'Tis the season. This means shopping, family, eating, holidays, and lots of fun. It also means it's time to update your skincare routine. This is true even if you live in Southern California. If you're one of those people not making seasonal changes to your skin care, we need to have a discussion...let's consider this the discussion.
Indoor heating is very drying to the skin, since it basically pulls all the moisture from the air. Even those with oily skin need to up their moisture balance (remember, oily skin can be dehydrated too, and often is since people use harsh products in an attempt to dry up the oil).
1) CLEANSERS AND SERUMS: If you're using a gel cleanser, or something with retinols, try alternating that with a cream cleanser a couple days per week. Follow up with a hyaluronic serum. Hyaluronic acid holds up to 1000 x its weight in moisture, so it's wonderful to plump and hydrate the skin, but not enough to work as a stand alone. Serums have smaller molecules and penetrate deeper into the skin, but you also need something at the surface to protect it. So, start with a good serum like Image's Hyaluronic Filler, then use something for your skin's barrier function. Whatever your skin type, use a richer moisturizer than normal geared to your specific skin concerns. Those of you with oily skin can't skip moisturizing. Go for oil free, but JUST DO IT. Sorry for shouting.
2) FACIALS: Go in for a regular facial, and use cosmecuetical skin care at home. Cosmeceutical lines have a higher percentage of active ingredients, so they penetrate better and get you better results. Less filler and fewer low cost ingredients means better skin and real results. I know people try to do it all at home rather than go in for professional treatment, but seriously, professionals are licensed and have access to products and equipment that you just can't replicate at home. Cross my heart.
3) MASQUES: Masques, oh how I love thee. Have you tried sheet masques yet? If not, now is the time. Use sheet masques at home between professional facials, since the therapeutic serums in these masques remain on the skin after you remove the sheet (you don't wash them off as with traditional masques). Tip: These masques come in a pouch filled with serum. When you take the sheet out of the pouch, put the pouch in a baggie and seal it. Use the remaining serum the following night before bed. I just HATE to waste treatment serum!
4) EXFOLIATE: Can I go back and make this tip 1-5? The power of proper exfoliation is way overlooked. Like waaaaaaay overlooked. Duuuuude. To encourage cell turnover you should use something with enzymes or acids (AHAs, BHAs, lactic, etc). And this is the perfect time of year for a peel. Peels don't have to mean irritated and peeling skin. Modern peels have loads of soothing additives to minimize downtime, and come in different types and strengths. I use custom peels that are individualized to you, so if you live in Orange County contact me to discuss your goals.
5) HYDRATE: Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate, inside and out. Drink plenty of water, which is harder to remember when you're not sweating it out as you are in the summer. Keep track of consumption if you're someone who doesn't drink enough. Make it a priority. Also, add some moisture to the air while sleeping by investing in a good humidifier. Your skin will thank you for it.
ONE FINAL NOTE: This isn't a seasonal tip, this is an ALWAYS tip, and that's to wear your sunscreen. Even when it's cold, overcast, raining etc. No excuses. JUST DO IT. Sorry to shout. Again.