As beauty editors, we get bombarded with a ton of new products every day (we know—tough life). Reviewed is a series where we report on some of the best products we've tried. Whether it's a drugstore lipstick that lasted all day or a hand cream that saved us this winter, you'll find all of our favorites in this column. Enjoy!
Ildi Pekar, NYC's supermodel skin whisperer (her clients include Miranda Kerr and Irina Shayk), introduced me to the cupping facial ($330) a few months back. I'm sure you've seen pictures of the cupping technique; it's a favorite among celebrities and athletes alike. The result is an almost entirely black-and-blue or red circular mark where each cup was suctioned to your body. In traditional Chinese medicine, cupping is believed to move stagnant energy and dispel toxins, as well as be helpful in pain management.
Spoiler: Pekar's cupping facial is nothing like traditional body cupping in practice, but it boasts many of the same results. Most notably for me was its ability to practically rid my skin of dark under-eye circles, an annoying attribute I can't seem to shake.
Now, the celebrity facialist has launched a cannabis-infused serum. And while I was hesitant to try it (much like the facial), Pekar proved me wrong yet again. The serum includes CBD oil, a naturally derived compound shown to be useful in everything from pain relief to curbing anxiety. And, while it won't get you high, it does support a healthy immune system and is especially good for your skin.
"Think of it like vitamin C," says Kerrigan Hanna, CMO and co-founder of Sagely, a CBD-centric skincare line. "When our bodies are deficient in vitamin C, we experience fatigue and infections like the common cold. Vitamin C helps to support a healthy immune system in the same way that cannabinoids support the endocannabinoid system in the body. CBD is a powerful player in the cannabinoid arsenal and has shown promise maintaining a balanced immune system while promoting everyday health and wellness."
The cannabinoids, especially teamed with hydrating oils and antioxidants, contribute to the skin's natural barrier function as they stimulate cell regeneration, soothe inflammation, and help heal acne. The serum incorporates those ingredients alongside a hydrating cocktail of aloe vera juice, vitamin C, vitamin B3, cucumber extract, and hyaluronic acid to plump and nourish your skin.
Pekar recommends using the tissue-repair serum in conjunction with her titanium micro-needling device—she calls it the Ultimate Glow Package. As it's a Byrdie HQ favorite, I was already quite familiar with the glowy, skin-tightening effects of an at-home derma-roller. You can read the full rundown, but here's the gist: The tool's tiny needles create micro-injuries on your skin, which in turn send collagen and elastin production into overdrive to compensate as they heal—leaving your complexion tighter and plumper than it was beforehand.
First, I applied the I. Pekar Cannabis Infused Tissue Repair Serum ($148) to my skin, massaging in an upward motion. Then I glided the derma-roller over my face, allowing the dozens of micro-needles to exfoliate dead cells and push active the active ingredients in the serum further into my skin. Usually when I do this, it feels prickly but never painful. The CBD-infused oil, though, allowed the pressure of the tiny needles to feel even less uncomfortable. I reapplied the serum afterward and followed up with my usual moisturizer.
I went to bed a with a bit of residual redness, but nothing too crazy. When I woke up, the irritation was gone and in its place was taught, even skin. This might be the placebo effect, but I swear I fell asleep faster and was able to sleep deeper than usual. It makes sense because the CBD oil is meant to calm your senses and soothe pain.
Since, I've used the oil and every night for a week and derma-rolled twice. The results have only gotten better, yielding brighter skin and nary a breakout. I'm officially a believer.