Turning to the experts at The Skin Girls for help winterizing skin, and undoing the damage of summer's rays
Technically, winter hasn’t arrived yet, but it sure feels like it. Combatting the changing seasons and undoing damage from the summer sun (not to mention pollution and smoke from local forest fires) can be confusing. Turn to the professionals!
The Skin Girls take care of clients—and specific skin issues—at their Yaletown locale, and founder Lisa Blair agreed to answer questions to get everyone on the right skin track this season.
Here's what to do, what to avoid and what few of us do enough of...
BCLiving: What is the single best thing people can do for their skin during the fall and winter? Especially lazy people...
Lisa Blair: Moisturize, moisturize, moisturize. Adding a humidifier to your bedroom is a great—and easy—trick. It adds moisture to the air, which in turn helps replenish moisture in your skin.
BCL: Is there anything you should avoid—food or drink-wise—that might dry you out even more?
LB: Caffeine, sugar and salt can dehydrate your skin and create bloat. Basically, all the good stuff... but there is a silver lining! Red wine contains antioxidants. Opt for that instead.
BCL: Also... any chemicals in products that might dry you out even more?
LB: Products themselves shouldn’t cause your skin to dry out. However, your skin is dryer in the winter months due to heaters, hot showers ... adding a serum to your skincare routine usually does the trick.
BCL: Should you still be wearing sunscreen, or products with sunscreen, even when it’s grey?
LB: Yes! I cannot stress this enough. Although UVB rays are weaker in the winter months, which means you won't sunburn as easily, UVA rays that cause wrinkles and premature aging are strong year-round.
BCL: If you had to recommend one product that should work for everyone to combat the winter season, what would it be?
LB: Exfoliation is key in cold winter months. My fave exfoliant is the Daily Microfoliant from Dermalogica. It’s a rice-based enzyme powder that exfoliates dead skin. It's so gentle it can be used by all skin types.
BCL: What’s the best way to combat the damage from the summer season, be it too much sun exposure or the harsh days when smoke is in the air?
LB: The year-round routine is exfoliation, but—in the summer months—use mechanical exfoliation or microdermabrasion. It's the best way to remove dirt, oil, dead skin and impurities. It's non-invasive and has minimal-to-no downtime.
BCL: What kind of facials or treatments do you do most during the winter season and why?
LB: We focus on corrective treatments in the winter months. Those summer days spent in the sun wreak havoc on your skin. Fractional resurfacing, IPL photo facials, microdermabrasion, and peels are our most popular treatments in the winter.
BCL: What’s the best daily routine you’d recommend for most skin types?
LB: If I could recommend just one thing to people, it would definitely be sunscreen! I can't stress enough the importance of applying it daily. There are approximately 80,000 cases of skin cancer in Canada each year.
STORY: Christine McAvoy of BC Living. Read it here, now.