Attention Ladies: We’d love to hear from you! Your questions are driving the discussions here. Don’t hesitate to comment, especially on the “Real Talk” series as well as “Glowing with Mrs. Stafford”. Without you there is no conversation, so don’t be shy! Also, make sure to read to the end of this post to learn how to enter this month Glowing with Mrs. Stafford Giveaway:)
GLOWING WITH MRS. STAFFORD ADVICE COLUMN:
Glowing with Mrs. Stafford is back! Typically, we start this forum answering one of your beauty questions. After our hiatus, instead, I will be giving some helpful skincare tips to get you through the last bit of this cold weather.
This year already seems to be flying by just as fast as last year. Here we are already in March, which means we have been dealing with endless months of winter. Here in Vermont, March can be the meanest time of year. The temps are brutal, the snow just keeps on dumping, and when the sun does finally make an appearance for just a few minutes a day, you feel very lucky.
By this point in the winter, I feel like a prune. My face is red, dry and just plain yucky. Winter skin on your arms and legs is extremely dry and itchy. Between the heat in the house and the cold temps outside, it seems like no matter what you do you just can’t get hydrated enough. But like the wonderful Robin Williams says in that classic movie Mrs. Doubtfire, “Help is on the way, Dearie!!”
There are a few things you can do to help combat dry skin, that have nothing to do with putting a product on your face:
1. First, make sure you are drinking plenty of water.
I know, I know, everyone says that. But it’s true. We may think we drink enough water, but most times we don’t. I know this is one thing I forget to do.
Try drinking at least 60 ounces of water per day. Filling a water bottle and keeping it with you throughout the day will remind you of how much you drink. This is one of the most common problems many of us deal with, and a big reason why our skin can look so dehydrated. H2O will plump up our skin naturally – think of your skin like a plant, it needs water or it can shrivel up!
Add cucumbers, strawberries, oranges or lemons, which will make drinking water less boring.
2. Alcohol, caffeine, and sugar will also dehydrate you!
Especially during the holiday months, I’m sure many of us over-do it on all of these things. A glass or three of red wine sounds delightful when you’re freezing in the winter months, right? But after all the fun and games are over, remember to get back to a healthier lifestyle.
Moderation is key to everything in life!
3. Another thing that can cause our skin to react is stress.
In our daily lives, it is impossible at times to avoid stress, especially in today’s world. There are certain things we can do to help, though.
- Turn off your computer or phone at some point during the day.
- Try meditation.
- Read a book.
- Exercise is always a great way to relieve stress.
- Taking a walk in nature or just down the street is another way to just chill.
- Try to take some time for yourself and just breathe.
4. Finally, a good night’s sleep is something that we all need but tend to lack.
I have found that all the women I talk to – friends, my daughters, and family – all deal with interrupted sleep. Do you wake up at 3:00 am almost every night and stare at the ceiling? I know I do, and I hear the same thing from so many women.
We’re going to dive into this subject in-depth on the blog, but it is one of the things that can cause your skin to react, along with making you just feel tired and cranky.
- One thing you can do to get a good night’s sleep is not drinking alcohol at least 2 hours before bed. It may help you fall asleep, but it will certainly affect you getting a good night’s rest.
- No screen time in bed! This means TV, computer, phone or anything that is going to make your brain stimulated.
- I take melatonin in the evening, which seems to help me.
- Also, a nice bath and a hot cup of Sleepy Time Tea work for me too. Getting into bed with comfy PJ’s, clean sheets, and some quiet time, as I like to call it, can relax you and get you ready for a restful sleep.
“OK, now on to the products that we can use to help with dry winter skin.”
We all know about moisturizing your skin. One thing I think we forget about, especially in the winter, is to exfoliate your skin. If we keep putting products on our skin, but it’s not being absorbed, we are just wasting that product.
Have you ever applied a cream to your face and you feel it is just pilling off? That’s because you need to exfoliate and get rid of those dead skin cells first, to be able to absorb all the benefits of your skincare routine.
One of my favorite ways to exfoliate is by doing a peel. Now, years ago this would entail maybe a trip to a dermatologist. But in today’s world, we have access to so many at-home skin peels. This is one way to get rid of dry, dead skin on your face and get that healthy, hydrated glow that we are all looking for.
