Is it possible to drink your way back to beautiful?
Typically, the beauty products that land on our desks are meant to be slathered or swiped—not sipped—so we were intrigued when we received a case of ReBloom ($28 for seven 2.5-ounce bottles; ReBloom.com), the bottled beverage that bills itself as a "beauty sleep drink." It contains ingredients that may promote relaxation (chamomile, lavender, valerian), as well as melatonin, a hormone that is said to regulate sleep cycles. One O editor tried the drink and said it worked "great!" But sleep expert and psychologist Michael Breus, PhD, had some caveats. "There's little evidence that the ingredients in this drink will help you sleep," he told us—and raised a more serious concern about melatonin, which is generally effective only in cases of deficiency or to treat jet lag. "The appropriate dosage is 0.5 to 1 milligram," said Breus. "Many new 'relaxation drinks' contain more than that, and melatonin's possible side effects have not been well studied." (ReBloom does not specify the melatonin content on its packaging; a company spokesperson would give us only an oddly vague range: zero to six milligrams per bottle.)
The marketing behind this latest beauty elixir, however, is right on. Sleep can make you look better. The majority of a healthy person's human growth hormone—which repairs damaged collagen, reducing fine lines and improving skin elasticity—is secreted during deep sleep. Unfortunately, though, most sleep aids—whether a drink or a prescription pill—don't induce this level of deep slumber. If you need help getting seven to nine hours a night, consider cognitive behavioral therapy: As few as six sessions can help resolve insomnia, which could also improve your complexion. And there's always warm milk: At a few cents a cup, it's probably the most cost-effective beauty sleep elixir out there.