The cold winter winds are coming! And while we always pull out our coats and scarves to protect our bodies, sometimes we forget to protect our skin, as well. We caught up with Kate Somerville, skin care expert to the stars, to talk about caring for your skin during the holidays and beyond.
LN: What are some changes women should make to their skin-care routine as winter approaches?
KS: It’s important to tweak your skin-care regimen to balance the harsh temperatures and your skin’s confusion to the drastic changes in environment. Although you don’t necessarily need to throw away your current moisturizers, exfoliators, toners etc., you might need to add a few things. Look for lotions and creams that provide intensive moisture. Even in the colder weather, be sure to wear sunscreen every day.
For dry skin, sleep with a humidifier on, and add a few drops of essential oils to the water. Feed your skin with foods high in omega-3 and essential fatty acids, such as salmon and avocado, and limit caffeine. Hyaluronic acid is also an extremely important ingredient that keeps your skin hydrated. It is a substance found naturally in the human body that cushions and lubricates joints, eyes and heart valves.
The winter is also a great time to get peels or laser work done. It’s easier to avoid sun exposure post-treatment, and you can turn over any sun damage done during the warmer months.
LN: With the upcoming holidays, do you have any tips to make sure your skin looks flawless?
KS: Exfoliate, hydrate and moisturize. You should exfoliate one to three times a week, depending on your skin. Look for a product that contains both physical and chemical exfoliators, but avoid natural physical exfoliants like pits or seeds that can damage the skin. To hydrate the skin externally, look for products that contain hyaluronic acid—this ingredient can carry 1,000 times its weight in water and bind it to the skin. To hydrate internally, drink plenty of water and eat foods rich in fatty acids. Finally, moisturizing is vital to protecting and sealing in the hydration, and serves as a barrier for your skin.
LN: The holidays are a stressful time—what are your ideas for looking and feeling relaxed and refreshed?
KS: Here are a few secrets that can easily be done at home.
• Hydration is key, especially if you’re travelling on an airplane.
• Use a self-tanner as a quick way to even out skin tone and give it an overall glow.
• Whiten your teeth for an instant face brightener.
• If a pimple appears—don’t pick it! Apply ice to reduce inflammation and redness and take an aspirin (an anti-inflammatory) to reduce swelling.
• NEVER try a new procedure or treatment or begin using a new product before the big occasion—you don’t know how your skin will react.
LN: What recommendations would you make for someone looking to reverse or prevent signs of aging?
KS: Here are a few tips I always recommend to my clients to prevent aging before it starts:
• Wear sunscreen! External protection is the most important element for healthy skin because UV exposure results in skin aging and can also cause skin cancers. Unfortunately, the sun degrades our collagen and elastin and affects our body’s ability to create healthy new cells.
• If you don’t exfoliate, start! Getting rid of the dead layer of skin cells is crucial for a brighter complexion.
• Changing your lifestyle and establishing healthy habits – late nights, smoking, excessive alcohol, unhealthy diet and lack of exercise will all take a huge toll on your skin.
Also, look for a product that can address many aging concerns at once. My newest breakthrough, DermalQuench Liquid Lift, has an ingredient complex that targets all of these: hyaluronic acid for hydration, PFCs to deliver oxygen to the skin and botanical extract to brighten. Hyperpigmentation is another concern that so many people face. Sun damage that was done years and years ago comes to the surface as dark spots that are so hard to get rid of.