There are no quick fixes, we are told, and I’m sure this is true. It doesn’t mean, however, that we don’t need a quick fix every now and then. Exhibit: After months of mellow weathers winter arrives and schleps along air-conditioning that blasts the living crap out of your upper epidermis. Then there’s the month of November, which anyone who has a job knows is the most insane, stressful chock-a-block of 4,5 miserable, never-ending weeks of meetings and deadlines so as to have the universe completed by the beginning of Christmas holidays.
In my case the above, combined with my highly louche attitude to eating and sleeping regularly, resulted in facial skin explosion. I recently had situations where I wanted skin not to look like the volcanic region of Iceland, so I had to quickly find some way out of the situation – with the caveat that I don’t really have much control over air-conditioning/work-situation, so they kind of stayed on as parameters that could not be changed.
Take your vitamins.
With no time for meal prepping (or whatever the millennials call packed lunches these days), and no patience to wait for the results of dietary changes to kick in, I did what any normal person does: puts all hope in small pills that would take the worries away. In this case the pills were rather sizeable, however. I took high doses of Omega 3 caplets, together with magnesium, zinc and vitamin C. Religiously. I made no changes to diet except eliminated Diet Coke, which I had started drinking when the work-mayhem escalated.
Very often the sudden changes (for worse, clearly) in our skin are caused by dryness/dehydration. We know that water is the oldest of all ointments, but it’s also a very boring ointment (especially when there’s the choice of caffeinated beverages that fizz, or coffee, or a nice G&T). As boring as it is, it has noticeable effects on skin very quickly (2-3 days). So you might want to give drinkin more water a try.
Cleanse, moisturize, repeat.
I continued double-cleansing in the evenings, but made sure I was using as little water as possible. Cleansing oils as a second cleanse are therefore genial, because you remove them with a moist cloth instead of splashing face with water. Bonus: this doubles as non-abrasive deep-cleanse for pores. My skin is too sensitive for scrubs and such during winter, so this works for me.
Apply any creams/serums on moist skin. This helps things absorb better. I spray facial toner in all situations anyway, but it is particularly useful after cleansing, before serums. Then, I mixed two serums, which people at Tata Harper recommended doing on the side of the box that came with two serums (well, they would, wouldn’t they?). Then on top of all this goes Vintner’s Daughter in the evening and a day cream mixed with Odacité serum concentrate in the mornings (remember SPF even if you live in Brussels and spend every waking hour in an office cubicle).
An Australian superhero you should know about:
MV Organic Skincare is packed in minimalist aluminium bottles and is rather genius. I have not tested the full range, but my absolute favourite is their 9 Oil Cleansing Tonic, which ingeniously doubles as a cleanser and a treatment when one is travelling and has limited space for things (also, the aluminium bottles are excellent for travelling – no panic about broken glass bottles, aluminium weighs less and the bottles do not spill).
The cleanser is particularly good for congested skin situations. It is removed with a warm, wet cloth – I mainly use it as a second cleanse.
Facial toner is not just overpriced scented water. It does have a point. This is not to say that you (or I, indeed) need to run for the insanely expensive nectars by May Lindstrom and such just to add a spritz of moisture on your skin. I use both inexpensive Grape Water by Caudalie and Tata Harper’s Hydrating Floral Essence.
I saw noticeable improvements in 4-5 days. It is very possible that it was mostly down to amping up hydration both internally and externally, but it is also very clear that summer skin routines don’t work in winter.
Pictured the winning products from my urgency-kit:
Tata Harper Purifying Cleanser
Votary Super Seed Cleansing Oil
Tata Harper Hydrating Floral Essence
Tata Harper Resurfacing Serum
Tata Harper Rejuvenating Serum
Vintner’s Daughter Active Botanical Serum