Skincare by the Season
Photographs by Noa Nguyen
We chat with renowned esthetician Kaoru Toshima, whose roster of clients in Japan include actresses and VIPs, on how to transition your skincare routine across the different seasons. Kaoru started her career studying international facial and body techniques in Paris and Milan before working independently as a beauty consultant for hotel spas, cosmetic manufacturers, and beauty schools. For Kaoru, a change in weather means a change in skincare products – much like how we change our wardrobe – to accommodate the skin’s likewise changing needs. Here, she shares some tips.
With the change in seasons affecting the skin’s balance, are there ingredients we should avoid in skincare products to maintain our skin?
Anything associated with alcohol. It is important to pay attention to the way alcohol-related ingredients are extracted. Most organic products avoid chemical preservatives, but they usually include some alcohol extracted from plants. The skin becomes very delicate and sensitive when it is going through some trouble and experiencing the change in seasons.When a high percentage of extracted alcohol is included in products like toners – which are applied directly on the skin – they can be damaging.
Excessive amount of surfactant can lead to dry skin, so we also need to make sure that the ingredients in the products are high quality and appropriate for your skin condition and skin type. We can say the same thing about facial treatments. If the esthetician cannot select the right kind of product for customers, the experience can become a stressor to the skin, so selecting the right product is very important.
In Japan, we have four distinctive seasons. We are very blessed with them and it is nice to experience different kinds of weathers in a year, but on the other hand, four seasons mean eight transitional periods in one year, and our skin has to adapt to them every time. We have to change our skincare routine like we do with our clothing, so we have to wear the right kind of cosmetic products depending on the season.
“Four seasons mean eight transitional periods in one year, and our skin has to adapt to them every time. We have to change our skincare routine like we do with our clothing, so we have to wear the right kind of cosmetic products depending on the season.”
Can you run us through your recommended skincare routine by the season?
Spring: A lot of pollen fly around during spring and the skin becomes very sensitive to it. Avoiding excessive amount of strong skincare products and focusing on soothing essences and masks for special care is recommended.
Summer: Summer is Japan contains a lot of humidity and high temperatures, which can lead to oily skin. Using clay-based products to calm the production of oil is good for this time of the year. This can also help to clear the pores and avoid pimples.
Fall: If the skin is still damaged from the sun in the summer, brightening care is important. At the same time, the skin gradually becomes drier so hydrating and moisturizing is important for the surface layers of the skin.
Winter: Dryness of the skin is what we need to be concerned the most during the winter. Whether you’re indoors or outdoors, the air is very dry and having a skincare routine that helps your skin to produce oil and keep hydrated is essential. Use oil-based lotion for the morning to obtain the moisture to your skin throughout the day. The skincare in the winter is the key to having a good skin for the spring.