Hada lit­tle too much fes­tive cheer dur­ing the silly sea­son that’s left your skin worse for wear? Knuckle down and hit the newyear run­ning with a boot camp for out-of-shape com­plex­ions. Hooyah, re­cruits! By Michaela Wil­liams

Friday - - Contents -

Whip your face back into shape af­ter the fes­tive sea­son with our su­per skin boot­camp.

Whether your beauty crime is too much sun ex­po­sure while un­furled pool­side, too many late nights, or a lax at­ti­tude to­wards mas­cara re­moval (guilty as charged), there’s never a bet­ter time than the new year to com­mit to right­ing your skin­care wrongs.

Along with fes­tive ex­cesses, a buildup of tox­ins from en­vi­ron­men­tal fac­tors such as city smog, sweat and year-long

The fine lines that ap­pear af­ter a night out are less age-re­lated and more your body’s cry for help

of­fice air con­di­tion­ing can all wreak havoc on your skin and cause myr­iad com­plaints, from ir­ri­ta­tion to dull­ness and trou­ble­some lines.

The best way to hit re­set on your com­plex­ion woes? En­rol in a heavy­hit­ting skin boot­camp; a se­ries of highly con­cen­trated skin treat­ments that aims to re­vamp and re­store, as well as prep for the months ahead and knock out any on­go­ing is­sues.

Line of de­fence

With fa­cial wrin­kles a peren­nial fear, it’s no sur­prise that their sud­den ap­pear­ance would be of some con­cern. How­ever, not all lines are cre­ated equal. The fine ones that ap­pear around eyes, across the fore­head and on lips af­ter that night out that went on a lit­tle too late tend to be less age-re­lated, and more a cry for help.

Al­though we’re not against burn­ing the mid­night oil oc­ca­sion­ally, an up­set sleep pat­tern isn’t pretty – your body has to work over­time to cope with de­pleted vitamin A and nat­u­ral hy­dra­tion lev­els, leav­ing skin sal­low and with a crêpe pa­per tex­ture.

Margo Mar­rone, founder of skin­care com­pany The Or­ganic Phar­macy, warns that th­ese ini­tial fine lines are the first sign your body is in dis­tress. “If your body lacks nu­tri­ents or the nec­es­sary build­ing blocks for re­pair and re­gen­er­a­tion then the skin suf­fers.”

Stephanie N Askins, Clinic Man­ager at Eter­nel Clinic in Dubai, agrees, not­ing that a lack of nu­tri­ents due to an ex­cess of in­dul­gences “hin­ders the pro­duc­tion of va­so­pressin, an anti-di­uretic hor­mone. This causes your kid­neys to work very hard to re­move wa­ter and leaves you de­hy­drated, bloated and even­tu­ally wrin­kled. Our bod­ies are mostly made from wa­ter, and when you cause your body to ex­pel its wa­ter sup­ply, it af­fects ev­ery­thing, in­clud­ing the skin’s elas­tic­ity – caus­ing wrin­kles.”

Call in the heavy in­fantry to plump up your newly found crow’s feet with The Or­ganic Phar­macy’s Hy­dra

Di­a­mond Ex­fo­li­a­tion treat­ment, avail­able at the Abu Dhabi branch (Dh500) – just the ticket to halt crin­kles in their tracks. The ad­di­tion of vi­ta­min­in­fused wa­ter im­proves your skin’s elas­tic­ity, giv­ing trou­ble spots their best de­fence against re­turn­ing wrin­kles.

To main­tain your line of de­fence, Mar­rone rec­om­mends their Honey and Jas­mine Mask (Dh250) be used as an in­tense overnight treat­ment to give skin a di­rect hit of TLC to plump and soothe, be­fore switch­ing to use as a twice-aweek treat. “Packed with es­sen­tial fatty acids, it re­duces in­flam­ma­tion and keeps skin well hy­drated from the in­side.”

Your key to sun sal­va­tion is a fast-act­ing, vi­ta­m­in­based mask to smooth away scorched skin

Sun-dam­age lim­i­ta­tion

Be­tween hol­i­day jet-set­ting and some se­ri­ous beach cabana time, chances are sun ex­po­sure has your com­plex­ion look­ing a lit­tle worse for wear.

While the Gulf’s no­to­ri­ous heat is muted over the win­ter months, the sun’s UVA and UVB rays are still blast­ing at full force, with time spent un­pro­tected pool­side a fast track to un­sightly pig­men­ta­tion and a roughed-up vis­age.

“When ex­posed to the sun, your body will try to pro­tect it­self from UV rays by dark­en­ing,” Askins ex­plains. “This layer of dark skin forms to pro­tect the deeper lay­ers from fur­ther dam­age. When the higher level of pig­ment bunches to­gether in­stead of spread­ing out evenly, the re­sult is freck­les, splotches and spots.”

