Is the anti-aging ingredient retinol worth all the hype? You better believe it!
One of the most potent anti-agers on the market was discovered by accident. Twenty-five years ago, dermatologists noticed that retinol, an acne treatment, also reduced fine lines, refined large pores and reversed sun damage. But there was a catch: The vitamin-A derivative also irritated skin, causing dryness and redness. As a result, many women were reluctant to add it to their skin-care regimens.
Today, however, retinol comes in a variety of formulations and strengths, so you can get the benefits without the irritation, says Dr. Paul Cohen, a dermatologist at Rosedale Dermatology Centre in Toronto. "The industry has come a long way," he says. Here's how you can take advantage of modern retinol.
Retinoid: A vitamin-A derivative available only by prescription.
Retinol: An over-the-counter derivative of vitamin A, found in concentrations of up to one percent.
Microencapsulation: This delayed-release delivery can help prevent skin irritation.
"Skin has its own natural renewal process, but as we age, skin renews itself less often," explains Dr. Cohen. "This results in the early signs of aging," including fine lines, wrinkles and sun damage. Vitamin A, either in an over-the-counter retinol or a a prescription retinoid, works by "stimulating cell turnover to help skin repair itself," says Dr. Cohen. The result: diminished fine lines and wrinkles, a more even skin tone and a finer texture.
Finding your formulation
Retinol is available in cream, gel and serum form. Whichever you choose, consider the overall strength of the product. For over-the-counter retinol, one percent is the highest strength allowed by Health Canada, but stronger isn't always better. "You don't necessarily have to go to that one-percent level in order to reach the results you want," says Kirk Brierley of RoC Skincare. If you're concerned about sensitivity, consider a lower strength that will deliver retinol to the skin in a more gentle manner. You can also try microencapsulated retinol, which is gradually released into the skin.
The perfect application
The best time to apply retinol will depend on the product. Serums should be applied immediately after cleansing, and creams after serum. Dr. Cohen recommends using a pea-size amount of retinol every other night to start, and eventually upping application to every night. "If your face gets red and itchy, or if it peels or burns, skip retinol for a day or two," he says. You can also apply a layer of moisturizer before your retinol; it will act as a barrier, keeping skin hydrated and reducing the risk of irritation. Finally, despite what you may have heard, retinol won't sensitize your skin to sun exposure. UV rays do, however, destabilize retinol, rendering it ineffective. So as long as you wear sunscreen every day (which you should in any case), retinol is your anti-aging friend.
Retinol, along with peptides and civitamin C, helps promote tissue regeneration around the delicate eye area.
This rich cream smooths lines and wrinkles while providing serious moisture.
Time-released technology gradually delivers retinol to the skin, minimizing fine lines and discolouration with less irritation.
Formulated with fast-working sustained-action retinol and moisture-rich hyaluronic acid, this serum is quickly absorbed.
Containing vitamins C and E and slow-release microencapsulated retinol, this serum encourages skin renewal.
A combination of retinol and Nia-114 (a form of vitamin B3) strengthens the skin's moisture barrier while combating fine lines and brightening skin tone.
Looking to revamp your wardrobe? Now's the time to get shopping—everything's on sale!
We know the holiday season—and all the indulgence that goes with it—can take a serious hit on your bank account. But with the long stretch of sub-zero temperatures and blankets of snow ahead, it's nice to pick up a couple of new fashion items to keep you fresh. Our tip? The best bargains are surprisingly scored after the Boxing Day madness, so we went ahead and collected our top contenders to have you starting 2017 off right.
Wilfred Free skirt, $35 (from $85), aritzia.com.
L&L Relaxed Straight Denim, $24 (from $60), additionelle.com.
Wool blend coat, $80 (from $180), hm.com.
London Rebel mules, $56 (from $80), asos.com.
Suede shift dress, $15 (from $43), oldnavy.ca.
Velvet blazer, $50 (from $159), zara.com.
Marecchia boot, $50 (from $100), aldoshoes.com.
Sequin dress, $80 (from $180), eloquii.com.
Nude flounce top, $17 (from $25), forever21.com.
Utility cords, $40 (from $70), gapcanada.ca.
Plaid jacket, $129 (from $215), bananarepublic.ca.
