MAGAZINE FEATURES

Best Splurge: Angela Caglia CellReturn Premium LED Wireless Mask
April 15, 2020

Best Splurge: Angela Caglia CellReturn Premium LED Wireless Mask

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#SkinSchool: Everything you need to know about at-home light therapy
April 15, 2020

#SkinSchool: Everything you need to know about at-home light therapy

A professional-grade facial at home

 

Previously confined to the four walls of a facialist’s salon, light therapy is now making its way into the mainstream, with several brands offering at-home devices promising transformative results. But are these masks and tools efficacious, and, more importantly, safe in untrained hands?

Research has proven that LED treatments can effectively treat a multitude of skin concerns, but the results are cumulative, meaning you won’t see long-term benefits from that single salon trip you treat yourself to once a year. If regular appointments aren’t an option, an at-home device could be the answer.

“At-home LED devices are an excellent way to bring a normally in-office treatment to the comfort of your home," says Dr. Maryam Zamani, oculoplastic surgeon and founder of MZ Skin. “These at-home devices will not be as strong as the LED used in a clinic setting, but they do have similar benefits. Whereas professional treatments can last 10-20 minutes, at-home treatments are typically slightly longer."

 

What is light therapy?

      “Light therapy, or LED treatments have been around for over 30 years and were originally developed for astronauts to help with tissue healing and repair,” explains Dr. Zamani.

      According to dermatologist Dr. Dennis Gross, the benefits of LED light therapy are manifold. They include treating acne, regulating natural oil production, stimulating collagen and elastin and minimising redness and wrinkles. Certain wavelengths have even been shown to reduce dark spots and uneven skin tone.

      As the spectrum of light used does not include UV, there's no risk of damage – and you won't get a tan.

      How does light therapy work?

          “LED therapy uses light in the visible spectrum – including blue, yellow, amber and red – as well as light beyond the visible spectrum to penetrate different depths of skin. As the light wavelength increases, so does the depth of penetration,” explains Dr. Gross. This light is absorbed by receptors in the skin, just like topical skincare, and each colour of light stimulates a different response in the skin. LED is suitable for use on all skin types and tones.

           

          How to perform a LED treatment at home

          Today, there's a small but growing list of options when it comes to at-home light therapy devices. For a complete facial treatment, a mask is the most obvious investment, but the emergence of targeted 'wands' and smaller (more portable) treatment lights is especially interesting for treating areas of acne-prone skin.

          As LED treatments deliver cumulative results, commitment is key. As Debbie Thomas, laser aesthetician and celebrity facialist says, "just owning a device won’t give you any results."

          While instructions will vary depending on the device you choose, LED treatments are usually light on labour. "The good thing about LED masks is they are pretty simple to use and generally only need around 10 minutes of dedicated time," explains Thomas. While a mask offers more 'slip on and relax' appeal, "wand devices are designed to be held over your skin for 20-30 mins, so it's normally a toss-up between an aching arm or boredom that leads a dedicated skin warrior to fall out of love with their new skin gadget."

           

          What colour LED do I need?

          Red: The majority of at-home LED masks offer a red light setting. At the lighter end of the spectrum, red light works to soothe inflammation and redness, while deeper shades penetrate the skin further to prompt cellular repair and circulation, resulting in a plumper, more vibrant complexion.

          Blue: This antibacterial light is used to kill the bacteria that leads to breakouts, making it ideal for treating acne-prone skin. Blue light also helps purify the skin and regulate oil glands.

          Amber: Less common in at-home devices, this shade works to revitalise the skin, reducing any swelling and increasing radiance.

          Infrared: Invisible to the naked eye, this light penetrates deeper than any other colour in the spectrum. It combats the signs of ageing by replenishing dermal and epidermal cells, stimulates the natural production of collagen and elastin, and speeds up the recovery process.

           

          Are LED face masks safe?

              Like many beauty innovations, at-home LED masks have been subject to controversy, sparked by concerns over their potential impact on eye health. However, a 2018 study found "no adverse events associated with the use of these devices and little to no downtime for the patient." While most experts agree that a correctly used LED mask is a safe and efficacious tool, it’s vital to invest in one that has been FDA-approved.

              "At-home LED devices are a fraction of the strength of devices that are used in professional settings,” says Dr. Gross. “The testing for at-home devices is actually more rigorous than professional ones because the device is being cleared to use without the presence of a professional – there's a higher-level burden of proof to show efficacy and safety because a consumer is in charge of their treatment. For this reason, we focus on specifics like safe optical output and recommended treatment times.” The best at-home LED masks will also be developed with in-build safety mechanisms: look for auto shut-offs, heat regulators and timers.

              According to Thomas, the most important consideration to make is that, when wearing a mask that covers your entire face, your eyes should be kept closed – so no slumping in-front of the TV. "The lights are not strictly dangerous, but as they can be very bright you could get irritation. I would say using them for a few minutes daily would be fine as long as you do not have a pre-existing medical condition that sensitises you to light."

              Indeed, Dr. Zamani recommends avoiding light therapy if you suffer from seizures or epilepsy. She also does not recommend LED for anyone with migraines, eye conditions, or taking certain types of antibiotics. Of course, a professional should be your first port of call if you are at all unsure.

