Guest Post: Naturally Beautiful Skin by Sara Damelio of Skincando

Sara Damelio is one of the country’s first eco-facialists and has been practicing and studying natural skincare for over 12 years. She is also the owner/creator of Skincando — a luxury natural skincare line based and manufactured in Silver Spring, MD.

Naturally Beautiful Skin

Living in the DC area we all struggle with dry, dull winter skin. It is a challenge to stay hydrated, but made possible through the use of natural and organic exfoliants and moisturizers. Natural skin care products are made with high quality pure ingredients including apricot kernel oil and beeswax that help heal your skin, rather than cover it with chemicals like in traditional beauty products that include petro-chemicals and artificial fragrances. With a few simple changes and the correct information, you can have naturally beautiful skin all winter long.

Step 1: Exfoliate

Exfoliating is fun, easy, and yet a total mystery to many of us.  When do I do it? How often? With what?  Do I even need to exfoliate? Your skin is an amazing, living organ that does an efficient job of sloughing, protecting, purifying and regenerating on it’s own!  Contrary to popular belief,  exfoliating once or twice a week should simply improve, not substitute, your skin’s own ability to slough and renew — a practice that is essential during the winter months.

So why exfoliate?  Taking exfoliation into your own hands means your skin is clear to evenly absorb healthy products  like your organic face oil and moisturizer, while relieving it of environmental pollution and built up waxes from cosmetics that trap dirt. Here are two different methods and types of exfoliants to help you choose which one is best for you:

1. Mechanical – where abrasives are mechanically ground against the skin to remove debris and have a detoxifying effect over the skin. Mechanical exfoliants include face brushes, scrubs, drying clay masks, microdermabrasion and  exfoliating pads.
2. Chemical – where enzymes or acids dissolve debris from the skin.  Chemical exfoliants include alpha hydroxy acid, glycolic and malic acid, papaya enzyme and pineapple enzyme peels, masques and cleansers.

Both mechanical and chemical exfoliation work to achieve the same result.  It is a matter of personal opinion which one you choose.

Step 2: Hydration

One of the most frequently asked questions I get this time of year is “How do I find a winter moisturizer that will keep me hydrated but won’t make me break out?” If you’re breakout-prone, like so many of us are now and then, the last thing you want to do is use a “heavier” moisturizer – but you also don’t want to be stuck all winter with parched, undernourished skin!  The solution is layering.

By layering a nourishing  face oil with a protective moisturizer, you don’t have to worry about using something that’s too heavy for your skin.  Face oils are the best way to hydrate the skin on a deeper level but alone can be leeched out of the skin in dry, cold environments.  Moisturizers with larger molecules tend to treat on the skin with natural waxes that stay put longer to prevent moisture evaporation.  Together, you get the best of both – a light breathable barrier and deep hydration –  without compromising on either, which could lead to breakouts or buildup.

For best results, I recommend layering during the AM and using a rich nourishing night cream in the PM.

For more information on natural winter skincare, Sara Damelio of Skincando is happy to give free email or phone consultations. She can be reached at or 202-215-8991


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