The maple life The maple life

Facing up to winter

Winter is well and truly here in Vancouver; my morning walks with Freddie the dog are becoming a lesson in the art of layering and cunning application of wet weather gear. I have never been so glad of anything as I am of my rubber boots.  But it’s not just ridiculously wet, it’s also bitingly cold down on the beach and my skin has been protesting.

In my efforts to keep things 100% Canadian, from food and drink to fashion, I decided that I should try and track down a Canadian-made winter skin care solution and guess what? There’s a company in Kitsilano (where I’m currently living) that does just that.

Skoah’s funky store on West 4th, Kitsilano

I went to see Skoah on West 4th Street to get a ‘facialiscious’ facial and came away with great skin care advice for the change in season too. During my treatment, my therapist, Katarina, gave me some savvy tips and showcased a wide variety of Skoah’s range. The first thing that I noticed was the creamy quality of the products; Skoah use shea butter, olive oil and coconut oil in a lot of their products and I have to say I really liked it. It felt nourishing and not at all harsh on my wind-chapped face.

Katarina’s advice for me was simple but it’s been pretty effective over the past couple of weeks. Katarina told me that I should go back to skincare basics; cleanse, tone and moisturise – I never tone as I always thought it was too drying but she steered me towards Tonik, an alcohol-free toner which balances the PH of the skin and helps strengthen it with hyaluronic acid.

I find most exfoliators are too rough for my skin, but Face Skrub uses perfectly round beads which gently polish the skin without causing it stress. The proof was looking at my skin afterwards – no redness at all and the blend of plant extracts that Skoah use to calm and soothe the skin certainly seemed to do just that for me.

A slick of this means winter is no longer a problem for my skin

Katarina also recommended that in winter I should look at ‘layering’ product on my skin like I do with clothes, so – using a serum to help strengthen my skin and reduce the capillaries bursting which happens when I go from cold to hot and back again, the Skin Quench contains ceramides which can help with that. Her final two pieces of advice were to lessen the effects of the intense changes in temperature by wrapping a scarf around my face whenever I go outside, so that my skin cools slowly and also to look at using an extra-thick product like the Face Balm, which has olive oil and shea butter to keep my skin hydrated and rice bran wax to form a barrier between my skin and the elements.

I’ve followed her advice and yes — it definitely seems to be working. The switch from autumn to winter seems less harsh on my skin and I love that it’s all from a Canadian company who are based right here in Vancouver.

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