Hydration and exfoliation cure winter skincare blues
Tiny white flakes may be beautiful and magical when falling from the sky, but on your face—not so much. However, for many people, winter weather typically means an increase in dry, itchy skin.
“When your skin is exposed to the harsher winter elements, it can be quite damaging,” Rebekah MacLaren, an esthetician and skincare advisor at the Spa Boutique (3630 West 4th Avenue), told the Straight during a recent visit to the Kitsilano store. “A lot of people do like to switch their moisturizer, but just making sure that you keep your skin properly hydrated is the most important.”
MacLaren, who has been an esthetician for nine years and has worked at Spa Boutique since it opened a year ago, cautions that not all moisturizers are alike and that different ingredients in moisturizers should be tailored to skin type.
“If you have drier skin, your skin can typically use a cream that has oils in it,” she said.
However, people with oily-prone skin might want to try a moisturizer containing hyaluronic acid instead.
“[Hyaluronic acid] is an ingredient that actually holds up to a thousand times its weight in water, so that way, you’re using something that adds water to your skin, and not oil. That’s a good option for someone who has oiler skin,” MacLaren said.
When headed outdoors, wearing an SPF is just as essential in the winter as it is during spring and summer months—even if it appears cloudy outside.
“In wintertime, the sun can be quite damaging on the skin, so using a mineral-based sunscreen—something containing zinc or titanium—will be best for protecting the skin,” MacLaren said.
Moisturizing and exfoliating the skin go hand-in-hand; however, similar to picking a face cream, it’s important to choose an exfoliating scrub that best suits your skin type. People with dry skin will want to use a gentle exfoliant, because drier skin is thinner and prone to tearing. However, oiler skin is often thicker and can usually handle more of a granule exfoliant, used several times per week.
“Using an alpha hydroxy acid will also help to remove those dead skin cells and let the moisturizers sink into the skin,” McLaren said.
If regular exfoliating and moisturizing still has your skin looking dry and dull, a facial or skincare treatment with an esthetician may be in order. Spa Boutique offers a range of services, including soothing facials, exfoliating peels, and acne clarifying treatments ($30 to $60 for 30 to 45-minute appointments). McLaren said that the Yonka Skin Quencher Facial, which uses a botanical-based exfoliant, mask, serum, and moisturizer from the Paris-based skincare line, is especially popular in wintertime.
“Having a facial is great for your skin, but the home care is what is important. Having a good at-home skincare routine [year-round] is what will really benefit your skin.”
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