This weekend I treated myself to a little me time at one of Toronto’s finest, Stillwater Spa. I soaked in the hot tub, sipped tea and read a book in the lounge, had a fabulous facial. I don’t get facials often for the sake of frugality, however I do think there’s value in getting a facial or two during the drying winter months. This weekend I had the pleasure of chatting to a very knowledgeable aesthetician who told me she had been doing treatments for over 14 years. Clearly I was trusting of her advice after that! She told me that what you’re really paying for when you get a facial, is the massage, and for someone to extract the build up from your pores (basically picking at your blemishes, without making them way worse like one would do at home). Everything else you could technically do yourself. It made a lot of sense, and her up front attitude made the session even more worth while.
I told her that I had been doing a lot of at home skin care lately, and researching about what our skin really needs (I’ve been making my own face serum recently). What she told me was right in line with everything I’d been reading, the three things our skin really needs:
1. Vitamin C or L-ascorbic acid is an essential component in the bodies production of collagen. When applied topically Vitamin C can help combat collagen degradation and give the skin a more youthful appearance. Applying Vitamin C to your skin also acts as a barrier from UV rays, especially important if you’ve got fair skin like I do! [source]
I’ve used Sea Buckthorn oil for about a year now and noticed a huge difference in the appearance of my skin. Sea Buckthorn berries are extremely high in Vitamin C. L-ascorbic acid comes in a powder form, and there are a few temperamental things to know about using ascorbic acid at home, check it out.
2. Wear sunscreen. This is nothing you haven’t heard before, but sun damage or over exposure to the sun is the #1 cause of premature aging. Most face creams and foundations come with an spf now, which makes it easier than ever to protect our skin from the sun’s rays.
I love SkinCeuticals UV Defense, I’m not the only one either, Gwyneth Paltrow reportedly uses this product too and I’m pretty sure I’d take skincare advice from Gwyneth any day!
3. Are you ready? Drink water. I know, really groundbreaking stuff right, but it’s true! When our bodies are dehydrated our skin will dry out too. Ideally our skin is more on the oily side, this prevents the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines. Green tea and some black teas are great too because they’re hydrating and antioxidant rich. Antioxidants block the free-radicals that start oxidation (basically what makes an apple shrivel up when it’s exposed to air). [source]
My Simple Vitamin C Face Serum
What you will need:
- small dark glass bottle
- green tea, steeped and cooled
- 1 tsp L-ascorbic acid
- sea buckthorn oil (optional, but adds more potency)
- cotton swabs
Step 1: Place all ingredients in small glass bottle and shake contents until ascorbic acid powder is dissolved completely.
Step 2: Dab serum onto a cotton swab and apply to face and neck, do not rinse. Apply every day, or every other day for best results.
Notes: Don’t be surprised if it tingles a little when you first put the Vitamin C serum on your face. Store your serum in the fridge as it becomes less potent in warmer temperatures. Make serum often as Vitamin C is water soluble and will break down quickly.