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Tag Archives : SPF

Winter Weather Skin Care Tips

Even the most stout-skinned of us need to brace our faces against harsh winter weather. If your skin is sensitive, you’ve probably come to fear winter like the zombie apocalypse. And unfortunately, it’s not just Jack Frost’s nose nips that put our skin through the ringer. The colder it gets out, the harder we pump the heat indoors. Our days then consist of going from cold to hot to cold. This constant switching from bitter cold to incredibly drying convection heat and back to bitter cold again can severely stress and deplete skin. Here are some tips and tools to give skin the extra protection it needs in winter.

  • To begin…In summer, we leave the house in nothing but a tank dress and sandals. DONE. In winter, it’s a hat, gloves, scarf, sweater, parka, etc. In the same vein, if you leave your house in winter with your face “wearing” the same old products as it does in summer, you’re leaving your face incredibly under-protected. too exposed to the elements and environment.
  • Expand your product arsenal. Using a (gentle) cleanser, toner, scrub, serum/essence, balm, oil, cream and SPF is NOT excessive for winter months. When you use each productand how much you usedepends on your skin’s needs. Experiment with different combinations to see which makes your skin the happiest and look its best. If you apply a product and see your skin is drinking it in, add another. Your skin obviously needs it. One caveat: Try to keep your SPF as a standalone product, and don’t have it be the first product you put on clean skin, as it will only clog pores. Apply a toner and at least a serum first, so a layer is created between the SPF and your skin.
  • Calm down with the cleansing. At this time of year, your skin needs every drop of moisture it can get, so don’t strip it twice a day with an industrial strength cleanser. As much as you may love a soapy, foamy, bubbly face wash (I know I do), switch to a gentler cleanser, at least until April. You can’t go wrong with B. Kamins Laboratories Vegetable Cleanser, or for a more luxe choice, try Sapelo Skin Care Seaweed Cleanser. For a real moisture surge, use a cleansing balm. In the winter (well, all year round, really) we love Cosmetics 27 Cleanser 27 by M.E. SkinLab and the cult favorite Emma Hardie Moringa Cleansing Balm. Both balms are silky, gentle, all-natural and full of high quality botanical ingredients that not only deeply cleanse skin, but also nourish and repair it.
  • I loveLOVEmy steamy (read: scalding) showers…especially on a cold winter morning! You too? Well, as good as we know that hot water feels, we must resist the temptation to stand under a scalding shower stream to warm ourselves up. As I’ve aged, I’ve really seenand feltthe toll that super-hot (and therefore super-drying) water has taken on my skin…from scalp to sole. The skin on my legs and tops of my feet, where the water hits most often, seems impossible to keep smooth and dewy these days. So keep the shower water warmtepid even. If you can’t tolerate the tepidness for an entire shower, aim for at least a portion of it. The most beneficial moments to turn down the temp would be when you’re rinsing off shampoo, conditioner, soap, etc.
  • While you’re in the shower, exfoliate. Everywhere. I know I’m entering broken record territory here about exfoliating; I only mention it in EVERY SINGLE BLOG POST. But really, exfoliating regularly will TRANSFORM your skinface…body…all of it. Lavido’s Gentle Exfoliator Peeling Cream for face is super-gentle, with Oyster Shell Powder and Pomegranate Peel Grains to provide a subtle scrubbing action. For body, Glytone Body Wash, withyou guessed it—glycolic acid, is the gold standard exfoliating wash. It is definitely not a “green” product, though, so if you want to stay away from chemicals, the Sasawashi Mesh Body Scrub Towel, Yu-be Foaming Skin Polish Body Scrub and Mio Skincare Double Buff Dual Enzyme Exfoliator are solid exfoliator choices that provide manual, as opposed to chemical (like Glytone), exfoliation. Yu-be Foaming Skin Polish and Mio Skincare Double Buff can both also be used on your face. Don’t forget your scalp, too! Does your scalp dry up once temperatures drop? Philip Kingsley’s Exfoliating Scalp Mask is brilliant. Not just for a healthy scalp, but for the overall quality of your hair. Healthy scalp=happy, beautiful hair.
  • Even in winter, use an acid. Work a peeling/exfoliating product into your routine 1-2 times a day (only once at night if your skin is particularly sensitive/reactive). Dr. Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Peel Pads are my hands-down favorite. They come in several different “strengths”, so even those with sensitive skin can use them. Follow your peel pads with a spritz or cotton pad soaked swipe of a hydrating toner (we know you read our recent blog post on toners, right?!) before applying your serum. Quick note on toners: This is the time of year to avoid all alcohol-heavy products. They are incredibly drying and irritating, especially after an AHA product.
  • Multimask! Though you should continue to use face masks year round, opt for more hydrating ones in the winter, as opposed to detoxifying clay/mud/charcoal based ones. If you have combination skin that still breaks out occasionally in winter, you can always multimask! Use a deep-cleansing/detoxifying mask on your T-zone and problem areas, like Binchotan Facial Cleansing Mask then a moisturizing mask on cheeks and drier areas. Winter is also the perfect time to work a hydrating sleep mask into your skin care routine. And honestly, any creamy mask can be a “sleep mask”, just apply before bed and leave it on overnight. The best of the best? Celeb (and royalty) favorite, Heaven Skincare’s Bee Venom Mask.

