The Real Sleeping Beauty Secret From Asia: Sleep Masks

 

Didn’t double cleanse last night? Cell phone chin acne getting you down? Irritating redness from [pick one: indoor heating, brisk winds, too much alcohol] running amok? You may not be able to address all your skin care woes with one product, but these get pretty close: sleep masks. Call them sleep masks, night packs or overnight masks — in our overrun, hyper-busy, never-offline world, these beauty wonders can cover a multitude of sins.

We all know that nighttime is the best time for skin care repair. “Sleep is a time when the metabolic rate increases along with the production of skin cells, while the breakdown of proteins needed for cell growth and repair decreases,” says Diane Nakauchi of Japan-based skin care brand Koh Gen Do. “You can’t replace nighttime sleep with daytime hours as the energy required for tissue repair cannot be fully utilized due to other body organs’ energy needs in life support during the day.”

A sleep mask is the last thing you put on your face before sleeping. It has a higher concentration of “sealing” ingredients (which often are not suitable to wear under foundation as it may affect the wear of the foundation), says Nakauchi, which helps to seal in moisture, preventing moisture loss during the night as your nighttime skin care ingredients work overtime to repair skin.

Different sleep masks address different issues, so find one that works for you. Some of our favorites:

 

Koh Gen Do Night Moisture Mask

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This sleep mask is a light gel, which sinks into skin fast. Despite its light feel, the mask uses a skin-identical ceramide formulation that gently wraps the skin to prevent moisture evaporation during the night. Encapsulated vitamins, A, C & E are released when applied to penetrate deeply into the skin cuticles. Three types of antioxidant-rich red and brown algae not only help to detoxify, condition, soften and aid collagen production, but the red algae is known for its anti-microbial effect that helps to fight blemishes.

 

 

Sulwhasoo Overnight Vitalizing Mask

 

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This sleep mask from Korean luxury skin care line Sulwhasoo offers soothing creaminess that sinks in well. Hyaluronic acid, the key to skin hydration, and walnut extract promotes long-term moisturization overnight, while white mulberry extract minimizes redness and irritation.

 

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Kate Somerville Age Arrest Hydrating Firming Mask was developed on the principles of Asian sleep masks, a final step in your PM regimen, sealing in other products, while adding additional firming and hydrating benefits. While the texture is thicker than most night creams, it melts into skin, great for dry skin needing a boost during the cold winter months.

 

Kate Somerville Retasphere Micro Peel

 

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For a more active nighttime mask, this sleep mask is a leave-on micro peel which gently infuses skin with pure retinol through its RetAsphere Smart Release™ Carrier System. A combination of 10 percent glycolic acid and lactose also helps to resurface skin. Use this powerhouse every other night.

 

La Prairie Skin Caviar Luxe Skin Mask 

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With its signature caviar extract — rich with vitamins, nucleic acid, phospholipids and proteins to boost skin’s long-term firmness, as well as omega-3s which boost the antioxidant level of defense in the skin and improve the skin’s barrier function — this sleep mask firms skin, while its natural exfoliation enzyme technology smooths and softens. The melt-in formula reduces skin’s trans-epidermal water loss at night and helps skin eliminate cells damaged during the day. This one’s so potent, you use it one to three times a week.

 

Bioelements Oil Control Sleepwear

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Have oily skin? There’s even a sleep mask for you. Ironically, oily skin is sometimes the product of lack of hydration. This mask, made with a “dream team” formula of calcium, retinol, peptides and vitamin E, is made for combination to oily skin and works while you sleep to control oil as it smoothes the appearance of lines and wrinkles.

 

3 Ways To Upgrade Your Skin Care Regimen, Korean Style

 

Your skin feeling a little … meh? Are you bored with your basic skin care regimen of wash, moisturize, sunscreen? Or have you been fairly diligent about your skin care routine, but feel like the results have plateaued and need a little boost?

Well, look no further than to the skin care experts of the world — Korean women. They’ve nailed the 17-step skin care regimen, made BB cream a household name and mastered the no makeup-makeup look. In fact, they’re so far advanced in their skin care, they make us Americans look like Neanderthals.

Thankfully, we’ve got three easy ways for you to upgrade your skin care regimen. Make these switches and you’re bound to get some of that glow back into your complexion.

 

1. Bored with BB cream? Try the AIR CUSHION.

 

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When Korean cosmetic brand Dr. Jart+ debuted its BB cream to the U.S. market in 2011, it caused a sensation. Every cosmetic company rushed to put out its own version of BB cream and every alphabetic permutation thereof (CC and DD, anyone?). Now there are BB creams at every price point and in a much wider range of shades. But women in Korea are so beyond BB cream at this point; they’re obsessed with something even better (and no, it’s not EE or FF).

