Change of seasons = change of skin

Just as the trees and temperatures change with the seasons, so does our skin.  Our skin is one big porous organ that absorbs like a sponge.  In the winter our skin is affected by the lack of moisture and dry indoors and tends to dry out.  In the warmer season our skin sweats more.  Our skin is undoubtedly affected by the seasonal changes.

Just as you change your clothing type for the seasons, you need to change your skincare products and routine.  If you are noticing a change in your skin when the seasons change, here are a few suggestions to help get your skin back on track:

– Wash your face more often.  With the warmer weather and being outdoors more, we sweat more and need to wash our face more frequently.

-Add a retinol.  If you are one of the people who find using a retinol in the winter too drying, now is a good time to add it back to your routine.

-Switch to a lighter moisturizer.  Just as warmer weather calls for lighter clothing, our skin needs a lighter coating.  Switch from your heavy winter moisturizer to a lighter moisturizer.

– Exfoliate:   Exfoliating will help get rid of dead skin cells and help your skin to absorb your products.  Choose a gentle exfoliator especially if you’ve been out in the sun and your skin is sensitive.

-CONTINUE TO USE SUNBLOCK:  As I’ve stated throughout this blog, I’m a big believer in wearing a broad-spectrum SPF every day of the year.  When spending time outside in the warmer weather, it’s important to wear your sunblock (especially if you are using a retinol or acne product which can cause extreme sensitivity to the sun).

We can’t control everything, but we can help  control the changes that take place to our skin during the change of seasons.

~Skincare Warrior

Warrior tip:  Sunscreen has a shelf life.  Start the season off with newly purchased sunblock and throw away that bottle that’s been tucked in the bathroom closet or beach bag since last summer.

 

Show your skin some love and moisturize!

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Moisturizing is an essential step to any skincare routine.  I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard my facialist say, “oh I see you’re dehydrated” just from looking at my skin.  Just like our bodies need water to stay hydrated, so does our skin.  A major component of our skin and body is water. I like my moisturizer to do double duty so it’s not only moisturizing but giving me added benefits.  Moisturizers can be a great source of multi-benefits.  I am a big believer in moisturizing both morning and night no matter what your skin type.  I’ve used over-the-counter moisturizers that I’ve liked just as much as high-end moisturizers.  So long as it has the right ingredients and it’s doing what it claims, I will use it. 

For quite some time now I’ve been using Environ’s AVST moisturizer (see my post on the ENVIRON product line).  If you are new to using a moisturizer containing retinol, I suggest starting out with Level I or II and working your way up ENVIRON’s STEPSYSTEM allowing your skin to build a tolerance to the increased levels of retinol. 

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Also keep in mind when choosing a moisturizer, what other products you are currently using.  For example, if you are using a moisturizer that contains a form of retinol, then using Retin-A in the evening may be overdrying your skin. 

A few other product lines that I have used often and really like is LaRoche-Posay (available at CVS). I really like their Anthelios SX Daily Moisturizing Cream with sunscreen and Philosophy’s Hope in a Jar Original moisturizer for all skin types.  It’s filled with anti-oxidants and lactic acid and really exfoliates  the skin keeping it moisturized. 

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~Skincare Warrior

Warrior tip: Thinking of skipping your sunscreen today because it’s cloudy or rainy? Even though the sun isn’t shining those harmful rays are still penetrating the clouds. Wear a broad spectrum sunscreen daily and your skin’s appearance will never catch up to your age.

Jennifer Garner does it, JLo does it, Jennifer Aniston does it and I suggest you do too – wear a daily sunscreen no matter the weather.

I recently saw Hugh Jackman in The Greatest Showman.  I couldn’t help but notice the scarring and red bumps on his nose.  Later that day I Googled his name and found an interview wherein he confirmed he’s had skin cancer removed 6 times.  He is adamant about applying  2 oz. of a broad spectrum sunscreen daily to his face and exposed skin.  Needless to say, I’m reposting my sunscreen post.  I can’t stress it enough. Wear sunscreen everyday whether it’s winter, spring, summer or fall.

 I’ve heard it so many times from my friends and co-workers, “I don’t need sunscreen today I’m not out in the sun.” My response is always, “well you were when you walked to/from your car, when you drove to work, when you went into the grocery store or when you were waiting for your child at the bus stop.”  It took me years to understand that sun damage is cumulative.  You are getting tiny bits of UVA/UVB rays every single time you are outside and it’s all those little incidences that can add up to BIG damage.  I see more and more ads where stars and sunscreen product representatives are toting ‘I wear sunscreen even on cloudy days’ because they know the damage the sun causes every minute you’re in it.    And I’ve heard it so many times ‘but my make-up has sunscreen in it.’  Ok, I thought this for the longest time also but 1) make-up rarely goes on evenly and 2) most of the sunscreen in foundation or a BB/CC cream doesn’t have the needed amount of zinc oxide and titanium dioxide to provide ‘broad spectrum’ coverage so it won’t block out all of the harmful rays. 

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 If there’s one tip I share repeatedly to any and every one (my husband included) it’s this, “WEAR A BROAD SPECTRUM SUNSCREEN EVERY DAY EVEN IF IT’S CLOUDY AND RAINING AND NO MATTER THE SEASON.”  Here’s a link to one of my favorite sunscreen products that I was introduced to by an esthetician years ago…NIA24.  It’s available at medspas and AMAZON (though I’m leary of skincare products sold on AMAZON for expiration dates).  The reason it’s one of my favorite products is its anti-aging and skin damage reversing properties that work while it’s protecting harmful rays.  It’s done wonders for my skin and those I’ve recommended it too.  I always make my sunscreen the last product I put on before my make-up.   If you don’t want to spend a lot on your daily sun protection, I recommend either Cereva or Anthelios.  Both are affordable, effective and available at CVS (and yes you can use your CVS coupon/rewards on it).  Can’t wait to hear your results!

