Wednesday, 26 February 2014

Saving Face: Winter Skincare Essentials

Winters in Ottawa are known to be not the easiest to manage. Old Man Winter seems to have it out for us, and it is just not a fair deal... What did I do to deserve this? The biggest victim of the extreme cold is our delicate skin. It is so important to pay extra attention over the colder months to protect ourselves from the harmful effects or else you'll end up getting the life sucked out of you like an episode of True Blood. Here are the best ways to fight against winter's top culprits - biting winds, drying indoor temperatures and below freezing temps.

1) Moisturize

The indoor heat may be a nice change from what's going on outside, but it is sucking the moisture out of your skin. It is imperative to use a good natural moisturizer at least twice a day. Purple Urchin, an awesome local company, makes fantastic natural products that work wonders. I recommend their Extreme Cream for super hydration.

Purple Urchin Extreme Cream - $11.95

2) Don't forget the body either

I for one am guilty of this - I just never seem to have the time between the gym and work to slather on the moisturizer, but then I end up suffering from 'lizard-skin' syndrome. Trust me and take the extra minute to slather on some hydrating lotion before starting your day. My favorite is the Dream Cream from Lush. Sometimes I just use extra virgin coconut oil for extra moisture in a pinch. Side note - coconut oil is awesome for hair and nails too.

Lush Dream Cream - $29.95

3) Go easy on the soap

Most of the commercial soaps out there contain harsh chemicals that aggravate your skin which is the last thing you want when battling the elements. Use a simple bar soap with natural ingredients and you'll notice immediately healthier looking skin. Saaboon is another favorite local soap company. They're vegan too!

Saaboon Wash & Glow Soap - $7.00

4) Exfoliate

Remove the dull layer of skin to reveal a fresh, glowing face by using a gentle exfoliator once or twice a week. DO NOT use those defoliators which physical seed shells and/or ground nuts in them (such as St. Yves' products). These actually make little tears in your skin rather than slough off the dead skin cells. Not cool. I like the Soy Exfoliant by Fresh. The cucumber seeds are much gentler than the hard shells found in other products.
Fresh Soy Face Exfoliant - $49.00

5) Stop Tanning

This should be common knowledge by now, but those indoor tanning booths are pure evil for your skin. I know it is tempting to spend a few minutes soaking in the Vitamin D when it is -30 and blizzarding out, but you are only drying your skin out more and accelerating the aging process. Think of it as the opposite of the fountain of youth. Thanks to modern technologies though, there are lots of great sunless tanners out there to give your skin a faux glow.

Bare Minerals Faux Tan Face - $32.00

 6) Exercise

Yes, its true. That thing you vowed to do come January 1st that you forgot about works wonders for your skin too. Getting your sweat on removes toxins from your body. You may have noticed that awesome glow you get after a good sweat session at the gym - by increasing blood flow, exercise helps rejuvenate and nourish your blood cells. In addition to providing oxygen, blood flow also helps carry away waste products, including free radicals, from working cells. Exercise also reduces stress, which is a known culprit for dull looking skin.

I know I sound like your nagging mother by now but all of the above pointers should be a regular part of your winter routine. Follow these rules and you'll come out victorious once spring rolls around without having to spend a fortune on chemical spa treatments.

1 comment:

  1. Great post.Winter hydration is so important! Hope you don't mind, have included in some links below that you might find of interest.
    Thanks again,
    N x