Fall & Winter Skin Care Ritual

Fall & Winter Skin Care Ritual

Hey every­one!

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. 😉

P.S. I now car­ry and curate almost every­thing I per­son­al­ly use on Epic Beau­ty Bar, so it’s all in one place for you as many of you request­ed. Let me know if there’s any­thing you want to see!

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.

Click here for my pre­vi­ous nat­u­ral skin care and make­up rit­u­al.

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.

PRODUCTOne 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. 😉
~Steph  x

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