Plump up the volume with the latest high-tech products for skin, lips and hair.
The Duchess of Windsor once said, “You can never be too rich or too thin.” Yet for every part of our body we want to slim down, there's another we want to plump up. Fortunately, getting smooth-looking skin, fuller lips and bouncy hair isn't nearly as punishing as your average slimming regimen, nor does it require a trip to the doctor's office. From moisturizers to conditioning treatments, now you can pump up the volume with the latest high-performance products.
“Many professional skin-plumping procedures are expensive, carry varying degrees of medical risk and involve some physical discomfort,” says Dr. Lydia Evans, consulting dermatologist for L'Oréal Paris. Dermatologists typically target sagging skin with one of two materials: hyaluronic acid and collagen fibre. Now, there are new delivery systems that allow both to be administered topically in the comfort of your own home.
As an alternative to collagen injections, L'Oréal Paris recently introduced its Collagen Remodeler Contouring Moisturizer. It contains alfalfa extract, which stimulates new collagen production, and collagen biospheres (microscopic particles of dehydrated collagen composites), which penetrate the epidermis. “When they go from a dehydrated state to a hydrated state, collagen biospheres can reach a volume that is nine times greater than their initial volume through water absorption, which leads to a plumping effect,” says Evans. Clinique's Zero Gravity Repairwear Lift targets collagen production with an extract of Centella asiatica (or gotu kola), an aquatic plant often used in Ayurvedic medicine, whereas Neutrogena's Healthy Skin Anti-Wrinkle Cream SPF 15 contains retinol, a vitamin A derivative proven to boost collagen production.
Several products address skin plumping with topical hyaluronic acid. The newest offering from SkinCeuticals is a hydrating mask that delivers both hyaluronic acid and vitamin B5. “It contains vitamin B5 in two configurations: panthenol and calcium pantothenate,” says Sonja Anderson, director of new-product development. “These two ingredients help improve the continuous regeneration of the skin, play a role in tissue repair and
attract water to the outer layer of the skin.” Hydration Fix, from Dermaglow's Nuvage line, contains hyaluronic acid, which helps the skin retain moisture, and pomegranate extract, which uses its antioxidant power to strengthen and protect skin cells, according to company president and research pharmacist Calvin Davies.
One of the newest plumping ingredients can be found in Ceramide Plump Perfect, a skin-care and cosmetics line from Elizabeth Arden. Besides polymers and ceramides that lock in moisture, the products contain Argireline, an amino-acid-based substance. “It works to plump lines so that skin has a smoother look,” says Tony Vargas, vice-president of global research and development for Elizabeth Arden. It also has a relaxing effect on facial muscles, which minimizes frown lines and wrinkles.
Despite manufacturers' claims, most dermatologists still tout injectable fillers as the “the first line of defence,” says Dr. Sheetal Sapra, a dermatologist in Oakville, Ont. “A dermatologist can create the look you want with filler, and then you can help maintain it [between treatments] with topical products.”
Plump up your lips and hair with expert tips on the next page ...
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