After months of snow and frigid temperatures, spring has finally sprung. We hope that winter has melted away, finally relieving us of that dull, dry, itchy, flaky skin we suffered from all winter. While we spent most of this winter isolated indoors, time was spent slathering on layers of serums protective oils and heavier moisturizers to keep us from drying up like a prune.
Warmer temperatures means we're eager to get outside. (Okay this was wishful thinking. The day I was writing this it was 65 degrees. This morning it had dropped down to 14 degrees. But, this will all change... right?) Anyway, spring will mean more sun exposure, increased oil production and increased humidity, which is great for dry skins, but not so welcome for others. The change in weather means your skin will feel a sudden shock. Sometimes that means increased breakouts. Clogged pores may have built up over the winter under layers of dry cells that have accumulated on the skin's surface. Increased oil production trapped inside the pores sometimes lead to breakouts or small white bumps on the skin some call milia. You might have succumbed to comfort foods over the winter that ultimately increased toxin levels in your skin. This shows up as dull, sluggish skin and sometimes blackheads. How then, to prep the face for sunnier days ahead? It's time to rethink your skincare routine, detoxify and boost your exfoliation program.
1. Get Back Your Glow
Since winter skin can be dry, flaky and dull. It’s no surprise you might want to shed that old skin before you head into spring. Exfoliation removes old, dead surface skin cells and reveals a fresher layer of skin. This allows skin to absorb your skincare serums more effectively. This is what really gives your skin that fresh faced glow. Try a boosted exfoliating program three nights a week for two weeks to start off the season. Then go back to your regular exfoliating program.
For a spring skin reset try this: On a freshly cleansed and toned skin apply a professional strength peel like REVEAL the Cranberry Peel. It will perform superior exfoliation as it provides skin strengthening polyphenols and Vitamin C. If you have more sensitive skin try 2-3 pumps BOOST (with 10% lactic acid). After five minutes or so use your scrub right over the peel. Choose Papaya Enzyme Buffing Beads or even Ecosmooth if you have thicker or more resistant skin. Sensitive or thinner skin types should skip the scrub and just use BOOST or Tropical Enzymes to purge the dead cells. After the exfoliating peel it's the perfect time for a repair serum like STEM STIM, AGELESS or Revitalize Cell Therapy.
2. Step Up Your Sunscreen
With more sunlight and warmer temperatures also comes more time spent outside and higher sun exposure. You should always wear at least a 30 SPF sunscreen. The best ones have a moisturizer built right in. If you have sensitive skin Gentle Screen is formulated to calm inflammation and keep skin cool which is good for toning down redness. But, you may want to up your sun protection even more come spring and summer. Our new Brightening Day Protection has an SPF of 50. It's triple action brightening system helps prevent discoloration while diminishing existing dark spots. Remember to do your exfoliation only at night time.
3. Add Antioxidant Protection
Sunscreens always work best when you layer them over an antioxidant serum. That's because antioxidants improve the efficacy of your sunscreen. The best way to start brightening your skin after a long winter is to use Vitamin C or, a serum containing super fruits which focuses on antioxidants and calming polyphenols. Antioxidants in these serums can help compensate for sunscreen’s inherent shortcomings (and for human error in application) by neutralizing the free-radical damage that sun exposure causes. They literally play a defensive role by diffusing the effects of the bad rays of the sun that make it through your sunscreen.
4. Lighten Up
Lighten your load this spring by using moisturizers and serums with hydrating bases instead of heavy emollient bases. A serum with a hyaluronic base is super hydrating but is also oil free. Some are infused with potent anti-aging performance ingredients like peptides and growth factors. Of course it all depends on your skin type but you may choose to use one of these hyaluronic based serums to lighten the layers and avoid pore clogging. A mature or dry skin client may still need to layer a richer serum over a hyaluronic acid based serum and follow with an emollient moisturizing cream.
Hydraessence - is an oil free serum based on hyaluronic acid. This super humectant holds up to 1000 x's its weight in water which is super effective if you have dehydrated skin. During the winter we usually recommend mixing it with another anti-aging serum like Peptide Firming Serum. But, as the mercury rises you may want to use it as a solo serum. That means a simple one layer of serum. You still need a moisturizer though. A light oil free hydration fluid may be the perfect choice for an oilier skin type.
Brightening Peptide Serum - is also a hyaluronic acid based serum but, with the added benefit of botanical brighteners that interfere with the overproduction of the brown pigment - melanin, which can leave your skin uneven or patchy looking. The peptides included are not only hydrating but send repair signalling messages through the skin.
STEM STIM - is a third hyaluronic acid based serum that feels light as a feather as you press it into your skin. Don't let that fool you. Stem Stim has superb youth promoting performance ingredients like peptides, anti-inflammatory cytokines and stem cell stimulators to jump start your own stem cells to go into repair mode, and act like younger versions of themselves. You use just 5 drops twice a day. I use it in the morning under C & E Antioxidant Serum and at night under Revitalize Cell Therapy. This is a great combination for more mature skin types.
Look into our many choices of moisturizers. Maybe you need to go one step lighter in your moisturizing formula as the weather changes. Since every skin is different you might want to book a personal consultation with Elizabeth. That way we can work together and take a deeper dive into the best choices for your personal skincare routine, and how to adjust it for the season.
5. Time to Detox
If your skin looks dull and lifeless after a season of hibernation consider a skin detox. Follow your exfoliation with a detoxifying masque. This is especially good if you have thicker, combination or have an oily skin dullness. These masques are wonderful at drawing out impurities. Here are two to consider. SPROUTS is based on sulforaphane from garden sprouts. Sulforaphane helps stimulate autophagy - that recycling process that removes damaged cells and recycles its proteins to create newer healthier cells. A detoxifying diet will help refresh and renew your complexion from the inside out. Focus on becoming more plant based so you can take advantage of all the healthy aspects such as polyphenols, sulforaphane and other anti-inflammatory antioxidants that are found to be anti-aging. A simple change in lifestyle might be to have a large salad for lunch every day. Choose Extra Virgin Olive Oil and Balsamic vinegar instead of commercial salad dressings. Olive oil contains oleic acid, also known for stimulating autophagy. Pick up some organic broccoli sprouts and add some to your salad. Broccoli sprouts have huge sulforaphane producing chemicals for detoxification. Stepping up your exercise routine will also bring valuable anti-aging benefits to your skin. And yet another way to stimulate autophagy.
If you have lots of clogged pores another way to detoxify is with a masque that does double duty