As the seasons change, so too does our skin. During summer, we tend to skip out on moisturizer, while fall and winter bring drier climates and, with that, a parched complexion. We asked Sonya Dakar, celebrity facialist and owner of the Sonya Dakar Skin Clinic, for the 10 best ingredients for our fall/ winter complexion. Dakar sprinkled in a few of her magical DIY recipes for a flawless face as well. And, the best part, all of these ingredients come from seasonal foods and spices (think: apple cider, pumpkin pie, hot cocoa, and wine) that are good enough to eat and slather on your skin… so, dig in!
We all love to enjoy a good apple pie or hot apple cider during this time of year, but it’s also a wonderful ingredient for your skin. I especially like to use Apple Stem Cells in my skincare and incorporate it in my facials, like the Apple Stem Cell Facial.
Apple stem cells are extracted from a rare endangered Swiss apple that was widely studied for its remarkable self-preservation qualities. Simply said, the type of “genus” of this apple stayed fresh for months. The intense self-regenerating properties stored in the apple’s stem cells were extracted and are the basis for this cutting edge treatment. This ingredient is ideal for any type of aging concerns as it helps skin regenerate a youthful and glowing complexion.
Editor’s Pick: Juice Beauty Green Apple Peel Full Strength ($48)
Who doesn’t enjoy a nice hot cocoa during these cooler months? While it is delicious served warm, cocoa has many benefits to the skin as well. It’s a wonderful, all natural exfoliator that gently polishes the skin and removes dead, dry skin. The cocoa bean shell contains theobromine, a methylxanthine very similar to caffeine. It is well appreciated for its draining and detoxifying actions, as well as its stimulating/energizing power and for the feeling of well-being/comfort that it induces on the skin. If you’re in search of a gentle and natural form of exfoliation that will also detox your skin, be sure to look for cocoa listed in your facial scrub.
Editor’s Pick: Sonya Dakar Detox Micro Scrub ($59)
Pumpkin pie, pumpkin latte, it seems that you can’t go anywhere without seeing this fall favorite incorporated somehow! My favorite use of pumpkin is called pumpkin clay. Pumpkin clay is derived form the Mediterranean coast and not only absorbs oils and impurities from the skin, it also has a great firming action. While it is not easy to find pumpkin clay in most skincare masks, I have created an easy DIY for your to do at home.
Pumpkin Facial Mask
½ cup cooked and cooled organic pumpkin puree (fresh is best)
1 teaspoon raw honey (a wonderful humectant)
1 capsule Vitamin E oil.
1 teaspoon organic apple cider (great astringent)
1 teaspoon green plain yogurt.
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
Mix all ingredients and apply to cleansed skin. Leave for 10-15 minutes, rinse.
Editor’s Pick: Sanitas Pumpkin Enzyme Mask ($32)
Nutmeg can actually help you achieve smoother and healthier skin by treating several skin problems. Nutmeg has a lot of strong antibacterial, astringent and anti-inflammatory properties, it’s traditionally been used to treat eczema and other skin conditions. Nutmeg can reduce the infection and swelling around your clogged pores, resulting in smaller spots and smoother scars.
Editor’s Pick: Jo Malone Nutmeg and Ginger Body Creme ($75)
Honey is more than delicious; it has wonderful health benefits as well. It’s been used in traditional healing for centuries. When applied to acne spots, honey may stop swelling by killing any infection, and make your scars heal more quickly and smoothly than they would otherwise.
Editor’s Pick: Rodial Bee Venom Eye ($160)
6. SWISS CHARD & ARUGALA
These greens are in season and at their peak during fall months, they are also a great source of alkalizing and detoxifying chlorophyll. Chlorophyll is like the green blood of plant leaves and actually closely resembles our own red blood cells. Because of this it is known as an excellent blood cleanser and oxygenator. This is extremely healthy for getting a glowing complexion and detoxing your skin.
Editor’s Pick: Nature’s Way Chlorofresh, Liquid Chlorophyll Natural Mint ($9); take a shot a day or add to your drinking water.
These bright red root veggies pack a variety of vitamins and minerals and are rarely found in such high concentrations within one food. They are really a superfood when it comes to anti-aging because they help to fight wrinkles and skin ailments naturally with folate. They prevent age-related degeneration with vitamin A and carotenoids. I love to cut them into quarters, drizzle with olive oil and roast on 425 for 30 minutes. They are also wonderful in juices and smoothies.
Editor’s Pick: Tata Harper Resurfacing Mask ($58); contains beet extract
Their natural harvest is in the fall, when their flavor and sweetness is at its peak. The most potent part of the grape (in terms of healthy skincare) is its peel because it is rich in the super anti-oxidant resveratrol. Resveratrol is a super anti-oxidant most commonly found in the skin of red grapes and is a must-have ingredient to your anti-aging skin care regimen. Resveratrol has been dominating the field of anti-aging research for years and the evidence for topical use for skin care is mounting. Coming from the skin of wine grapes, resveratrol lives up to (and surpasses) the anti-aging benefits found in actual wine itself. It’s anti-inflammatory properties help to reduce premature aging in the skin that can be caused by inflammation. Additionally, resveratrol is a powerful antioxidant and free-radical fighter. Resveratrol has the ability to slow the photo-aging of your skin when exposed to UV radiation. Sun damage is the #1 reason your skin ages, which is why you need to protect it daily, even in winter. Resveratrol not only has wonderful anti-aging benefits, but in clinical studies it has been proven to help clear up acne as well.
While I do believe that alcohol is not the greatest beverage for your complexion, it is ok to indulge in red wine once in a while. You can also try to eat more grapes, and incorporate them into salads, and even savory dishes.
Editor’s Pick: Caudalie Vinoperfect Radiance Serum ($79)
I love to add orange juice to smoothies, use it in salad dressings, and even to bake. Oranges are a wonderful source of much needed vitamin C. As you age, your body slows down its production of collagen and elastin, which keeps skin strong, flexible, and resilient. The antioxidants found in vitamin C stimulate the production of collagen and minimize fine lines, wrinkles, and scars.
Orange Creamsicle Smoothie Recipe
1 cup fresh oranges, 1 carrot, peeled and chopped, 1/2 cup orange juice, 1/2 cup green plain yogurt
1 slice of ginger, peeled and chopped , 2 cups of ice, 2 scoops of vanilla Ultima Power (or any other protein powder)
Blend and enjoy!
Editor’s Pick: Ole Henriksen Truth Serum Vitamin C Collagen Booster ($60)
Pomegranates have over 600 seeds in each fruit, and they are packed with almost as many skincare benefits. Pomegranates protect and strengthen skin cells on the surface and regenerate cells in the deeper layers of skin. Both the fruit and the oil from its seeds strengthen the outer layers and repair deeper layers of skin, which promotes cellular regeneration and collagen production. Collagen is the basic building block of our skin and the key protein that maintains firm, smooth, youthful skin. Special compounds in pomegranates not only inhibit enzymes that break down collagen, but also extend the life of fibroblasts (the cells that produce collagen and elastin) to support skin’s integrity and improve skin elasticity. Pomegranates also contain super oxidants which fight and repair free-radical damage from the sun and environmental factors that age skin, including hyperpigmentation and age spots.