Start the new year off right by putting a little life back into your skin
With a few more months of winter still ahead of us, and the glow of holiday cheer behind us, there is no escaping the grim reality; your skin is dull, dehydrated and stressed. Between this season's
cold outdoor air, hot indoor air, dehydrating drinks and salty foods – come on, pamper your skin a little. Start the new year off right by putting a little life back into your face. Here are the
basics of winter skincare survival.
Use the right cleanser
You need to switch up your cleanser. Detergent-based cleansers are great in the summer when you're tackling heavy sunblock, sweat and makeup, but winter skin needs something milder. Look for creams, oils and milks, which gently clean without stripping skin's moisture barrier.
A-Derma, Exomega Emollient Cleansing Oil, $18.50
Unlike Japanese-style cleansing oils, this is more of an oil-based cleanser. It's a light formula that softly lathers up into a hydrating foam. Great for the body as well, especially if you have sensitive or irritated skin. Available at drugstores.
Avène, Gentle Milk Cleanser, $27
If you hate washing your face because it leaves your skin feeling parched and unbearably tight, you'll love this cleanser. Thick and luxuriously creamy, it will effectively clean your face (even makeup) without stripping the lipid barrier. Available at drugstores.
Exfoliate dead skin
One of the reasons for dull skin is lack of exfoliation. Clear your face of that layer of debris and you'll not only look brighter but your serums and moisturisers will be
far more effective. Exfoliators can be manual (grainy) or chemical (acid) - it's entirely up to your skin which one you prefer.
Vasanti, Brighten Up! Enzymatic Face Rejuvenator, $34
This creamy exfoliant contains dermatologist-grade microderm crystals made from aluminum oxide, which are incredibly super-fine in size and texture. It also contains a natural papaya enzyme that helps dissolve dead skin cells, so let this sit on your face for a minute before gently massaging. Available at drugstores.
La Prairie Cellular 3 Minute Peel, $252
This luxury peel contains high-grade AHA & BHA to quickly remove surface dead skin cells and impurities. You'll find your skin brighter and smoother, and pores reduced. And yes, it really only takes 3 minutes to work its magic. Available at Holt Renfrew.
Make moisturizing a priority
This is your skin's first defence against winter. You can find deeply hydrating moisturizers with or without oils, so the choices are vast. The right one will keep you feeling comfortable and protected all day long.
Clinique, Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion+, $32
Clinique’s classic yellow “drink” for skin has a new formula that works for an even wider range of skin types, including those with dehydrated skin. This is perfect for nearly everyone. Available at Clinique counters.
SkinCeuticals, Resveratrol B E, $165
This pale yellow gel melts into the skin, quickly delivering a potent formula packed with the highest concentration of resveratrol available (boosting skin's internal repair system) along with baicalin and Vit E (increasing skin's antioxidant defence system). You’ll see noticeably smoother skin after just one week of nightly use. Available at select dermatologists, medical spas and online retailers.
La Roche Posay, Cicaplast Baume B5, $19.99
This healing lotion rescues highly irritated and sensitive skin and can even help with minor scrapes, wounds and burns. It’s even gentle enough for babies. Available at drugstores.
Dark spots or patches, discolouration or uneven skin tone are often signs of hyper-pigmentation which is often caused due to sun damage. Winter's low UV levels make it an excellent time to target any hyper-pigmentation issues. Treat the damage from the previous summer before pigmentation spots begin to merge and muddy up the complexion.
Verso, Dark Spot Fix with Retinol 8, $180
This potent but elegant product will help reduce age spots, hyper-pigmentation marks and acne discolourations. Unlike many other retinol serums, this is nicely hydrating and won't cause peeling. Available at Kiss and Makeup, 1760 Lonsdale Avenue, North Vancouver
Dermalogica, PowerBright TRx, starting at $100
This powerful trio of products is meant to be used together, reinforcing each layer with the next. The entire system targets hyper-pigmentation and when used collectively, it results in brighter, more even-toned skin. The C-12 Pure Bright Serum ($120) controls hyper-pigmentation triggers on a cellular level. The Pure Light ($106) daytime moisturiser contains a powerful peptide to fight melanin formation. And Pure Night ($100) contains peptides, antioxidants to nourish and hydrate skin while at rest. Available at BeautyMark, 1268 Pacific Boulevard, Vancouver