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5 Gifts for the Wellness Warrior in Your Life

Usher in a happier, healthier New Year.

Canyon Ranch Takeover Photo Credit: Courtesy

Canyon Ranch Takeover

Surprising your spouse with a gym membership is one of the best ways to start divorce proceedings. But this gift from Canyon Ranch—a three-day buyout of the entire Tucson resort for you and up to 249 of your closest friends—is impossible to get mad about. The famed wellness retreat isn’t just a place to drop a few pounds: It’s a way to get totally rewired for the New Year, with stress-relief and sleep programs, nutritional education, and spa treatments in addition to the usual fitness classes and sports. You’ll have the run of the house, with a team of doctors, trainers, and therapists at the ready to manage your health needs. And you’ll call the shots at the restaurant, too, regulating how decadent (or not) the cuisine is. Odds are you’ll end up calmer and leaner by the end of it—not that your spouse thought you needed to or anything. The package starts at $750,000. –Jackie Caradonio

Marble Dumbbells

Your abs may never be rock hard, but at least your weights can be. French designer Mathieu Lehanneur’s limited-edition Take It Heavy marble dumbbells ($2,500) are so good-looking that if your enthusiasm for working out should ever wane, you might be tempted to display them as works of art. –Jackie Cardonio

Marble dumbbells  Photo Credit: Courtesy

Peloton Tread

Time to unclip those cleats and lace up your trainers; your favorite piece of gym equipment has a mate. Peloton—maker of the high-tech stationary cycle with a cult-like following—has debuted a new way to sweat out your holiday sins with the Peloton Tread. Like its two-wheeled predecessor, the sleek treadmill comes with a touchscreen for live-streaming classes. Unlike the original, the new machine has a variety of fitness functions, including settings for circuit workouts that combine strength training with sprints and hills. Prices start at $3,995. –Jackie Caradonio

Peloton Tread

Peloton Tread  Photo Credit: Courtesy

Aman’s Unguents

What do you do when your favorite hotel brand launches a skin-care collection? If that hotel brand is Aman, you get straight to grooming. The cult label has launched 30 products, from face creams to pulse-point remedies, that use the native ingredients found at resorts like Bhutan’s Amankora (sea-buckthorn oil) and Bali’s Amandari (vetiver). But as good as they smell, they look even better: The slick black bottles designed by Japanese architect Kengo Kuma will stand proud amongst the other goods in your medicine cabinet. –Jackie Cardonio

Grounding Amethyst Scrub & Soak

Grounding Amethyst Scrub  Photo Credit: Courtesy

La Prairie’s Platinum Rare Cellular Night Elixir

I don’t know how much more is left of the shimmery new serum that sits atop my vanity in its faceted amethyst jar, but I do know there’s pretty much nothing I want more than another jar of it.

The serum, the Platinum Rare Cellular Night Elixir is this year’s addition to the Platinum Rare collection by Swiss brand La Prairie. As magical and mysterious as a “night elixir” sounds, straight science backs this anti-aging fluid. It packs in the highest concentration of the brand’s signature and proprietary cellular complex (a formula executed in three parts by separate labs, so no one can divulge the secret), as well as high percentages of one of skincare’s miracle ingredients — hyaluronic acid, which binds to water molecules to retain moisture, keeping skin looking luscious and hydrated. (Hyaluronic acid is also the key ingredient in skin-plumping filler Restylane, by the way.) That cellular complex, according to Dr. Daniel Stangl, the director of innovation and a research scientist at La Prairie, contains the gold (or platinum) standards for rebuilding new skin cells, collagen, and elastin, as well as helps to increase protection against oxidation and inflammation and to rebalance the proteins in skin cells that are aging, pushing out the malfunctioning ones and nourishing the newly born.

As we age, our skin cells grow tired and make mistakes. If you’re at an age where you need this serum, you can relate. Over time, exposure to UV light and environmental toxins damage our mitochondria (the little batteries that power a cell) and proteins inside the cell, and if the cell doesn’t expel those damaged bits, the cell dies. That whole process slows as we age, but a strain of yeast in this serum helps to support the cell. All of this combines to help skin cells proliferate, minus the errors of aging replication. Dermatologists refer to this as senescence, says Dr. Mary Sheu of Johns Hopkins Medicine. “Cells can divide only a certain number of times before they tire out. They can’t divide as rapidly and become less organized when they do.”

She also says that one of the key changes that happen as we age is that “collagen production sharply decreases and its breakdown increases,” meaning we need to give our skin cells a boost to produce more collagen.

Stangl calls the Platinum Rare Cellular Night Elixir a “Rolls Royce – it has all the best stuff in there,” he says, and “it has a proven efficacy in cellular renewal.” In clinical trials participants noticed changes in skin—refined texture, a refreshed and dewy look, and softened wrinkles—after just one application. That sort of immediate response always seems suspect to me—that dash of hope we have in a new offering that promises what we most want to hear. More telling are the results after four and eight weeks, which showed real changes in all of those same qualities. And I can see for myself in the mirror; the elevens above my nose seem to be returning to whence they came, as are the crinkles at the outer corners of my eyes.

Its $1,200 price tag is not for the faint of heart, especially considering the night elixir is a .67-ounce serving, lasting just two months. However, if your other options to stave off the rigors of time include more invasive fillers that often cost $350 to $750 per area or plastic surgery, the figure is quite within the realm. And, while some injectibles do smooth out wrinkles, they are not always helping repair the health of the skin at the cellular level, which will hopefully allow for more graceful aging in the long run. –Janice O’Leary

La Prairie Platinum Rare Cellular Night Elixir

The new Platinum Rare Cellular Night Elixir from La Prairie  Photo: Courtesy La Prairie

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