Let me just start this off with a confession: I have spent entirely too much of my time (and money) diving into the fascinating underworld of the internet that is devoted to skincare.
I fangirl over my favorite blogs and Instagram accounts on a regular basis, and — much to the chagrin of everyone around me — I talk about “exciting” new products at least every other day. The skincare industry is booming, and I am an eager participant. Ah, what a time to be alive.
If, however, you don’t feel like spending three hours before bedtime sleuthing through tips for the magical cure to your skin’s woes, let us help you out. We talked to two of Kansas City’s most prominent experts on the subject: Stephanie Simkins, the brains behind local skincare line SKIN KC, and Jessica Moler, part owner of Hand and Land, one of my favorite apothecaries in the area.
Each had loads to say on the topic of healthy skin (and I was certainly a rapt audience), but the overarching themes of both interviews boiled down to four essential tips.
If you do nothing else as the temperatures start to rise, please, please treat yourself and observe the following commandments.
1. Exfoliate those dead winter skin cells.
As Simkins puts it: “You’ve been inside, and you’ve had winter skin.”
I’ll be a little more candid: I am dry and flaky and disgusting from not paying attention to my arms and legs since probably October. Your foundation is prepping your skin for additional steps.
“You can’t moisturize dead skin cells, so exfoliating between seasons is big,” Moler says.
Moler’s recommendation: Josh Rosebrook Active Enzyme Exfoliator ($65) which is a dual-surfacing enzyme exfoliator and has both granules and papaya enzyme.
Simkins’ recommendation: SKIN KC Cranberry Orange Sugar Scrub ($18), which is more gentle than a salt scrub and is a win-win in the shower as it also hydrates and makes for a smoother shave after use.
2. Moisturize, moisturize, moisturize.
Moisturizing is important year-round, but you’ll probably want to relax a little on the heavier stuff as the temperatures (and humidity levels) start their steady incline.
Simkins recommends using something that doesn’t feel too heavy, like SKIN KC’s Daily Greens Nourishing and Hydrating Repair Cream ($42), which has ingredients like blue and green algaes, green tea, aloe, shea butter and argan oil and hydrates under the skin to avoid a greasy feeling as the day progresses.
Moler also notes that you should use moisturizers with sunscreen when possible, potentially a mineral-based sunscreen with zinc oxide if your skin is on the sensitive side.
3. Protect yourself from the sun.
Sunburns are not a good look on anyone, nor is skin cancer. It goes without saying that you should use a sunscreen that works for your skin as you begin to spend more time outdoors, but devoting part of your routine to taking care of yourself after sun exposure is important, too.
Moler recommends the Orgaid Greek Yogurt and Nourishing Organic Sheet Mask ($6) after your skin gets a little too much sun. In addition to helping it recuperate, the coolness will be comforting. Simkins says not to forget the basics, like coconut oil and aloe.
4. Your toner is your best friend.
You may be tempted to overuse your cleansers as you spend more time being active and sweating, but too much of a good thing can actually be bad. (Unfortunate, we know.)
After sweating, says Moler, refresh with a toner instead of washing your face like you normally would in the morning or evening. This will help to break down the acid mantle, which is a combination of sweat and oil, without overdoing it.
Let the toner dry, and then you’re ready to revamp your look with whatever makeup (or lack thereof) you choose!