               

               

               

               

               

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              The Best Beauty Gifts Of 2019 To Give (& To Get), According To TZR Editors
              April 15, 2020

              The Best Beauty Gifts Of 2019 To Give (& To Get), According To TZR Editors

              Ever tried shopping for beauty products you don't know much about for someone whose skincare and makeup preferences you're not intimately familiar with? Yeah, it's hard. But when there's a beauty lover in your life, sometimes you just don't have a choice. You probably know they'd appreciate *something* skincare- or makeup-related — you might just not know what that is, exactly. That's where the TZR team comes in. And no, not every member of the team is a beauty editor, of course. But since we're exposed to exciting launches every day and research products like it's our job (because it is), we know the best beauty gifts of 2019 worth putting on our own wishlists.

              Sure, they may not work for everyone — beauty is personal, after all — but you can at least take inspiration from our well-informed, wide-ranging choices and use it to help you shop for others on your list.

              So without further ado, continue on to see the gifts TZR editors themselves are hoping for this year — and don't be surprised if they end up on your own wishlist, too.

               

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              Puff Piece: Test Driving the Newest Solutions for Keeping Skin Fit and Firm
              April 15, 2020

              Puff Piece: Test Driving the Newest Solutions for Keeping Skin Fit and Firm

              BY ALISSA BENNETT

              January 13, 2020

               

              The first time it occurred to me that puffiness was a mortal sin, I was a 19-year-old model on the set of a beauty shoot. “She’s puffy,” I heard an invisible critic hiss from the back of the studio while an assistant spackled concealer under my eyes. “She’s very puffy.” Throughout history, women from Marilyn Monroe to Ashley Judd have suffered similarly for their ostensible excesses—too much champagne, too much surgery, too much filler, too much food. I have come to see my own puffiness as the voluminous souvenir of elective overindulgence, but the cause can also be unpredictable.

              “Puffiness is a sign that there is an imbalance in the body,” Joel M. Evans, M.D., director of the Center for Functional Medicine in Stamford, Connecticut, tells me, sharing a list of balance-altering offenders, from stress and lack of sleep to alcohol and processed foods, which can incite inflammatory chemicals called cytokines throughout the body. When detecting individual puffiness, Evans explains, “the first thing we do is find out what kind of living a person is doing,” a lifestyle assessment David Colbert, M.D.—the dermatologist and internist behind the New York Dermatology Group—often follows with a blood draw to check metabolic functions and to ensure sudden swelling isn’t caused by something more serious, such as hypothyroidism or high blood pressure. After a particularly hedonistic dinner (multiple rounds of dim sum, with multiple glasses of wine), Evans’s words strike a chord. Could I in fact be living better?

              The first time it occurred to me that puffiness was a mortal sin, I was a 19-year-old model on the set of a beauty shoot. “She’s puffy,” I heard an invisible critic hiss from the back of the studio while an assistant spackled concealer under my eyes. “She’s very puffy.” Throughout history, women from Marilyn Monroe to Ashley Judd have suffered similarly for their ostensible excesses—too much champagne, too much surgery, too much filler, too much food. I have come to see my own puffiness as the voluminous souvenir of elective overindulgence, but the cause can also be unpredictable.

              “Puffiness is a sign that there is an imbalance in the body,” Joel M. Evans, M.D., director of the Center for Functional Medicine in Stamford, Connecticut, tells me, sharing a list of balance-altering offenders, from stress and lack of sleep to alcohol and processed foods, which can incite inflammatory chemicals called cytokines throughout the body. When detecting individual puffiness, Evans explains, “the first thing we do is find out what kind of living a person is doing,” a lifestyle assessment David Colbert, M.D.—the dermatologist and internist behind the New York Dermatology Group—often follows with a blood draw to check metabolic functions and to ensure sudden swelling isn’t caused by something more serious, such as hypothyroidism or high blood pressure. After a particularly hedonistic dinner (multiple rounds of dim sum, with multiple glasses of wine), Evans’s words strike a chord. Could I in fact be living better?

              In the interim, I head to The Light Salon, the cultish London-born LED atelier, where the collagen-stimulating and inflammation-reducing menu of services is as easy to access as a blowout. “We spotted a gap in the market,” explains Laura Ferguson, a longtime spa manager in the U.K., who cofounded the company to bring the NASA-approved light-emitting diode technology out of exclusive facialist studios—and, as of this fall, into a Nordstrom near you. (A U.S. flagship at the newly opened New York store is joined by three additional locations.) “The light also helps cortisol levels go down and serotonin levels go up,” Ferguson elaborates on the 40-minute session of facial LED with a collagen mask add-on and lymphatic massage compression pants that I select. And the feel-good hormones do feel good. But looking in the mirror after my treatment feels better. “Nothing else comes close,” celebrity facialist Angela Caglia tells me of the sculpting and brightening power of LED, which prompted her to start distributing a portable mask from the Korean company Cellreturn that can extend the benefits of her in-office treatments. With 1,026 individual LEDs—“the highest number currently available for at-home use,” she says—it is deliberately excessive. Caglia tells me I can use the mask every day—just the kind of overindulgence I’ve been looking for.

               

               

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