Autumn is one of my favorite times of the year. The crazy heat of the summer has passed and given way to cooler, crisper mornings, even out here in "Hot Vegas". I no longer need to walk my puppy at 5 in the morning to avoid heat stroke or wear gloves in the car so that I can touch my steering wheel.
Did you know that September is one of the busiest months for dermatologists? That’s because people tend to go into panic mode when they see the first signs of damage caused by summer exposure to the sun, sea and sand. Traveling on vacation is not always conducive to taking care of our skin, and many of us ditch our beauty routines along with our skin care products to make room for an extra pair of sandals in the suitcase or squeeze an additional half hour out of our daytime activities. But don’t panic: getting your skin back in shape does not always require drastic or invasive measures! Here are my personal recommendations to help you recover from your summer transgressions and restore a healthy, even glow to your complexion.
- The single most important thing you can do in the Fall is exfoliate. Whether you are a fan of professional microdermabrasion, alpha-hydroxy acid peels or prefer to use a more natural DIY at-home exfoliating treatment designed specifically for the face and neck, it is important to gently remove the sad, dehydrated skin left behind by the summer months. Not only will this help minimize whatever new fine lines and wrinkles are emerging: it will also give you a smooth, fresh canvas to work with, and allow your skin to get maximum benefits from the moisturizers and treatments you apply. Remember: Dead skin cells block absorption and make applying moisturizers and creams a waste of both time and money.
- Now is the time to reassess your daily skincare routine.Throw out any products that are drying to the skin or inadequate for your current needs, and experiment with new formulations you may have previously overlooked. For example, switching to a creamy, milky cleanser can add moisture to your skin while removing dirt, environmental toxins, and excess oil. Contrary to what you may think, milky cleansers have been proven to be just as effective as the foaming kind and are far less drying. Find a light-oil-based day and/or night cream containing essential oils to help keep your skin adequately hydrated, provide antioxidant protection and stimulate collagen growth. This can help keep skin from becoming loose and saggy and prevent dry red patches in the months to come. If you opt to use a moisturizer intended specifically for nighttime use, make sure that it does not contain sunscreen which is an unnecessary chemical for you to be exposed to during the hours you sleep in a dark room. Remember to apply all emollient face and body products while your skin is still damp, to seal in moisture and form a protective barrier against the elements.
- Address any new sunspots/age spots that have suddenly appeared on your face by using a corrective natural treatment to gradually break up the hyperpigmentation. Stay away from synthetic skin lighteners and harsh de-pigmenting agents like hydroquinone. These chemicals have been banned in the EU, Australia and Japan because they can cause harmful side effects that are potentially dangerous to your health. For a list of these dangers click here: http://www.onlinelawyersource.com/hydroquinone/dangers.
- Drink at least 8 glasses of water a day, adding an extra glass for each cup of coffee or alcohol you drink. Eating fresh vegetables and fruits that are rich in omega-3 essential fatty acids and antioxidants can also help reverse some of summer's offenses and give your immune system a nutritional boost in preparation for the winter months ahead.
Copyright Sharon Gnatt Epel for La Ishá High-Performance Natural Skin Care 8-2018