Here are just a few reasons why we should give our skin some extra love and attention while living in Colorado. I’ve observed firsthand just how much our arid, sunny, high-altitude climate affects the skin. But don’t worry, high altitude skincare can be easy with just a few tricks and LOTS of moisture.
Did you know…
- for every 1000 foot increase in elevation, UV levels raise between 10-20%
- reflection from the snow increases UV intensity by 85%
- skin begins to lose moisture when humidity drops below 60% (average humidity in Boulder is under 40!)
- the body becomes more dehydrated in colder weather as it tries to keep itself warm
Firstly, make sure you are drinking enough water. I know. It sounds super obvious, but the more internally dehydrated you are, the more it’s going to show externally in your skin. At higher altitudes, air is drier and has lower air pressure. This causes you to dehydrate faster. Water will literally evaporate out of your skin faster than it would in a humid climate. This is step one.
Second, Keep your skin hydrated to counter the effects of moisture loss in high-altitude climates. Cleanse your face with a gentle, soap-free hydrating cleanser – Raw Unfiltered Honey is our favorite! (preferably organic)
Then, hydrate your face with an alcohol-free toner after you cleanse, then apply serum and/or moisturizer to your skin while the toner is still wet. This ensures that the nutrients from the toner will penetrate, and the oils in the serum/moisturizer will lock in moisture – protecting against harsh elements and our dry climate.
We are much closer to the sun in Boulder compared to most US cities. At 5,430 feet, sunscreen is a must. And remember, reflection from the snow can be just as damaging! Choose a sunscreen of SPF 30 or higher and reapply it every hour when you are outside in the sun.
Antioxidants help boost sunscreen by warding off free-radical damage that sunscreen itself can’t block completely. Use products that contain Vitamins A, C and E. Our Anti-Aging Serum contains all three vitamins from natural sources like Indian Gooseberry and Gotu Kola.
Exfoliation effectively removes dry, dead skin cells that would otherwise build up on skin, trapping dirt and oil underneath. Fruit Enzyme products allow for effective yet gentle exfoliation without abrasive granules. The fruit acids work by dissolving the “glue” that holds dead skin cells together. Our Enzyme Exfoliant contains papaya and pineapple enzymes, as well as lemon, grapefruit and lime oils.
You might be tempted to reach for that drug store apricot scrub, but hear me out when I say don’t do it! Those over-the-counter $3 scrubs are usually full of alcohol and salicylic acid, which will further dry you out and aggravate the condition of your skin. They also contain harsh exfoliants which can scratch (damage) compromised skin.
You could opt for manual exfoliation in the form of a micordermabrasion or dermaplaning treatment. These are treatments performed by an esthetician to remove dead surface skin and promote new cell turnover. In the summer enzyme treatments can also accomplish this. Whereas in the colder months, a light chemical peel might also be appropriate.
In addition to drinking water, a diet rich in Omegas, good fats (olive oil, nuts, avocado) and protein will boost the health of your skin. It is also important to consider the nutrients contained in your skin care products. Fresh, organic ingredients will nourish your skin much more effectively than products containing chemicals, preservatives or parabens.
6. GET A FACIAL!
I’m not just saying that because I give facials for a living. I’m saying that because I give facials for a living, and I get to see firsthand what a huge difference a couple of facials makes for your skin.
There is something about a facial that acts as a brilliant re-set button for the skin. Seeing an esthetician even a couple of times will help whip your skin into shape. Our Customized Facials use steam, extractions, exfoliation techniques and Organic Products handmade in Boulder to cleanse and restore the skin to its healthiest state.
Getting a facial is also a great way to de-stress! Your skin can be prone to extreme reactions when you are emotionally or physically taxed. Taking an hour for yourself to lay down and get pampered is truly good for your mental health, which in turn, is good for your skin health.
Now go out and enjoy Colorful Colorado… and try not to worry too much. With a little time and proper care, you’ll develop a great relationship with your skin before you know it.