The weather has definitely been wacky in North America lately. Mother Earth must be confused, blasting the summer heat in Florida, torrential rain and historic flooding in the midwest, and buckets of snow in the plains. Regardless of where you're living or traveling, follow these steps for perfect pores and supple skin.
Step One: Exfoliate.
When you're deep cleaning your home, you always sweep before you mop the floor. Same goes for your skin. Exfoliating is key for fresh faces, allows for maximum efficacy of your skincare products, and makes for a healthy, radiant look. There are a few different types of exfoliants: physical, chemical, and professional. Physical exfoliants literally scrub away the dead skin cells and other damaging debris. There are a number of exfoliating tools on the market, like sonic brushes. You can also use products with texture, like ground seeds and crushed shells. Chemical exfoliants can be naturally sourced or made in a laboratory, and unlock the glue that holds dead skin cells to the face, help soften the skin, and promote healthy skin in general. And finally, professional exfoliating is done in a dermatologist's office or Medical Spa, and usually consists of high potency products and treatments, like laser resurfacing.
In the winter time, I recommend exfoliating once or twice a week. Any more than that and you'll run the risk of leaving your skin raw and chapped. Concentrate especially on the face and hands, as these are the areas most often exposed to harsh winter weather. It's also important to exfoliate the rest of your body. With so many layers of clothes, your body will be more prone to sweating, chafing, and less breathing than normal. Exfoliating will give your skin a chance to breathe a sigh of relief, removing those pesky pimple-causing oils and pore cloggers, revealing fresh, youthful skin.
Step Two: Cleanse.
Cleansing the skin is very important, and isn't a "one size fits all" type of product. You may be dry, combination, or oily. You may have special skin concerns, like acne, redness or other discoloration, sensitivities, or advanced aging. I recommend using a face wash geared towards your skin concerns, with as many natural ingredients as possible. I wash my face in the shower every morning, allowing the steam to also open my pores and help for even deeper cleaning. (And guys, shaving after you shower allows for a closer, smoother shave!)
Step Three: Protect.
Now that you've cleaned the skin, it's important to protect the skin from the elements, nourish it, and address any skin concerns. This is when you may apply specialty serums, balancing tonics, specialty serums, moisturizers, and most importantly, sun protection. There are endless options for all of these, so choose products that address your concerns and desires, that fit both your budget and your lifestyle.
Even in the winter time, you must use sunscreen. Many indoor lights give off UVA (ultra violet aging) or UVB (ultra violet burning) rays, causing damage and even cancer, so don't forget a final layer of sunscreen on the face, hands, arms, and neck.
If you're planning on hitting the slopes, don't forget to moisturize and protect any skin that may be exposed to the elements - especially your lips. Keep eyes protected as well with ski goggles, or at least polarized sunglasses. And while driving a car or snow machine, remember to apply a layer of sunscreen to your hands, or wear sun screening gloves.
You don't have to break the bank to find good skincare. Like food in the grocery store, read the ingredients, ask questions, and do your homework. Here are a few skincare products from every pricepoint:
Say Yes To Tomatoes, for regular use with oily skin, or infrequent use with combination skin. Let this natural, detoxifying cleanser pick you right up and get you on track to beautiful, clear skin. It is formulated with active charcoal to draw out impurities and other pore clogging offenders, tomato extract for a daily dose of antioxidants and revitalizing vitamins, jojoba spheres for oh-so-gentle exfoliation, and salicylic acid to deep clean pores and prevent future breakouts. Together, these purifying ingredients clear you up without drying you out.
- 97% Natural
- Paraben, SLS, and Silicone Free
- US$ 9,99
Scrub away the "ick" to have the most youthful, soft, radiant skin. Sugar softens; salt purifies. I love Origins' Salt Scrub. Skin-scouring Dead Sea Salts and warming Ginger Zest cushioned in emollient-rich Macadamia, Soybean, Kukui Nut and Sweet Almond Oils removes all traces of roughness to buff every bit of you. Use it once a week in the shower from the neck down, and more often on the hands, elbows, knees, and feet as needed. US$38.
- Skin-lipid technology
- Non-greasy; Non-staining
- Non-perfumed; Hypoallergenic; Dermatologically tested
I love facial wipes, especially for your gym back or travel case. If you have particularly oily skin, keeping a bag handy in your office drawer or purse will allow for midday freshening and keep skin looking flawless all day long. Specially crafted for normal to dry skin, Burts Bees soothing cucumber and sage towelettes remove makeup, cleanse, and tone in one easy step, leaving skin naturally clean without the need for rinsing. 30 pack. AU$9,95.
For all skins, nourish the skin with this incredible mask from Peter Thomas Roth. Deeply hydrating and nourishing intensive gel mask. Take a deep dive into refreshing hydration as glacial lake blue marine algae helps deliver nutrients and maximum anti-aging moisture to help defend against the effects of damaging dehydration. Rich tea, sourced from Korea's Jeju Island, helps deliver replenishing nourishment to depleted skin. Antarcticine, sourced from Arctic glacial ice, helps create an eco-bubble over skin to help defend against varying environmental attacks that can increase the signs of skin aging, dehydration lines and the development of visible wrinkles. Helps smooth and revitalize skin leaving it feeling soft and instantly hydrated with a dewy, radiant glow. US$52.
The skin around your eyes is some of the most delicate skin on the entire body. Moisturize and protect it accordingly. Say goodbye to puffy lids, raccoon eyes, and those bothersome bags with Tom Ford's Antifatigue Eye Treatment for Men. From Mr. Ford himself, "I believe an eye treatment is an essential, not a luxury. The eyes are the first place people look when they meet you. They are also the first part of your face to show signs of aging and fatigue. I developed this multi-beneficial, restorative eye treatment, infused with the Tom Ford Skin Calming and Infusing Complexes, to lift and firm the look of the skin around the eyes, helping to diminish the look of lines and wrinkles. The silver-tip applicator helps to cool your skin to help reduce visible puffiness, leaving your eyes looking refreshed and awake." €68.
I love how energizing and fresh citrus smells. The Body Shop Satsuma Soap 100g is made with made completely certified and sustainable palm oil and satsuma oil. A completely veggie-based soap bar for the gentlest clean. Leaves skin feeling fabulous and fresh, without over drying or over hydrating. R45.
Alpha Fit by Clarisonic is a sonic cleansing device engineered specifically for men's skin to give a closer shave, cleaner beard and healthier-looking skin. It features two different settings to suit your style, whether you're going with the beard look or rocking clean, shaved skin. The powerful system is specifically made to clean thicker, oiler skin thanks to its patented sonic cleansing technology, which oscillates at a frequency of 300 movements per second. Its flexing action works to loosen dirt and oil, removing impurities from pores and prepping skin for a closer, smoother shave. US$189.
What skin care products, tools, tips, and tricks are you loving?