April 23, 2012
Microdermabrasion, retinoids, anti-oxidant serums; even lasers and Botox. If you’re following the advice of your Dermatologist or facialist, you could be doing all of the above–and more–as you wage the war against premature aging. While these scary sounding treatments can provide clinically proven benefits, they can also wreak havoc on your skin if you’re not feeding it properly.
The skincare insiders’ term for this is “over-processed skin;” like over-processed hair, which has been subject so so much heat and chemical assault that its integrity is damaged, the same can happen to your skin. Too much exfoliation (a common mistake by those who use redundant products–such as an electronic cleansing brush and a glycolic acid cleanser, followed by a night cream with retinol–exfoliating three times a day when once, or less, may be preferable) is a common culprit; it leaves the skin’s lipid barrier damaged, and the skin less able to protect itself from environmental assaults. The result is skin that looks red and flushed, might peel and flake, and could even become excessively oily in an attempt to repair itself, resulting in breakouts.
I’ve seen this time and time again as a makeup artist; clients will come to me with red, irritated skin that is somewhat oily and broken out, and they tell me that they’re trying to treat it with Neutrogena Acne Wash (the absolute worst thing on earth if you’re over the age of 17) or even–gasp!–Proactiv. Wrong, wrong, all wrong! It’s a downward spiral that will only lead to more of the same.
Here’s the thing. The cure is actually seriously, majorly simple. Hydration! The skin needs to be hydrated, fed with the nutrients that it needs to repair itself, and given time off from irritating treatment products. The result, surprisingly, is skin that will look significantly younger and happier! Plump with moisture and glowing!
Is it as easy as picking up some moisturizing cream at the drugstore? Unfortunately, not really. So many products out there just coat the skin with occlusive, synthetic ingredients like Dimethicone (a thick, slimy silicone found most often in makeup primers and hair conditioners), giving it nothing that it needs to really bounce back from the dryness. Not so with the latest moisturizing gem to cross my path: the peerless, utterly effective Elite Premier Creme by Elite Therapeutics. I love this moisturizer for so many reasons:
1. It makes my skin look fabulous. Plump, bright, and clear; I’ve been using it for two weeks now and the smile lines by the corners of my eyes (the bane of my existence) are dramatically less visible than they were before. My whole face looks plump, dewy, and glowy, and I haven’t touched the foundation. Just some Guerlain bronzer and I’m good to go!
2. It was developed by an Oncologist, Dr. Kevin L. Schewe, which is awesome for two reasons. First, it means you can trust that the product doesn’t contain any sketchy harmful ingredients with names you don’t understand–a cancer doc can be trusted to know what’s dangerous and avoid it. Second, the research on the effectiveness of this cream speaks for itself; Dr. Schewe developed it to treat the burns on the skin of his radiation patients, and the before and after pictures of their burned skin once treated by the cream is nothing short of astounding. It makes you wonder what else you could heal with this stuff: could it work on my post-pregnancy stretch marks? It would definitely make a great tattoo healing balm, and it would probably help with all types of irritation and scars.
3. It’s jam packed with botanicals, yes, but everything is carefully edited for its effectiveness. The packaging doesn’t just boast a list of strange botanicals in an attempt to sell you on the “natural” aspects of the product; each ingredient is backed by extensive scientific evidence backing its effectiveness. On the list? A special vitamin E complex for healing, as well as omega 3, 6, and 9 fatty acids (to promote skin cell recovery and resistance to external aggression), babassu oil (an advanced carrier of bioactives into the skin), flavonoids from acai pulp oil (protecting from environmental damage and mitigating inflammation), rice bran oil (protecting from free radical damage) and passionfruit seed oil (anti-inflammatory, cell protection, and maintaining moisture levels).
4. You can’t beat the price point. The product is $65 for 4 oz., which seems pricey until you recognize that most anti-aging moisturizers are sold in 1.7 oz jars, and even a cheap drugstore jar of Olay is going to set you back around $24.99 for 1.7 oz. For a huge bottle of something natural and uber-effective, it’s kind of a no-brainer. I receive a lot of free stuff to test, and if I don’t like it, I don’t write about it; I love this moisturizer so much that I am actually going to buy more when I run out!
My current routine? Twice daily cleansing with Clarins Cleansing Milk with Gentian (taking care to use their special cleansing technique, warming cream in hands before patting it onto face in order to create suction between hands and face, drawing out impurities–this takes about one minute, so be patient), followed by my Elite Premier Creme, and sealing it in with 3-4 drops of Burt’s Bees Naturally Ageless Repairing Serum (a blend of healing oils such as pomegranate, borage, and evening primrose–consider this the poor gal’s version of Rodin Olio Lusso–just as amazing at a fraction of the cost).
What about you? Do you have a holy grail moisturizer you can’t live without? Have you ever been the victim of over-processed skin? Share your thoughts in the comments below!