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Skin salves avert winters wallop

In February, it's tough to tell which is more blah, your state of mind or your skin. It's a rotten deal, because while gray skies do zilch for your mood, the wind and cold that accompany them can also wreak havoc with your skin, leaving it ruddy, chapped or simply lackluster.

Sorry Ñ still no word on how to alter the atmosphere, but there are ways to improve the skin you're in. Several local skin care experts weighed in on the topic of cold weather skin care, offering a range of tips and products to help you get some glow going.

Enzi Jones of downtown's SaseŽ Salon and Spa has three words for you during the winter months: moisture, moisture, moisture! 'Hydration is key right now, with the wind and cold air,' Jones says, adding that even those with oily skin need to be moisturizing right now. 'Think of it as water, not oil,' she says.

Jones suggests treating your skin to Phytomer's Outdoor Protective Cream ($55.50), an ultrarich cream made with a microalgae discovered off the coast of Brittany that's said to have self-regenerative properties. A jar of the cream, available at SasŽe, will last up to six months Ñ if you can resist slathering it all over your body.

Save the total body treatment for Origins' new A Perfect World ($30). This intensely hydrating (but not heavy) body cream comes in an oversize container, encouraging luscious daily doubles of head-to-toe treatment.

Pat Warren, owner of Faces Unlimited in Northwest Portland, suggests supplementing your moisturizer with Cellex-C's skin serum ($60).

'It contains a combination of hyularonic acid and vitamin complexes to rehydrate the skin,' she says. The product goes on under your moisturizer to lock in the goodies.

Skiers and runners will appreciate Guignot's superhydrating cream called 600-A. 'This product is perfect for chapped skin and is only $35,' Warren says.

Warren sells both Cellex-C and Guignot.

While running may improve your backside, Warren cautions of the effect it has on your skin. All that pounding, she says, releases nasty 'free radicals' that accelerate the aging process. (Free radicals, which have more to do with unstable molecules than Patty Hearst, create the havoc that results in crow's feet and furrows.) In lieu of pounding the pavement, Warren advocates yoga Ñ which promotes lots of deep breathing Ñ to stave off the dreaded march of time.

Your grandmother knew it Ñ now science has perfected it. A gentle exfoliant is the fastest way to unearth a fresh-as-spring countenance. Angela Olson of Northeast Portland's Parlour suggests Astara's Daily Refining Scrub ($25), which she stocks.

'This is a gentle exfoliant that uses ocean silica to slough away dead skin,' Olson says.

The silica part is important, she says, because its round shape creates a very fine scrub that's effective on all skin types. So does this mean the gravel-like grit of my favorite, cheap facial scrub is Overkill in a Jar? Yes, Olson says, adding that 'skin can be easily damaged by the rough-edged particles of the scrub.' Warning taken.

Ready to make a big skin-vestment? Head to Saks Fifth Avenue, where you'll find a product line that's developed a cult following, despite (or perhaps because of) its heavy-

hitter price tag.

The screenplay-worthy story behind CrŽme de la Mer is worth a stop at the sales counter. Years ago, NASA scientist Max Huber suffered disfiguring burns in a laboratory accident. When his doctors could offer no help for his burns, he decided to help himself.

Twelve years and 6,000 experiments later, CrŽme de la Mer was born. The cream, which requires a four-month 'curing' process to produce, touts Pacific sea kelp as the magic ingredient. Its many devotees swear by the product's ability to dramatically improve skin. In fact, the celebrity endorsement of CrŽme de la Mer is so powerful that you'll never see a formal ad campaign.

Oprah jokingly asked the company to make her a big jar of the stuff, and it did. You can have it, too, for $1,000. Smaller jars are available for $100

(1 ounce) and $175 (2 ounces).

Contact Jill Spitznass at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..