October 19, 2011

Luxe Life: Skincare Tips for Fall

The changing season and Washington's current yo-yo weather patterns can wreak havoc on our skin. As the seasons change, so should your skin care routine.

Last week, we enjoyed our own fall facial update as we tried Skin Authority's new "Touch Transforms" treatment at The Ritz-Carlton Tysons Corner. The hour-long customized facial ($140) starts with a deep cleansing and light glycolic peel before moving on to necessary extractions, a calming mask, and a great hand and decolette massage.  We're shocked to say that post-treatment, our skin looked better than it did when we entered (not a normal occurrence for someone who usually has some serious extracting done!) - we were brighter, glow-ier and our skin totally clear.

But of course, not everyone is in the mood for a luxe facial (as hard as that may be to believe). If you're simply looking to get your skin fit for fall, try these great tips for use at home.

As the CEO of the rapidly-growing company Skin Authority, Celeste Hilling works with cast members of TV shows including “Glee” and “Extra”, fashion icons and celebrity broadcasters alike to streamline and simplify their skincare routines and achieve brighter, more even-toned skin.

“You don’t have to be a celeb to achieve amazing skin this fall. Just as you swap out your shorts for sweaters in anticipation of cooler temps, do the same with your skin care products. Use the change of season to inventory your skin care stash, toss old items and figure out what you truly need," Hilling said.

Speaking of the number of products you need - forget hoarding 20 - in reality, you need two or three. Become a skin care superstar with these eight tips:

   1. Simplify your Skin Care Stash – Save time and money by simplifying to no more than three to four steps in the morning and at night.
   2. Kick Dryness to the Curb – Fall brings dry air, allergies and reduced exposure to sunlight, all of which affect your skin. “Take quick, lukewarm showers because hot water can be damaging to skin when indoor air tends to be dryer. Also, exfoliate from head to toe to slough off dead skin cells and apply lotion as soon as you step out of the shower to seal in moisture,” suggests Hilling.
   3. Exfoliate to Hydrate – It’s a myth that exfoliation can dry or thin the skin. The truth – regular exfoliation speeds up the cell turnover process allowing the body to produce moisture-bearing properties like hyaluronic acid. Exfoliation also helps to plump the skin by churning up elastin and collagen production. Hilling recommends using a natural resurfacing agent such as glycolic acid to gently dissolve dead surface skin cells to be replaced with new, plump ones.
   4. Beach days are over. Sunscreen is not! – Sunscreen is your BFF year-round. To determine the quality, Hilling suggests that you check the SPF number on the label (those with SPF 15 or greater yield the best results). Also, scan the active ingredient label to make sure it has UVA-blocking elements such as titanium dioxide, zinc oxide, or anything in the avobenzone family. To recreate that summer glow, take a moisturizing sunscreen, add two drops of foundation, and mix together for a natural look.
   5. Cost Per Ounce – Shop for skin care the way that you shop for food, by looking at the cost per ounce. When you see a product that is $20 for .2 of an ounce, multiply and see that it’s actually $100 for one ounce… not a great deal. Instead, visit spas and salons. What you’ll find is that spa- and salon-quality products are a bargain as they include complimentary consultations with licensed experts.
   6. Concentrate on Concentrations – After evaluating the ounces, concentrate on the concentrations. Take a look at the active ingredients and ensure that any treatment product has a pH below four. The human skin ranges from 4.5-5.5 pH. Hilling adds, “A product should be below the pH level of the skin for maximum penetration. Otherwise, you might as well be using water!”
   7. Bye, Bye Dry. Hello Happiness – With about 10 percent* of the population suffering from seasonal depression, a little lift is a great thing when the seasons change. Hilling loves Skin Authority’s new Ultra Rich Moisturizer, which she says is perfect for fall's dryer weather.
   8. Brighten Up – Daylight hours are growing shorter, so supply your own light! Naturally, Hilling loves Skin Authority's Brightening Serum.

It's that simple! Want to try out the products for yourself? We are hosting a great giveaway and there are still a few days left to enter a sample skincare kit benefiting Touch Transforms!

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