As we delve into winter’s deep freeze and the busyness of the holiday season, it’s easy to forget about your skin health. The cool, brisk outside air and hot blasts from furnaces can cause skin to dry out and feel like sandpaper.
Shelley McBride, owner of Simply Spa, is a skin care therapist and educator for almost 30 years. She is passionate about giving her guests a sanctuary for some much-needed self-care in our overloaded world.
“I love the industry I’m in because I can give people that relaxation, and help them realize they don’t need to feel guilty — it’s not special, it’s not extra, it’s what you should be doing for yourself, every single day,” she says.
So what’s an expert’s advice on keeping skin flawless during the unforgiving winter months? Shelley and her team give their top 5 tips:
- Healthy diet: Shelley says great skin comes when you eat healthy. Eating “plenty of greens, lean protein, and good fats will maintain and balance oil levels in our body, which balances the PH and protects the skin,” she suggests.
- Exfoliate: Removal of dead skin promotes cell renewal, preventing issues like clogged pores, dryness, acne and can even slow down ageing. “It makes your skin behave and look younger when you’re exfoliating on a regular basis,” she says. Shelley emphasizes everyone should exfoliate, however it’s important to consult with a skin care therapist to find the right exfoliation products for your skin type.
- Avoid soap or body products on face: Shelley uses a paper analogy to explain how vastly different skin areas can be: “Your body skin is cardboard, the skin on your face is paper, and the skin around your eyes is tissue.” Using the same products everywhere can cause dryness, sensitivity and irritation, she explains.
- Moisturize: Drinking water is extremely important for all skin types, but it can only be effective if balanced with moisturizing, which acts like a seal. Skin care therapists can help determine the best moisturizer for your skin type and how often you should be applying, she says.
- Sunscreen: “Over 80 per cent of our ageing is from sun exposure,” Shelley explains, and every year, more than 80,000 Canadians are diagnosed with skin cancer. She suggests applying sunscreen everyday for overall protection. Make sure to apply on the face, neck, chest and hands, and reapply as necessary, especially when it’s very sunny out.