If you still think beauty products are for the vain, think again. It’s time to start treating your face as well as you treat your car: Keep it clean, give it a nice shine every now and then, and protect it from dings and scratches.
Here, we address the biggest issues your face is, well, facing—and how to fix them posthaste (with minimal effort).
The Problem: Too much airtime
Looking like you mean business, even after a short-haul flight, is no small feat. Those in first class are not exempt from the seriously low humidity levels on board. And with ambient moisture at 20 percent or lower, you’ll need to quench your skin with an industrial-strength moisturizer before, during and after your flight.
The Product: Dr. Barbara Sturm Hyaluronic Serum
The gold standard in rehydration is hyaluronic acid, a spongy polysaccharide that can hold up to 1,000 times its own weight in water. This concentrate contains enough of the stuff to soothe, rehydrate and protect sensitized skin. Add a drop or two directly to the face, wait for it to become fully absorbed, and then layer moisturizer on top.
The Treatment: Lasky Aesthetics HydraFacial
Lasky Aesthetics in Beverly Hills puts this medical-grade device to work, using its “vortex technology” to cleanse, exfoliate and rehydrate skin. In layman’s terms, that means it vacuums pores, then drives a combination of replenishing serums deep into the skin. It’s a post-flight wonder.
The Problem: Burning the candle at both ends
Late nights will take their toll, whether they’re spent in front of your laptop or staring at the ceiling as you lie awake in bed. The first sign of fatigue appears around the eyes, where skin is considerably thinner than anywhere else on the face. Eye drops will help clear up red eyes, but the paper-thin periorbital area underneath will need a dedicated product or treatment if your lids are looking a little heavy.
The Product: La Mer The Eye Concentrate
A product formulated from nutrient-rich—and virtually indestructible—algae, this eye cream packs a serious punch. Apply morning and evening to help iron out creases, diminish puffy bags and rehydrate the delicate skin around the eye.
The Treatment: Dr. Dennis Gross Dermatology CO2 fractional laser
If puffy bags are persistent, longstanding or genetic, it might be worth a visit to Dr. Dennis Gross in New York. His CO2 lasers jump-start the production of collagen (the scaffolding that holds skin up) and diminish bags—or “festoons,” as they’re dismally known—by tightening the skin.
The Problem: One too many nightcaps
If an open bar gets the best of you, know that a few well-chosen grooming hacks can eradicate dreaded morning-after face. That hangover, however, is another matter entirely.
The Product: Oxygen Complex by Natura Bissé
This oxygen-rich serum breathes life back into lackluster skin using a formula of spirulina that supplies cells with all the trace elements—vitamins, proteins and the like—that were single-handedly massacred by your Château Lafite binge.
The Treatment: Lymphatic Drainage
Alcohol messes with vasopressin, the hormone that controls the amount of water in the body. One way to reduce a bloated face (and, indeed, body) is with lymphatic drainage, a type of massage that’s especially popular in France. Go for the body-firming detox treatment at the Spa Montage Beverly Hills; its “pinching” technique is designed to stimulate lymph vessels under the skin and assist the body in flushing out waste and toxins.
The Problem: Father Time
Fine lines and innocent wrinkles may be a sign of a life well-lived, but too many will have you looking like an old catcher’s mitt. Luckily, cosmetic chemists and doctors have made giant leaps in the last 10 years. While they can’t reverse time, they can definitely stall it.
The Product: Retinol 0.3 Percent by Skinceuticals
Retinol is without a doubt the gold standard in anti-aging. A potent derivative of vitamin A,this multifaceted ingredient encourages skin cells to behave as they did in your younger days, meaning fewer lines as well as reduced pigmentation and pores. Just be sure to start with a low dosage—it’s that powerful.
The Treatment: Laser Resurfacing
Big problems require big guns, and the biggest are, without a doubt, ablative lasers. These devices create a “controlled wound,” damaging the skin just enough for the body’s natural healing mechanisms to kick in. The laser treatments from New York Dermatology Group on Fifth Avenue is ideal for the stuff over-the-counter products can’t fix: skin tags, wrinkles, dark spots and scarring included.
The Problem: An early-morning photo op
In the age of Instagram, photos have currency. Whether you’re asked for a selfie or presented with a cannon of photographers, there are certain red-carpet tricks that will help the flash bounce off your face with a little more grace.
The Product: Illumino Anti-Aging Brightening Face Mask by Colbert MD
A 15-minute quick fix, this sheet mask regulates pigment-causing cells for brighter, more even-toned skin. It also replenishes moisture, plumps and smooths skin. Think of its Photoshop in a mask.
The Treatment: Intraceuticals Oxygen Facial
The original oxygen facial from Intraceuticals is the pre-Oscars treatment of choice for a reason: It boosts brightness and skin density while accentuating the jawline. The magic is in the pressure from the custom-built oxygen jet, which manages to push hyaluronic acid deep into the skin, causing the mixed-weight molecules to stack like a layer cake. It all amounts to a halo-like glow that lasts for days.