The winter weather is in full swing here in New York and most states. For some of us, like me, it’s a season of dreaded dull, dry and even itchy skin, especially on our faces. Skin that just doesn’t glow anymore. And it can be depressing to look in the mirror and feel so drab. I look 10 years older in the Winter. And trust me, that’s NOT how I want to look at this point in my life. So what can we do for the next 5 months or so to get our faces looking radiant and alive again? We need some skincare that works!
1. Start from the inside. Drink plenty of water. I know for some of us, the natural urge to drink is not there when we are indoors in the winter. It happens to me all the time. So filling a large water bottle and keeping it handy to sip frequently is a great reminder. Or try herbal teas for those of you who like warm drinks. Don’t forget that water occurs naturally in fruits so eating a diet rich in varied fruits keep adds water content to your diet.
2. Don’t forget to exfoliate. In summer, I rarely need to do this but in the winter, wow, a good face and body scrub can make my skin glow, albeit only for a few days. Once a week, add a scrub to your cleansing routine to remove all those dead cells and reveal fresher looking skin. I like microdermabrasion scrubs in particular for my face. And for my body, even a handful of sugar added to body wash is a nice idea.Mix in a little honey for it’s moisturizing properties too. Nothing like natural skin care without any chemicals!
3. Don’t forget to moisturize. When I worked in the beauty business, every winter I’d hear complaints of dry skin and questions of “what moisturizer should I use?” There really is not one set answer since everyone has different skin and what works for some may not work for you. However , the older we get and the drier our skin gets, often calls for a heavier moisturizer in cream form. Oily skin has the benefit of natural moisturizers but can still benefit from lighter moisturizing lotions, not creams. Oils can be used on tough spots like elbows and knees.
4. Take cooler showers. This one hurts me to even type. But hot showers are known to rob skin of moisture while luke warm is best. Since I love my hot showers, I opt for shorter ones and a good all over body moisturizer afterwards.
5. Dry air leads to dry skin. So investing in a humidifier works great to add water to the air. Keep humidity levels in your home in the comfort zone by buying a small hydrometer to check levels. They are only a few dollars.
6. Don’t nix the sunscreen, even in winter, as experts agree it’s needed year round. Too much sun exposure can dry skin, even in the winter months, and especially if you are into winter sports and outside often. Even if you don’t use a separate sunscreen, make sure your moisturizer and make up have SPF in them. natural mineral SPF’s are safer. Avoid oxybenzone which is questionable in most studies.
7. Add the good fats into your diet. Recently, omega 3 fatty acids have been said to help skin look healthier. If you are not a frequent fish eater, ( especially tuna and salmon) you can add walnuts, flax seeds, olive oil and avocado to your diet to get some good fats in. And don’t forget to take a daily omega supplement, which is touted by many doctors including Dr.Nicholas Perricone, to help reduce the body’s production of inflammatory compounds and the way skin ages. I started fish oils about 2 years ago and even have many less break -outs since.