Robbins: Getting under your skin

Dry skin solutions for Jody Robbins column January 2020 Calgary

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My winter beauty routine used to consist of swapping out my daytime moisturizer for a heavier night cream. And it seemed to be enough — until middle age hit. Now, if I don’t take jack up the humidifier, throw on a base layer of facial oil or serum under my moisturizer and gently exfoliate (to allow those serums to penetrate better), I become dandruff face.

If, like me, you suffer from dry, irritated skin, you may wonder if it’s even possible to have a glowing complexion in winter — in a climate as severe as Alberta’s. Fortunately,  two solutions have recently come to market that aim to soothe sensitive skin at this time of year.

In the hunt for a robust facial serum that would stand up to our extreme weather, I came across Infusion Serum by IV Skincare, a Calgary company founded by mom of three Sanja Serwa. This all-natural serum is made in Alberta and was formulated specifically to address the skincare needs of those suffering through harsh winters.

Made with Canadian ingredients, Infusion Serum is a gentle, yet hydrating product, comprised of rich in Vitamin C, blueberry and strawberry seed oil, in addition to Chia seed oil (a powerful antioxidant), and healing Sea Buckthorn oil.

“Our skin suffers so badly in winter,” laments Serwa. “We need more than a moisturizer, but oils can sit on top of the face and not fully penetrate. This is an in-between product, that’s just heavy enough to provide deep moisture by getting into the pores to nourish them.”

Vitamin C serums typically retail for over $100 per ounce, but the vegan and cruelty-free Infusion Serum retails for $65, offering a luxury feel without the price tag — just the thing for eco-conscious individuals concerned about what they’re putting onto the body’s largest organ.

Fruity and sweet like a candy necklace, Infusion Serum smells just as lovely as it feels going on. But you’ll want to be careful. A few drops are all you need, as is it spreads easily.

Use Infusion Serum at night instead of your usual nighttime moisturizer or underneath that moisturizer when we’re socked into a polar vortex. Additionally, you can mix it into your daytime moisturizer or use it on the rest of your body or hair. It’s good for all skin types, including sensitive and acne-prone skin.

After two months of faithfully using Infusion Serum, my skin certainly looks better hydrated. I may not always wake up looking more refreshed as its marketing claims suggested I would, but my skin is in much better condition than it was this time last year.

Another way to combat winter’s wrath is with a tech treatment well-loved by celebrities, including Oprah and Michelle Obama. Max+ is a non-invasive, LED device known for its skin transformation capabilities.

All cells need light energy, and Max+ delivers it in a way similar to how plants photosynthesize light from the sun. Its UV-free light rays stimulate the body’s own natural process to build new proteins and regenerate cells.

The device goes through the visible light spectrum and each wavelength emits a certain frequency that penetrates to a particular level in the skin, increasing circulation, promoting collagen production and reducing inflammation, all from the inside.

“The process regulates cell activity using light sources without thermal effect,” says Jennifer Brodeur, creator of Max+.

For those of us suffering from parched skin, this means that after the Max+ treatment and the cells have regenerated, your skin begins healing itself — whether it’s destroying acne bacteria or creating moisture.

“As the skin finds homeostasis, all skin functions are improved. We can work on dry skin, blemished skin, etc…” avows Brodeur.

You’ll only find this painless, non-invasive treatment in Calgary at Kolor Twist Hair and Skincare Company. A component of their bespoke facials (which could also include cryo-sticks, microdermabrasion or even a mild chemical peel), each custom facial includes exfoliation, a luxe mask, plus the Max+ treatment. Bespoke facials begin at $225. 

“I don’t hammer away at the skin, but gently nudge it towards where we want it to go. It’s that constant attention through facials and good home products that gets the skin where we want it,” says Krista Leil, esthetician and owner of Kolor Twist.

You’ll likely notice an improvement in your skin after just one treatment (I did), but for maximum results, four to six treatments are recommended.

Follow Jody’s health and wellness adventures on her blog Travels with Baggage or on Instagram @TravelswBaggage.

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