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
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
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.