Hot tips you need to know

From zit-zapping to wrinkle-busting, Carlene Higgins gives you the rundown on the latest and greatest for your complexion

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Love Your Skin
From zit-zapping to wrinkle-busting, Carlene Higgins gives you the rundown on the latest and greatest for your complexion
Sagging & Bagging
Newton didn’t lie: gravity is a constant—and it affects your
face as you age
.
 
Deep Lines
Laugh lines are cute—but what happens when they deepen, darken and appear even when nothing is funny?
 
Adult Acne
You’ve turned 30 and you thought those days were over. But there it is, a nasty whitehead.
 
Lacklustre Skin
You can’t put your finger on it, but somehow you’ve lost that lovely glow you’ve been taking for granted.


Sagging & Bagging
Newton didn’t lie: gravity is a constant—and it affects your face as you age. Dr. Mark Lupin of Cosmedica Laser Centre in Victoria says the diminished quality of collagen and elastin that occurs naturally with age is worsened by environmental factors. The signs? Jowls and crêpiness around the neck and under the eyes. Dr. Lupin’s prevention tactic: wear sunscreen, butt out that cigarette and nix any speedy and drastic weight-loss plans.

The doc’s Rx:
Thermage is touted as a mini face-lift available through your dermatologist. Radio frequency safely delivers heat into the deep dermis without burning your skin’s surface. Ultimately, it stimulates new collagen and encourages the body’s natural process to remove old collagen. Most patients see both immediate and delayed results that last up to two years. The downside? It costs about $3,500 for a full face treatment and there’s some discomfort that Dr. Lupin describes as a “strong heat sensation preceded and followed by a cooling period for the skin” (the total procedure lasts 45 minutes to an hour). Dr. Lupin prescribes pain relievers to his patients as necessary.


DIY essentials:

B. Kamins, Chemist Bio-Maple Therapeutic Anti-Aging Wrinkle-Lift, 30 mL, $155, is a serum that tightens and lifts as it plumps wrinkles. Over 40? Estée Lauder Resilience Lift Extreme OverNight Ultra Firming Creme, 50 mL, $92, contains triterpenes, a natural ingredient favoured by Mayans for centuries due to its cell-renewal and healing properties.

News flash:
If you’re not squeamish, Cosmetic Acupuncture, $120 per session (12 sessions are recommended), is a holistic alternative to cosmetic surgery. It works on the principle of chi, the vital energy that courses through the body’s 14 meridians. Fine needles are placed along the meridians, with up to 50 needles on the face alone. Dr. Jeson Yan of Pure + Simple Spa in Toronto claims that the procedure lifts sagging, improves the elasticity of facial muscles and increases collagen production.

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Deep Lines
Laugh lines are cute—but what happens when they deepen, darken and appear even when nothing is funny? Penny Kendall-Reed, a doctor of naturopathic medicine in Toronto, believes that wrinkles need to be combated inside and out. By taking a holistic look at the problem, she identifies three main causes of wrinkles: glycation (sugar molecules breaking down collagen), oxidation (when free radicals from pollutants and sun damage bind to the DNA of skin cells, causing them to mutate and wrinkle) and a lower immune system, which occurs as we age (allowing more infections to occur and creating inflammation that attacks and wears down collagen). Since deep wrinkles start at the base level, Kendall-Reed suggests treating the body with nutrients that will slow down the physiological processes that cause wrinkles, while also applying products to your skin that contain wrinkle-fighting ingredients.

The doc’s Rx:
Swiss Clinic RX Lift & Renew – Instant Lifting System, $97, is a three-piece kit that includes Firming Serum, Protective Lotion (which contains seaweed ingredients, a natural UVA filter) and Skin Nourishing Supplements—all packed with antiaging antioxidants to fight all those pesky free radicals.


DIY essentials:

L’Oréal Dermo-Expertise Wrinkle De-Crease Collagen Filler, 30 mL, $27, is a spot-shot of collagen biospheres, intended to fill out lines, plumping your problem areas into a smooth surface. NeoStrata At-Home Intense Crease Eraser System, $60, targets deep lines with Myoxinol, a skin-relaxing active ingredient that the company claims produces results similar to muscle-freezing Botox.

