Tag: cream cleanser

Wake Up from Your Dry Winter Skin Nightmare

Hey. It’s Fall/Winter here in Northern California and the weather is getting quite tricky. Usually, we refer to fall as winter because we are accustomed to great weather here, year round. But this time things are different. All of the wildfires happening this October has caused our air quality to be drier (and our temperatures a little warmer) than it usually is this time of year. So for those of us here in the Bay Area, it looks like we’ll need to switch up our skin care routines. The outside elements have changed as a result of the wildfires and though you may not feel any different, chances are your skin is changing. Every client I’ve seen this past week has had dry or dehydrated skin. Dehydrated skin isn’t typically an anomaly, but every client having dehydrated skin is telling. There’s no reason why any of us should be experiencing dry winter skin while sun is still radiating 80º F warmth. So let’s kick those skin care routines into high gear and kick the dry and dehydrated skin to the curb.

Why is my skin suddenly so dry?

The seasons are still changing, even if you’re not in California. If you’re in an area that truly experiences four seasons, you are probably already familiar with the ways in which your skin can change with the weather. With the temperature drops come drier air which leads to dry skin. The fall and winter months lack the humidity that helps keep moisture in the skin. The cooler (and often harsher) winds that sweep across our faces further strip the natural moisture within the skin’s protective barrier. As we lose more moisture our skin gets a bit more sensitive to the elements. This is why our lips seem to get chapped more frequently or why a strong gust of wind can leave us with red patches in the colder months. If you have eczema or psoriasis, you are likely to see your conditions exacerbated during these dry winter skin seasons.

Your Dry Winter Skin Survival Kit

  • Cleansing balms/milks: I’ve found that cream cleansers are the real MVPs of dry winter skin. In particular, cleansing balms and cleansing milks are best suited for the colder conditions. Those with dry skin types may already be using these types of cleansers but I recommend them for all skin types during winter. These clean without removing the little moisture that may be left in the skin.
  • Exfolitone: Now is not the time for manual scrubs. If your skin is already tight and dry from outside conditions then manual exfoliation—yes, that includes those brushes too—is doing more harm than good. Using an exfoliating toner in the winter is a much better alternative. Exfoliating toners work to deep cleanse the follicles and gently remove dead skin. Look for toners with Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHAs)/Beta Hydroxy Acids (BHAs) and be sure you’re using the best one for your skin type. If you have dry or sensitive skin, stick with the AHA toners. Oily/acneic or combination can benefit best from BHA toners. Glycolic acid and salicylic acid toners are most common. You may also want to start a chemical peel regimen if you’ve noticed the dry conditions are also affecting your skin’s texture.
  • Hydrate: This one you’ll want to do internally and externally. We already know that drinking water is key to keeping the skin hydrated but we can also hydrate our skin from the outside. Once you’ve finished cleansing and exfolitoning, use a hydrating mist. Think beyond the typical rose water. Use a hydrating mist that includes glycerin, hyaluronic acid, jojoba, or avocado oils. Follow up your hydrating mist with a hydrating serum. Yes, hyaluronic acid is the hydrating humectant we all love but there are others too. Serums with B5, Vitamin C, and ceramides also help boost hydration.
  • Moisturize: In the Spring and Summer, you might be able to get away with making your sunscreen work as both a moisturizer and protectant. But just as you will be layering fall fashion, you have to layer your moisturizers too. Start with a facial oil your skin will love. There are facial oils for all skin types so make sure you choose one that won’t be irritating. Be modest when applying your facial oils since two more products will have to go on top of them. Next, you’ll want to use thicker moisturizers to ensure all day protection and apply liberally. If you’re worried about clogging your pores by using thicker moisturizers, try Vaseline or Aquaphor. They’re non-comedogenic and occlusive which means they lock moisture in. Lastly, don’t forget that you still need to use your SPF on top of your moisturizer!

