An Insider Look at Brandi’s Winter Faves

We have a few secrets in store for you today, Minted Beauty!

Brandi Gregge smiling with her arms extended to the air.

As leaves change and temperatures cool, our excitement for things like upcoming holidays can sometimes bring a little tinge of dread: how do we look and feel our best for big get-togethers when it seems like our skin is just trying to get dehydrated all the time?

Well, look no further: Mint & Needle is here to keep your skin smooth, hydrated, soft, and glowing all winter long. We’ve gone straight to our founder, Brandi Gregge, to find out all the ways to look your best from now ’til spring!

Here’s a rundown of Brandi’s favorite skincare treatments for chilly, dry months:

GA Glow

Glycolic acid is a very useful ingredient because it does not require scrubbing the skin. Instead, it dissolves the entire top layer of skin cells and oil. This is especially helpful in winter months, when we don’t want to irritate our skin any more than is necessary.

The GA Glow is Brandi’s favorite for this time of year because it exfoliates and hydrates. That’s a difficult balance to find in one product, and important when our skin is already battling dry air! Glycolic acid increases the presence of hyaluronic acid in the skin, which keeps skin moisturized.

Bonus benefits of this product are that it increases collagen production for smoother skin, minimizes pore size, and lightens sun spots and hyperpigmentation caused by UV rays.

Speaking of the sun: make absolutely sure to apply a quality daily sunscreen when using a glycolic acid product! You’ll apply GA Glow at night, but you’ll want sun protection handy first thing in the morning. Even in winter, the sun’s rays can cause skin damage, and glycolic acid can make the skin extra sensitive to UV rays.

Hydrating Pumpkin Mask

In winter, the name of the game is to keep up with your normal skincare goals—protect, cleanse, revitalize—but with extra emphasis on hydration.

Brandi loves the Pumpkin Mask both for how it keeps the skin moisturized and clear, and for its enzyme ingredients. The enzymes in this mask are drawn from pumpkin extract to naturally exfoliate your skin, gently opening your pores to nourishment from Vitamin E also present in the mask.

Plus, the antioxidants from this mask protect against “free radicals”—atoms that enter our skin via air pollution, UV rays, and even our bodies’ metabolic processes, and then bind to the skin to cause collagen breakdown. And collagen breakdown is the opposite of what we want for smooth skin!

Youth Serum + Peptide C&E Growth Factor

Speaking of smooth skin: Brandi’s all-time must-have is the Youth Serum used with Peptide C&E Growth Factor, “because we need collagen production year round.” These two treatments in combination are a huge win for keeping skin hydrated and wrinkle-free.

The Youth Serum tells skin cells to synthesize collagen and elastin—the two compounds that are most important for promoting smooth skin. It also contains hyaluronic acid, which is not only amazing for pulling tons of moisture into our skin, but has the bonus benefit of serving as a booster to other skincare products. Because hyaluronic acid absorbs as much liquid into the skin as possible, any water-soluble products will be absorbed even more effectively than usual.

That’s where the Peptide Growth Factor comes in: applied after the Youth Serum, it maximizes your benefit from the peptides, Vitamin C, and Vitamin E packed into this powerful formula. We know that Vitamins C and E are great for anti-aging benefits, from brightening dark spots to smoothing wrinkles. But peptides are the real star in this treatment: they have so many benefits, including a big boost to collagen production. If you’re curious, check out our full blog on all the many benefits of peptides.

Retinol 0.5% or Retinol Gentle

Even with all these great hydrating products, it’s natural for skin to dry out a bit in the winter. Brandi says, “If my skin gets dry, I reduce my retinol from the 1% to the 0.5% or gentle.”

Retinol is central to year-round glowing skin. It stimulates cell regeneration, lightens dark spots from sun damage, evens overall complexion, and again improves production of collagen and elastin.

But the ingredient itself also has a drying effect—for those with sensitive skin, a 0.5% or Gentle Retinol product may be the right choice no matter the time of year. For others, it may be worth taking a step down to the less-concentrated option if you notice your skin struggling to stay moisturized.

So there you have it! By making sure to hydrate our skin while cleansing, and promote collagen production as much as possible, you’ll have a winter glow that Jack Frost could envy. Head to those holiday parties feeling moisturized and confident, Minted Beauty!