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  • Melissa Picoli Philips

FALL SKIN EXFOLIATION


A cardigan got pulled out today and the new boots made their first appearance. I am mildly annoyed by this fact, even though fall is glorious. I love the watching the seasons change. I level up my outfits in the fall, there’s a sense of settling into your hustle and not dealing with FOMO when you're working on a Sunday. And there's more beauty tea...


But, I mourn the end of summer. There is nothing like jumping into a clean Montana lake in the August. It is the most peaceful in me, the few moments I feel settled. Flathead Lake, which is literally in our backyard, is one of the most pristine bodies of water left in the world and I am so aware of the honor of getting to jump in during sunset. I crave it. My soul craves it.


Like it or not, Fall is settling in. Tans are fading. Scarves are coming out. Chances are your skin is feeling brittle, mottled, lackluster, possibly itchy or rashy. It’s time to make the seasonal skincare transition.

During the summer months, it is good to have a bit more of a “dead-skin” layer. It is actually protective. I way prefer less exfoliation than dousing in sunscreen mid-summer. As the leaves turn, it’s time to buff and shine. Your skin needs access to every nutrient we can provide for the next several months.

This is one of the few times of year (I think, based on data and experience) extra exfoliating and acid products are appropriate. I cringe when I see retinols and glycolics in day-use summer products. For some ethnicities, hyper-pigmentation and melasma are a life-reality regardless of what we do, so we slow it down. But some things make it worse. Exposing newbie skin cells to mid-summer sun is like asking for a future map full of spots. As September creeps towards October, you want a good, deep buff.


PRO and HOME-CARE FALL EXFOLIATION GUIDE:

PROFESSIONAL


RETINOL/TRILUMA: If you have a prescription, this is the time to use it. Be consistent with lower concentrations such as .5%-1% unless you have a really smart skincare professional guiding you through an aggressive protocols. You can always see the DIY aggressive treatments without guidance: thin, pissy skin that gets more and more reactive. Few people need aggressive. It doesn’t strengthen. It breaks. It sets you up for more long-term issues.

LACTIC/MALIC ACID: Your esthetician has probably stocked up. Get a great facial right now and once a month this time of year. It is one of the best investments you can make for the longevity of your skin’s glow.

IPL/MICRODERMABRASION/HYDRA-FACIAL (etc): This is the time. If it’s in your budget, do it now. Make sure you have hyper-pigmentation rather than melasma before getting IPL since it can exacerbate. Do not buy into low-end IPL. It is better not to get it than to get it from under-trained technicians or badly maintained equipment. (Note from personal experience)


If you are lucky enough to have a great esthetician, she will make the right choice for you. There are so many professional peel options, and all can wreak havoc without the right care or ensure a gorgeous glow when the skincare professional truly has your back.


When scheduling treatments, get pricing for face, chest, tops of hands and arms. Any good provider should have an option for combining at a reasonable extra cost. If your provider stops the treatment right at your jawline or tries to add a lot of cost, find another. Any good skin-pro combines these key areas. I can’t even fathom doing a facial without addressing all of them.


AT-HOME POLISH

We way get it. Budgets have lots of constraints. Check back next week for 5 active face treatments you can make at home. In the meantime, to get the same results as you’d get from professional treatments you have to take it as serious as skincare pros do. You have to do your part, and it takes about 3-4 home treatments weekly to get the results of a monthly professional intelligent skincare treatment so block out 30 minutes each evening. You can multi-task. Do your laundry or catch up on Girlfriend's Guide To Divorce, Stay Here or John Oliver while your mask is on...


A few of our favorites...


CRYSTAL PEEL: Fantastic creamy scrub and a bar soap that is great for keeping skin smooth. Be gentle with this! Don’t scrub as if your life depended on it. Imagine itty-bitty little circles, be gentle. Consistent not Aggressive. Slow the roll.

URBAN SKIN Rx: The Pumpkin Pore Detox Mask and Scrub is a lovely treatment. Easy in-shower!

OSMOSIS VITAMIN A SERUM: Fantastic formula. If your esthetician is using this back-bar, you got a good one.

OSMOSIS PIGMENT LIGHTENER: Great for spot treatment or all over. Builds rather then breaks, and helps defend against future pigment disturbances while reducing existing.

JOSH ROSEBROOK ACTIVE ENZYME EXFOLIATOR: This is always in my shower. It is one of the few exfoliators I trust year-round. Apply, indulge. There aren't a lot of pure-soul filled brands still out there grinding for the love of it. These guys are. All love.

SUNDAY RILEY GOOD GENES: Alright, I am going to say it… I don’t quite get Sunday Riley. A few of the products I am obsessed with. A few I can’t make sense of. It definitely doesn’t make sense why they don’t have a website but are featured everywhere. I don’t understand the artificial coloring in some of the formulas which would otherwise be fantastic. I really like the Good Genes as a nighttime product. I am drawn to this product, intuitively and intellectually, and I hope I don’t end up feeling duped. It's tough when brands have to deal with the pressure of investors breathing down their neck. I throw all my support in the ring with Sunday Riley because I love the concepts and formula theories and we need as many intelligent, badass beauty professionals who still care about our skin at the top tables.


R.I.P Dermalogica. Procter + Gamble has taken that vision and quality down to the ground. Jane Wurwand, who was one of my teachers during esthetician training two decades ago, had the best intentions. I will never understand her selling to P+G, whom I consider aligned with the devil. Aveda succumbed soon after it was absorbed by the big powers. My mentor Anita Roddick, right before she passed away, one of the last things she said was that she so regretted selling Body Shop to one of the big conglomerates. She said it was the worst decision she ever made. There are less than a handful of stories where a brand keeps control of quality and intention after selling to the wizard. You'll find me exploring this theme a lot as we navigate growth. I do know one thing, SSB is in it for the Beauty, Art + Partnerships. We're in it for your skin, for the world. But I digress...


THE EASIEST (AND LOWEST-COST)


DRY-BRUSH: So overlooked. The best $10 a year and 45 seconds a day you’ll spend. No ingredients needed. Commitment required. Extra perk is that you are preventing cellulite, strengthening your circulation and doing lots of good for your deeper cells. I do it while the cold water is turning to warm. I'll follow up with more info about this since it is a crucial winter beauty ritual.


RAW HONEY WITH A FACE CLOTH: This is the time of year to get a large jar of your local apiary honey. It is my go-to, daily skin treatment. Apply to face, chest, arms etc. in the shower, let it sit while shaving legs and dealing with hair, then use a wash cloth to gently buff.


SAKE: Yep, the stuff you could take a swig from if you wanted to. It is a fantastic way to tone your skin, keep cell turnover healthy and keep skin glowing. I pour it into a simple glass bottle with a pump so that I don’t just have a bottle of sake hanging out on my bathroom counter. It is a daily-use product on all areas exposed to external elements..


Don't overlook your body. Peeks of skin is always a great accessory, regardless of how frigid cold it is. We have to accept that it will show the signs of a life well-lived. We have to celebrate the earned lines and spots.


But we don't have to roll over and play dead. Slow the roll.


WE HOPE YOU'LL COME BACK NEXT WEEK FOR DIY SKIN TREATMENTS USING INGREDIENTS YOU PROBABLY ALREADY HAVE…


Here’s to supple, luminous skin for years to come. Start today. Slow down the effects of tomorrow.




xo, mpp

esthetician/founder


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