Minnesota winter can be breathtaking with its frosted windows, intricately designed snowflakes, and miles of white as far as the eye can see. But if you don’t step up your skincare regimen, the frigid air will wreak havoc on your beauty. Here are five essential tips for keeping your epidermis radiant all winter long:
Humidity (AKA your skin’s best friend)
This one simple tip can make an enormous difference in how your skin functions. No amount of facials or fancy creams will help your skin more than investing in a humidifier, and your respiratory system will benefit as well. I recommend having a small one running in your bedroom at night and one for the main living area of your home as well. Ideal humidity levels for your skin are around 50%. A variety of humidifiers are available including ultrasonic, steam or propeller. They even make travel ones that can be used in hotel rooms or the office like this one: http://www.bedbathandbeyond.com/store/product/air-o-swiss-reg-portable-travel-humidifier/1016030902. Ultimately, it doesn’t matter which one you choose as long as you use it consistently and clean it as directed, since dirty humidifiers can breed mold and bacteria.
Discover Your Ideal Oil
Oils are lipophilic, or “fat loving,” so they penetrate through the lipid barrier of the skin, meaning they are able to get deeper into your skin, more effectively distributing beneficial ingredients such as antioxidants, peptides, and anti-inflammatories where you need it most. Layering a moisturizer over your oil will work as a sealant, resulting in skin that stays deeply hydrated for longer periods of time. I recommend Argan Oil for dry, mature skin, Evening Primrose Oil for sensitive skin, and Tea Tree Oil for Acneic skin. If you’ve always feared using oils on your skin, you’re about to experience your best skin ever!
Your skin is your body’s second most complex organ (the first being your brain) and it reflects what is going on with all your internal organs. That’s right, whatever your brain, liver, kidneys, stomach and intestines are going through will show up on your face! So, you can’t expect to have clear, radiant skin if you’re neglecting your insides. To keep your body happy on the outside, you must support all of our organs with healthy fat and hydration. I recommend eating avocados, salmon, and walnuts and taking Fish Oil for Omega 3’s. The Fish Oil helps lubricate your skin from the inside out, in addition to being powerful anti inflammatories. I’m also super impressed with Intelligent Nutrient's Intellimune Oil, which contains 5 powerful anti-aging oils: http://www.intelligentnutrients.com/best-sellers/intellimuner-oil. It goes without saying, drinking enough water is one of the single best things you can do for your health, experts recommend half your bodyweight in ounces for optimum hydration. Over time, supporting your body internally will lead to a healthy glow that can’t be found in a bottle.
Extreme Temperature Strategies
Steaming hot showers, car heat blasting into your face, wind-whipped from outdoor sports...does this sound familiar? It’s no wonder Minnesotan’s have chronically dehydrated, dry, sensitive, red, cracked skin! Our skin has a lipid barrier that protects us from the environment and locks in hydration. Keeping this barrier strong is essential for our health and function of our skin. Only use lukewarm, not hot, water on your skin, especially your face which is more fragile than your body. Direct fans and vents towards the core of your body. If you spend time outdoors in the winter, use a protective balm on these occasions. Shea Butter is very effective as our dermalogica's barrier repair. Here are some more climate control products: http://www.dermalogica.com/barrier-repair/126,default,pd.html?cgid=ultracalming&start=0 or http://www.dermalogica.com/climate-control-lip-treatment/31,default,pd.html?cgid=targeted_treatments&start=3. Plant-based ingredients are best and I recommend avoiding popular products with mineral oils and petrolatum, which suffocate skin cells and harmful to the environment.
All the topical moisturizers in the world will not be effective if you are slathering it over a layer of dead, dull skin. Regular, gentle exfoliation is important to improve the texture and tone of your skin and allow active ingredients to penetrate deeper. However, it’s equally as important not to over exfoliate, which can lead to micro tears in your skin that increase sensitivity and dehydration. Most skin types should avoid harsh scrubs and instead use Lactic Acid, Salicylic Acid, or Fruit Enzymes, which chemically decrease dead skin cells and increase cell turnover without over stimulating. Always use your products as the bottle directs or as recommended by your skincare professional to avoid unwanted chemical reactions or over exfoliation.
Kelly Brogan Carlson is the owner of Brogan Skinworks, located in St. Louis Park, MN. She has been a Licensed Esthetician since 2007, graduating with Honors from the Aveda Institute and achieving her Expert Status with the International Dermal Institute in 2012. She believes everyone deserves healthy skin and beautiful eyebrows.
To contact Kelly and learn more about the services and products she offers, please visit: http://www.broganskinworks.com/