After months of indulgent drinking, gluttonous eating and hard partying — not to mention the anxiety of family gatherings and crowded shopping malls — your skin is going to be the unfortunate reflector of all that stress. And while the harsh chill of winter keeps us wanting to stay in and hunker down for a Netflix binge — not great for that New Year’s workout resolution — sitting on the couch for a stretch or spending some extra time at our vanities may be exactly what we need to whip our skin back into shape. So turn off that phone, get your comfiest sweats on and get ready to reboot — a little TLC now, and you’ll emerge glowing by Valentine’s.
With the hectic holiday schedule, chances are, you’ve had to take a bit of a detour from your regular skin care regimen. So start your skin reboot by exfoliating dry, dead skin cells to give yourself a clean canvas to work with. Avoid harsh (and environmentally harmful) microbeads and reach for gentle powder or chemical exfoliators, like Dr. Oracle The Snow Queen Enzyme Powder Wash, with its water-activated fruit enzyme powder; or Yoon Dermaline Marine Aqua Peeler, which uses lactic and glycolic acids — you can even apply the Aqua Peeler, with its giant, easy-to-use cotton swab applicator, while curled up on the couch. If you want a two-fer, try Primary Raw’s DoYou 2-Step Milk Peeling Kit — first apply the alpha hydroxy acid-soy milk complex with the oversized swab, then hunker down for a soothing sheet mask session of green tea, chamomile and rosemary.
After clearing away all that dulling debris from skin’s surface, the next thing you’ll want to do is eliminate deep down impurities with a mask. Long used as a detoxifier, charcoal acts as a magnet of sorts, drawing out dirt and oil and whisking them away. Lindsay’s Charcoal Modeling Rubber Mask offers the best of both worlds — its rubber-like texture allows charcoal to get deep into pores without drying out your skin. (And don’t be put off by its DIY look — once you get the hang of it, this stuff is amazing. Check out the video demo here.) Another great way to purge pores is with I’m From Volcanic Mask, which uses 8.6% volcanic clay from the lush environment of Jeju Island in South Korea. Like charcoal, volcanic clay acts as a magnet for dirt and oil, but it also infuses skin with vitamins and minerals, so skin is left purified and nourished.
Now that your skin is ready to better absorb treatment, flush out skin-damaging free radicals — those pesky unstable molecules caused by seemingly everything from UV rays to pollution to stress — with a hearty dose of antioxidants. Start using an ampoule, which is a supercharged version of a serum, meant to speed up results for when skin needs that extra push. I can’t rave enough about LJH Vita Propolis Ampoule, which basically does everything but wash the dishes — it gives me a massive dose of antioxidants (50% propolis, anyone?), helps keep my hormonal acne at bay, decreases inflammation and minimizes the look of pores.
Regardless of your skin type, with dry winter air (and indoor heating) at its peak, you’ll want to amp up your hydration levels right around now. Thankfully, hydrated doesn’t have to mean oily or greasy. The lightweight texture of Earth’s Recipe Moisture Bound Cream belies a potent moisture magnet ingredient that is the tremella mushroom — just watch this video of the mushroom expanding in water. Tremella does the same thing for your skin, plumping it up and keeping it firm. If you want to go that extra mile for an extra boost of hydration — any time of day — pat on Blossom Jeju’s 100% Camellia Seed Dry Oil. It’s quickly absorbed, making it feel almost “dry,” and since you only need a few drops to benefit from its antioxidant-rich, hydration-packed formula, a little goes a long way.
Because sure, our skin may need a detox, but post-holiday, so do our wallets.
Written by me, originally published on Glow Recipe.