By Simone I. Cohen Scott

Winter is coming.  Or rather, winter, which has been on a brief hiatus, has re-emerged.  How about: ‘Welcome to Manitoba, the Climate That Builds Character? Anyway, in view of the calendar, I decided to see what the magazines were suggesting we do for our skin, nowadays.  I was surprised and disappointed.

I’m not going to argue with what they all have to say.  I’m going to repeat my complexion care mantra:  NEVER CLEANSE WITH SOAP; EXFOLIATE TWICE A WEEK; USE SUNSCREEN DAY AND NIGHT, SUMMER AND WINTER.

In anticipation of questions: Why not soap? Well, soap does not thoroughly rinse off the face. It packs into the top layer of skin cells, which are arranged like fish scales or shingles on a roof, where it dries, thickening the skin, preventing penetration of the wonderful products you buy to make you look younger. 

What’s exfoliate?  It means:  removing the dead cells.  Exfoliating products, otherwise known as scrubs, (NOT (I repeat, NOT, an alpha-hydroxy acid product or facsimile), clear away the dead cells resulting when the skin’s own collagen and elastin are healthily active.  If these dead cells, disguised as dry skin, aren’t removed,  the skin appears dull and cloudy, and the pores become clogged and stretched.  No amount of so-called ‘moisturizer’ can remedy the situation.  The goal is, or should be, a luminous, refined-looking, complexion.

Sunscreen all the time?  You may need to try a few before you find one that’s comfortable on your face but this is necessary for two reasons.  First, each year the sun becomes more dangerous; especially when its rays are shorter, between the Fall and Spring Equinoxes.  Sun damage can happen in half-an-hour, even through the car window, and is impossible to remedy, once the skin’s pigment has been re-arranged.  Second, the additional layer of product, between your day cream and your make-up base, provides the additional benefit of a microscopic layer of oxygen-containing air.  This works like triple-pane windows, protecting from cold, wind, weather, car exhaust, pollution, fluorescent lights, and any other effluvia.

I am open to answering further questions, so feel free.  Men, too!  Who says you guys don’t have complexion woes and worries?

October 14th, 2009