I love taking your requests, and requests for a Winter skin care article have been coming in lately, so here it is! Always feel free to comment on articles here, on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter and tell me what you think, what you would love to know more about, any reviews or swatches you want to see…
You name it, I’ll make it happen. 😉
Transitioning to a Fall & Winter Skin Care Ritual
Our skin’s needs change often based on hormone cycles, diet, sleep, and stress, yet sometimes the seasonal changes are the most obvious. In the summer people tend to sweat more and get oilier, thus requiring lighter, cooling skin care products. Now that we are living in cooler, less humid weather, we need to prepare our skin for the barrage of indoor heating, drier air, and cold temperatures. Of course, if you live in a tropical environment (or a hot, humid desert like Dubai) the seasonal changes are less extreme and therefore we can keep our skin care routines almost the same year round.
My skin care routine changes pretty often due to the amazing new skin care products I am sent for review, as well as the changing needs of my skin seasonally. There is something to be said for consistency as well. Some products work better over time, others are so perfectly formulated for your skin that keeping them as your stable skin ritual foundation is essential. I like to keep a few things the same and change the rest to suit changes in my environment.
How to Pick the Right Fall Skin Care Products
In general, you want to always think of being gentle to your skin. Think of it as your ally, and something to be pampered.
If you have acne, this is especially important. If we are kind and gentle to our skin and focus on healing it instead of battling it, you will see beautiful results much quicker. Think: hydration, repair, moisture, and healing. Always layer acne-killing products (if you use them) like benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid (BHA) with healing, moisturizing products. Wash your face twice per day, no more than that – and be sure to use a hydrating, pH balancing toner after cleansing. An acidic pH (roughly 4.5 to 5.5) is very important for a healthy acid mantle and skin barrier, which protects your skin from infection and acne pustules.
Dry, mature, and sensitive skin types will need to switch to gentle emollient cleansers that have a creamy or oily texture that will cleanse the skin of debris and bacteria but will not strip the skin (cleansers with that texture must wash away cleanly and not leave a residue). Avoid the foaming agent sodium lauryl/laureth sulfate, as it can be hard on our skin’s protective acid mantle. Sensitive skin and those prone to redness or sensitivity in the winter should also avoid menthol, peppermint, citrus, high concentrations of alcohol (i.e. listed toward the top of the ingredients list), and added fragrance (e.g. parfum, perfume, linalool, limone, essential oil fragrance, etc.).
Look for antioxidants and vitamins on the ingredients list, and make sure they are higher up on the list (this means there is a higher concentration) – they are important for keeping the skin young by reversing and preventing damage. Vitamins A/B/C (in their various forms like retinal, niacinamide, ascorbic acid), vitamin E, green tea extract, CoQ10, etc. are all examples.
My Fall & Winter Natural Skin Care Ritual
This is my current fall and winter 2014/2015 skin care routine.
How To Get Great Results: Remember that what works for my skin may not work for yours. Experiment, but give products a solid chance to work. It can take about 4 weeks for the skin to become acclimated to a new skin care product. Lightening or correcting skin care treatments require about 12 weeks to properly evaluate the results. Check out my new skin care guides for product suggestions for each skin type and skin concern. If you don’t spot your skin type or concern, leave a comment on this post so I can add it.
My Skin Care Routine – MORNING
PRODUCT: EWS Filtered Water + One Love Organics Chia Whip Fragrance Free Cleanser
HOW I USE IT: Filtered water is a must-have for me. It removes chlorine, pesticides, and anything else that would irritate or dry out my skin, or absorb into my skin and bloodstream, so I only wash my face with clean water. I love this cleanser because it’s light, fragrance-free, and perfect for a quick wash in the morning just to remove the residue from products from the evening prior and any metabolic wastes generated during the skin’s evening repair. I used to only wash with water or not at all in the morning, but I notice that washing in the morning helps keep my skin pristine and clear of blackheads.
PRODUCT: MUN Anarose No. 11
HOW I USE IT: I love all things MUN — the formulations are simple and of outstanding quality, and they show real results in an unbelievably short amount of time. MUN just released this toner a few weeks ago and I’m in love. By my definition, toners are supposed to balance the skin’s pH, protecting the acid mantle and preparing the skin for the next steps in your regimen. This one helps bring the skin back to its natural acidic state after cleansing, binds moisture to the skin, and provides a lovely dose of antioxidants. I shake a few drops out onto my palm, press my palms together, then press my palms onto my face. That way product doesn’t get wasted on cotton pads.
PRODUCT: MUN Aknari No. 1
HOW I USE IT: While my skin is still lightly damp from my toner, I apply this super light, fresh rose treat to my skin. I love it because it regulates oil production, keeps my skin balanced and fresh, and does a KILLER job at preventing and smoothing out fine lines around the eyes as well as lightening up post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (a.k.a. those pink marks left over from blemishes). It absorbs quickly and leaves a beautiful finish. I put 1 or 2 drops on my index finger, spread the oil across my fingertips, then dab my fingertips all over my face and eye area to spread the oil evenly and lightly.
