It’s that time of the year again when our faces feel like they might just fall into one giant flaky pile right before us. While most of us have resigned ourselves to the notion that this is just what we get for living in Canada all year long, there may be a light at the end of the dry-skin-lined tunnel.
Kristen Ma is the co-owner of Pure & Simple, which specializes in natural and organic skin-care products and spa services based on holistic health principles. She offers her expert opinion on what we can do to protect our skin from Old Man Winter.
Q. What is the single most important thing we should start doing today to protect our skin?
A. Hydration is the most important factor in our skin’s health. All skin ailments are either caused by or made worse by dehydration, therefore, hydrating the skin is essential for a glowing complexion. This needs to be achieved by using more hydrating skincare and addressing dehydration internally for a truly long-term solution.
Q. What are some other key things we should be doing to ward off the wrath of Old Man Winter?
A. Oiling our bodies is extremely beneficial for nourishing and warming. Remember, our skin is an organ, so oiling ourselves from the soles of our feet to our scalps will help with boosting our skin’s overall moisture. Certain oils are excellent for promoting circulation which helps to warm our bodies. Sesame oil is one of these oils and is ideal for the cold weather.
Q. How should a skin-care regimen change in the colder months?
A. Similar to how we change our wardrobe in the colder months, we must change our skincare. This means layering. Layering not only insulates moisture, but also give your skincare regime flexibility. Winter always calls for a hydrating toner, a deep penetrating serum and an emollient barrier cream. We should also remember to always wear sun protection despite it seeming like the sun is less strong.
Q. What are some of the biggest mistakes we make when it comes to our skin?
A. North Americans over-exfoliate. We often think that it is necessary to strip and abrade our skin for smoothness and clarity.This is actually untrue and over-exfoliating will cause skin damage and can also induce sensitivity.
Q. There have been so many conflicting studies about drinking water and our skin. What do you suggest as a place to start?
A. Water is extremely important. While water intake is dependent on each our body’s mass, it is safe to say that the average adult should strive to consume 2-3 litres per day. We also must drink two glasses of water for every one cup of coffee.
Q. How much does drinking alcohol affect our skin?
A. Alcohol affects our skin a lot. While many may think it is because of the dehydration, it is also important to mention that it can also cause broken capillaries. As alcohol is a stimulant, it stimulates our cardiovascular system. This contributes to redness in our skin and broken blood vessels.
Q. Can exercising really do that much to change our skin’s appearance?
A. Exercise helps our skin through the increased oxygen intake experienced during. Oxygenating your cells is great for our skin.
Q. What are some of the benefits of natural skin products?
A. Natural products are beneficial for many reasons. Firstly it contains no toxic chemical of which we can absorb. Secondly, truly natural products should not contain petroleum-derived ingredients which clog our pores and suffocates our skin. This is found in many skincare items, but natural skincare uses pure vegetable oils, waxes and waters. Lastly, Natural skincare does not contain any harsh detergents which deplete, dry and damage our skin. This is especially important for those of us who live through very cold climates as we cannot afford to run down our skin anymore than it is in this environment.
Q. Is soap really the devil when it comes to our skin’s health?
A. Bar soap is terrible for our skin. It is drying as it is too alkaline and contains harsh detergents which imbalances our skin’s acid mantle.
Q. What are some low-cost ways to maintain basic skin health?
A. Use a vegetable oil to remove make up. Use a organic hydrosol instead of a toner. Use vegetable oil as a moisturizer. You may need to reapply the oil as moisturizer during the day to keep skin looking moist in cold dry weather.
Q. Do you have any tips on how to age gracefully but still maintain a sense confidence about our looks?
A. Aging is simply a transition in our lives; it does not mean we lose attractiveness. If we understand this and perceive aging as a change in ourselves as opposed to the degradation of our tissues, the obsession for youth is greatly reduced. As long as we balance our skin and our bodies so we hold more hydration, our skin will look moist and vibrant. This can be done by using an alcohol-free toner which uses natural plant waters to hydrate instead of strip. Another tip is to use a natural collagen product. As collagen is what 70% of our connective tissue is made up of, supporting its production and quality greatly improves the hydration of our skin.
Author By Jackie Burns