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~Skincare warrior

Warrior tip: Keep a hand cream containing SPF 30 in your car and keep the backs of your hands looking young.  You don’t realize how much sun exposure your hands get while driving.

 

Exfoliating is not just a once a week necessity!

 

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Exfoliating involves the removal of the skin cells on the skin’s outermost surface. Your skin can shed 30,000 to 40,000 dead cells per minute naturally.  Many people think they only need to exfoliate 1 or 2 times per week but if your skin is shedding 30,000 cells per minute, how much skin is ready to be exfoliated after a night’s sleep.  Recently, Christie Brinkley was asked what her secret was to her youthful skin and her response was, “I exfoliate my skin every single day.”  Exfoliating is such an important part of my skincare routine.  The thought of all that dead skin on my face and then using my daily products on top of it makes me feel as if I’m wasting my products (and money).  I believe that in order for those products to penetrate through those dead layers you need to exfoliate.  Years ago St. Ives Apricot Scrub was the ‘go to’ exfoliator.  Today there’s a plethora of products including masks, peels, treatments and creams that all help to exfoliate the skin.  Truth be told I only recently started to exfoliate my face daily.  I had been given a gift from a co-worker who I often discussed aging with (so I wasn’t offended when she gave me an exfoliator as a holiday gift).  It was Clinique’s daily micro-exfoliant.  I love how soft, gentle and tiny the beads are and how smooth my skin feels  after use.  I feel as if it’s my ‘skincare’ prep before putting my products on each day.   Also, an added benefit of exfoliating is that it stimulates collagen.

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Two of today’s most popular facial treatments  are microdermabrasion and chemical peels – both help to exfoliate the skin.  Even after just one microderm treatment your skin is better able to absorb products and make-up goes on so much better.  Another product that is an exfoliatior is AHA (Alpha Hydroxy Acid).  I love SkinMedica’s AHA/BHA cream.  After just a few uses I see my skin start to peel more quickly and reveal smoother skin.  I can’t stress enough the importance of wearing sunblock when using AHAs.   

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It’s never too late to start a daily exfoliator but be gentle especially if you are dealing with acne or broken skin as it can be irritating.  

~Skincare Warrior

Warrior tip: Want to save a few extra dollars, mix some sugar, honey and lemon juice and place it in a little jar and keep in on your vanity.  It’s a great inexpensive exfoliator. 

 

 

Hands up for moisturizer!

Take a look at your hands or that of your spouse, friend, child or co-worker — chances are they are dry and cracked.  Winter can wreak havoc on our hands.  Our hands come in contact with water more than any other part of our skin and unless we constantly moisturize it is a challenge to keep them hydrated.  Oftentimes in the winter, our hands become so rough that we start to get tiny tears, especially on our knuckles where the skin is the thinnest.  So here are a few suggestions for some immediate relief: find a moisturizer that contains lanolin or squalene (emollients that fill the cracks of the skin) or glycerin, hyaluronic acid or lactic acid (humectants that pull in moisture).  It’s just as important to moisturize your skin when it is still damp so it absorbs into the skin.  Try to avoid overly hot water which only contributes to the drying out of the skin and strips our skin of its natural oil.

Lastly, even in winter, our hands are exposed to the harmful rays of the sun.  I always keep a hand cream in the car that contains a broad spectrum SPF 30.  Our hands are exposed daily to the harmful rays of the sun which can cause those aging sunspots.  So make don’t forget to make your hands part of your daily skincare routine and gently exfoliate, moisturize and protect them from the harmful elements and you will love your youthful looking hands.

~Skincare Warrior

Warrior tip:  Before bed, mix a scoop of coconut oil into your moisturizer and slather up your hands.  You will be amazed at how hydrated and repaired your hands will be the next morning.

Massage and other tips for puffy eyes.

Wishing you a beautiful holiday season filled with blessings of peace, love and happiness.

I’ve been wanting to share an insert I recently came across in the package of one of my favorite eye creams that I recommend Dr. Brandt DNA Triple Peptide Eye Cream.  The illustration (see below pic) suggests how to apply the cream and massage the eye area.  I love how Step 1 advises to use smoothing strokes from the inner to outer eye to apply the cream.  Then Step 2 suggests using your fingertips to gently massage the lower and upper lids to help drain fluid.  And, lastly, Step 3 suggests using your index finger and thumb to press into the upper brow.  I think this is a great suggestion for people struggling with puffiness.  I think most people, myself included, think of massage only regarding the body and sore muscles but massage is a great benefit to our eye area and even our sinuses.

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As I blogged previously, I recommend using an eye cream containing peptides to help build the loss of collagen (see my link above to Dr. Brandt’s DNA cream).  But whatever your eye cream of choice, try some gentle massage to help alleviate puffiness.

A few other tricks I use for puffy eyes are: splashing them with cold water; doing 20 jumping jacks to get blood flowing upon waking; and, trying to keep my pillow/head elevated just above my body.

Feel free to leave me a comment and let me know what tricks you use to help with eye puffiness.

~Skincare Warrior

Warrior tip: Keep cold spoons in the freezer and press them over your lower and upper eyes lids for a quick fix.