I have two favorite at-home facial peels that I have been using this winter. One is new to my regime and the other is a tried and true product that I have used for years. Both contain forms of acid. I know you’re probably thinking, “What, are you crazy, woman?! Acid on my face??” But these are not harmful acids. Skincare acids help exfoliate the dead skin cells allowing your skin to be fresh and new. Make sense?
I have stated many times that I have extremely sensitive skin. These two products work very well on my skin, but when trying anything new please test it out first by doing a patch test on the inside of your arm. If you experience irritation, discontinue use.
I only use peels in the evening after cleansing my face. I also apply moisturizer about 15 minutes after applying the peel. This allows the product to absorb into the skin.
So here are my two favorite peels for the winter months:
This is the product that I have been using for years. It was recommended to me when I was going through skincare issues during menopause. It is a 2-Step Peel. Both steps have a wipe that is formulated with the ingredients. They are easy to use, with Step-1 and Step-2 clearly marked on the package.
What I also love about this product is that there are three different strength peels. There’s the Alpha-Beta Universal Daily Peel (the one I use now), the Alpha-Beta Ultra Gentle Daily Peel for Sensitive Skin (the one I started with), and the Alpha-Beta Extra Strength Daily Peel. The last one I have not yet used.
As you can see by the names, you could use these daily. I only use them 2 to 3 times per week at the most. First-time users of peels should start with just once or twice a week. You should test for yourself what would work on your skin. Don’t forget to patch test first!
How to use and ingredients for the Universal Daily Peel that I use:
Ingredients: The first step has AHA’s (Alpha Hydroxy Acids) and BHA’s (Beta Hydroxy/Salicylic Acid) that gently exfoliate your skin, refine pores, and help with natural cell renewal.
HOW TO USE:
- Unfold the wipe and use it all over your face (stay clear of your eye area), neck and chest area.
- There is a good amount of product in these little wipes, so use it up until it is dry.
- I also use them on the back of my hands when there is still a little product left.
- Wait 2 minutes to apply the second pad.
- Step 2 has retinol and resveratrol for anti-aging benefits and helps to hydrate and smooth skin for a glowing complexion.
- Again, unfold the pad and apply the same as the first peel.
(Average Cost Per Peel: $2.93)
I am new to the goop Beauty line products. I just started using them this winter. Since my skin has been acting up, I wanted to try something new and heard great things about the brand. This is the Gwyneth Paltrow brand that is relatively new to the beauty world. I have tried her exfoliating scrub, which I like very much, so I thought I would try the peel pads.
These are more of an intensive peel and are to be used only once a week and in the evening, at the most. I would not suggest these for first-time users of at-home peels. You get 12 pads in the box so that will give you at least a 3 month supply.
This peel contains a powerful level of 15% Glycolic Acid, which if you have ultra-sensitive skin, is not right for you. The positive side of this ingredient is that it can reach deeper into your skin, and is the most popular ingredient in many peels because it is so powerful in promoting cell turnover. This product also contains Hyaluronic Acid, which as you know, I love in skincare because it naturally holds in moisture to the skin.
I use this in the evening. The pad has a dual texture, so use the smoother side on your face and the more textured side on your neck, shoulders, and chest. Again, there is a good deal of product on this pad, so at the end don’t forget the back of your hands.
I will wait 15 minutes for the product to absorb and then apply my moisturizer. I use just a simple moisturizer, like La Mer or First Aid Beauty when using any chemical peel at home. You do not want to apply any product that has additional acid ingredients. Using a face oil after a peel is an option too.
(Average cost per peel: $10.42)
Last but not least, if you are using a peel, please remember you are creating new, beautiful skin. That means that you must use sunscreen since that new skin is much more likely to be damaged by the sun. Even if you do not use these products, you should be protecting your skin from the sun. Not just for the beauty benefits, but for your overall health benefits, too.
For the rest of your body, try dry brushing.
The only thing this entails is brushing your skin, shoulders to toes, with a dry brush before you shower. There are so many benefits of dry brushing. Here are a few:
- Exfoliates dry winter skin
- Helps unclog pores
- Helps with circulation
- Helps to feel invigorated in these long winter months
Here are two options for a dry brush:
Getting into the shower right after dry brushing allows you to rinse off those flaky, dead skin cells. Remember not to use super hot water in the shower as that dries the skin very quickly. I know it sounds great when you’re so cold to take a nice, hot shower, but that’s a no-no.
