How to Save Your Skin This Winter

How to save your skin this winter

Winter is here, albeit not officially. I mean, we haven’t even celebrated Thanksgiving yet.

The falling temperatures and the blanket of snow on the ground aren’t the only signs of winter’s approach—my hands have started cracking, and my skin is crying for help! I felt it was time to make my seasonal pilgrimage for a facial as well as to get some advice to help me transition from our all-too-short fall to the depths of winter.

I headed to Sudz Salon on Hennepin Avenue and put myself  (and my skin) in the care of esthetician extraordinaire Margaret. After a consultation consisting of me complaining about the lack of humidity, I started bombarding Margaret with questions: How important is hyaluronic acid as an ingredient? What step would a serum be in my skin care routine? What is the most important part of any skin care routine (especially in the winter), and what can I do about my dry cracking hands?

I think Margaret was wondering how much coffee I had had that morning! Once I was unrobed and comfortably reclined on her facial bed, she began by removing my makeup. “Removing makeup is one of the best things anyone can do to take care of their skin, especially at night.” Margaret told me she is always surprised by the number of women that don’t remove their makeup before bedtime. Nighttime is when our bodies repair and renew. Cell renewal is aided by clean, moisturized skin, here is where an ingredient such as hyaluronic acid, which can help attract and lock in moisture (which is lost during sleep) can really pay off.

Since cleansing is so important, I confessed to Margaret that although I love oil cleansers I don’t always feel they thoroughly cleanse my skin. Margaret used and recommended a bi-phase (two-step) cleanser by Babor. The Cleansing CP HY-ÖL & Phytoactive Sensitive Set combines the natural cleansing powers of water and oil to removes both oil and water-soluble impurities gently without leaving any feeling of tightness. Tight skin after cleansing is not a sign of clean skin; it’s moreso a sign of over-stripping the skin. The bi-phase cleanser is perfect marriage of opposites (like peanut butter and jelly). My skin felt clean and perfectly moisturized; I am definitely sold on this one!

Not only did I thoroughly enjoy my facial for the relaxation and skin rejuvenating benefits but I received an education as well.  Margaret is incredibly knowledgeable and practical about her advice. For example, when I asked about moisturizing and how confusing the plethora of ingredients, not to mention formulas (serums, oils moisturizers, etc), can be, she gave me a wonderful analogy: “Think layering.” Just like we layer clothes in the winter, thinly layering skin care products gives maximum benefits as well as added protection (for hands or face). So after cleansing, use a serum first, then an oil, a moisturizer next, and during the day an SPF, and foundation or tinted moisturizer (just stay away from silicone when layering products as they have a tendency to “peel” or “roll”). I am glad that order thing is figured out!

So this week as you start (or finish) your holiday shopping, should you have someone special on your list that you just don’t know what to give, without hesitation I would recommend a facial.  And while you’re at it don’t forget a little something for yourself. I mean, if I had to choose between Black Friday shopping or some time in Margaret’s facial room, hands-down you know where you’ll find me.