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Put on a Happy Face

Why are even well-groomed people sometimes still depressed? Thanks to advances in cosmetology, it might not have to be that way. Some new beauty products are claiming they can lift more than your sagging face.

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Vine’s Negative Ion Treatment Brush ionic hair dryer ($300)
On-the-record promise: Smooths locks and does less damage than traditional dryers.
Secret power: Emits negative ions, which possibly promote a positive mood. (The ocean emits them, which may be why sitting on the beach seems uplifting.)
The expert says: Dr. Michael Terman, director of the Center for Light Treatment and Biological Rhythms at New York-Presbyterian Hospital, says, “The likelihood is that the ions will flow back into the dryer and be neutralized. But we do feel better after styling our hair.”


Ole Henriksen’s Skin Inhalation Therapy I ($22)
On-the-record promise: Inhaling the peppermint, tangerine, and eucalyptus essential oils improves your skin.
Secret power: An uplifting blend of uplifting oils also makes you happy.
The expert says: According to Dr. Amy Wechsler, who is board certified in both dermatology and psychiatry, “Some people find inhaling stimulating oils energizing; others find it irritating. In either case, the result is transient.”


Lucy B. Cosmetics’ Stung Lips Fresh Juice lip gloss ($16)
On-the-record promise: Moisturizes, conditions, and promotes a high shine.
Secret power: Five different Australian plants, including dog rose and boab, which all have purported vibrational healing properties. The essences are introduced into the system when we inadvertently lick the gloss, eliminating fears, raising self-esteem, and encouraging self-acceptance.
The expert says: Wechsler says, “There is no known essence for self-esteem.”


Körner Skincare’s Legendary Night Cream ($125)
On-the-record promise: Moisturizes; lifting and tightening agents stimulate younger cell growth by slightly tensing the skin.
Secret power: Contains Purple Tephrosia, which “promotes beta endorphins in the skin.” That, in turn, creates a “feel-good factor.”
The expert says: “A product can look good in a petri dish, but I doubt it can penetrate the stratum corneum and the epidermis to reach blood vessels and actually stimulate endorphins,” says Wechsler.


Joey’s LipFit and LipNix lipsticks ($18 each)
On-the-record promise: Firms and plumps lips to give you that perfect pout.
Secret powers: Appetite-inhibiting plant essences (peppermint, grapefruit, spearmint) help you stop eating so much; flower extracts including heliochrysum and geranium supposedly curb the urge to smoke.
The expert says: Says Wechsler, “The placebo effect can be very powerful.”


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