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With the passing of the autumn equinox, for those of us in the Northern Hemisphere, dark nights will become more familiar than sunlight in the coming months. But by switching on the power of hydration, your skin doesn’t have to follow suit. Instead, help it glow with radiance—and guard it from the unforgiving winter weather—by introducing some high-performing, superhero products that work while you sleep. This season, it’s all about repair, repair, repair, and protect.

 

Goldfaden MD’s most powerful hydrators can be found in the Plant Profusion collection, which makes use of potent natural ingredients that you won’t find while browsing products at your typical, go-to beauty counter. Extracts from the white bird of paradise (not to worry, no animals were harmed—it’s the plant with banana-like leaves native to South Africa), garden cress, Butcher’s-broom; even raspberry and comfrey stem cells.

The powerhouse secret in Plant Profusion Supreme Serum? Japonica flower extract, which helps bring back skin to its youthful prime. “One of the most important medicinal herbs in history, it provides extraordinary levels of anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial and calming properties for the skin. Loaded with regenerative properties to deliver the appearance of repaired skin,” explains Dr. Goldfaden.

The oil-free serum works in synergy with the super hydrating Plant Profusion Regenerative Night Cream, a must for mature skin (but for those with very oily skin, try out the serum on its own first). If you’ve been used to applying the same light moisturizer in the AM and PM all summer, there are more than a few reasons why you’d want to swap in a more hardworking SPF-free cream while you snooze. For the 6-8 hours you’re in bed, your skin fully absorbs the hydration and active ingredients (aka you’re not sweating it off by the time you arrive at the office, or mixing in city grime from the polluted air). Melatonin levels rise at night, which also helps fight free radicals (there’s always more strength in numbers). Many night creams contain higher levels of retinoids or lightening agents that increase skin sensitivity when exposed to the sun—so it’s best to use them at home, in bed, away from UV exposure. Goldfaden MD’s Plant Profusion Regenerative Night Cream calms, soothes and hydrates—blending into the skin almost immediately, with no strong scent at all, a sheer difference from other night creams that are typically super greasy or chokingly thick.

Other routine changes to check off: transition out of aggressive scrubs and exfoliators—put that brush away!—and try something lighter. Goldfaden MD’s non-irritating Lactic and Multi-Fruit Enzyme exfoliating facial peel, Fresh A Peel, will remove the dead surface skin cells to soften and smooth out texture. Keep eating a diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids, and fruits and veggies, to stay hydrated from within. And never stop drinking water!

The skin is the largest organ of the human body. Your skin does far more than serves as a fancy covering to make you look good. In fact, the list of job responsibilities it handles is actually quite impressive. Dr. Goldfaden breaks down what your skin in actually doing all the time!

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A bodyguard:

Your skin shields your insides from ultraviolet radiation and other forms of physical damage, it also carries a powerful defense system that seeks out and destroys any foreign invaders that manage to get through.

As a communicator:

Your skin is constantly sending you the latest news from the outside world. About 45 miles of nerves connected to heat and touch sensors located in your skin are always busy relaying vital information about your physical environment.

As a maintenance worker:

When the outside temperature gets too hot, your skin is in charge of regulating your interior thermostat. It automatically turns on the sprinkler system by activating close to 200 sweat glands per square inch. This helps cools you down because the perspiration evaporating on the skin surface lowers your body temperature. When the mercury dips too low, a tiny muscle at the base of every hair on your skin contracts and makes the hair stand up. This helps trap a layer of air on the surface that insulates you from the cold.

As a water conservationist:

On average, about 55% of a woman’s total body weight is water. This means that a 130 pound woman is made up of almost 36 quarts of water. What keeps all this moisture from evaporating and escaping into the air around you is your skin. The outer layer of your skin, although it’s thinner than a single coat of paint, is as water-tight as a plastic sheet of equal thickness. In fact, your skin is 1000 times more impermeable than the membrane of any other living organism.

As a waste management specialist:

Sweating does more than help regulate your body temperature. It actually takes out your garbage as well. Every day your body loses about two and a half quarts of water. A lot of this comes from your sweat glands that work overtime to rid your body of unwanted byproducts like urea and ammonia that are dissolved in your perspiration.

As a vitamin manufacturer:

Your skin houses all the necessary equipment to produce vitamin D from sunlight. Just 20-30 minutes of summer sun

can help generate 10,000 IU of vitamin D that your body needs to activate over 2000 genes responsible for controlling everything from bone growth to immune function.

