Health & Beauty

Banish-Tired Looking Skin

July 29, 2021

Your mother always warned you against burning the candle at both ends but, these days, who has the option of an early night and a stress-free existence? We’re always on-call for work, juggling that with family commitments, stressed out by, well, everything, and we occasionally want to socialize, too.

The problem is, your mother was right: lack of sleep and trying to pack too much into your life takes its toll on your general health and your skin. “We did studies where we analyzed skin cells from two groups of women: those with regulated lifestyles where they wake up at the same time and have a regular schedule every day, and those with deregulated lives like stewardesses, doctors, police officers and shift work,” says Caroline Nègre, YSL Beauty’s international scientific director. “We looked at those cells and how they regenerate and observed that there is a weaker and more irregular skin in those women who have deregulated lives.”

There’s more: Nègre says that people who live in urban environments typically have more wrinkles than those who live in bucolic settings—the free radicals caused by pollution damage skin. And we all know that UV rays are a primary contributor to signs of aging. In other words, city summers (possibly with wildfires in the background) and stressful, unpredictable lives are bad for skin. Nègre says that most commonly, women don’t complain of specific issues like wrinkles or sagging, but more a generalized feeling that they look tired.

Of course, a good night’s sleep and a regular schedule is a great way to get better-looking skin, but that’s not on the cards for many of us. And since sleep is the time when skin regenerates away from the pollution and stress of the day, it makes sense to optimize what little we have.

According to Nègre, there’s a golden hour of skin regeneration between 11 p.m. and 4 a.m. where our cells are at their peak stage of repair. So her brand has designed YSL Beauty Pure Shots Night Reboot, which promises fatigue-free skin by the first morning. The soothing oil/water essence formulation includes 3.4 per cent glycolic acid for exfoliation, but its superstar ingredient is moonlight cactus. This plant is native to Morocco and, like us, has a biological rhythm regulated by day and night. It blooms in just one night, once a year, for six hours and produces antioxidants and molecules that allow it to bloom even in extreme weather.

YSL Beauty cultivates the cactus in its own gardens in the Ourika region of Morocco. This is part of a sustainability mission that Nègre speaks passionately about. “The extreme of harvesting sustainably is using our own gardens—lands we built that are looked after by a community of women,” she says. “It’s really a unique program within the beauty industry.” As well as cactus, those gardens produce ingredients such as saffron, pomegranates and marshmallow flower, all of which are used in YSL Beauty’s formulations.

As well as Night Reboot, the Pure Shots range includes Light Up Serum to fight dark spots, Y Shape Serum for contouring, Lines Away Serum for wrinkles, Hydra Bounce Essence-in-Lotion to hydrate and Perfect Plumper Cream, a rich moisturizer.

“The range has been thought of as meeting all skin needs—lotion, serum and rich cream,” says Nègre. And it’s suitable for sensitive skin. “The Night Reboot does contain glycolic acid, but at a level that won’t stress too much the skin. We know that women want instant and long-term effects and for the Night Reboot we knew that for the morning we had to work on radiance. So we plump the skin with oils, exfoliate to get rid of dullness and boost the skin energy for long-term efficacy.”

To build on the brand’s sustainability mission, all the serums and 50-ml creams come in refillable containers. “We design beautiful objects that you can keep and recharge indefinitely in order to meet the consumers’ expectation of not constantly throwing things away,” Nègre explains.

In a beauty world that’s now very noisy and crowded, with all sorts of brands clamouring for our attention, how does YSL ensure that it maintains its edge? “We know what our consumer wants. We work a lot prior to developing new products. And as part of the L’Oreal group, we have access to all the research and science to help is maximize efficacy—to go further, to be true to what consumers really are asking for.” —Aileen Lalor


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