Save your skin this winter by remembering these steps: Cleanse, Exfolitone, Hydrate, and Moisturize. You can also indulge in a weekly hydrating mask and collagen eye treatment. Book with me to learn more!

So Fresh, So Clean: A Guide to Face Cleansers

No matter what your skin care goals are, everyone has to start with a clean slate–er–face. At this point in your life washing your face is probably the most optimized part of your daily routine. You may wash your face in the shower and it may take you less than 30 seconds to do it. Or you may have an elaborate routine that involves a cleanser, exfoliant, and moisturizers. Washing your face everyday is essential to getting that glow on the regular but many of us are going about it the wrong way. And what’s do we get wrong the most? Choosing the right face cleansers.

You might be surprised to learn that you probably shouldn’t be washing your face with the same soap you use all over the rest of your body (*gasp*), using an exfoliant everyday is also a no-no (*clutches pearls*), and using the wrong moisturizer for your skin type can actually have the opposite effect (*drops jaw*). The products we use in our daily skin care routine should be less about marketing departments dictating the latest beauty trends and all about our skin type. Face cleansers not only keep our faces clean but also help prevent us from troublesome skin issues and keep our skin balanced. The normal pH of our skin is typically between 4.5-5.5 and a good, general rule of thumb is to use a cleanser that is as close to that range as possible. Face cleanser and your typical bar soap are not the same. Most bar soaps have an average pH between 8.5-10, which can be too harsh for our skin. Read below to find the right type of face cleanser for your skin type.

If your skin is dry or sensitive…

Use a cream cleanser. Cream cleansers are gentle enough for most sensitive skin types and help dry skin types with much needed moisture retention. Some people are skeptical of cream cleanser because they don’t “feel” like they’re working but they do. The best way to use a cream cleanser is to apply it dry first (massaging it into your skin) then wet your fingers and repeat your motions until you have an emulsified effect. Use a facial wipe to remove the cleanser then rinse your face with water. With cream cleansers, you always want to follow up with a toner to ensure you don’t leave any residue behind.

If your skin is oily…

Use a gel cleanser or foaming cleanser. Back in the day, gel cleansers were very drying and high in alcohol content. These days, they’re a lot more gentle and water-based. Gel cleansers, once mixed with water and applied to your face, trap dirt and oil as it foams up. If your face is excessively oily, I’d suggest using a face cloth to gently remove the cleanser. This provides a light, non-abrasive exfoliation in the process. Otherwise, you can simply rinse the cleanser away. Gel and foaming cleansers tend to be a bit more aggressive than cream cleansers because they usually have active ingredients in them like glycolic acid to help address oiliness. It’s really important to survey the ingredients within these cleansers and be sure you’re not allergic to anything.

If your skin is normal…

Use a toner. It sounds crazy but, if you are not the makeup wearing type, toner is all you need. Using a toner like Micellar water (which is actually a water-based cleanser) or witch hazel (which typically falls under the astringent category) is great for removing everyday debris without over-drying your skin or being too aggressive. Simply dab a cotton pad with the toner of your choice, wipe across your face and voila! You’re clean. You’ll almost always want to finish up with a good moisturizer though. Pro-tip: the ten second toner cleanse works best immediately after a shower as the steam has helped open your pores up. And remember, this quick cleanse won’t be sufficient for removing makeup after a long day.

If you have acne…

Use a gel/foam cleanser with active ingredients like salicylic acid that help keep acne under control. Or use a clay cleanser with active ingredients that help to dry active acne breakouts and calm your skin. There are so many options for those with acne prone skin so which should you use? Well, if you have the occasional breakout, or if you used to have really active acne and now you’re just looking to keep things under control, go the gel/foam route and be sure to cleanse twice daily. If you have active acne with pustules and papules, go the clay route. To use a clay cleanser, mix with water and apply to your face. Massage the cleanser on the face for 1-2 minutes before gently removing with a face cloth.

Photo Credit: Model Reece King via Pinterest.