Whoa whoa whoa. So this might not be news to anyone but me, but I feel like I cracked a mystery of the beautyverse last week. I was blessed enough to spend 8 days at Rancho LaPuerta in Tecate, Mexico, just a few miles from the U.S. border, in the desert. You should click that link and then you should feel free to hate me for getting to go there, but know that it was a loooong overdue and much needed holiday and besides, I went in the name of…research!
Anyway, I’m going to write more about the Ranch, because I had a life-changing, holy-cow kind of a week (literally! Cow story to come!) and I want to share what I learned there. But in the mean time, there is a much more important topic at hand:
I want to tell you what the dry-heat desert did to my skin and hair.
First of all, I was smart this time and packed all my skin and hair products for the week, so there was no cheating with other products or anything. Second, Alexandra and I often talk about how whenever she comes here to New York, she feels dirty and her hair is unpredictable, whereas at home she can not wash her face and her hair looks the same every day (in a good way—just look at her!). That’s because New York has seasons. It’s also frequently very humid here, the water is different, and the pollution is of the particulates-in-the-air-that-stick-to-you-and-make-you-feel-gross variety. Simply put, it’s a tough place to be among the great unwashed.
I grew up in Montreal where the weather, punishing winters aside, is similar to New York’s.
I’ve always just assumed I’m the type who has to shower, wash hair, wash face daily or… well, or else I’d be a gross person. Turns out that’s not really the case.
I should restate that I love washing my hair, and I like feeling clean. Rituals of personal care and maintenance are important to me, and I perform them every single day. Except at summer camp, apparently.
Yes, the Ranch is basically summer camp for grownups, but unlike kids’ summer camp, where you bum around in old sweats and wifebeaters, the Ranch is populated by people who look presentable every day—even on 7 mile hikes. I say that just to explain that looking like a shlub wasn’t really an option. And yet…washing my hair was. Also, my face.
On day one I washed my hair and face as usual. The next day, I woke to find my skin felt balanced and ungreasy, and my hair looked…like it did the day before. The same thing happened the next day, and the next—even after hikes, yoga, pilates, dance classes. My skin was just clear and balanced, and my hair simply never got gross. I celebrated the feat by washing my hair on the morning I left.
The only explanation I have is that the climate really makes a huge difference.
Has anyone else traveled somewhere else and noticed dramatic changes in their hair and skin?
Salut, salut! We’re reeeeeally excited about this Friday Deal because it’s so, well, simple. It’s from one of our all time favorite lines, and you get the pick of the litter here on what you want to stock up on—which is good, because summer’s over, and if there’s one thing we know (as we have been discussing lately) it’s that skin needs extra TLC when the seasons change. Also, and follow us here: When fall comes, and our outfits get more subdued, and we’re showing less skin (here’s hoping anyway), there is even more emphasis placed on our faces. Which means we want to be keeping them in tip-top shape, are we right?
Specifically, your skin needs barriers from the elements. And it needs sun-damage repair. And it needs hydration! All of which Kahina, and its all-star ingredient argan oil, provide in spades.
So here’s the deal: Buy anything on the Kahina Giving Beauty site between now and next Thursday the 15th at midnight, enter the code 15UNTIL15 at checkout, and you’ll get 15% off your order. Simple, clean, generous—just like the line itself!
Now! If you’re looking for suggestions, here’s what WE are thinking of doing: Stocking up on the stuff we know we’re going to be needing as the seasons change: the lotion, which helps protect against the elements, the oil, because it’s the best multitasker we’ve found, the eye cream, and the mask. Masks are a great way to ready your skin for seasonal changes—it sloughs off dead skin making it more radiant, but it’s also so nourishing and calming. Siobhan actually finds that when she uses it, the natural pinkyness of her skin—which she has learned to love, sure—is reduced visibly.
If you want more ideas, check out this 10-point list on how to use argan from head-to-toe written by the amazing Mairin Cipolla from KGB.
Also, a lot of you have been asking us lately about the difference between the different argan oils on the market, and why some cost more than others. Here is a great primer, written by the lovely Katharine (we call her Kahina behind her back).
It’s not for nothing that September magazine issues are such a thing. September represents the promise of a fresh start: It’s back to school, it’s new clothes and products—maybe even new love. In other words, it’s the chance for companies to sell, sell, sell you on the idea of beginnings. And none of us are immune.
Case in point: Here in Los Angeles, September is kind of none of those things—it’s actually wild fires and scorching hot weather (which I happen to like). Yet, for no apparent reason, I woke up this morning to fantasies of fall fashion: sweaters and blazers and boyfriend jeans.
As for products, I think I’ve made it pretty clear that I’m a hydration whore. Whether the temperature goes up or down, the air here will be dry and unforgiving this September (add to that travel plans on those skin-sucking planes) so I am going to try out the Tata Harper’s Rebuilding Moisturizer (I can’t believe I haven’t yet!) and will finally re-up on the Tammy Fender Repair Balm. Because while I’m all about the oils for maintenance, moisturizers are better occlusives; i.e. they hold that moisture in, whereas oils absorb.*
Now it’s true that we asked you last year if you would be changing up your products with the seasons. But there were so many less of you then! So we ask again, will you stick with your current routine or adjust accordingly?
And just to keep the seasonal conversation going, be on the lookout in the next week or so for a Q&A with my new favorite Ayurvedic expert, filled with fall health tips. Coming soon!
*One of our readers pointed out in the comments that I may actually have this backwards—and in principle she’s totally right. (Dain, not rude at all… we welcome feedback and corrections!) But let me explain (properly this time) why I feel that moisturizers can sometimes be better occlusives. Certain moisturizers are not simple oil-water combinations, and in particular the ones I love tend to be on the heavier-even-sticky side. That’s probably due to the presence of additional occlusive-type ingredients (including lots of oils): things like glycerin, honey, beeswax and so on. The point I should have made is that single ingredient oils versus multi-ingredient moisturizers do sometimes absorb more easily—but not always!
You know you’re in deep when you sit around seriously contemplating the merits (and risks!) of a seasonal moisturizer switch, and yet here I am. It’s autumn in New York and for the first time in my life I’m wondering if the weather will necessitate some product switches. Deep stuff.
Lately my hair’s been feeling a little dry, which is very unusual for me, and my face has as well. But I’m a believer in consistency with skincare, knowing that when I switch my products too much, the risks often outweigh the benefits. What if I get a rash? Or break out? Or discover a new allergy to an essential oil? Of course these things happen far less with the natural organic products I use, but you never know. And yet…
I refuse to change my nighttime Kahina argan oil ritual because my skin loves it, and it’s become part of how I unwind before bed. But will I be trying a new night cream on top of it? Day lotion? Conditioner? Looking that way.
What about you? Do you notice seasonal changes in your skin and hair? Do you adjust your regimens?
Horrible lo-res photo (it’s Friiiiday) from the worst movie ever made via