Alix Mancuso Four Seasons skin deep

Caring for your skin is no easy task—especially when the cold winter winds hit. We turned to esthetician Alix Mancuso of the Four Seasons Spa for insight on the tools and tips to get the best skin of your life.

What is the biggest concern your clients have about their skin?

Being in the Midwest, a lot of them feel they have really sensitive skin; and both with the heat and humidity of summer and the dry winter, everyone has dry or dehydrated skin. In what I see, a lot of people need to calm the skin, open up congestion and clear breakouts, and there’s a large focus on anti-aging. We have some anti-aging treatments that are packed with collagen, which helps to plump the skin. In the winter, I do a lot of body treatments like a body scrub or polish to slough off all the dead skin cells that start to build up.

There’s a big trend toward deep cleansing systems like the Clarisonic—do you find those are helpful for most people?

The Clarisonic is basically a cleansing brush, so instead of applying your cleanser with your hands, you use the brush. I recommend it for all my clients, because it cleanses six times more than your hands. With your hands alone, you just get the surface, but this really opens and closes the pores and gets everything down to the root, to even out skin tone and promote circulation.

As for the skin care products themselves, we just launched a new menu with the Babor line in August. It’s a German-based line, and we’re seeing a lot of results because it has great all-natural, pure active ingredients. There aren’t as many fillers as you might find in other lines, so you see results more quickly.

I understand you recently went to Germany to learn about the Babor line first-hand?

Yes, they’re very established in Europe and they’re trying to focus more on their clientele in North America, so they asked someone from each of their North American accounts to come spend some time in Aachen, the small town in Western Germany where they’re based. They take great pride in using the natural resources around them in their products. Aachen has the hottest spring water in all of Central Europe, and they extract minerals from that. My favorite is Edelweiss, which is very calming and helps protect the skin.

As we get deeper into winter, how would you recommend clients change their beauty routine?

To start with your cleansing, I would focus on exfoliating all the dry, dead skin cells. You also need a great moisturizer with extra protection from the cold wind, to make sure your skin is hydrated. A lot of people need different products throughout the year, so pay attention to what your skin is telling you. I recommend masks on a weekly basis, especially in the wintertime, because they penetrate a little deeper. With the Babor line, we have a great hydrating mask that we use in facials; and for home, they have a lifting foam mask, which really helps hydrate the skin. You can even sleep with it, and when you wake up, it tightens everything, so you have a brighter complexion and all the moisture you need.

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