Tips to nourish your dry skin this winter

While we can escape freezing temperatures by hibernating with hot cocoa and a pile of magazines, it’s nearly impossible to hide our skin from the harsh, dry weather. The overall lack of humidity in the air pulls moisture out of the skin quicker very quickly.  In order to remedy this, we’ve gathered some pampering tips for your skin that will leave you feeling like you’ve just stepped out of the spa. Well, almost.

1.Turn it down a notch

If you’re like us, then you love long hot, heavenly showers when the temperatures are less than ideal outside. Although it feels great, the steamy water opens your pores and dehydrates the skin, making this whole dry skin situation much worse. Trade those lengthy showers for shorter ones with warm water. When you get out, pat (don’t rub!) your skin dry and apply lotion when your skin is still slightly damp, which will help to lock in moisture.

2. Choose the right products

For the body:  Many soaps can be very drying because they strip the skin of natural oils. Stick to creamy moisturizing formulas.  As for lotion, use products that have antioxidants and plant-based oils, which will nourish and protect the skin. We recommend a rich body lotion or moisturizing cream like George’s Cream which has shea butter, macadamia seed oil, honey, and vitamin E.

For the face and neck:  Make sure you’re using a gentle, hydrating facial cleanser. A harsh formula may work for your skin during the summer months, but you need a mild one in the winter so that it won’t dry or irritate your skin.  Use a moisturizer with hyaluronic acid, which will help lock-in your skin’s natural moisture and restore lipids.

3. Polish and brighten

Exfoliation is key. It keeps your skin smooth, which helps products to really sink in and work better. It’s normal for skin to regenerate by shedding old, dead skin cells, but sometimes it needs a little help in this department. If dead skin cells aren’t sloughed off, then thick, dry skin can form. Prevent this from happening by exfoliating once or twice a week, but be gentle! Too much exfoliation can aggravate your skin and can make the situation worse. For your body, pick up a pair of exfoliating gloves, which can be used with your body wash, and get to work! It’s literally the greatest thing ever.

4. Treat yourself

Applying a hydrating mask once or twice a week which will work wonders in the skin-repairing department. Or, channel your inner Martha Stewart and make your own.  For super soft and hydrated skin, just combine 1/2 ripe avocado, one teaspoon of plain yogurt and 1/2 teaspoon of honey. (You can also use this on your hair)

5. Don’t forget the lips

A simple lip balm with spf will work wonders, ensure you apply it daily.

6. Up the ante

Make sure you’re drinking at least eight to 10 glasses of water a day. We’re told this all the time because it’s good for overall health, but staying hydrated packs a huge punch in the form of skincare benefits. Also, incorporating omega-3 fatty acids into your diet will help enable your skin to retain it’s own moisture. Eat a lot of salmon or take the easy route by taking a fish oil supplement daily. Unless you happen to really enjoy salmon, in which case, be our guest.

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George and his two granddaughters sledding in Sylvan Lake Alberta

George and his two lovely grandchildren, Paige and Sarah promoting George’s Special Dry Skin Cream and having a blast with their new ski doo in Sylvan Lake, Alberta.

george and his two grandkids

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Do you really know the ingredients in your beauty products?

Who really understands what their favorite beauty products are composed of ?  Sure, there is an ingredient list on the package that tells you exactly what is in the bottle, but do you really know what the ingredients are and what they do?

There are quite a few commonly used ingredients that you may have seen before without really knowing why they are being used and how they benefit you. Our goal is to help shed a little light and broaden your ingredient horizon by sharing with you why we, cosmetic chemists, formulate with certain ingredients.

1. Anti-inflammatory: Ingredients that reduce inflammation and mitigate the inflammatory responses (redness, swelling, pain, itching).

Common anti-inflammatories: bisabolol, allantoin, sea whip extract, aloe, dipotassium glycyrrhizinate, Beta glucan, calendula

2. Antioxidants: A group of ingredients that reduce free radicals and their damage on the skin. These ingredients can be natural or synthetic and work well when used in combination. There are also antioxidants that help protect the ingredients in the product from degrading. These offer no true skin benefits.

Common antioxidants for skin benefits: superoxide dismustase, tocopherol, glutathione, alpha lipoic acid, resveratrol, grapeseed extract, coenzyme Q10, green tea

3. Humectants: Ingredients that draw in water from their surroundings. Humectants promote hydration because they create a moisture barrier on the surface of the skin.  In high humidity areas, humectants draw water from the atmosphere but when the humidity is low, the humectant can pull water from within the skin increasing water loss leading to drier skin.

Common humectants: glycerin, sorbitol, hyaluronic acid, panthenol, butylene glycol

4. Peptides: Chains of amino acids (less than 50) that help regulate many biological functions by interacting with cells. Synthetic peptides can mimic those naturally occurring in the body to assist with various functions like cell communications and hormone activity.

Common peptides: palmitoyl oligopeptide, palmitoyl tetrapeptide-7, hexapeptide-8, acteyl octapeptide-3

5. Occlusives: A term for ingredients that form a barrier (like a shield) on the surface of the skin to prevent moisture from escaping (the technical phrase is reducing transepidermal water loss, or TEWL). Essentially they trap water in the skin and work in tandem with humectants to increase improve skin moisturization.

Common occlusives: petrolatum, dimethicone, cocoa butter, beeswax, mineral oil, lanolin, squalene
George's Cream production
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