Enter the Air Cushion. The first one, Color Control Cushion Compact Broad Spectrum SPF 50+, was introduced by venerable Korean brand AmorePacific last year, but didn’t really take off. This summer, however, with all eyes on Iope (the Korean cosmetic line was featured prominently in the hit K-drama My Love From the Stars), their Air Cushion XP just exploded.

Inspired by a sponge-like “parking stamp,” the Air Cushion solved the problem of having to reapply sunscreen every two to three hours for effectiveness. Press on the sponge with a special ruby cell puff, which holds 1.6 times more water than a synthetic latex puff, and simply “stamp” (don’t smear or rub) on the liquid sunscreen onto your face, on top of your makeup. Since it’s tinted, the product blends in well even if you have foundation or powder. And a bonus: the Air Cushion imparts a perfectly mul gwang (“water sheen complexion” — that chok chok wet look Korean stars favor) look with one application.

Wanna try it out for yourself? Check out some of our favorites here.

 

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2. Toner too tight? Switch to a HYDRATING LOTION.

 

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A hydrating lotion — sometimes called “skin lotion” or just “lotion” — is different from the toner that we here in the States may have grown up with: that harsh, alcohol-based liquid we swept over skin with a cotton ball to wipe off any residual makeup that our cleanser may have missed. Rather, “lotion” is a post-cleansing hydrator, usually applied by sprinkling into hands and pressing the palms over the face to ensure proper penetration. Not only does it hydrate, it preps skin so that subsequent treatments can more effectively penetrate skin’s top layer, allowing all those expensive serums and creams to work more effectively with less.

Lucky for us in the States, we  don’t have to fly to Korea to get a hydrating lotion onto your bathroom shelf. Asian skincare companies available in the States already have a hydrating lotion in their line, and recognizing the brilliance of Asian skincare products, a number of non-Asian companies are coming out with their own versions. With a broad price range, these lotions are something everyone can get on board with. Check out some of our favorite hydrating lotions at all price ranges here.

 

 

3. Mask feeling meh? Go for a HYDROGEL MASK.

 

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When we think of old-school masks, we may think of thick, green-colored goo that we smear on our face while we wait for it to dry into a crusty mess. But that’s so 1980s. In Korea, sheet masks elevated the mask game, with cotton masks made to fit your face, complete with eye, nose and mouth cut-outs, infused with all manner of skin care ingredients. Apply for 20 minutes and your skin is left glowing, plumped and hydrated.

And while sheet masks are gaining popularity now in the States, a true skin care baller forgoes paper or cotton for the next evolution in sheet masks: a hydrogel mask.

A hydrogel mask or gel mask (Koreans pronounce “gel” with a hard “g”), “is made of polymers that are very absorbent and hold water against your skin,” says Jessica Wu, M.D., Los Angeles dermatologist and Assistant Clinical Professor of Dermatology at USC Keck School of Medicine. “The mask traps water more effectively than a sheet mask because water evaporates more slowly from a hydrogel mask.” It feels different, too — like a solidified gelatin that is “more flexible and conforms to your face better than many cloth or paper sheet masks,” says Wu.

A favorite of Dr. Wu’s is Dr. Jart+ Water-Full Hydrogel Mask ($9). We like Korean brand Missha’s Prime 24K gold Collagen Caviar Hydro-gel Mask, about $22 for 3, which has a nice golden hue, so you look a little less freaky as you soak in the benefits. For a real upgrade, try When Mask, $28 for 4, which is made of a more eco-friendly bio-cellulose material — the fit is unsurpassed.

 

How To Keep Your Skin Hydrated With These Easy Steps

 

In the past, we’ve brought you all kinds of great makeup tutorials like the puppy eye, to try this summer. But before you go plying your face with eyeshadows, liners and mascaras, it’s important to remember that you first need a solid, hydrated base in order to keep your skin nice and smooth throughout the day. We understand it can get pretty tedious to have to add even more steps to your daily routine, so we found a simplified “hydration expression” technique tutorial featuring Soko Glam’s Charlotte Cho, courtesy of Refinery29.

First, you’ll need these products:

 

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Clockwise from top left: A BB cream, a serum, a facial mist and a foundation brush.

 

Here are the steps:

1. Spray facial mist evenly on face, accordingly to skin tone. For those of you with oily T-zones, you may want to apply a little less.

2. Wait for the mist to sink in a bit, then mix one part BB cream and one part serum on the back of your hand.

3. Using your finger, dot your face with the BB cream-serum mixture. 

4. Use a foundation brush to even out the the dots. Alternatively, if you do not have a brush, you can also simply use the pads of your fingers to smooth them out.

