Get Better Skin

By Jolene Edgar

Skin-Care Product Boosters

Stop thinking of performance enhancers as athletes’ dirty secret. These products claim to amp up your existing regimen. We asked dermatologist Jeannette Graf to evaluate.


The claims: Strengthens the skin‘s moisture barrier by up to 70 percent to boost the hydration results of your skin-care regimen
The road test: The thin liquid spread easily and felt weightless.
The dermatologist’s verdict:“It uses niacinamide to reinforce the skin’s moisture barrier, which is made up of humectants that attract moisture, and lipids, to retain it. Keeping the barrier strong can help any product work better.”



The claims: Gently exfoliates, prepping skin for acne treatments; makes pores look smaller; helps regulate oil production; calms blemish-prone skin
The road test: After one nighttime application followed by prescription Ziana gel (the company says the product should be used with caution if in combination with prescription acne medication), we woke to fewer blackheads. The Ziana wasn’t doing that on its own days before. After the second use, zits along our jawline shrunk.
The dermatologist’s verdict: “The salicylic, glycolic, and malic acids lightly exfoliate, increasing penetration of both the actives in this formula and those that follow. Zinc decreases oil production, and quercetin is a calming agent.”



The claims: A tool works a peptide-resveratrol serum into skin. Vibrations stimulate collagen production; red light helps prevent collagen from breaking down; and heat dilates pores and helps drive in the anti-aging serum.
The road test: It heats up instantly and feels pleasant enough. Light diffusers in the serum were supposed to improve the look of lines instantly, but we didn’t notice this effect.
The dermatologist’s verdict: “Heat can cause blood vessels to dilate and increase circulation to enhance penetration of the peptide serum—or any product. Vibration stimulates the skin and moves the ingredients around, so if they don’t penetrate in one area, they may sink in elsewhere. Studies on red light in general show that it can stimulate fibroblasts to produce collagen.”



The claims: A toner cleans the skin and helps a wand glide over it. With the wand facing one way, the device loosens dirt and oil with sonic vibrations; facing the other, it massages in serums and creams.
The road test: The cleaning function was amazing! We used a scooping motion all over our face and felt a gentle suction as the device vacuumed our pores. Our usual salicylic acid pad seemed to work better afterward.
The dermatologist’s verdict: “The high sonic-wave vibrations dislodge junk from pores, and the cleansing/scooping action takes it away, so products that follow have an easier time getting in.”skin-care-boosters-bliss


The claims: A tiny scoop of the powder converts your usual dose of water-based serum or moisturizer into a vitamin C powerhouse capable of brightening the skin and fighting free radicals.
The road test: When we mixed the powder with our regular moisturizer, it dissolved quickly. After a few days, it gave our skin a subtle glow.
The dermatologist’s verdict:“This should penetrate well, giving your regular serum or lotion an antioxidant boost.”skin-care-boosters-philosophy

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