Just like your morning espresso, caffeine-spiked eye masks deliver a jolt of diuretic-induced deflation for the sleep- and time-challenged. New high-tech, single-dose blister packs keep the treatment solution and clothlike pad separate, so you can enjoy a freshly soaked spa experience before you hop the morning train.
Large pores & fine lines
For immediate plumping that makes pores look tighter and wrinkles smoother, there's nothing like exfoliation and moisture. "At-home microdermabrasion, peels, and scrubs that induce swelling of the skin around pores will make them less visible," explains NYC dermatologist Neil Sadick. "Any good moisturizer or peptide treatment will also give you a short-term plumping effect." Now even sensitive skin can reap exfoliation rewards with some of the new, extra-gentle hypoallergenic formulas with soothing aloe and fine, rounded beads rather than gritty, potentially harsh granules.
MC RECOMMENDS: Olay Regenerist Touch of Foundation with peptides, Boots Expert Sensitive Gentle Smoothing Scrub, Skin Effects Penetrating Eye Treatment Mask, Clean & Clear Advantage Blackhead EraserJeff Westbrooks
TWO TO THREE DAYS
Insta-blemish-busters? Sadly, they're still in our dreams. Even derm-administered cortisone injections take two to three days to smooth bumps, explains Sadick. Still, there's good news for chronic acne sufferers who've been forever trekking to the skin doctor: portable at-home LED devices. "Though smaller than the professional versions, they use the same blue light to kill breakout-causing bacteria and cut the healing time of existing spots by half," says Sadick.
Older zit-zappers like Zeno and ThermaClear also use heat to kill facial bacteria but lack the anti-inflammatory benefits of LEDs. Also, as they're designed for spot treatments, they're not effective at preventing allover facial breakouts. Meanwhile, over-the-counter acne remedies have also progressed. With new formulas combining active ingredients like salicylic acid and sulfur with anti-inflammatory zinc and stimulating caffeine, zits can be cleared up in about two days without side effects like dryness or irritation. (For cystic acne, topicals won't be as effective as an LED in calming inflammation.)
To conceal while you heal, choose a topical with a touch of mattifying yellow or green, which will neutralize the redness. Reassuringly, even with all these acne advances, dermatologists aren't kicking back. Says Sadick: "We're hoping to have new technology as early as next year that combines the benefits of thermal and light therapy."
MC RECOMMENDS: Dermalogica Concealing Spot Treatment, Tända LEDJeff Westbrooks