What are your cold weather skin care hacks? Let us know in the comments!

By: Claire McCormack, Twitter & Instagram

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Layering Body Care Products

We’ve been told how to layer our clothes, our skin care…even our hair care. I ask you: What about our body care? Given the amount of square footage you have to cover compared to your face or hair, body care is probably the most important product-layering lesson to learn.

I spend the bulk of my “getting ready time” applying body care products – longer than I spend on my face & hair combined. This has been the case since the beginning of my beauty product obsession, so I’ve learned some best practices along the way…usually through making mistakes. (For instance, if you’re going on a beach vacation and want to do Baby Foot for super-soft feet and a spray tan for super-tan skin, make sure to do Baby Foot far enough in advance that the bulk of your peeling is complete BEFORE getting your spray tan! Otherwise your feet will look like a map. Or a cheetah. Either one is not so cute.)

Before We Begin: Are You Exfoliating?

Don’t get me started; I’ve talked about body scrubs for years now! From there, here’s a step-by-step game plan for getting the best body out of your body products.

Step 1: Self-Tanner

The first step of this first step is to cream up the palms of your hands before even looking at self-tanner. You don’t want to get caught tan-handed. Especially in summer when I am applying self-tanner over most of my body regularly, I like to use self-tanning towels for this step. As you’ll see with the number of products I apply to my body, listed below, having one more cream/oil/gel to apply is a bit of a pain. The towels can be used first thing after getting out of the shower, so they don’t interfere with all the other creams/oils/gels. In fact, if you use exfoliating tan towels, they will actually help all subsequent body products absorb deeper into your skin.

Step 2: Treatment Products

If you’re not using self-tanning towels, these should be applied first to the appropriate areas. They are full of active ingredients that you want to apply directly to bare skin. You may have different products for cellulite, bloating, etc. It’s the same idea as spot treating on your face or hair. If you have one pimple, you only apply a pimple cream to that area. Try Mio Skincare’s award-winning range of targeted treatment products!

Step 3: Body Oil

Should go next; all over body or to treat a specific area. (I will say, though, that a high-quality body oil, even one designed to firm or treat specific conditions can be used everywhere else on the body, so don’t be shy!) Mix up a cocktail with….

Step 4: Body Cream

Also apply cream to targeted areas. In small doses, oils make skin radiant. Put them on dry areas after creams—as a rule, oils can penetrate moisturizers, but not vice versa. The A Cream from Mio Skincare or Emma Hardie Super Rich Body Butter are superb.

Step 5: SPF

Last but not least, I always apply SPF later than I do all other body products; closer to when I’m actually leaving the house and usually when I’m almost fully dressed. This should be old news, but if you’re baring your arms and shoulders, make sure to protect them! And don’t forget the backs of your hands and your décolletage, which are usually exposed until it gets very cold out. Institut Esthederm Adaptasun for Body is the gold standard against which all other body SPF should be measured!

Overwhelmed? Too many steps? Take it slow…add new layers to your routine at your own pace. And ask any questions in the comments, below!

By: Claire McCormack, Twitter & Instagram: @clairemcmack

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