5. For a little more pop of color and energy, you can also apply a cream-based blush or lipgloss if you prefer.

6. For the final step, spray one more light round of mist and you’re ready to go!

Get the products here:

 

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Missha Perfect Cover BB Cream SPF 42 PA+++

 

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Missha Time Revolution Night Repair Activator Ampoule

 

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Evian Mineral Water Spray Duo To Go

 

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MAC 190 Foundation Brush

 

Skincare Horror Story: Results of Sleeping With Makeup On

Does sleeping with makeup on really have bad effects on your skin?

The answer to that question is yes, yes it does. We’ve all had those long, hectic days where we’ve ended up falling asleep with our makeup on, but what consequence does that have on our skin?

In an episode of The Doctors, one brave woman volunteered to not wash her makeup off for a month and the end result came out quite shocking.

Take a look for yourself below while dermatologist Dr. Annie Chiu explains the relation between wearing makeup constantly and premature aging of the skin.

The moral of the story? Take your makeup off. You may be tired, but spending a few minutes to take care of your skin will help you avoid long-term effects. Washing your face before getting some shut eye can only benefit you. After all, you can replace the makeup, but you can’t replace your face.

(source)

Get a K-pop Complexion: Maybelline Dream Fresh BB

Maybelline New York Dream Fresh BB

Overview: A great BB cream for teens or makeup novices.

Coverage: Sheer

Shades: 5 (from Light to Deep)

Price: approx. $7.50

Benefits: SPF 30, oil-free, a 70% gel-water formula with “no heavy ingredients.”

Review: This has a very light texture, it goes on smoothly and it melts in super fast. The finish is very sheer and, surprisingly, the Light shade is not too pink. Make sure to pick the right shade, though, or else it won’t blend into skin well and will look like it’s just sitting on top of your skin. This is definitely good for BB cream novices, teens or 20-somethings, or those with naturally good skin.

Read more reviews on practically every BB cream on the market here.

Fall 2012 | Mind and Body: Fighting Adult Acne

DEPT Mind and Body
Issue Fall 2013
Author Anna M. Park

HED: Fight the Blight

Acne affects 40 to 50 million Americans; nearly 85 percent of all people have acne at some point in their lives. And while acne medications abound to treat this most common skin disorder in the U.S., more and more experts are recommending lifestyle and diet changes to fight adult acne.

The best explanation I have ever found on adult acne is in celebrity dermatologist Dr. Jessica Wu’s book, Feed Your Face (feedyourface.com). Contrary to popular belief, Dr. Wu espouses that what you eat does affect your complexion. According to Dr. Wu, “women with adult acne also tend to have higher levels of insulin in their blood, elevated androgens (the male sex hormone), and higher rates of insulin resistance than those without.” Androgens naturally spike around ovulation, which can lead to hormonal acne, usually showing up on the chin, neck and jawline. While there’s not much you can do about PMS, there hormone associated with increased oil production and clogged pores. are things you can do to minimize the hormonal effects on your complexion.

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Beauty Kit | Suncare Special

ISSUE: Summer 2011

DEPT: Beauty Kit

STORY: Anna M. Park

We all know by now that we have to protect ourselves from the sun. But there is so much confusion out there about SPF, the different types of blockers and how much to apply. So we asked cosmetic dermatologist and author Tess Mauricio, M.D., who is of Filipino, Chinese and Spanish descent, to cut to the basics.

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Audrey Travel Diaries | Seoul-Searching for the Holy Grail of Makeup

Moisture Firming Skin and Lotion 36,000 won (18000 won each)

Courtesy of Innisfree

Remember when I said I would do a Korea make-up haul post? Shopping for makeup in Korea was an incredible experience, especially for skincare. I have three rules when I am shopping for skincare: organic ingredients, affordable, and of course, effective. The Korean makeup industry is much more advanced, cheaper, and regulated than the US. Therefore, South Korea was a haven for a picky shopper like me!

Here are a couple of products I came back satisfied with. All the products are either from Skinfood or Innisfree, brands known to only use natural ingredients. None of these products contain harmful parabens!

The Koreans have developed a 5-step skin regimen, essence, serum, skin, lotion, eye cream. I opted out for barest necessities, skin and lotion. The Innisfree had a nifty device that measured the moisture level of your skin. My skin was just below the ideal moisture level, so they suggested products that focused on hydrating my skin. After using it for a week, the moisture and firming lotion by Innisfree does pretty much what it says. The skin feels hydrating and the lotion makes my skin velvety smooth. The price was great too for the generous size especially considering how expensive organic products are in the US.

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