Q: Zoe, 26, lives in Los Angeles but just got a P.A. gig on the set of a music documentary that will film for two months in the Mojave Desert. How should she alter her usual skincare routine to accommodate the upcoming change in climate?
A: Naturally, Zoe’s skin will require more moisture in the desert than it does at home. However, sometimes it can be uncomfortable to wear a heavier moisturizer in such a hot climate. There are several different solutions to this problem. During the day Zoe should stick to a light hydrator that feels comfortable on her skin. The best one for her contains smart hydrators like hyaluronic acid, bamboo and rice bran that will provide adequate moisture and seal in hydration without feeling heavy. Her daytime moisturizer should also contain a powerful dose of antioxidants since she will be exposed to the sun all day. Green tea and Echinacea are perfect for this purpose. Botanicals such as Galanga and Niacin have also been shown to boost sun protection while delivering anti-aging and skin clearing benefits. At night, when it is usually cooler even in the desert, Zoe should use a heavier cream to provide long lasting moisture. Incorporating a cream with collagen-boosting peptides will enable Zoe’s skin to retain moisture more effectively over time.
Secondly, underneath her moisturizers Zoe can use a hydrating serum both day and night. Serums generally have smaller molecules than moisturizers so they can penetrate more easily and provide deeper hydration. Serums formulated with grape stem cells are rich in anthocyanins known for their free radical scavenging properties, thus helping to absorb UV radiation deeper within the skin. Each of her moisturizers will then help to maintain proper moisture balance.
Finally, Zoe should be sure to use sun protection with at least SPF 30 that contains the protective physical blockers titanium dioxide and zinc oxide. With newer micronized technology, manufacturers have overcome the chalky appearance these ingredients once gave. Many sunscreens now contain ingredients that promote a more even skin tone, saving time and leaving no excuse for skipping sun protection.