This season has been some of the most extreme weather to date in the world. With blizzards clobbering Europe and pounding New York and the East Coast, hardly ever freezing temps reported in Miami and the South, to recent heavy rains and tsunami-advisories afflicting California and the West Coast, your skin has paid dearly with freezing cold air and harsh, forceful winds that are tacking on some dryness, dullness, irritation, redness, and flaking.
Here are 4 helpful hints to protect , nourish, and help quench your skin’s thirst (and hair and body too!) during these cold Winter months:
1. Ahh-some Açaí : The Better Berry
The Açaí berry is known as a super berry because it has among the highest antioxidant capacity of any fruit with 10 times more antioxidants than red grapes and 10 to 30 times the anthocyanins of red wine. This helps prevent free-radical damages to skin cells.
Açaí is also rich in essential fatty acids, such as omega-6 and omega-9, which help to maintain the skin’s elasticity and smoothness and prevent water loss. It also contains flavanoids, which fight inflammation, together with essential amino and fatty acids to help regenerate skin cell growth and phytosterols to preserve collagen.
Must-Have: a serum booster Kiehl’s Açaí Damage-Repairing Serum 1.7 fl. oz. / $49.
An ultra concentrated, readily-absorbent formula quickly penetrates skin’s surface to repair the effects of visible damage to skin’s tone, texture and elasticity due to environmental oxidation, sun exposure and other external skin stressors. The super-antioxidant Organic Açaí Berry from the Brazilian Amazon, in combination with Aloe Vera Juice, Lavender and Rosemary Essential Oils to help skin repair the visible effects of both physical and environmental damage.
2. Matcha: The Queen of Green Tea
When your face and body needs a quick pick me up in addition to some TLC, then turn to powdered tea that’s the color of money. Matcha is the queen of all green tea because it is made of whole ground tea leaves as opposed to an aqueous infusion (or watered down version) of green tea.
Matcha green tea has tannins that help to strengthen and boost collagen, resulting in firmer, toned skin and significantly improving its elasticity. Matcha’s antioxidant components consist of a special group of potent and plentiful polyphenols called catechins which have been shown to penetrate cells very effectively. Matcha is reported to be 20 times stronger than vitamin E.
Its anti-inflammatory properties are found in its caffeine which combines with its polyphenols to deliver superb skin benefits. As an anti-inflammatory it can aid in improving and healing acne, rosacea, and eczema by reducing redness, puffiness, and swelling.
It is one of the most potent forms of photoprotection, which means that it protects against sun damage and reduces the number of sunburned cells. When combined with other antioxidants along with and prior to a sunscreen, green tea increases sun protection. So not only does it help to protect the skin from UV damage, but it also prevents collagen breakdown, and boosts detoxifying enzymes to promote skin clarity and improve its overall health and wellness.
Must Have: Origin’s The Way of the Bath Matcha Tea Body Lotion 6.7 fl. oz. / $40.
This aromatic, lightweight Matcha body lotion is rich in natural antioxidants plus Rice Butter and Murumuru Butter to cocoon skin in protective moisture. Stress-silencing Ginseng and hydrating Kukui Nut, Jojoba Seed and Sweet Almond Oils replenish body and soul. And the blend of essential oils enlivens consciousness and soothes the spirit.
3. Mega Moisturizers: The Power of Moisture Magnets
One of my most favorite products to use year round, but especially magnificent for Winter, is an ultra-hydrating mask from L’Occitane called Immortelle Cream Mask. This excellent face treatment contains soothing Shea butter, which is high in fatty acids and other nutrients and is a superb emollient that hydrates deep down and restores the hydrolipidic film, cushioning the skin and leaving it softer, more supple and plump.
This creamy mask is packed with vitamins E and A to help stimulate cell renewal, and also contains the essential oil of the Immortelle flower which naturally defies aging – it never wilts or withers, even after being picked. Microcapsule technology concentrates the hand-harvested essential oil in a formula that helps to boost microcirculation and increase collagen synthesis therefore reducing the signs of aging. A velvety, patented-ingredient moisturizer with proven wrinkle-reducing benefits. This mask also doubles as a moisturizer so you can just leave it on!!!
Gloria Ortiz, Cosmetic Sales Manager & Lead Esthetician at Red Door Spas in San Francisco, really believes in lush creams capable of providing intense hydration and moisture barriers. Her favorite beauty product is a classic moisturizer that was originally launched in 1930 by Elizabeth Arden called 8 Hour Cream Skin Protectant. Gloria says, “It is just so healing and soothing to chapped lips, hands, rough areas. It must be used sparingly, but it heals abrasions like you wouldn’t believe.” This balm can also soothe and comfort minor weather burns, redness, and scrapes whenever and wherever needed.
Must-Haves: L’Occitane Immortelle Cream Mask 4.4 oz. / $60 and Elizabeth Arden 8 Hour Cream Skin Protectant 1.7 fl. oz / $17
4. The Shine of the Times – Argan Oil
For thirsty, unruly, and dull hair, Seattle hairstylist Katie Bell, a Senior Hair Designer at Marco Two Union Square salon swears by Argan Oil to make hair beautiful, bouncy, and shiny. She uses it every chance she gets to effortlessly transform and blow out all hair types (especially excessively curly and unmanageable tresses) into pretty, smooth, and silky hair instantly.
Argan oil, indigenous to Morocco and rich in omega-6, antioxidants and vitamin E, penetrates into the hair to seal split ends and creates a barrier against the damaging effects of heat, sun, wind, and styling to bring back a healthy and natural shine. It also softens, smoothes, and tames the frizz. Katie says this special oil has revolutionized the hair care industry and how she now does hair!
Since Argan oil is a great source of linoleic acid, omega-6, omega-9, tocopherols, polyphenols, and ferulic acid, it’s excellent when applied to skin as it helps restore and protect against free-radical damage while essential fatty acids keep skin hydrated and balanced.
Must-Have: Kiehl’s Superbly Restorative Argan Dry Oil for face, hair, and body 4.2 fl. oz. /$30