Brought to you in partnership with SkinCeuticals | photos: Eliesa Johnson
As much as I hate to admit it, my skin has changed. I no longer wake up like this—with that lit-from-within glow of my youth that required little more than a quick slap of moisturizer and a little blush. And it definitely doesn’t bounce back after a sleepless night or stretch of living on pasta and cheese like it used to. I can see that puffiness and dullness coming from a mile away.
Now, in my late 30s, good skin takes effort. The inner beauty part I’ve gotten better at, with a healthy diet, hot yoga, and loads of water. My skincare regimen requires equal diligence, especially in the moisture department. I can’t seem to get enough, especially this time of year when the elements are in flux.
My latest obsession is with products that promise to restore the moisture barrier, the buzz phrase for the precious yet invisible reserve that makes skin look plump, dewy, healthy. Used in a sentence: I am guarding my moisture barrier with my life.
With age, the moisture barrier weakens (why can’t our fat cells weaken instead, I ask you?), making it increasingly susceptible to lipid depletion. Quick science lesson: Lipids are natural compounds found in skin, most commonly in the form of ceramides, cholesterol, and fatty acids. As lipid production declines, it compromises skin’s natural protective barrier, resulting in visible signs of accelerated aging, as skin loses its ability to effectively self-repair.
Enter SkinCeuticals Triple Lipid Restore 2:4:2, an anti-aging cream formulated with a maximized concentration of lipids: 2% pure ceramides, 4% natural cholesterol (the good kind), and 2% fatty acids. This rich anti-aging lipid correction cream contains the first 2:4:2 cholesterol-dominant ratio to help restore skin’s external barrier and support natural self-repair. Triple Lipid Restore 2:4:2 has been clinically proven to improve the visible appearance of skin smoothness, laxity, pores, and overall radiance while boosting hydration in 24 hours. In other words, it’s kind of a big deal.
In fact, it’s such a big deal that you can now get a SkinCeuticals Triple Lipid Restorative Protocol at a spa or derm near you, and experience this mega moisturizing treatment first-hand. I visited the new Zel Skin & Laser Specialists in Plymouth for mine (how gorgeous is this space?!) and was treated to all of my favorite things in one facial.
After a gentle cleanser, my esthetician applied a refining, brightening glycolic peel followed by an ultra-replenishing mask containing both SkinCeuticals Hydrating B5 Masque and the Triple Lipid Restore 2:4:2. After a bonus neck-shoulder-arm-and-hand massage, she finished with the brand’s cult classic C E Ferulic serum and my go-to Physical Fusion UV Defense SPF 50. It was a beautiful thing. More important, my skin looked so FRESH, so hydrated and glow-y afterward, that I forgot to put makeup on the next day and have needed much less than usual since incorporating Triple Lipid Restore 2:4:2 into my evening routine. I wake up looking more well-rested than a 22 year old, and that is all the proof I need!
To purchase SkinCeuticals Triple Lipid Restore 2:4:2, visit SkinCeuticals.com. To find a skincare professional near you who’s offering the Triple Lipid facial, click here.
I’ve been whipping up face masks since I was five (eggs whites still tighten up pores like nobody’s business!) and, as a late thirtysomething battling sunspots, dehydration and fine lines am no stranger to light treatments. They’re really the gold standard when you want to undo some serious damage and quickly. But they’re also expensive and time-consuming considering the appointments required. That’s why I’m so excited about this crazy-looking new situation called illuMask. It’s an FDA-cleared anti-aging light therapy mask that uses the same LED light technology you’d get at the derm’s office but for a fraction of the time and cost. Ummmm, please allow me to nerd out for a moment . . .
* 83% of users had improvement in skin clarity, brightness, and radiance after 4 weeks of daily use
* 90% of users had reduced fine lines and wrinkles, and more even skin tone after 8 weeks of daily use
* No patients experienced any adverse reactions or negative effects with illuMask
Here’s how it works: The illuMask Anti-Aging Light Therapy Mask emits gentle red and infrared light wavelengths—not to be confused with damaging UV rays—uniformly over the face to stimulate skin cell turnover and regeneration while increasing the production of collagen and elastin in your skin. After cleansing your face, you simply slip on the mask on, turn on the light with the simple push of a button, and kick back for 15 minutes (bonus points for using the mask in public). It doesn’t feel like anything except slightly warm, there are goggles built in to protect your eyes, and downtime is zero. Each mask is powered up for a total of 30 treatments cost only $30. I’ve been chilling with my mask on the porch for the past two weeks and what I’ve really noticed is improved texture and a glow to my skin. It looks and feels more firm and hydrated. I’m looking forward to another month when the sunspots start to fade. illuMask happy hour, anyone?
