Hydration Elation and Why You Should Moisturize In Winter Weather
Dewy, glowy, winter skin? Yes. It is possible – and this is coming from a lady that lives in what has to the driest, most humidity-deficient city on the planet – Los Angeles. So if you’re feeling more ‘parched princess’ than ‘hydrated honey’, I feel you one hundred percent. But, hey, are we going to be deprived of that J. Lo glow? Hell no!
The thing is, winter can seem like a great time to take a welcomed break from some of our summer skincare commandments (“tis’ the season for not shaving, fa la la la la, la la la”) Our mainstays just don’t seem as necessary, when we’re not doing as much of the big S’s, i.e., sweating and showing skin, but here are some habits that you’ll want to hang on to, kick it up a notch, or incorporate into your routine for softer, more hydrated skin, even when the weather outside is frightful:
The number one reason I saw new clients for facials, was for ‘deep cleaning’ or extractions. In the summer, when you’re outside more often and perspiring more frequently, your skin can feel “dirty” and clogged pores become a concern because blackheads are a visible sign that your skin is congested. The truth is, the air inside homes, offices and other buildings can be more polluted than the air outside. The air inside your home may contain lead (in dust), formaldehyde, fire retardants, radon, and volatile chemicals from fragrances in conventional cleaners. How are these little buggers getting in? Some are tracked in and some arrive via a new mattress, furniture, or new coat of paint on the walls; and because we’re spending even more time indoors, winter is actually an excellent time to consult with a pro. At Joanna Vargas Salon, each new client fills out a questionnaire and an experienced skin care therapist evaluates your skin and can suggest a specific treatment based on your needs. All kinds of factors, external and internal can affect the condition of our skin – hormones, stress, diet – and yes, the weather. Already getting regular facials? Good on ya! Maybe it’s time to switch it up and ask your Esthetician about hydrating facials or add-ons that rejuvenate and hydrate. The Oxygen Purifying Facial at Joanna Vargas Salon is an excellent treatment to counteract the effects of pollution and to help moisturizers penetrate more deeply into the skin for overall clearer, softer, smoother skin.
You Still Need Those 6-8 Glasses A Day
No getting around it, water flushes toxins and keeps your digestion working like a boss, which results in clearer, less ‘sluggish’ skin. I know. You’re busy; you have an insane amount of work, shopping and whatever else you need to do. However, do try to drink two glasses first thing in the morning, as a rule of thumb. You’re almost halfway there before leaving the house.
When you’re skin is chapped, dehydrated, wind-burned or flaky, exfoliating can feel like the last thing you want to do. However, you need not fear that you’re stripping your skin – you are always shedding skin cells and when those old cells pile up on the surface of the skin, it can result in dull, rough, dry looking skin. And of course, removing that buildup is key in enhancing your skin’s ability to absorb moisturizers.
I love a product that does double-duty and the Joanna Vargas Exfoliating Mask is a gentle but very effective enzymatic mask that doubles as a scrub after the enzymes work their magic. You will be amazed at the results – skin that is bright and ridiculously smooooooth. Aim to exfoliate at least once a week.
Check Your Iron Level
Last summer, out of nowhere, I started crunching on ice like it was the most delicious thing ever invented. I mean, I craved it; I started looking forward to when I could myself to a freezer. I also started looking forward to naps and noticed that I was looking less than ‘sparkly.” I suspected that this new ice craving was a sign of something bigger, so I googled it and yup, chewing ice is a symptom of anemia (!), which was my doctor confirmed that I had. If you’re a vegetarian, vegan and/or a menstruating lady, it is particularly important to have your iron level checked. One of the big giveaways is pale, sallow looking skin. Great skin starts from the inside out, and if your skin is persistently dull and ashen-looking, it’s always good to consult with a healthcare professional to rule out any underlying health problems.
So, a lot of your skin is probably on hiatus from struttin’ it’s stuff in winter, so the gym may fall down to the bottom of the list of must-do’s, especially if it means trudging through the rain or snow. But exercise should be a must in any glow-protocol. Exercise helps nourish skin cells and keep them vital by increasing blood flow, which carries oxygen and nutrients to working cells throughout the body, including skin. And, blow flow helps carry away waste products, including free radicals. Speaking of free, you don’t have to belong to a gym. I love the fitnessblender videos, available on YouTube or at fitnessblender.com. They’ve got it all – Pilates, HIIT, strength training, stretches – at all levels from five minutes to an hour.
Seal the Deal
You definitely want to take the hydration situation up a notch by using a serum. The Joanna Vargas Daily Serumis a great choice for all skin types, and as a dry girl, I’m in love with the Joanna Vargas Rejuvenating Serum. It’s seriously my favorite skin care product ever. You’ll see instant magical results. Another great choice is SkinCeuticals Hydrating B5 Gel for an added boost of hydration – and it plays nicely with the other serums and moisturizers in your regimen. Shine on.
Kim Blackwell is a licensed Esthetician, writer and photographer. She was born and raised in Los Angeles, California and currently lives in Hollywood with her husband and daughter. She goes to Disneyland a LOT.