I also like to use a good body oil at the end of the shower. My favorite one for years, and one I have recommended in the past, is the Neutrogena Body Oil. It not only absorbs beautifully into the skin without leaving you feeling oily, but the price is incredible, too.
Okay, that’s it. I hope you found this helpful! Remember to stay hydrated, watch your diet, exfoliate and know that Spring is coming. Just not soon enough!
HOW TO PARTICIPATE IN GLOWING WITH MRS. STAFFORD COLUMN:
Ask your questions in the comment section below for a chance to be featured in next month’s Glowing with Mrs. Stafford column. I will answer one question in detail each month and make sure to do all my research to give the most informed answer I can provide!
Since I started this blog I have received many compliments and questions on my skincare routine. Women have asked, “what is my secret” and honestly, it’s a combination of multiple things. I use many different products and tend to switch up my routine often. Staying out of the sun, and wearing sunscreen is a huge one. Finally, I have not been shy about the fact that I get Botox and filler. I even made a video of myself getting Botox injected which you can find on my Youtube channel. I have written some blog posts about the beauty products I use and routines based on the season or specific skin problems.
Glowing with Mrs. Stafford is my take on an advice column based around skincare. Each person has unique skin and their own issues they would like answers to. Glowing with Mrs. Stafford is my idea of how to share my knowledge on this topic.
Basically, this is a place where all of you can ask questions about you’re personal skin issues. Ask me about certain beauty products you might want to try, or even about treatments such as lasers or Botox since I’ve done it all!
All and any questions are welcome (concerning these topics).
In January I wrote a Tata Harper review on two of their newest products they had just launched and sent me to try out. Tata Harper is a Vermont luxury skincare company that produces 100% natural products, which is skincare at it’s finest!
After I posted my review, I read and heard many of you commenting that this brand was out of your price range. I know that a lot of people live on a budget and cannot splurge on expensive skincare, which is why I picked the Tata Harper Resurfacing Mask as the March Glowing with Mrs. Stafford Giveaway. I also purchased a limited edition size of 3.55 Fl. Oz. which is a lot of product. Keep in mind that with Tata Harper products a little goes a long way, so this tub should last a very long time!
I use a number of Tata Harper skincare products and I can confidently say that these are game changer products. Tata Harper believes that more matters. What that means is they pack the most ingredients at the highest levels of concentration to deliver maximum results. All of this is without a drop of artificial chemicals. Simply put, no fillers.
What’s special about the resurfacing mask is that it is a BHA + Enzyme Brightening Mask. This is what Tata Harper has to say about this mask on their website:
“This is your instant glow treatment mask. Our best selling mask instantly transforms a dull complexion into glowing, healthy-looking skin with BHA from white willow bark and pomegranate enzymes. This concentrated formula includes 3 sources of glow, 4 sources to refine pores, and 6 sources to smooth and soften skin texture.” – Tata Harper
How to use it:
- Apply a thick layer over face and neck.
- Leave on for 20 minutes.
- Rinse with warm water.
- It can be used up to 3 times a week.
Basically, I couldn’t have said it better myself. For even more helpful tips on how to best use this mask check out their blog post: TATA’S TIPS: 7 WAYS TO GET THE MOST OUT OF OUR RESURFACING MASK
Their products can be found in your local Sephora and in some Neiman Marcus department stores, and of course on the Tata Harper Website. These are investment products for sure. The price reflects that. These are items for those who are looking for the most results from their skincare products.
HOW TO PARTICIPATE IN THE GLOWING WITH MRS. STAFFORD GIVEAWAY:
For the New Year, we have changed the qualifications to enter this giveaway so everyone can participate! Last year you could only enter to win if you were on Instagram but now we have made it available to everyone. You will be able to enter the giveaway by filling out the form below.
The most important requirement is to leave your beauty questions so we can keep the Glowing with Mrs. Stafford Advice Column going! The form will ask you to sign in using your name & email address, which have to be valid since this is the information I will use to contact you if you are the lucky winner. Leave a comment on this post using the same name and email and then check off the “I Commented” box.
Or you can sign up through your facebook account, and pretty much the same goes for this as well. Use your real Facebook account and name, so you are able to be reached, and then leave your comment.
You can also follow me on Facebook and Instagram for an extra 3 points each!
At the end of the month, I will pick one winner. The giveaway ends on March 31st at 12 PM. Good luck to everyone who participates!