Two weeks after my Korean island adventure, I’m finally getting back on a schedule. Honestly, how I survived a whirlwind 55 hours of travel in four days yet can’t seem to kick the return jet lag is baffling. Or exotic. Yes, I’m going with exotic. The reason for the season was the green tea growing season. Jeju Island, off the coast of South Korea, is one of the world’s top three green tea producers—and I’m not talking about the stuff in your Starbuck’s. Every April for just 15 days, the first young leaves are harvested for use in tea like you’ve never tasted and skincare like you’ve probably never experienced.I visited AMOREPACIFIC’S green tea fields to pick and taste a few delicate shoots for myself. Who knew green tea grew like a hedge? So precious and fleeting, the delicate baby shoots are literally worth their weight in gold. They’re also extremely rich in antioxidants and growth factors. Which is why AMOREPACIFIC—THE Korean skincare brand since 1954—grows them, harvests them and painstakingly extracts their stem cells for its Time Response line.
Green tea stem cells, green tea EGCG, and green tea saponin are combined into a powerful, patented compound, proven in studies I heard all about (while sipping on green tea) to renew aging skin cells for age-reversing results. I normally would balk at $450 a jar, but after seeing what goes into the cultivation, care and extraction process of these plants, it actually makes perfect sense. My skin also feels firmer and looks smoother since starting the regimen—like I’ve given myself a daily mini-facial. In addition to the aforementioned Skin Renewal Creme, I love the Eye Renewal Creme ($260) for its richness and illuminators that belied my 14-hour flight. If you’ve ever seen pristine Korean skin that you have some idea of how diligent these women are about skincare. I got another glimpse when AMOREPACIFIC sent one of the country’s top estheticians to my room for THE most exacting yet relaxing facial. The precision and acupressure massage were out of this world.
Other highlights of the two-day ritual included yoga and mediation, something I’ve been trying to do at least a few times a week—it does wonder for your skin, in addition to my monkey mind!
I’m still obsessing about this black bathroom (brushed gold fixtures!), spotted at Ossuloc Tea Museum, near the farm. Also worth noting: Most toilet seats in Korea are HEATED. I will spare you a photo of this. And in the villa where I stayed, classical music came on every time I walked into the bathroom. To encourage relaxation??
After jet setting around the country for the last few years with her Air Force husband, our Natural Beauty expert Hannah has settled down in Sacramento and realizing her big dream of becoming an esthetician. We can’t wait to live vicariously while she geeks out over microdermabrasion and perfects her pore extractions. Now, in addition to her popular DIY beauty ideas, Hannah will be taking your skincare questions in her new column, Ask an Esti. Whether you’re battling blemishes or befuddled by that fancy serum, no question is off limits for our resident expert. Leave them below in the comments section, or email Hannah anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org. –Bets
The leaves are turning, the air is chilling and I am FREAKING OUT. Fall’s arrival means a) I have to go jeans shopping; and b) winter is around the corner. To cope, I’m kicking off a Fall Beauty Essentials series. For the next two weeks we’ll be featuring our favorite products and must-have treatments for the season ahead.
First up: Get a facial. Your skin has been through the ringer all summer—sunscreen, sweat, self-tanner—and deserves a fresh start. When I need a serious facial I make a beeline for Kristin Robinson at Bespoke in Edina. She’s a sweet thing but don’t let her fool you: The girl is fanatical about clean pores. After a steam, light peel and mask with Sanitas Skincare (another fall favorite!) she gets down to business with the extractions and doesn’t stop until every last one is clean.
Born and raised in Minnesota by surprisingly low-maintenance parents, beauty writer and lifestyle editor Elizabeth Dehn (aka Bets) spent her awkward years buying Mood lipstick and whipping up DIY face masks before founding Beauty Bets in 2009.