Q: I’VE NOTICED LOOSE SKIN AROUND MY NECK AND CHEEKS. HOW CAN I TIGHTEN IT? A: If you’ve tried firming creams and want more dramatic results without going under the knife, consider laser treatments. Dr. Stephen Mulholland, cosmetic plastic surgeon and owner of Toronto’s SpaMedica clinic, offers a procedure called “subsurfacing.” It’s the first procedure to heat your skin from the inside, where it needs to be tightened to get better results than traditional in-office laser treatments. “One hundred percent of patients will notice [results],” he says. While you’re under local anesthetic, a fiber-optic laser is inserted (through a small puncture in your skin) beneath the surface. Heat from the laser tightens the collagen and your skin contracts and lifts. Expect results over 6–12 weeks, with one treatment lasting 5–10 years. But at around $2,500 a pop, Dr. Mulholland recognizes it’s not in everyone’s budget. “At-home skin laser devices are improving,” says Dr. Mulholland. They’re great for maintaining your skin after an in-office treatment or to get modest results without the price tag of doctor-performed procedures. Just be sure to check with your doctor on the correct way to use it. FLARE’s pick: NuFace Facial Toning System, $379.
Q: DO STEM CELLS IN ANTIAGING CREAMS REALLY WORK? A: Last year, beauty editors were blown away by Amatokin, the skin-care brand that first introduced us to stem-cell technology. Amatokin products act to stimulate production of your own stem cells to help coax youthful-looking skin. Since then, interest continues to climb. To fully understand them, first, a quick science lesson: stem cells are the foundation for every organ, tissue and cell in our bodies; they repair and replace damaged tissues. Recently, a new type of stem-cell research was developed called plant-cell technology. Manuela Marcheggiani, skin-care expert and co-founder of Canadian-based Isomers Laboratories Inc., explains that scientists discovered a plant cell they can mimic and harvest in a lab. The plant cell was tested against what your skin combats every day: UV rays, natural aging, oxidization and stress. Turns out, this plant cell can withstand more damage than your skin alone and can repair and help repopulate your own stem cells. “The more stem cells we have, the better shape our skin will be in,” says Marcheggiani. FLARE’s picks: Isomers Stem Genesis Rejuvenating Concentrate (opposite page), $75, and Amatokin Emulsion for the Face, $190.
Shu Uemura Skin Purifier Cleansing Beauty Oil
Q: I HAVE OILY SKIN. IS IT OK TO USE AN OIL-BASED CLEANSER? A: Surprisingly, yes. Oil-based cleansers won’t block pores or create junior high–like breakouts. Although you wouldn’t put baby oil on your face because gooey mineral oil clogs pores, the plant-based oils in oil-based cleansers easily absorb into your skin without trapping dirt. According to Clarins regional trainer Karen Wilkinson, some oil-based cleansers even contain essential oils, which means antioxidants and a slew of vitamins that cleanse without clogging. So why make the switch? Wilkinson explains oil-based cleansers don’t strip your skin like foaming cleansers can; they cleanse, then moisturize. Dry, combination and sensitive skin can get hooked, too. FLARE’s picks: Clarins Pure Melt Cleansing Gel with Marula Oil, $36, Chanel Précision Huile Confort Silky Cleansing Oil, $46, and Shu Uemura Skin Purifier Cleansing Beauty Oil, $75.
Good Skin Labs Citra-Peel High Intensity Resurfacing Peel
Q: HOW CAN I FRESHEN MY BLAH COMPLEXION FOR FALL? A: A summer of sun, surf and sand can leave your face feeling dry and dull. So why not rev up your skin with a classic at-home skin peel? Choose a gentle peel with natural ingredients (such as citric acid) to avoid the risk of redness or irritated skin. Shaunda Swackhamer, vice-president of product development for BeautyBank, explains that a peel speeds up natural cell turnover, resulting in brighter, clearer skin—fast. “Your cells flatten, bind together and look dull regardless of age. Peels initiate the exfoliating and renewal of cells—they’re the perfect solution for dull skin.” Gentle peels (read: no chemicals) can be used three times a week until you notice results, such as a reduction in wrinkles and smaller pores, then use them just once a week for maintenance. Don’t forget to follow up with a moisturizer that contains SPF, since fresh-from-a-peel skin is more sensitive to everyday sun. FLARE’s pick: Good Skin Labs Citra-Peel High Intensity Resurfacing Peel, $32.
PRODUCT PHOTOGRAPHY, IVAN ENGLER; TEXT, LAURA FLANAGAN. FOR WHERE-TO-BUY, SEE STYLESOURCE.
Sign Up for Our Newsletter
Subscribe to FLARE Need to Know for smart, sassy, no-filter takes on everything you're interested in—including style, culture & current events, plus special offers—sent straight to your inbox each day.
Sign up here.