Monday, October 21, 2013

Get skin ready for Fall-Winter

Break out the sweaters, fall is here! It's a season I've come to love as it means I can walk along to campus to gorgeous autumn foliage. It also means that it's time to transition your skin care. I've compiled some tips to help prepare your skin for the colder months to ensure you maintain that radiance.

1. Humidifier

Winter is notorious for dry and chapped skin. Invest in a quality humidifier to put moisture back into the air. Not only is this wonderful for maintaining skin moisture, it also keeps your immune system in shape to fend off the spread of seasonal diseases and viruses. I personally prefer the humidifiers that allow you to adjust strength and temperature because there is no "one size fits all". I like to set the humidifier slightly hotter than room temperature so that I don't need to use the heater as much which helps maintain the natural moisture in the air.

2. Exfoliate

It's not just the lack of sun making you feel that your skin is more dull and lifeless during the colder months, its actually the combination of the drier climate and application of more occlusive moisturizers that can keep dead skin cells from turning over. This contributes to the dull, sallow complexion and can even clog pores. May Lindstrom's The Clean Dirt is one of the most well known green exfoliators out there. Some people call this a cleanser, she calls it a cleansing clay, but I think of it as a clean version of Bobbi Brown's Buffing Beads except with spices to stimulate circulation. This is sure to slough off dead skin cells. Sensitive skins should not use this more than twice a week to prevent the possibility of irritation.

Photo from Eva Chen's Instagram

3. Face Oil

I was surprised to see on my instragram feed over the weekend that Lucky's new EIC, Eva Chen posted the above picture with the caption: I know it's officially fall when I start using face oils. These are my four favorites!

It's good to see a face oils get recognized in the mainstream because they're so efficient. A few drops provides the moisture capabilities of a moisturizer while also feeding skin with a lot of nutrition. It is really the best combination of a serum + moisturiser. And because it is so pure and concentrated, the chances of congestion and irritation are actually less than using a cream moisturiser which tends to use more chemicals, emulsifiers, waxes, etc which can clog pores and irritate skin.

To read more about picking oils, read my post on how not all oils are equal and for those with acne-prone skin who are taking the plunge into oils, this is a list of recommended face oils.

Photo from YULI's Facebook

4. Anti-irritants

Our skin is sensitive to temperature extremes. In brisk, harsh cold climates, the winds and snow can feel like whips lashing against the delicate skin. I remember a key sign of winter when I was a child was when my dad would bring home hand balms. Balms not only help skin retain moisture, but their thick barrier also forms a protective shield against the harsh environmental exposure.

I really like YULI's Cocoon Elixir because it contains anti-irritants that help to relieve redness and soothe skin with calming calendula, chamomile, and healing lavender. And for when skin is really problematic, it contains anti-inflammatories to treat those painful itches caused by dry harsh air.

Photo from Salonzola Instagram

5. Protect your lips

This should be obvious as your lips are one of the most exposed parts of your face. To prevent chapped, dry lips, I recommend an occlusive balm. A personal favorite is Intelligent Nutrient's Lip Delivery which features beeswax, coconut oil, and shea butter which are among the most powerful moisture retaining ingredients by far comparable to even their chemical sibling petrolatum. I also love that besides just waxes and thick oils, it has antioxidants and real nutrients which makes it almost like a balm-serum.

Photo from I Am Natural Instagram

If your lips are beyond the need for a simple moisture fix, use YULI's Cellular Lip Conditioner to heal and treat dry/cracked lips and layer it under your balm to fix damaged lips and soak in moisture. It's called a super-concentrated lip serum which means there are more actives that repair lips beyond forming a barrier.

Both products are not only natural & mostly organic but they're food-grade and safe enough for pregnant women which is so important because upwards of 80% of lip products are ingested.