News flash:
Wrinkle-fighting face masques aren’t new, but we’re taking a second look since makeup artist Pat McGrath recruited SK-II Facial Treatment Masks to freshen up weary models backstage at the Spring ’06 Calvin Klein show. We’re crossing our fingers SK-II will come to Canada soon. Until then, we’re all over Oracle Derma-Lift Eye Mask, $28/5 masques, and Oracle Derma-Lift Lip Contour Masks, $25/5 masques. They take a targeted approach to your problem areas, using peptides—the wrinkle-fighting ingredient with the most serious buzz since retinol—and hyaluronic acid to reduce the appearance of deep lines. The best part is in the delivery system. These gel-based patches hug your skin, allowing for deep penetration without any evaporation of key ingredients.

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Adult Acne
You’ve turned 30 and you thought those days were over. But there it is, a nasty whitehead just in time for your Monday meeting. According to Dr. Kevin Sliwowicz, director of The Toronto Acne Clinic, acne affects 55 percent of adult women. It’s a complicated problem with a host of factors (including stress and diet), making a single solution nearly impossible. Most patients receive a “combination treatment,” which can include oral fix-its, topical benzoyl-peroxide creams and Clearlight (an in-office blue-light treatment, Clearlight destroys the harmful bacteria that cause pimples).

The doc’s Rx:
Stick to a simple, nonirritating regime to calm the inflammatory acne process. Begin by washing your face with lukewarm water and a pH-balanced cleanser such as Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser, 460 mL, $14. And skip the washcloth, as it’s too rough for sensitive skin. Moisturize minimally (and only where you have dry patches) to avoid clogging your sebum-stuffed pores.


DIY essentials:

For skin that suffers from acne, try Garnier Skin Naturals PureA Skin Perfection Daily Care, 40 mL, and Garnier Skin Naturals PureA Skin Perfection Night Care, 40 mL, $13 each. Both contain zinc and salicylic acid to moisturize your skin around the clock while fighting bacteria and excess oiliness. Decléor Aroma Pureté Instant Purifying Mask, 50 mL, $34, leaves your skin with an even tone and a velvety, matte finish instead of an oily sheen.

News flash:
If you’ve got money (and an oncoming pimple) to burn, you’re a great candidate for the headlining Zeno Zit Zapper, $275. It uses heat (applied 2–3 times over 24 hours) to kill troublesome bacteria. Bonus: it’s the size (and has the look) of a cell phone, so it fits in your purse.

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Lacklustre Skin
You can’t put your finger on it, but somehow you’ve lost that lovely glow you’ve been taking for granted. When you look in the mirror, you look, well, greyish. Dermatologist Dr. Lisa Kellett, owner of DLK on Avenue in Toronto, explains: “Young skin reflects light uniformly. As we age, skin turns over more slowly. The dead skin that sits on top doesn’t bounce light anymore.” Add sun damage, scarring and enlarged pore size due to a breakdown of collagen in the skin, and the result is a mottled complexion.

The doc’s Rx:
Intense Pulsed Light, used in conjunction with Levulan, a liquid that sensitizes your skin, making the light treatment more effective. Multiple wavelengths of light increase collagen production while reducing the appearance of brown spots, redness and spider veins, improving pore size and overall texture. Three to five sessions are required, lasting 20–30 minutes each. The downside? At $450 and up per session, it’s a tad pricey. And because your skin will be extra-sensitive to UVA and UVB rays, you’ll need to stay out of the sun for 48 hours.


DIY essentials:

Don’t be afraid to use an exfoliating cleanser twice a day at home to slough away the dead skin that dulls your skin’s surface. Find a gentle gel-based formulation that doesn’t foam (foamers dry out your skin) such as Clear Start Cleanser, 150 mL, $39. Want serious exfoliation? Try Physicians Formula Mineral MicroDermabrasion System, $40—once a week will do.

News flash:
Target dull skin from the inside with O3mega + Glow supplements, $27/60 softgels. Joey Shulman, author of The Natural Makeover Diet: A 4-Step Program to Looking and Feeling Your Best from the Inside Out, says that ingredients such as essential fatty acids, lycopene and vitamin C reduce fine lines and wrinkles and improve the overall look and feel of your skin.

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