complex Post Procedure ($150). Day Repair and Night Repair fight signs of aging like fine lines, wrinkles, irregular pigmentation, and roughness. Post Procedure is formulated to speed up recovery after a facial laser treatment.
NeoCutis Bio Cream ($135) – NeoCutis offers a full line of anti-aging treatments that are formulated with PSP®, a nourishing protein blend including human growth factors for state-of-the-art skin revitalization. A nightly treatment, Bio Cream is clinically proven to help reduce the appearance of facial wrinkles after two months of daily use. It’s also great for use on sensitive skin and to soothe skin after a cosmetic or dermatologic procedure.
Derived from soybeans, soy isoflavones are included in skincare products for good reason—they brighten the skin, decrease redness, boost collagen production, and improve skin tone. They are particularly useful in skincare formulated for menopausal women, because as anti-oxidants and phytoestrogens (though very weak ones), they can help counteract the effect of decreased estrogen on the skin. Soy Isoflavones prevent melanin pigments from adhering to skin cells, so they also are great in skin brighteners.
Lancôme Absolue Premium BX SPF 15 ($155) – Lancôme was one of the first company’s to address the effects of hormonal changes on women’s skin with its Absolue line. Formulated with soy, in addition to wild yam, sea algae, and barley, this daytime cream replenishes lost moisture, enhances elasticity, and firms skin. It aims to plump up the skin from within and help it regain density and moisture.
Dermalogica Age Smart Super Rich Repair ($78) – The soy isoflavones in this day and night cream fight free radicals and encourage hyaluronic acid synthesis. Targeting dry, aging skin, Age Smart encourages the production of youthful collagen to help skin become stronger and firmer. It’s also an exceptional moisturizer and will help smooth the appearance of fine