STAR INGREDIENT: HOPS
They are probably better known for their use in beer but hops are a key ingredient in some brands of skincare,
where they add antibacterial and antioxidant properties.
In Dermalogica Skin Hydrating Masque, $99, they are a salve for dry skin, teaming up with antioxidants such as
vitamins A, C and E.
In Dr Hauschka's Almond St John's Wort Body Oil, $47, they help smooth the skin and keep it supple. Hops are an antibacterial agent in FaceWorks' Herbal Spray, $26, and a key ingredient in Elizabeth Arden's Skin Illuminating
Brightening Night Capsules, $155, which are specifically designed to even out the skin tone.
But in The Body Shop's Deep Sleep Comforting Milk Bath Float, $41, they have an added purpose; not only do they
soften the skin, they also help put you to zzzzzzzz.
BEAUTY SLEUTH: DERMAPLANING
What it is: It often gets confused with dermabrasion but this exfoliating treatment is about as far removed from invasive skin abrasion as possible. It does involve a surgical-grade scalpel but in this case it's used to gently scrape the skin and involves no pain or recovery time.
What it does: Essentially, dermaplaning is the mechanical removal of the stratum corneum - or that layer of dead cells that sit on the skin's surface and make it look dull and lifeless. It also gets rid of tiny face hairs (or peach fuzz), leaving the skin smoother and better able to reflect light.
How it feels: Like your face is being scraped. No pain; a little dryness. The 20-minute facial, sometimes combined with a photo-rejuvenating LED treatment, leaves the skin glowing.
Where to buy: We tried dermaplaning, $125 (or $175 combined with an LED light treatment and moisture infusion), at FaceWorks Clinic in Auckland's Mairangi Bay, faceworks.co.nz.
It is the poison of choice for a line-up of celebrities: The Duchess of Cambridge, Dannii Minogue, Victoria Beckham, The Duchess of Cornwall, Gwyneth Paltrow et al are all users, in different ways, of bee venom skin treatments. Used to fool the skin into thinking it has been lightly stung, bee venom is one of skincare's latest 'magic' ingredients.
The theory is that the skin thinks it's under attack and ups production of collagen and elastin to defend itself.
But despite claims, bee venom is not a natural alternative to Botox. No topically applied product is. Bee venom also works in a completelydifferent way - Botox is injected and temporarily stops muscles from contracting; bee venom is
applied and claims to stimulate cell regeneration and bolster the skin's natural defences, helping to prevent ongoing sun damage.
Try BeeBio Venomenous Bee Venom and Fruit Booster Face Mask, $89.50 and Venom Eye Crème, $69.50.
Not quite glitter, not quite sand, Ciate's Red Velvet Manicure, $44, takes its inspiration from crushed red velvet. The three-piece kit includes a pot of Boudoir enamel, a shaker of matching particles and a dusting brush. Perfect for the party season. Exclusive to Mecca Cosmetica.
- Sunday Star Times