Getting Your Skin Ready for Spring



Winter is on its last legs, we hope, so we turn our attention on the current state of the skin. Our faces had to put up with harsh winds, snow, rain, cold outdoors and overheated and dry indoors. Our winter skin care regime should have included nourishing creams and masks. Even in the best case scenario, assuming the skin is in good shape, weather change brings change in the skin care routine.

Take a look at the skin after cleaning it well. Notice any imperfections, any flakiness, any rough spots. Now is the time to apply a good exfoliation.

By exfoliating we remove accumulated dead cells, build-up of makeup and pollution. Winter dryness causes dehydration and flakiness. By exfoliating we prepare the skin for a fresh start.

There are many choices for exfoliants : classic scrubs with small beads are the most basic (keep well away from crushed almonds or other”natural”bits that can be scratching the skin like so many needles). A good mechanical scrub is GerPeel by GERnetic.

Better exfoliants will contain plant enzymes, or lactic acid and do not need scrubbing, as the enzymes break down the protein in the dead cells and all you need to do is wash them off. A good example is Yogurt Power Peel by Ilike Organic Skin Care.

Chemical peels, such as glycolic acid peels, are done by an aesthetician and will give splendid results, especially if you sign up for a series of 4-6 treatments.

If you don’t want to commit to that, you can use a trio of glycolic acid home care products that effect an exfoliation over time. There is absolutely no down time and the results are excellent. A good example is the Glycolic Acid Trio by Peter Thomas Roth.

The same company has an interesting exfoliation called Laser-Free Retexturizing, which combines enzymes with microscopic jojoba beads and glycolic acid for deep exfoliation, plus an extract from a South American plant called dragon’s blood, to repair skin damage, plus sweet almond, apricot and mango oils to moisturize. This product packs a real 1-2-3 punch.

Regardless of the method you choose to exfoliate, once this step is done you can turn to a deep moisturizing mask used as a treatment for a week. It will deeply hydrate the skin and assist in eliminating fine lines due to winter dehydration.

Now you’re ready to start your spring skin care routine. The same way you review your spring wardrobe, you must review your skin care array of products. Check your milk cleanser and toner. Are they still smelling clean and fresh? Then keep on using them, by all means. Just make sure storing them near a heater over winter hasn’t turned them into a bacteria hotel.

Moisturizers, for both dry and oily skins, are a daily must in the morning. Try to use a moisturizer with sunscreen and if not, use a sunscreen AND a moisturizer.

Do change your night cream to a lighter, nourishing one. It’s time to add an eye cream to the routine and prevent new lines.

Do keep on using a moisturizing mask once a week, preceded by a light exfoliation.

Following this routine will result in peaches’n cream skin, ready to welcome spring and summer in our gardens and patios.

5 good reasons for a cleanser / toner or face wash routine



1. Regardless of skin type, cleansers remove makeup and pollution from the skin. Some cleansers are removable with water, others need to be removed with a tissue and then with a toner.

2. Toners are needed to remove the last traces of cleanser without stripping the skin too much. The ph of the skin is balanced by the toner which leaves your skin with a ph of 4.5, a little on the acidic side, making sure bacteria do not make their home on your skin. Even if your skin is oily or acneic, you must make sure that your toner does NOT contain alcohol. This ingredient will strip the skin completely, just like soap will. Unprotected skin will then produce more sebum (oil) and the oiliness will come back with a vengeance.

3. Oily skin may prefer the feeling of a foaming face wash, which works very well for this skin type. Many face washes for oily skin do not need a toner to follow.

4. There are face washes for dry and mature skins. Some of them contain tiny granules which effect a gentle exfoliation while cleansing. Others contain ingredients such as glycolic acid, salicylic acid, plant and fruit extracts. If you wear a fair amount of makeup it is advisable to use a milk cleanser first and follow with an appropriate face wash.

5. The night cream applied following a good cleansing will have a better chance of producing visible effects. Otherwise, applied on an uncleansed face, it will just add to the debris and be quite useless. Shame to pay all that money for a cream to just have it go to nought!

Do you have a favourite cleanser/toner or face wash?

by Nadia Danay