Need a tough-talk­ing fix? Your key to sun sal­va­tion is a fast-act­ing, vitamin-based mask to smooth away scorched skin and fade blotches and marks. While a phys­i­cal scrub will barely scratch the sur­face of deeply dam­aged skin, an en­hanced ex­fo­li­at­ing treat­ment is loaded with a hefty dose of ac­tive in­gre­di­ents to kick-start the re­newal process in the deep-down lay­ers.

Eter­nel Clinic Dubai’s su­per­charged Inno peel sys­tem (Dh600 per peel) is de­signed to lighten un­wanted pig­men­ta­tion and even over­all

skin tone. Taken as part of a three-ap­point­ment sched­ule, it works by tar­get­ing dark melanin in the skin with a com­bi­na­tion of vitamin A to re­ju­ve­nate and an­tiox­i­dants to en­cour­age col­la­gen pro­duc­tion. While one ses­sion alone will help dis­coloura­tion, re­turn vis­its in quick suc­ces­sion will com­pletely re­vamp your skin’s con­di­tion, as each fol­low­ing peel pen­e­trates deeper and deeper to re­veal a com­pletely re­freshed sur­face.

For ex­treme cases of hy­per­pig­men­ta­tion, knock it up another notch with Eter­nel’s po­tent Cos­me­lan treat­ment (Dh3,000). Ap­plied by your doc­tor, the mus­tard-coloured mask is then worn home and rinsed off af­ter up to 12 hours. Af­ter a week, the skin re­newal process has been restarted com­pletely, shed­ding dam­aged cells, and leav­ing be­hind a smooth, re­freshed com­plex­ion. This treat­ment cy­cle can be re­peated ev­ery six months for a twicea-year, full-sur­face detox.

Lack­lus­tre to lu­mi­nous

Thanks to our warmer cli­mate, it’s al­most im­pos­si­ble to es­cape ev­er­p­re­sent air con­di­tion­ing. A ma­jor cul­prit in fa­cial de­hy­dra­tion, con­stant ex­po­sure at home, in the of­fice and while com­mut­ing can suck the mois­ture from skin, leav­ing it dry and ir­ri­tated.

Go­ing hand in hand with en­vi­ron­men­tal dry­ness, dull skin is cat­e­gorised by a gen­eral lack of lu­mi­nos­ity – some­thing that’s tricky to pin down un­til you’ve lost it. How­ever, the causes are de­cid­edly com­mon, with cul­prits in­clud­ing a build-up of free rad­i­cals and tox­ins, cling­ing lay­ers of dis­carded skin cells and gen­eral daily grime, all re­sult­ing in un­even skin tone, flak­i­ness, red­ness and fine creases.

To get back your glow, bring out the big guns with a skin-slough­ing, cell­re­new­ing, dull­ness-de­stroy­ing chem­i­cal ex­foila­tor. While Sex and the City’s Sa­man­tha came off lob­ster red in her tan­gle with a chem­i­cal scrub, the nex­tgen treat­ments are a gen­tler cousin to the rough and tum­ble peels of the early 2000s. They still pack a mighty punch,

Dull skin is cat­e­gorised by a lack of lu­mi­nos­ity – some­thing tricky to pin down un­til you’ve lost it

us­ing med­i­cal-grade al­pha hy­droxy acids (AHAs). Try a lac­tic or gly­colic peel over a se­ries of weeks for an in­tro­duc­tion to AHAs, be­fore ad­vanc­ing to the trichloroacetic acid treat­ments. Re­becca Tre­ston at EuroMed clinic in Dubai of­fers a se­ries of op­tions that can be tai­lored to your skin’s needs.

If you pre­fer at-home treat­ments then a num­ber of brands have now re­leased their own ver­sions of con­cen­trated pro­fes­sional treat­ment regimes. Th­ese hy­per-charged prod­ucts claim faster re­sults than your av­er­age beauty counter buys, and are in­tended for use over a short pe­riod of time.

For a cure-all-ills ap­proach, Sis­ley Paris’ Sisleÿa Elixir is an in­ten­sive pro­gramme, de­signed to kick-start slug­gish skin and pen­e­trate be­yond the sur­face der­mal layer. The four vials used over the course of a month pro­vide a per­fectly mea­sured dose of nu­tri­ents, in­clud­ing solanum to for­tify your lipid bar­rier, which in turn en­cour­ages col­la­gen pro­duc­tion, to de-stress fraz­zled com­plex­ions. Ap­plied in the evening, it’s in­tended for use three times a year, with your nor­mal rou­tine in be­tween.

No mat­ter how worn out your skin is, from the salon to your bath­room, there’s a prod­uct or treat­ment out there to whip your face back into shape.

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