Seasonal Skin + Apothecary Staples

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Women's Health Specialist Allison Walton, of & be well, shares seasonal skincare remedies that support our largest precious organ in times of heightened stress or when we just need to give the skin some extra tender loving care. 

Seasonality, stress, hormones, environmental toxins and food allergens are just a few circumstances that can create a breeding ground for problematic skin and unwanted flare ups. The skin, being our largest precious organ, is usually the first to take the hit when something is off balance from within. Rather than slathering more chemicals from toxin laden products, a conscious routine of properly cleansing and treating the skin can make such a difference. This wall of plant medicine continues to be a saving grace for my skin, no matter the hiccups.

When living in New York City (hello air pollution and thick city grime), I was working with a local esthetician that helped me simplify my skincare routine and understand the importance of investing in quality products not only for my skin, but for my long term health. During a pretty nasty phase of cystic hormonal acne, I cleaned up my diet (goodbye dairy) and focused on giving my skin some much deserved attention. It wasn't until I moved back to Richmond and got through my first bottle of Maven Made Facial Serum that I realized the days of skin-stripping St. Ives and Neutrogena were a thing of the past.

While we long for the day when there’s better regulation towards the chemicals used in most mass produced skincare products, at least we’re slowing waking up and educating ourselves and others. We are so grateful to know and carry incredibly conscious makers that continuously pave the way towards holistic wellbeing, both internally and externally.

Here's a sneak peek at what's keeping our skin in check, even through the (seasonal, stressful, environmental and allergen-filled) hiccups.


OIL CLEANSING, DAILY. 

This is a non-negotiable daily ritual for us, and we can always tell when we go a day or two without it. Many are apprehensive about making the switch from traditional foam cleansers to oil cleansers, but like knows like, and oils are some of the most balancing components of healthy skin.

RAPHA Harmonizing Oil Cleanser by H Is For Love is currently my go-to, as I've switched it up with the seasonal transition. Its foundation infuses nutrient-rich oils with herbs complimented by antibacterial, anti-inflammatory and highly soothing essential oils, giving skin a pathway to health and framework for vitality. 

Apothecary Richmond's Facial Cleansing Oil is the brainchild of our local in-house esthetician, Summer Alexander, and Richmond loves supporting local. This gentle oil cleanser aids in hydration, elasticity, skin regeneration and is highly anti-inflammatory. 

Living Libations Seabuckthorn Best Skin Ever is actually an all-in-one cleanser, exfoliator, and moisturizer to revive and clarify skin, restoring it to its natural state of smooth, glowing goodness. We swear by anything that this company produces, so in our opinion, you're certainly in good hands here.

To effectively cleanse the skin, place a quarter to dime size dropper into a clean palms. Gently distribute over entire face, working in circular upward movements. Oil cleansers can be left on the skin longer for moisture or pore congestion, and then removed with a warm, damp cleansing cloth or cotton facial towel. 

For those that still love a simple facial cleanser, we love the Gentle Cleanser by BOTNIA that lathers rather than foams, so it's lovely for sensitive skin types. And for a local selection, the Cleansing Powders by Norveda Wellness are great as a gentle exfoliation to help rinse dirt and residue.


FACIAL SERUM, NIGHTLY.

The royal treatment that follows the oil cleansing ritual. Overnight, the oils that your skin naturally produce are very balancing, and this serum helps to support an overall morning glow.

Maven Made's Facial Serum (the holy grail that got me hooked on facial oils) is an all-natural complexion-brightening, anti-aging, acne-busting serum that rejuvenates and regenerates. Expect smoother, more even toned skin, faded scars and a reduction in fine lines. Alternate it with her Anti-Aging Facial Serum for velvety smooth skin and to support the natural aging process.

NECTAR Nourishing Face Oil by H Is For Love is another H standout, a symbiotic blend of cold-pressed plant oils and steam distilled essential oils that are anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, cell-regenerative, astringent and brightening. Regular use of this oil will balance your complexion while providing all the nourishment your skin needs from the outside in.


Apothecary Richmond's Carrot & Frankincense Oil Serum was my summer staple (as carrot seed oil acts as a natural sun protectant) and I still love toting her small vials of the serum with me when I travel. The carrier oils were chosen to protect, restore and moisturize without clogging pores and the blend of essential oils help to balance oil production while calming, rejuvenating and healing the skin.

To apply your serum, place a few drops on finger pads and glide on to a freshly washed face using upward movements. These luxurious serums can be added to weekly face masks for deep skin nourishment. 


FACE MASK, WEEKLY. 

To support deep pore cleansing and remove excess, accumulated dirt while maintaining healthy, even skintone, a weekly (sometimes twice-weekly) face mask is a nice way to tie your skincare routine together. I love applying a mask after taking a hot shower, then laying horizontal with my legs propped up for a restorative and recalibrating nighttime ritual.

Hydration Now Mask by BOTNIA Skincare is a new addition to the Boketto family, but goodness do we love it. This moisture-intensive gel-based treatment mask is packed with hyaluronic acid and vitamin B3 to nourish and hydrate, plus handcrafted rose extract and geranium to deeply heal and fight inflammation.

Wildcare's Soft Focus Coconut Milk Mask is our go-to feathery light, decadent milk mask that soothes & moisturizes. It contains a dreamy blend of iridescent food-grade pearl powder (to reverse sun damage), luscious coconut milk (rich, fatty nourishment), and pineapple extract - all blended into silky white kaolin clay (a wonderful choice for sensitive skin). 

PROPOLIS Regenerative Face Mask by H Is For Love is what it says, a miracle in a jar. This blend contains rare and skin-brightening white turmeric (encouraging blood flow to the surface of the skin) and the antioxidant-rich superfoods raw cacao and vanilla bean. It also contains camu camu, known to be one of nature’s highest sources of vitamin C, which is vital for the production of collagen. 

To apply, blend a small spoonful of face mask powder into a ceramic or glass bowl with a touch of warm water until desired consistency is achieved. Apply with a mask brush over entire face and neck and let set approximately ten minutes. We also recommend adding a few drops of any cleansing oil or serum when blending the mask for additional hydration and skin nourishment. 

LYMPHATIC FACIAL, SEASONALLY. 

Just like any other seasonal maintenance routine, lymphatic facial treatments are key in helping to flush any stagnant fluid from the
face, neck & shoulders that may be contributing to
fluid retention, puffiness, acne and rosacea. 

Locally, we recommend booking with our in-house esthetician, Summer Alexander, of Apothecary Richmond. Her cleansing and lymphatic massage treatments are truly unique and exceptional.


Spot treatments, under eye & brow serums are wonderful extra little luxuries when in need. We love all that Province Apothecary has to offer and carry a few exclusively here at the shop. 

For additional skin love, a daily internal probiotic goes a long way. I really love the powdered probiotic by Moon Juice as well as getting probiotics through food, such as this probiotic-rich coconut yogurt and kombucha.

Jelena Nikolajevic