Monday, January 3, 2011

Winter Skin Rx


old%20man%20winter_4c54f733cb735It’s cold . . . Brrrr. It’s warm. It’s cold . . . Brrrr, again. Yep! That’s our South Carolina winter weather. Not only do we have trouble know what to wear, our skin doesn’t know what to do! Have you noticed your skin changing – oily to dry? And then . . . even drier? And the crazy thing is, this can happen seemingly overnight! Interestingly, I thought about writing about dry winter skin care and when I logged into my Facebook this morning, I found several inquiries about just this very thing.

Changing seasons, means changing temperatures. These changing environmental conditions mean that we need a change to our skin care routine, no matter where you live. Making just a few small changes can make a difference between a dull, even itchy, flaky complexion and your beautiful radiant glow – harsh, winter weather, or not!

The very first thing to know is that hot, steamy baths or showers need to be put on hold. Those are a BIG winter no-no. Rather dial the temperature down to just warm. Now here’s a real hint: before you step out of the shower, turn the water down to cool for about 10-15 seconds. Then, turn the water warmer than before for about 15-30 seconds, then repeat. Are you kidding me? Nope! This hydro-therapy technique refreshes and revitalizes your skin by stimulating your blood flow. You might think this is crazy, but it is really beneficial and invigorating. Try it and then let me know how you feel about it. You’ll be clean, refreshed and your skin will NOT be dried out and unhappy.

Now, your wrapped up in your fluffy towel, but you skin is still damp. Pat or blot your skin until it's just barely dry, then apply apply your moisturizing CREAM – not liquid, light lotion - moisturizer immediately to help trap water in the surface cells. Look for a product that has antioxidants, grape seed oil or dimethicone, which helps keep your skin hydrated. For very dry, cracked skin, petrolatum-based products are preferable. They have more staying power than creams do and are more effective at preventing water from evaporating from your skin. I like to apply a shower oil right in the shower, then pat, pat, pat my skin dry.

Apply moisturizer to your hands and body as needed. Apply after bathing or showering, before exercising outdoors in cold weather, and every time you wash your hands. Although often ignored, your hands are more exposed to the elements, especially soaps and chemicals, than is any other part of your body

Don’t forget your lips! Chapped lips are just plain UGGGly, and may be the most noticeable problem a girl will face in the winter. I suggest regular lip exfoliation all year long, but EXPECIALLY during the harsh winter months. Here’s a easy little tip: regular Vaseline with a soft baby toothbrush. Easy does it . . . but do it! I really like Vitamin E for your lips, but remember a lip balm sunscreen if you are ONLY using gloss, rather than lipstick. Use your lip balm every single night before you go to sleep. Keep it on your bedside table.

Keep on exfoliating – at least two times every week. Removing those dried out dead skin cells will allow your skin to absorb the extra moisture you’re applying. Even if you have summer-time oily complexion, that oil is no longer being produced during the cold winter temps. Also, think about going in and out of central heating and back into the elements – havoc on your body’s largest organ. In addition to drying out your complexion and having your skin look grey and puffy, this can cause premature aging, lines and wrinkles.

Water! Water! Water! Keep on drinking. Here’s a little bit of education . . . your skin just can’t get enough water. You know that your body is made up of mostly water – we learned that in elementary school. Your internal organs are constantly pulling water in, and pulling it away from your external organ – your skin. Your skin only gets what water is left over.

A little Chinese herbal treatment is a glass of hot water with fresh, squeezed lemon. This is de-toxing for your liver and gall bladder and pretty darn energizing. Your body will be able to rid itself of toxins and wastes that contribute to bad skin.

Finally and really, really important – money can’t buy the benefits of real healthy beauty sleep. I’ve done blogs before on not enough sleep. Lack of sleep will absolutely ruin you! If you don’t turn off your day clock and s-l-e-e-p your night clock can’t kick in and cell regeneration cannot begin. Shoot for those desired eight.

OK . . . what do you think? Willing to try? These tips just might be the prescription you need to better winter skin.

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