The ‘Awakening’ Moisturizer a Derm and an Esthetician Recommend for Tired Skin
When you're feeling burnt out, the effects are often written all over your face. Lack of sleep lowers your natural moisture levels and slows down cell turnover, and while "tired skin" isn't a clinical term, "it often means skin that looks dehydrated or dull or less than firm, or sun-damaged," says Hadley King, MD, a board-certified dermatologist based in New York. Sure, eight solid hours of shuteye and ample hydration throughout the day can certainly help, but if you need a quick pick-me-up first thing in the a.m., Elemis Pro-Collagen Morning Matrix ($195) is here to help.
"Tired skin can often appear dull, gray in tone, and most certainly dehydrated in texture," says Kate Roach, certified esthetician and skincare expert for Woodhouse Spa. "It is less oxygenated, lacking hydration, and needs exfoliation."
Elemis's formula addresses each of these issues with a stacked set of ingredients, which explains why skin pros call it a "cup of coffee" for your complexion. Dr. King specifically references its humectants ("they help hydrate the skin, which can help skin look more plump"), emollients ("which support the skin barrier and can help the skin look healthier"), chemical exfoliants ("which can help the skin look more fresh and polished"), and antioxidants ("which can help protect the skin from free radical, sun exposure, and pollution damage") as the best-in-class basics for giving sleepy skin a boost.
Beyond these basics, the moisturizer takes things one step further with a blend of potent, naturally-derived actives. "Lactobacillus ferment exfoliates and soothes skin to relieve the effects of dehydration, while turmeric and Japanese artemisia capillaries work to brighten the complexion," says Roach. Additionally, turmeric helps prevent collagen breakdown, while Japanese artemisia capillaries protect against blue light damage. There's also padina pavonica ferment, which reduces fine lines and plumps the skin, and micro algae for radiance and smoothing. "Add hydrating collagen, and your skin is AWAKE!" says Roach.
The texture is rich and custard-like in the jar, but magically melts into the skin like a lightweight gel cream when you apply. The instant effects include a bouncy, healthy complexion—a true glow—while the latent effects (the ones that have been clinically studied with nearly 40 people) include a reduction of fine lines and wrinkles, with improved firmness and elasticity. Slather it onto your skin before you start your day, and you'll be able to trick your skin into feeling well-rested until you can squeeze in a solid night's sleep.
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