Skincare in the winter for me used to mean buying a tanning package at my local tanning salon; I would go once or twice a week for two months to keep up my summer glow. My mother’s Greek genes have blessed me with an olive complexion that under the bulbs of a tanning booth turned the perfect brown color as opposed to the tanorexic orange glow. Looking back, I don’t know why I didn’t equate the process with cooking a turkey dinner; I basted myself with bronzing lotion, baked at 10-12 minutes in the oven, and came out looking and smelling roasted.
Thankfully, as I’ve gotten older, I’ve recognized the damage that can come from baking away in a booth. Wrinkles, sun spots and the slightly-burnt-skin smell aside, there is the much bigger risk of the UV-radiation leading to melanoma and skin cancer. NCI reports that women who use tanning beds more than once a month are 55 percent more likely to develop melanoma. With states like California banning tanning for anyone under the age of 18, and many other states requiring a parental signature, it’s clear to see that this is not something that should be considered safe.
With these dangers—both life-threatening and superficial—looming over my head, I opted to stop fake-baking and changed up my winter skincare routine to focus on moisturizing and wearing SPF all year long (something I always should have been doing), and to start repairing the tanning booth damage I’ve been self-inflicting.
Cleansing & Repairing
One of my favorite product lines in my winter routine is DNA EGF Renewal, formulated by Dr. Ronald L. Moy, president of the American Academy of Dermatology. Conceived from Dr. Moy’s passion to create a regimen that would effectively repair photo damaged skin, these products use DNA repair enzymes to support young skin cells and eliminate DNA damage (which can be caused by tanning) and barley epidermal growth factor (EGF), the first plant-based EGF. Each morning and night I have been religiously using the DNA Renewal Foaming Cleanser –a light foam that manages to clear even the heaviest makeup from my pores, leaving my skin feeling soft and very clean.
A Moisturizing Mask
In addition to the DNA EGF Renewal line, I love indulging in masks to hydrate my skin in preparation for the cold weather ahead. Wei Purify-Chi’s Golden Root Purifying Mud Mask was a sincere treat the first time I used it and now it is part of my weekly routine. The product comes with eight individual pods and a luxuriously soft applicator brush that allows you to paint the product onto your skin. Just 10 minutes to allow the mask to harden and then a quick wash-away leaves me with skin so smooth I couldn’t stop touching my face after the first use. The mask uses Golden Root (Rhodiola rosea), which has been touted to improve mood, alleviate depression and reduce fatigue (perfect for winter months as the weather gets dreary and the days get shorter), white tea and pure China clay. Great for normal, normal-to-dry, and normal-to-oily skin types, this mask is now a must-have in my winter skincare arsenal.
With my new regime in full swing as the temps dip, I’m happy to say that I have turned a new leaf and broken up with tanning for good.
DNA Renewal Foaming Cleanser, $28
WEI Beauty Golden Root Purifying Mud Mask, $42