Photo from Clementine Fields Instagram
6. Moisture

Everyone should use a moisturiser but if you have dry skin, it is even more important to step up moisturisers in the winter to keep your skin in check. I personally like Tata Harper's moisturisers, I buy the Repairative Moisturiser (above) for my mom as it is suited for dry/mature skin, while during the coldest bits of winter, I apply a pump of the Rebuilding Moisturiser over dry patches around my mouth. My favorite quality about the moisturisers from this line is that they're packed with skin restoring ingredients. Some moisturisers just help lock in hydration but Tata definitely makes hers a hybrid between moisturiser/anti-aging treatment. I almost see no need to add an anti-aging treatment on top of her creams for this reason.

Some people don't like that the Tata Harper line is very fragrant but I consider it a step above other companies that use parfums (synthetic fragrance). So if you don't have any sensitivities to the fragrance she uses, I consider her moisturisers really effective for dry skin.


Have any questions over how to transition your skincare regimen to winter? Ask in the comments!


  1. Nice and timely read! Thank you. Do you recommend moisturisers on top of oils nights? A lot of companies recommend to use oils at night exclusively so that skin can properly regenerate. What are your thoughts on this? I also like yuli's lip conditioner and while I like cocoon, I wish it would contain hylauronic acid to plump up and moisturise my sensitive but dry skin a bit more! Laura

    1. Thanks Laura! I recommend it for some people, there is no "one rule for all skin types". I do not believe in slathering more moisture than your skin needs though because it does not help your skin (your skin should be resilient enough to lock in moisture on its own).

      The good thing about Yuli is that they design products very well with the end-user in mind, and you might find their Metamorphic Elixir is suitable for your skin since that is the one for dry skin. I recommend normal skin use Cocoon because it is wonderful for redness, inflammation, and irritation that can come during the winter

    2. Laura, I was just about to ask that same question! Great minds, huh?

      I have recently started using Yuli and am loving it, but I think my choices may have been too much for my skin: metamorphic elixir and modern alchemist for night and liquid courage for day. I am concerned with preventing wrinkles, but still have kinda oily-ish, easily clogged skin. I can definitely feel the oils on my skin. So, are the oils good enough for me or should I use moisturizer too?

  2. @greenderm. Thank you. I am using yuli metamorphic elixir and modern alchemist at night, but my dry skin still feels somewhat tight in colder weather. I have increased my omega intake from 2 to 3/4 tbsp a day, so will see if that makes a difference. If not, I am considering a moisturiser on top bit am not sure what to look out for (eg wax free?); are there other recommendations you have to make skin stronger?

    In terms of the elixir, i use the metamorphic but my skin is also dry/red and it does not address that; hence my wish cocoon would contain the hylauronic acid.

    @juliet. I know! It is hard to know these things with so much differing info/philosophies out there. But it sounds, as your skin is on the oilier side, that you do not need more moisture?! Have you tried yulis skin fuel; i think it is a lighter oil. My skin just drinks up the modern alchemist; it dissapears within a few minutes...laura

    1. Laura, I think that is what I wrote down to try next. I also may try the Cocoon when the Metamorphic is gone. Though I do really like it, one of the other elixirs could be better suited for for my skin. but...I'm pretty sure I'm ok to skip the moisturizer on top... for now.

    2. Laura, I am in the same boat with dehydrated and red skin. I use Cocoon Elixir to address redness and irritation and then layer on Modern Alchemist and then a lotion and I think this takes care of everything. Based on what you are saying even using Modern Alchemist and Metamorphic Elixir is not enough so you probably should use a moisturizer! This would also help the issue you have with Cocoon.

      I can understand why Yuli doesn't make Cocoon for drier skin types because it really is soothing and calming first. I think you are looking for moisture that an oil and elixir cannot provide and adding hylauronic acid to cocoon is not the answer. - Da

    3. @Laura you should probably use a moisturizer, why are you not using one? It seems you have dry skin so you should probably use one. This might also handle redness or any tightness as it seems the problem originates from your skin being dehydrated. Cocoon is good for soothing and calming skin that is sensitive and irritated but I don't think it will take care of redness that comes from tight dehydration, and it wasn't meant to. Face elixirs help to tone and condition and that is Cocoon does. Even adding hyaluronic acid won't really be of much help. You should put a moisturizer on and your problems will go away. I don't think it is a issue with the elixirs themselves not performing.