Punxsutawney Phil may have predicted an early spring, but here in Maine, we know winter likes to hold on! While winter can be a great time to have fun with layering, try a new hair color and cozy up by a fire, it can be a challenging time for your skin. As the temperature drops, there is less humidity in the air, which means dryer and tighter skin along with inflammation and congestion.
Rather than wrap your scarf up extra high and pray for the 3pm sunset to hide your face, there are some simple steps you can take in your skincare routine to ensure your skin glows until the first buds of spring pop up!
1. Seal moisture in and protect the skin from the environment!
Dry air robs our skin of moisture as soon as we step out of the shower. I recommend applying products to your skin immediately after bathing to lock-in moisture and prevent dehydration as dry air extracts moisture.
After cleansing your skin it’s best to use a toner or skin conditioner. Toners remove debris left behind from the cleansing process, balance the skin’s PH and create a proper skin canvas for more active ingredients to be applied. Today there are many toners to choose from that include hydrating, nourishing and exfoliating ingredients. This is an essential step in your skin care routine!
After toning, I recommend applying an active serum or serums to the skin. I apply my two favorite serums morning and night. First 6-8 drops of Biologique Recherche serum A-Glyca, this serum protects proteins within the skin’s structure, reduces deep lines and wrinkles and reduces signs of tiredness on the face. Next, I apply 2 pumps of C-quence 4+ serum from Environ. C-quence 4+ is a blend of Vitamin A, C, E and peptides to prevent the signs of aging. This product is jam packed with all the vitamins the skin loses as we age. Last but not least, I follow with my eye serum, moisturizer and SPF.
2. Turn down the temperature
Using water that is too hot on your face can cause inflammation and redness. Instead, use cool water when cleansing your skin. We offer a facial from Biologique Recherche that uses cool water and ice to reduce the temperature of the skin, this allows better penetration of serums and tighten pores. This treatment is a different concept than the traditional steam and hot towel facials which could do damage to the skin. We finish this refreshing treatment with cold mask that contains algae, to calm the skin, even out skin tone, and reduce redness and puffiness for an amazing long-lasting glow.
3. Hydrate the skin internally
While that coffee might warm you up, it’s doing nothing for your skin. Hydrated skin beings on the inside, and no moisturizer in the world can make up for general dehydration. Dehydration can also be made worse by colds and cold medicine. It is a good idea to drink extra water and even add an electrolyte rich beverage if you are taking a medicine that might dehydrate your skin.
Hyaluronic acid is found in many skincare products, but it is also found throughout your body! Hyaluronic acid helps your skin retain moisture and look supple. As you age, these levels naturally decrease, and the effects of that decrease can be seen more in winter. Adding a glucosamine supplement will help increase hyaluronic acid production, improving the support for collagen and elastin.
Essential fatty acids are the building blocks of healthy cellular membranes which help produce the skin's natural oil barrier. Critical in keeping skin hydrated, plumper, and younger looking, EFA’s are easily obtained by consuming foods like avocados, Brazilian nuts and fish or fish oil.
This is a great time of year to add in a little extra exfoliation to stimulate the skin without disrupting skin function. Enzyme products and lactic peels are wonderful options that won’t irritate your skin. I also love a service we offer called Derma-Planing, this effective exfoliating treatment removes dead skin and vellus hair, increases the absorption of products and creates softer, smoother skin.
5. Wear Sunscreen
Just because the days are shorter doesn’t mean you can slack on the sunscreen. If you feel like you need some extra glow for the gloomy days, forgo tanning beds that can cause premature aging and skin cancer and opt for a rich spray tan. Our formulas are designed to look natural and will not dry out fragile winter skin.
Avoid moisturizers that contain synthetic fragrances and instead opt for natural products that won’t irritate or cause redness.