Embroidered blouse, $30 (from $90), zara.com.
Classic flannel shirt, $9 (from $30), oldnavy.ca.
L&L Lace blouse, $16 (from $40), additionelle.com.
Minimum lace top, $52 (from $90), asos.com.
Fluffy coat, $90 (from $180), mango.com.
Textured stripe utility jacket, $60 (from $108), gapcanda.ca.
Wilfred dress, $85 (from $145), aritzia.com.
Faux leather knee-high boots, $37 (from $61), forever21.com.
Lace midi dress, $40 (from $90), zara.com.
Fluffy sweater, $30 (from $60), mango.com.
L&L Faux Shearling Coat, $84 (from $210), additionelle.com.
Merino wool sweater, $43 (from $85), bananarepublic.ca.
The Big Reveal: Canadian Living February 2017 Image by: Alvaro Goveia
Looking to refresh her life, insurance professional, wife and mother Marta Magyar-Gaal embraced a dramatic new look—with stunning results. "The whole experience felt like Pretty Woman. It's made me feel that I am important, worthy and capable of incorporating style into my life."
In the past few years, Marta Magyar-Gaal has faced several hardships. "I've gone through quite a bit of stress, in addition to a lot of physical changes," says Marta. A cancer survivor, she was recently diagnosed with vitilego (a skin disease characterized by a loss of pigment), which has made getting dresses extra challenging. "It mostly affects my arms and hands, so sleeves are a must," she says. In the thick of menopause, she's also experiences some hormonal weight gain and aggravation of her rosacea. With all of these new challenges, Marta was ready to embrace something positive: a brand-new look that matches her brilliant, funny and animated personality.
Roger Medina, a hair ambassador for Garnier Canada, loved Marta's curls but felt she needed to make a stronger style statement. In the end, the key to her look was a dyed 'do. Going blonde wasn't a drastic change for Marta, who already had partially lightened hair, so Medina felt that enhancing her natural curls would give her an edge. He lightened Marta's hair all over, with the exception of a bit of her roots to keep the colour low maintenance. For the photo shoot, Medina wanted to style Marta's hair differently than what's she's used to, so he gave her smooth waves. "I used a one-inch-barrel curling iron and divided the hair into two-inch sections," he says. "Then, I curled the hair around the face backward, and the hair at the back of the head toward the face, which gave her hair a bit of an S-shape."
A novice to makeup, Marta's major challenge is trying to even out her complexion, which is complicated by her rosacea and vitilego. She sometimes wears foundation, but she'll add mascara and lipstick only when she's feeling fancy. Keeping Marta's low-maintenance approach in mind, Plutino Group makeup artists Jodi Urichuk gave her soft, luminous and pretty makeup that highlighted several of her beautiful features. Urichuk started with a green-tinged primer to counteract the red in Marta's skin, then used a full-coverage satin-finish foundation. "It still looks natural," says Urichuk. Next, she applied a wash of taupe cream shadow to her eyelids and a metallic brown eyeliner, which she blended on an angle to give the appearance of larger eyes. To finish the look, Urichuk chose a soft-pink lip stain and a lip pencil in a similar hue, buffing and blending the lines with a brush.
Essie Nail Polish in Midnight Cami, $10, essie.ca. Caudalie Vinosource Overnight Recovery Oil, $59, caudalie.com. Make Up For Ever Step 1 Skin Equalizer Redness Correcting Primer, $45, sephora.ca. Garnier Fructis Moisture Lock 10-in-1 Rescue Leave-In Detangler, $7, shoppersdrugmart.ca.
When Marta visited the Miraj Hammam Spa by Caudalie Paris in Toronto, senior esthetician Alexandra Weisseneder noted that her sensitive and rosacea-prone complexion was in desperate need of hydration. Weisseneder recommended ingredients such as chamomile, grape water and jojoba oil to help calm and nourish her skin. She also advised Marta to use an overnight oil instead of a cream. "It's a bit more active and has more highly concentrated ingredients," says Weisseneder. Going forward, Marta will also use SPF coverage year-round to help protect her sensitive skin from the elements.
