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We’re In the depths of Fall (November 06, 2021) in upstate New York and preparing our homes to receive guests for the holidays and snow at our door. Our lives are starting to become a little bit more fast-paced with high pressure to complete certain tasks before the Holiday Season, gets started. With these tiny changes to schedules, plus dark mornings adding tension, worries, anxiety, and cold to our lives, it can turn the proper care and feeding of your skin into an afterthought. As temperatures drop and days get darker, the environment will bring dry air and harsh wind, causing the skin to react in whatever way it knows how. Winter can break your skin if you let it. Couple the season with a hormonal imbalance, adult acne, or even a little neglect and you’ve got a recipe for dry, flaky, older-looking skin. Good thing you found this post – I’m here to help you beat winter! 😉
If you’re already seeing early signs of age on your face, you don’t want to take this information for granted. It is possible to reverse and repair damage; however, it’s easier to maintain a youthful complexion when you pay close attention to your skin’s nutritional requirements and keep it healthy - understanding how your needs change in the winter is a major part of that. So first, let’s bust a myth or two, shall we?
Sorry, friend- that is wrong! Both UVA and UVB rays reflect off of ice and snow making damage to your skin not only possible but highly likely if you’re not wearing sunscreen. According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, snow can reflect around 80% of the sun’s damaging UV rays. What that means is that even though it may be cold, the sun can still harm your skin.
Pro-tip: For my friends with darker complexions – you need sunscreen too! I know that myself and many others with dark skin, grew up believing that we don’t need to wear sunscreen because our skin color makes us "immune" to the damaging rays of the sun. Sorry to burst your bubble, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. In fact, according to research from the Skin Cancer Foundation, people of color are 25% more likely to die of melanoma than our fair-skinned counterparts. So, everybody – wear sunscreen throughout the winter! If not for radiant beauty, then use it for fear of skin cancer.
Unless you live in a place where winter is very mild or non-existent, i.e., no snow, no temperatures below 45 degrees Fahrenheit, it’s likely you will need to add a hydrating and or nourishing product to your routine. Of course, pay attention to your skin. Notice – when you wake up, does your skin feel tight or itchy, or uncomfortable in any way? Does your skin feel super greasy? Sometimes, oiliness is an indicator that your skin is dry, and you need to add hydrating treatment products, such as a mask, serum, or facial oil.
1) Layer your skincare products. If you use acne treatment products with salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide, as well as a serum or a cocktail booster, give each of the products a few minutes to soak in before applying the next product. Using this technique will allow for maximum penetration of your products. For example, if your salicylic product is a toner, apply the toner and give it a moment or two for your skin to soak it up, then apply the next thing. Imagine you're pouring a beverage into a glass and you want to use up all of the beverage in the pitcher, but the glass is full- so you need to drink some, and then top it off - that's your skin! The glass (your pores) can become overloaded with product, so all the excess product just sits on top of your skin waiting to be absorbed, this can make your products unproductive - they can oxidize, or evaporate. If product is hanging out on top of your skin, unable to get into the pore due to your previous product occupying that space, then you won't see as great a benefit from the product. Put simply, give your skin a little time to absorb in between products.
Pro-tip: Apply your skincare in order of viscosity from thinnest to thickest.
2) Add hydrating treatment products to your routine. Products with ingredients like hyaluronic acid and acerola cherry (powerful antioxidant) can help maintain the moisture barrier and add some protection from environmental factors. These ingredients will help your skin retain moisture so that it remains plump and taut – no fine lines or sagging for you. My absolute favorite hydrating treatment product by far is Artistry Signature Select™ Personalized Hydrating Serum because it’s customizable! If you care about hydration and providing anti-aging formulas to your skin, you can select up to three amplifiers to treat everything from dark spots, to wrinkles, to repair elasticity and more. I like to use a combination of hydrating, anti-wrinkle, and firming amplifiers. Click here for more information about it- this stuff may be the best thing since sliced bread!
3) Use a renewing moisturizer at night. Adding a product that can reverse and repair old damage will help you achieve and maintain an age-defying complexion. Despite wearing sunscreen all the time, your skin will always suffer some level of environmental damage on top of natural aging. This Renewing Reactivation Cream makes my heart smile- it repairs old damage, firms up the connective tissues that form the matrix of your skin (collagen, elastin, etc.), and strengthens the bonds between them.
