In the shadow of a dark season, natural ways to illuminate your skin
Snow, skiing and hot chocolate are just a few of the things to love about winter—but what the season does to your complexion isn’t one of them. If your skin has lost its luster and is looking a bit on the dull side, it’s not your imagination—winter weather can steal our natural glow. “Our skin responds to many external changes, including weather and climate,” explains Amy Olthoff, spa director at Spa Nalai, Park Hyatt New York. “When temperatures drop and there is less humidity, the water in our skin evaporates at a faster rate—this happens on a cellular level—and the skin appears duller and more dehydrated. Many people experience flaky skin, itching and overall increase in sensitivity and redness.”
Just like you switch out your wardrobe, your skincare regimen needs to change with the seasons. During the winter, moisturizing becomes even more crucial. Olthoff suggests incorporating a facial oil if you don’t use one already and upgrading your daily moisturizer to a rich formula. Be sure to look for the right exfoliating ingredients to boost cellular turnover—she suggests alpha-hydroxy acids—and support the skin’s natural moisture. “Hyaluronic acid is an excellent ingredient because it has the ability to hold 1,000 times its weight in water,” says Olthoff. “It is actually already naturally occurring in our bodies but we can also apply it topically in skincare products.”
It might seem like exfoliating more frequently is an easy way to combat dull skin, but that’s actually a bad idea. Olthoff says once or twice a week is plenty, as over-exfoliation can irritate the skin further. Humidifiers can help get your glow back, as they increase the moisture in the air in your home throughout the day and overnight, plus they benefit your respiratory system. Olthoff suggests placing one to two drops of your favorite essential oil in your humidifier; for example, lavender or sandalwood.
It’s easy to fake a radiant complexion with the right makeup tricks. Apply bronzer where the sun would naturally hit you, on the temples, center of forehead, cheeks, nose and chin. A dab of blush on the apples of your cheeks brings a natural flush, while highlighter or illuminator on the top of cheekbones, inner corner of the eyes, under the brows and on the cupid’s bow of the lip bounces the light off your face. “I also pump a pea-size amount of facial oil in with my liquid foundation to create a dewy effect,” Olthoff says.
Another easy solution? “Drink a lot of water,” Olthoff says. “Get plenty of sleep and eat a variety of vibrant, healthy foods. A great rule of thumb is to look for brightly colored fruits and vegetables—they are loaded with essential vitamins and nutrients such as vitamins A and C, potassium and fiber. Spinach is good for the skin too because it is a natural anti-inflammatory.” And avoid smoking and limit your alcohol intake—both have extremely negative effects on the skin, including dehydrating, dulling and irritating. Olthoff says, “You hear this all the time but I can never say it enough: Radiant skin starts from within.”
Get plenty of sleep and eat a variety of vibrant, healthy foods.
Recipes for Radiance
Elizabeth Dehn for One Love Organics Vitamin C Brightening Facial Serum Gets you glowing with vitamin C-rich antioxidants, organic green tea and vitamin E, which nourish and brighten dull skin. oneloveorganics.com
Neocell Derma Matrix Collagen Skin Complex A nutrient-rich powder that dissolves instantly in water, juice or smoothie. Loaded with collagen, hyaluronic acid and vitamin C to firm, hydrate and illuminate the skin. neocell.com
Reserveage Plant-Based Support Collagen Builder The first vegan collagen product on the market, this new formulation, with plant-based collagen, amino acids and vitamin C, will help hydrate and soften the skin. reserveage.com
Marie Veronique Oil De Jour Extra Healing This rich blend of camellia, meadowfoam seed, jojoba, borage, chia seed oils and more is a deeply moisturizing treatment for radiant face, neck and décolleté. marieveronique.com
Naturade Pea Protein Vegan Shake Feed your beauty from the inside out with this non-GMO pea protein that is 100 percent gluten-, cholesterol-, soy- and dairy-free, with amino acids and protein, the building blocks of beautiful skin. naturade.com
RMS Beauty Buriti Bronzer With wild-crafted buriti oil, high in vitamin A and beta-carotene, this sheer, creamy bronzer will instantly light up—and moisturize—any skin tone. rmsbeauty.com
8G Think green juice in a tablet—this delivers spinach, wheatgrass, kale, blue green algae, spirulina, chlorella, barley grass and aloe vera to boost your complexion from within. The tablets promote collagen production, increase circulation, reduce the effects of aging, help detox organs, and more. nordstrom.com
Sparkle Collagen Peptide Supplement Whether you opt for the powder or capsule form, it delivers a brighter complexion thanks to collagen peptides, hyaluronic acid and vitamin C. sparklecollagen.com
Jurlique Rosewater Balancing Mist A spritz of this hydrating mist tones, hydrates and refreshes with rose and marshmallow. jurlique.com