Repeat after me – hydration, hydration, hydration.
Fall is in full swing. The kids are back in school, sweater weather is fast approaching and it’s time for us to start transitioning our skincare for the season. Protection is the name of the game, 365 days a year. But for Fall and winter specifically, the focus shifts from sun protection to protecting our skin’s delicate moisture balance.
Summer can have a greater impact on our skin than we realize. You already know that short-term UV-exposure can cause a nasty sunburn. Over time, the cumulative effects of exposure without protection can cause photo-aging, age spots and even wrinkles and fine lines.
The lesser known effects of the sun is that it compromises the integrity and strength of the skin. Essentially, it decreases the cell’s ability to stick together and causes more stress in the skin – breaking down the bonds that keeps our skin supple and lifted. Cumulative exposure can cause DNA damage, a decrease in collagen and elastin, and slowed cell turnover. The results manifest as deeper wrinkles, more pigment issues, and a dry looking and feeling complexion.
Summer conditions and activities like swimming (in the ocean or a pool), air conditioning, and dry air all influence the condition our skin into the cooler months. The great news is that there are plenty of daily practices that you can use to restore and maintain moisture from head to toe.
The Practice: Cleanse without stripping
Our diet and water intake are the most influential factors on our complexion’s hydration and appearance. However, even if we are drinking plenty of water and eating hydrating foods, our cleansers can sabotage our efforts by stripping skin of moisture as we remove makeup, dirt and excess oil.
Harsh chemicals found in many commercial skin cleansers strip the skin by diminishing its outermost layer called the acid mantle. This is a problem because the acid mantle provides a barrier against bacteria and regulates oil production which helps keep our skin healthy and smooth. The more damage done to the mantle, the more prone our skin is to infection and oil imbalances which can lead to dryness and even excess oil.
A cream based cleanser like Kunye’s Brighten Cream Cleanser is excellent at preserving moisture while also cleansing the skin. Free of Sodium Laureth Sulfates, alcohols and PEG’s, the cleanser removes what you don’t want (goodbye dirt, makeup and oil) and leaves behind what you do (hello soft, hydrated skin).
The Practice: Feed your skin from the outside in
We can’t neglect the skin from the neck down. There are countless options for moisturizing our bodies from lotions, to oils, to balms. But my absolute favorite way to ‘love the skin I’m in’ is by coating it in Replenish Body butter morning (sometimes at noon) and night.
Raw body butters are more nutrient dense than water based lotions because the formula are water free. Essentially, this means that all the ingredients that feed the skin with vitamins and minerals remain undiluted by water. But H2O does have an important role in the practice. The trick is to apply body butter to damp skin right after bathing if possible. This locks in the moisture and delivers vital nutrients to the skin at the same time.
The Practice: Lip Love
Our lips are one of the few places on our body that doesn’t contain oil glands, so they require a little extra help from us to stay flaky free.
Fall is a great time to add a bold pop of colour to the lip. But, many lipsticks and pencils tend to be drying. So, before you add your favorite colour, prime your lips with a natural lip conditioner or balm.
Beeswax is great for locking in moisture and can even withstand the coldest and windiest of temperatures.