Interesting qualities that make your skin truly unique:

  • 12% to 15% of your total body weight is made up of skin
  • By comparison, the second largest organ is the liver, weighing in at a little over 3 pounds
  • Your skin sheds somewhere in the neighborhood of 40,000 cells every minute and replaces them with other cells that rise to the surface

How to keep your skin fully functioning:

Your cell turnover slows down every single day. Ever wonder why a baby’s skin is so soft? It’s because babies naturally replace their skin cells every few days. As you grow older, however, the rate of skin cell turnover slows down dramatically. Dead cells on your skin’s surface hang around much longer, a fact that tends to accentuate those fine lines and make your complexion look dull, gray and lifeless. By removing these dead skin cells, exfoliation helps make up for the gradual slowing down of your natural skin renewal process, improving the tone, texture and brightness of your skin.

The process of exfoliation is a lot like peeling away the dry, crinkly skin of an onion to reveal the living supple layers beneath. Whether the exfoliation is done using mechanical abrasion (Scrub) or a controlled chemical reaction (acid peels), removing dead and damaged skin cells on the surface allows the fresh new skin underneath to become visible. This newly exposed layer of skin feels much softer and smoother. Its surface reflects light better, making fine lines and other small imperfections harder to see. Age spots and other areas of unwanted pigmentation are less noticeable because the dead skin cells containing the pigment have been removed. Exfoliation unplugs clogged pores and allows for the release of natural skin oils. Regular exfoliation also helps to maintain open pores, decreases pore size, and minimizes many types of superficial scarring. In addition, removing the top layer of dead and damaged cells allows other health-promoting agents such as moisturizers, antioxidants, and collagen-boosting ingredients to better penetrate the skin and work more effectively!

 

Deciding between a peel vs. physical exfoliator and what may be best for you? As we have more and more options in the world of acids we wanted to outline the treatment benefits of the at-home peel ingredients to look out for. Here are some things to keep in mind when deciding which is right for you.

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So why peel you ask? Peels can be a nice addition to your regimen because they are not physical exfoliants, which can, if over used cause redness, dryness and irritated skin. A peel is a gentler way to exfoliate during the winter. Peels work by dissolving the top layer/layers of skin, depending on the type of acid, to get the ‘repair’ started. Certain acids such as Lactic, are safe for sensitive skin as they pull moisture to the surface.

Peels are more effective during your 20’s and 30’s, whereas retinoids are better after 40. Acids are different than retinoids. Retinoids cause inflammation to get the skin to regenerate, whereas acids dissolve dead skin cells on the top layers of skin.

A few things to now about peels are :

  • Peels are good for sensitive skin instead of physical scrubs because there is no abrasion.
  • Lower strength acids are less aggravating.
  • Most store bought peels only go up to 10-20% acid, while aggressive in-office peels can be up to 70%.
  • A good peel should tingle but not burn-not. It should not cause redness or dusting(unless in-office)
  • Skin will glow after a peel.

The Acids

Glycolic Acid

  • regenerates collagen
  • smallest molecule-penetrates the deepest
  • thickens epidermis
  • evens out skin tone
  • can be very aggressive
  • derived from sugar

Our favorite Glycolic Acid peel: Sunday Riley’s Good Genes

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Lactic Acid

  • derived from sour milk
  • 2nd smallest molecular
  • more gentle than glycolic
  • removes dead skin cells
  • hydrating (pulls moisture up to top layer of skin)

Our favorite Lactic Acid peel: Goldfaden MD’s Fresh A Peel 

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The Fruit Acids

  • can be citric acid- derived from lemon or grapefruit
  • can be malic acid- derived from apples
  • peels upper surface layer of skin
  • usually combined with glycolic or lactic to be more intense/effective

Salicylic 

  • beta hydroxy
  • treats acne
  • unclogs pores

 TCA (Trichoroacetic acid)

  • can be very intense
  • can days to recover
  • actual peeling skin
  • SPF needed for months after
  • usually performed in office
  • recommended for darker skin individuals
  • helps with pigmentation issues

There are so many wonderful options for peels today! Think about what your skin concerns are and then try a few different types of peels. For a few weeks try pads and then switch to a liquid, one step peel. Sometimes discovering what is best for your skin can be trial and error, so go easy if it is strong acid, as you do not want to overdo.

Happy peeling!