Wednesday | May 7, 2008
Best Face Forward Part 4: Your Summer Skin
Across the country, people are intent on getting in shape for summer; hitting the gym or the pavement to shed a few pounds and trim up for the shorts and swimsuit season. But are they also thinking about putting their best face forward; literally? What about getting the skin ready for the warmth and humidity of summer?
During winter and early spring, temperatures and biting winds take a toll on the skin, and the face is exposed to the elements more than other parts of the body. That cold has a dehydrating effect, says Andrea Kalfayan, Team Leader of Aesthetics Services at Elmwood Spa. “Moisture is drawn out of the skin by the cold, leaving it feeling rough and thirsty.”
Facials can help to moisturize and hydrate the skin, creating a “radiant, fresh and energized complexion,” Kalfayan says, one that looks great at the beach, barbecue or garden party. To get that look, it’s necessary to peel away the layers of winter skin cells and nourish the skin beneath. Elmwood offers several facials that can help achieve this.
The ElmLine Hydrating Facial, including deep cleansing, exfoliation of dead surface skin, steam, extractions and a face and décolleté (upper chest and neck) massage, followed by a hydrating mask, eye cream and serum and a final application of moisturizer, can replenish the moisture lost over the winter and plump and tone the face for a summer radiance. This facial uses products like Hyaluronic acid, a component of skin and connective tissue whose function is to cushion and lubricate, as well as pomegranate extract and shea butter, all nourishing and rejuvenating.
Guinot Beauté Neuve treatment works with AHA (alpha hydroxyl acid), a simple organic fruit acid shown to help reduce fine facial lines and improve the overall smoothness and texture, to peel away the dead winter skin cells and increase circulation.
Also recommended is the Signature Caviar Facial, which uses Kirsten Florian products, and includes a deep cleansing enzyme peel exfoliation, in conjunction with steam. It uses acupressure massage of the face, similar to foot reflexology, but using pressure points on the face to stimulate internal organs. This facial incorporates a face and décolleté massage, a rejuvenating mask followed by a Matrix Masque, used to increase collagen production, diminish fine lines and provide a glow. It concludes with an application of Caviar eye cream, serum and moisturizer.
Says Kalfayan, “Caviar is an extremely powerful regenerator, high in vitamins A, D, E, B, B2 and B6 plus minerals, soluble proteins and amino acids.… This facial will plump, firm and tone the skin.”
Facials, such as the ElmLine and Caviar treatments, are generally recommended every four to six weeks, she says, “to help with hydrating, moisturizing, removing blackheads and impurities in the skin and to increase circulation.” The Beauté Neuve facial is most effective when done in a series, most often five treatments, one per week.
In between facials, Kalfayan says it’s important to maintain the results at home. “For example, we should all go to a dentist twice a year, and our dentist will recommend that we brush twice a day to maintain the results. The same idea goes for facials.”
Aestheticians performing facials recommend the appropriate products for the clients’ skin type and needs, but the home care process begins with cleaning and toning to remove make-up, surface oils, and environmental debris and impurities and to balance the skin’s pH.
Then, says Kalfayan, use a serum to target the deeper layers, bringing nutrients and vitamins to skin cells, followed by application of a moisturizer. Exfoliation, such as a masque or scrub, should be done twice a week to remove the dead skin cells, since serum and moisturizer will not penetrate dead cells.
Finally, and particularly with the summer months approaching, Kalfayan says it’s crucial to incorporate sunscreen (minimum SPF 15) into a skin-care regimen. “We must protect our skin from UVA/UVB rays, which can burn our skin and cause long-term damage,” she stresses. “Exposure to sun without sunscreen will result in pigmentation spots and the possibility of skin cancer.
A good skin care regimen and regular facials can help to balance the skin from season to season, prevent problems and minimize signs of aging, Kalfayan says.