PRODUCT: Skin Apotheke Rejuvenating Eye Creme
HOW I USE IT: My old favorite. I find myself going back to this eye cream time after time (cue Cyndi Lauper). Even if I take a break touse something else for a while and it impresses the pants off of me, I still come back to this little pot of gold. Erases under eye circles, moisturizes beautifully, and no clogged pores. It’s perfect, really.
My Skin Care Routine – EVENING
PRODUCT: Elizabeth Dehn for One Love Organics Vitamin B Cleansing Oil
HOW I USE IT: I put two pumps into the palm of my hand and massage this into my face and neck, then rinse off with warm filtered water. It gently and thoroughly removes makeup and sebum, and smells like tropical paradise! It is also slightly exfoliating due to the enzymes, which is fantastic for sensitive skin that has trouble with scrubs.
PRODUCT: One Love Organics Chia Whip Fragrance Free Cleanser
HOW I USE IT: The same cleanser from my morning routine. I use this after I rinse off my oil cleanser.
PRODUCT: Skin Apotheke Ubtan Radiance Scrub and May Lindstrom Skin The Clean Dirt
HOW I USE IT: After trying dozens of scrubs, these are the two my skin responds to most joyously. They both have potent anti-inflammatory, healing action, so I end up with smooth skin for days instead of irritation and red bumps that usually ensue with other scrubs. I make a paste with my toner and scrub of choice, then let it sit on my face/neck/chest for 2–3 minutes to let the ingredients really work their magic, then rinse with warm filtered water. If you are prone to little bumps (“subclinical acne”) or blackheads, these scrubs (and MLS Problem Solver, see below under “Special Treatments”) work miracles. I use a scrub only once every 5 days.
PRODUCT: La Bella Figura Modern Radiance Concentrate
HOW I USE IT: I love this serum for its incredible, visible results. This is hands-down the best vitamin C serum I have ever used. It is lightweight, absorbs quickly, brightens the skin in just one application, and evens out the skin tone incredibly fast. I wake up to bright, even, glowing skin without a single fine line. And just as importantly, it doesn’t clog my pores or oxidize in the pores and cause blackheads like other vitamin C serums do.
PRODUCT: MUN Aknari No. 1
HOW I USE IT: I use MUN morning and evening. See my morning routine for the details.
PRODUCT: Kahina Night Cream and May Lindstrom The Blue Cocoon
HOW I USE IT: When I travel and when I am in drier climates, I need a little extra moisture and barrier protection, so I apply a thin layer of Night Cream or Blue Cocoon to seal in the layers of goodies I just applied prior. I wake up to super smooth, soft, hydrated, and plump skin. Win win win!
My Special Treatments – WEEKLY
PRODUCT: Wedderspoon Manuka Honey
HOW I USE IT: I love to use this gorgeous, super healing honey whenever my skin needs an extra boost of moisture. I like to mix it with The Problem Solver sometimes, for extra pimple prevention, since Manuka is anti-bacterial and helps to keep your skin barrier function healthy, which is important for preventing breakouts (healthy skin barrier = healthy, balanced skin). Lately I’ve also been using La Bella Figura’s Bio Active Healing Mask for the same reasons, since its base is Manuka honey, and I’m loving that too! I use both the same way – leave on 15 minutes, rinse with warm water, and enjoy the results (skin smoother than any baby’s butt).
PRODUCT: May Lindstrom Skin The Problem Solver
HOW I USE IT: I use this jet black mask once or twice per week at night, depending on how my skin feels and where I am hormonally. I mix about 1 Tbsp. with a bit of filtered water to make a lovely mousse, and use May’s Treatment Duo to apply the mask to my face, neck, and chest. It tingles and warms the skin, leaving a beautiful glow. It prevents blemishes (even PMS ones), eliminates existing blemishes, and brings out healthy circulation. In love.
My Body Care – BODY
PRODUCT: Dermasuri Deep Exfoliating Mitt
HOW I USE IT: This is precisely 53 times better than any random rough nylon glove thing from the drugstore or any of those dangly loofahs (which, by the way, harbor bacteria way too well). I use this maybe once or twice per week and it gives me the softest, smoothest skin known to mankind. Just follow the directions on the box and you will get the most satisfying skin sloughing experience of your life.
PRODUCT: CV Skinlabs Body Repair Lotion
HOW I USE IT: My favorite lotion for calming, soothing, and helping to repair dry skin and prevent inflammation and irritation post-shaving. I have one at home and I carry one with me when I travel – it’s one of my must-haves.
What do you use for your skin care ritual? Share your personal routine with me in the comments. 😉