It’s now November and I’m already in full swing with the holiday season. I’m looking at the social calendar and family gatherings not to mention the work related events. It’s fun to have a little joy as the nights come faster. It’s also a time of year when I take a closer look at my skin as the seasons change.

Prepping my skin is always top of mind especially as the seasons change. When the leaves change and begin to fall. It’s the perfect time to revisit our daily skin care routines to adapt to the colder weather.

It’s true! Our summers here in Toronto can be humid and our skin can feel more congested. We feel puffy and maybe a bit over exposed to the summer rays. Now is a time to assess what our skin needs to look and feel in top form for the holidays. We may be considering a good skin treatment and maybe even a few fillers? No judgement. This is the time to get prepping!

I usually like to head in to see a skin care expert to help  with a really good facial treatment. Since I’ve been using Dermalogica products I know that the products have served me well. There is a quick treatment location downtown at Royal Bank Plaza here in Toronto that can easily slide into a busy day. I also recently learned about Dermalogica’s head office that also includes treatment room that can also be booked into.

With a few skin concerns in mind I booked in for a PRO 60 Treatment that offered a customized facial with their in house experts.

We immediately began with what my main skin concerns were at the moment. I felt I wanted a deep cleanse to get rid of any blackheads and congestion. I also wanted my skin to glow and be smoother. A good exfoliation and extractions done by a professional is always better than me poking at my own skin.

I have ongoing Melasma (discolouration common post-pregnancy) concerns that I’ve managed on my own with products at home including their incredible powerbright overnight cream.

I’ve been pleased with my skin regime on my own thanks to my previous consultations with Dermalogica experts. I’ve been diligent about following their advice. Other than the Melasma concerns, my skin can be sensitive so not overusing products and paying attention to sun exposure is important.

I also asked about timing if I had planned to get any sort of fillers – including Botox. I was reminded that Botox usually can take about a two to four weeks to achieve the full affect so if you’re looking ahead to the holiday season or vacations away, now is a good time to prep. They did recommend booking  in your professional face treatments (facials etc) prior to doing any fillers and botox. Ideally book your injections a few days afterwards and not before. That way, the solutions used can settle into your skin and not accidentally be moved around.

Always let your skin care person know your plans or if you’ve done any sort of fillers or treatments recently. A professional will ensure there’s appropriate time in between.

I also asked what products I should be using as winter approaches. Luckily most of what I was already using continues to be best. Obviously moisturizer will be swapped out for one that helps the skin’s barrier in the cold.

There are many products out there that can help keep your skin look and feel its best. But it’s important to know to not over use products as well. Skin cycling is something that I learned about and love. That is having a routine that cycles different active products throughout the week. For example, while I LOVE the results I see with retinol, I don’t use it every day as much as I really want to. A professional won’t sell you every product out there but will help guide you to not only what to use but when.

Here are some of my favourites…

Dynamic Skin Retinol Serum: this is hands-down my favourite retinol serum I’ve ever tried (I’ve tried many). What I love about it is the active ingredients are time-released. It has a 3.5% Retinoid Complex featuring three retinoids and a booster working at different speeds. That means, a continual release of skin-smoothing actives to address the signs of skin aging — skin texture & tone, age spots, fine lines & wrinkles, larger pores, and loss of firmness.

Powerbright Overnight Cream: with my melasma I found this product to be effective in helping to fade my dark splotches while I sleep. Includes Niacinamide and Hexyslresorcinol along with Vitamin C to effectively fade and brighten. It also helps to smooth, even, reduce appearance of fine lines and soothes the skin.

dermalogica - skincare

Oil to Foam Cleanser: about two years ago I learned the benefits of cleansing with oil. It was a game changer especially for someone with sensitive, combination skin. I never realized that skin could actually be cleaned with oil but I had learned that this actually is one of the best ways to remove makeup and even SPF. It also leaves your skin feeling soft and smooth, not dried out. The consistency of this product is more like a thin gel and is infused with Sea Buckthorn oil. Massaging on my skin is like a beautiful ritual for me.

Liquid Peelfoliant: this product made me go “whoa” right from the launch announcement.  I couldn’t wait to get my hands on it! Immediately with one application there’s a noticeable difference. Professional-grade at-home peel with a blend of 30% acids and enzymes (Glycolic, Lactic, Salicylic, Phytic and Tranexamic acids plus Gluconolactone and fermented Pomegranate Enzyme) works at different layers of skin’s surface to  exfoliate, help unclog pores and reveal smoother, brighter skin. A lipid-rich blend with Canadian-sourced upcycled Cranberry Extract promotes long-lasting hydration. It’s tempting to want to use it everyday but once or twice a week was what was recommended for my sensitive skin.

Here’s what to add heading into winter…

Stabilizing Repair Cream: is a barrier-repairing moisturizer that helps soothe sensitive skin by helping skin produce more of its own ceramides. It also helps to strengthen the skin’s barrier while also delivering nourishing lipids. It also helps skin become more resilient and less reactive over time – ideal if you have sensitive skin, like me, or use as a recovery cream after a medical grade skin treatment.  The cream is ultra-soothing and calms the skin and helps to break the pattern of sensitivity. The lightweight balm-to-cream formula boasts soothing Cica and a botanical blend that relieves symptoms like itching, redness, and dryness.

Phyto Nature Oxygen Cream: this lightweight moisturizer helps to breathe new life into dull aging skin. Not only does it hydrate but it also firms and plumps skin. Features a botanical extract from Ligustrum Lucidum Seed together with Glycogen and Nasturtium Flower helps to oxygenate skin’s surface. Great for dry, dehydrated skin.

And don’t forget the sunscreen…

Porescreen SPF40: I hate that I have large pores particularly on my nose and cheek area around my nose. So anything to help minimize the appearance always catches my attention. This one helps not only offers the appearance like a primer and gives a blurred filter-like look, it also have a hint of tint that reflects light so you’re skin glows. It also has an anti-oxident rich formula with Niacimamide to help hydrate and improve the texture of your skin.

Also, if you’re just curious about what your top skin concerns are at the moment? This handy (and free) Face Mapping technology is a great tool to get a quick glance. All you need is your mobile device to snap a selfie. Link here.

*Full disclosure. I have been personally using dermalogica products for several years. I have, on occasion, been provided with newly launched products to try. Many I continued to use well after reviews. I was also invited into their Head Office for the fall season to discuss and address my skin care concerns.