4) What goes in is what shows out. Consider taking a good, organically farmed supplement for great vitamins, antioxidants and omega-3’s to work for you from the inside. My favorite woman’s pack includes a hair, skin & nails supplement, which is second to none! Your body requires all the vitamins and minerals that it gets for multiple body processes. Due to fast-paced lifestyles, diet, and general stress, there are often deficiencies, which can ultimately result in your own body neglecting to provide those nutrients to aid in the repair and maintenance of your skin. Help your body do what it does by providing it with all the nutrients it needs.
5) Massage. To assist with deeper penetration and absorption of your products, try giving yourself a short facial massage. A jade roller and gua sha can help, but they’re not a necessity. Click here to learn how simple and easy giving yourself a facial massage at home can be.
Pro-tip: The cool tip of the jade roller feels amazing and works wonders on undereye circles. Store it in the fridge so that it’s nice and cool for use – Kylie Cosmetics carries a good cosmetics fridge, so does Anthropologie and it’s super affordable too!
6) Switch to a hydrating cleanser. Sometimes gel formulas can be a little harsh on your skin and can have a drying effect. To promote moisture retention, try a moisturizing formula, like my favorite renewing foam cleaner or Christian Dior Hydra Life Lotion to Foam Fresh Cleanser is also a nice option.
Pro-tip: To make sure your current cleanser does not have a drying effect, check the ingredients, and look for: Isopropyl alcohol, sulfates, and willow bark.
7) Try using a facial oil. Use a nourishing facial oil to help protect the skin and balance the moisture barrier. There are so many options for facial oils out there and a lot of clever marketing to go with them. Your skin is a lovely balance of water and oil- you need both. However, facial oil is not a substitute for proper hydration - eventually, a lack of moisture (water) would cause your skin to react poorly. So, don't stop using your hydrating products. Instead, add facial oil to make your routine that much better! I love using my Zen Daze Ahead by Artistry Studio™ CBD facial oil at night. With 300 mg full spectrum hemp extract, it’s no wonder my skin is deeply nourished, soothed, and calm. Plus, a little goes a long way. Another good facial oil to try out is Orchid Antioxidant Beauty Face Oil by Herbivore Botanicals
Pro-tip: Use nourishing oils during your nighttime routine. These are the perfect thing to use with the massage techniques above!
8) Exfoliate. Manual exfoliation– scrubs and products with exfoliating beads or rice, can sometimes leave the skin feeling dry. We want to keep the skin hydrated, but we can’t do that with old, dead, surface skin blocking the passage for your products to penetrate. So, winter is the best time to use a chemical exfoliator that will gently dissolve the top layer of your skin, leaving healthy glowing skin behind. I love to use the Intensive Skincare Advanced Skin Refinisher – it leaves my skin feeling smooth and amazing. You could also try Pietro Simone Act 7 Renewing Peel from Neiman Marcus.
9) Don’t forget about your lips! Lips need love too ❣ Lips are so often an afterthought and throughout the rest of the year you may be able to get by, but that dryness shows up in the winter like WOAH! Exfoliate your lips two to three times a week and apply a nourishing lip balm. My favorite combo to use is Artistry Studio™ Pampered Pout Lip Balm + Overnight Mask and the Artistry Studio™ The Polished Pout Lip Exfoliator + Conditioner. Together, these two products will give you the most perfectly pampered pout! Of course, some lip balm is better than none – take a trip to the drugstore and grab a nourishing lip balm to keep in your purse, at your desk, in your car, and on your nightstand.
Pro-tip: If your lips feel dry, don’t lick them. The salts in your saliva can exacerbate that dryness and cause cracking. Always keep a lip balm on you!
10) DO NOT shock your skin! Let me repeat for the folks in the back: DO NOT shock your skin. If you know that you need a skincare overhaul, it’s great that you’ve realized it- but beware of changing everything all at once. Too much change at one time can make your skin angry. Your skin does its job very well every day, so you need to be nice to your skin in return. Approach adjustments in your skincare the way you would a delicate flower that needs repotting. For the sake of the health of your skin and all its beauty, introduce change in stages. For example, if you’re already cleansing, toning, treating, and nourishing, it would be fine to add a new serum as the step after your toner before your moisturizer for a week or two. Once you start noticing the benefits of that serum, go ahead and add your new nourishing oil after your moisturizer. Give that some time and so on. No meltdowns. No drama. Just happy, healthy, youthful-looking skin.