In Marta's youth, her style has edge, but as she matured, other priorities took precedence. "My style is pretty boring. I wear black on black on black and, sometimes, I add white," she says. Melissa Evans-Lee, the marketing director for Bayview Village shopping centre in Toronto, wanted to take Marta our of the darkness and into the light. She created an ensemble that was comfortable and stylish and had polished elements that Marta craves, while still steering her in a new direction. "Marta is petite, so it was important to choose a look that would elongate her small frame," says Evans-Lee. A luxurious cream-coloured turtleneck with flecks of sparkle proved the foundation; the tight-fitting high collar creates a longer visual line. Layering a fringed shawl over a sweater or coat is one of Evans-Lee's favourite winter styling tips. For Marta, she chose a windowpane-plaid cashmere shawl, adding a pair of ecru trousers to give the look some structure and a pair of suede booties to solidify the polished influence.
Shawl, $189, turtleneck, $189, and pants, $139, Talbots. Dean Davidson earrings, Cupido. Handbag, Sandro Ferrone. Booties, Stuart Weitzman. All clothing and accessories available at Bayview Village shopping centre in Toronto.
"I softened the corners of her nails because of the dark colour; I didn't want the manicure to look overly aggressive," says Essie Canada lead nail artist and global lead educator Rita Remark.
"I was living a girl's dream, having people teach me how to present my best self—not to mention the full attention given to me. It was quite overwhelming at time," says Marta. "The overall experience was amazing."
Infused water Source: Ryan Brook
Weight loss goals can seem insurmountable. To lose each pound of fat, you need to cut 3,500 calories, and that number can sound scary. But taking little steps to cut just 100 or 200 calories at a time goes a long way. Use two of these tips each day and you'll lose a pound in a little over a week—no starvation necessary.
We all know about the dangers of soda, but even drinking unsweetened juice will give you a sugar rush at a rate of 120 calories per cup. And chances are you don't just drink a cup. Individual serving-size bottles of juice are typically about 450 mL, and can clock in at over 200 calories. But if you're a juice drinker, it can be hard to switch to water right away. Try muddling some watermelon and mint into your water to get all kinds of flavour, and a touch of sweetness, for almost no calories. Or make iced tea using a fruity flavoured tea, and skip the sugar.
Who doesn't love pasta? But when your fettuccine comes with around 400 calories in two cups (even before the sauce!), you can feel guilty about eating it. Try replacing half the pasta with a cup of zucchini that's been cut into thin strips to match the shape of the pasta. Just throw it in the water a couple of minutes before the noodles are done. You'll still get the flavour and texture of the pasta that you crave, but with almost half the calories, because that cup of zucchini has just 30 calories.
Did you know that half a cup of barbeque sauce can contain about 250 calories? If you're someone who uses sauces liberally, this could be a big source of extra calories for you. Instead, give your meats a spice rub, which contains virtually no calories. And keep an eye on stir-fry sauces, such as teriyaki. You can often get a lot of flavour using spices (think fresh ginger, garlic and herbs) and little soy sauce, instead of using a rich sugar-filled sauce.
According to a study from the New England Journal of Medicine, potato chips are in fact the biggest contributor to obesity. In a study that found Americans gain about a pound a year, chips were the biggest cause of that weight gain. Though a serving might have about 160 calories, chances are you eat at least two to three times that. Instead, bake a cup of kale mixed with a teaspoon of oil and a bit of salt to make your own kale chips. For about 70 calories, you'll get a much more nutrient-dense snack that won't make you pack on the pounds.
If you haven't yet heard of cauliflower rice, you're missing out. This simple recipe is the perfect low-calorie replacement for white rice, which will set you back about 250 calories. Just process cauliflower florets in a food processor or grate them with a box grater, then cook with a bit of water or oil until soft. Use it for the bed of rice below meat or fish, or on the side of a curry dish. The cauliflower mimics the texture of rice but has only about 30 calories per cup.
Hamburger buns can easily contain 200 calories or more. Instead of a bun, sandwich your burger or chicken breast with veggies that contain almost no calories. You've heard of using lettuce instead of a bun, but how about grilled portobello mushrooms? Or a tomato cut in half? If you can't give up bread entirely, try a small wrap, which should cut the calories in half. Thinking outside the bun will help you lighten up your meal.