Gift a Gift to Your Skin This Season
It happens so fast. One day you’re enjoying the warm glow of dewy, sun-kissed skin, and the next you’re battling to restore it from cold, dry winter winds. Winter skin doesn’t have to look weathered. With the right preventative measures and the use of products designed to nurture it, you can give your skin the gift of healthy texture and tone year-round. The trick is that you’ll need to start now. We spoke to master aesthetician Julie Vondrak of Suite 103 Aesthetics and Color Studio in Salem, N.H., about how to prepare your skin for what’s ahead in the cold winter months.
“Winter brings dull, dry skin,” Vondrak says. “And often we’re still repairing hidden damage from summer.” It’s a crucial time for care in the life of healthy skin. Her approach to repairing and combating damage involves three key elements: refreshing, hydrating and protecting the skin.
First, Vondrak recommends adopting an exfoliating routine one or two times a week, depending on how your skin responds to exfoliation. At Suite 103, the skin-care team uses PCA Skin, a product line designed to treat a range of skin types, including mature, dry, acne-prone and sensitive. “I’ve been using it now for three years and I love, love, love it,” Vondrak says. PCA’s Gentle Exfoliant is a facial scrub that sloughs off the dead skin cells and allows the skin to receive moisturizing products more effectively.
A deep moisturizing serum is the next step. “Serums are moisturizing and corrective,” Vondrak says. They should be applied first. All other moisturizers can be applied on top of a serum, and each will work in tandem without losing their individual potency. “PCA’s Hydrating Serum contains sodium hyaluronate (a form of hyaluronic acid), which holds 1,000 times its weight in water and is very hydrating to the skin,” Vondrak says.
A daily moisturizer is a necessary step in sealing in moisture and protecting skin. PCA’s C-Strength Cream is the only product on the market with 5 percent vitamin E, Vondrak says. “It’s wonderful for evening out skin tone, hydrating the skin and reducing fine lines and wrinkles — that’s what you want to look for in a daily moisturizer,” she says.
Wearing sunscreen, which can be applied on top of a daily cream, Vondrak says, is one of the most important gifts you can give to your skin. Many beauty products contain a sun protection factor (SPF) of between 10 and 25, but Vondrak recommends a straight-up sunscreen product for the face with an SPF of 30. She suggests not exceeding an SPF of 50 because higher SPFs often contain more chemicals with only minimally increased benefits.
“Sun damage happens year-round, and wearing sunscreen is the most important advice I give to my clients,” she says. “Wear it every day.” Sun damage starts to reveal itself in the form of dark spots, fine lines and a loss of elasticity. We can use products and treatments to alleviate and repair damage, but prevention is the best defense.
For clients who struggle with dry, flaking skin during the winter, Vondrak recommends making the bedtime skin routine a priority. Skin repairs itself while we sleep, which makes bedtime a perfect time to apply nutrients and moisture, she says. “PCA’s Collagen Hydrator is a favorite of mine,” Vondrak says. “This contains shea butter and olive fruit oil.”
Finally, if you really want to gift yourself this season, check out the “HydraFacial” treatment at Suite 103, which clients rave about, Vondrak says. It’s designed for all skin types and conditions; it gently exfoliates, detoxifies, rejuvenates and protects the skin — a real treat for the skin with immediate results, according to Vondrak. “It’s perfect for perfecting skin before special holiday events!” she says.
Suite 103 Aesthetics and Color Studio