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Winterize Your Skincare

by Lorraine Letcavage

Six Simple Strategies to Beat Dry Winter Skin

When the chilly winds of winter rush in, many of us tend to channel our inner bear and go undercover (literally) until warmer weather returns. It’s cold, it’s dreary, and we might not like how we look or feel. The change in climate brings a change in fashion, diet and energy. The beauty-conscious among us are especially bothered by unusually dry skin and chapped lips. The cold, dry air wreaks havoc on our once smooth skin. What to do? Check out these winter skin care tips to bring you out from hiding and brave the elements with a new glow!

1. Swap Your Lotion for Heavy Cream. Any skin lotion is better than none, but winter’s air calls for a mightier shield. Dermatologists say that body lotions, especially those with a pump, have a thinner formula with less moisturizing power than creams and ointments found in a jar. Slather the thick cream on your body liberally but check the label to avoid drying ingredients such as alcohol or harsh chemicals like sodium or ammonium lauryl sulfate. Smart choices include calming aloe, shea butter, and noncomedogenic ceramides, preferably fragrance-free, in order to prevent breakouts or sensitive skin reactions.

2. Add Oil to Quench Thirsty Skin. Skin oils are a bit greasy to pores in summer heat but thrive in winter to nourish thirsty skin. Experts recommend application before and after a bath or shower. Why before? Well, it acts as a barrier against the drying effects of hot water. Afterwards, it soothes while sealing in humectants for long lasting protection. Coconut and argan oil are especially recommended for this purpose.

3. Treat Your Face to Night Cream. If you usually skip this step in your beauty regimen, winter is time to make it routine. Applying a layer of night cream made to work while you sleep is an effortless way to wake up prettier each day. Choose humectants such as glycerin, sorbitol, and alpha-hydroxy acids to increase moisture retention overnight. These creams are formulated to boost cell renewal and add elasticity. Wake up to refreshed, replenished skin!

4. Layer with Antioxidant Products. Do you stock plenty of complexion-enhancing products in your beauty arsenal, hoping to find that one miracle in a jar? Yep, thought so. Don’t toss them out in frustration. It turns out the best remedy to ailing winter complexions is to apply them in a certain sequence, aka layering. Experts advise to apply skin serum after cleansing, then lock it in with moisturizer. Serums pack a punch with high concentrations of active ingredients like antioxidants and Vitamin C to penetrate deeply while repairing moisture loss. These two powerhouses combine to form a shield against environmental damage, such as winter’s cold, biting winds. They’ll work together to brighten and hydrate dry dull complexions.

5. Hydrate Your Home’s Air. During winter, your skin isn’t the only thing craving moisture. The air is dry too. Heaters and fireplaces add dryness with the warmth they produce. Although it feels nice, this adds to your dry skin problems. Adding a humidifier in your home increases moisture in the air. This benefits your skin, hair, lips, and nasal passages. Definitely worth the investment!

6. Don’t Neglect Your Lips. It’s no secret that winter’s elements are brutal on the lips. Dry heat, cold air, and constant exposure add to deterioration of fragile lip skin. Use a lip balm but choose wisely. Waxy types can worsen the dry surface and cause you to lick lips often…resist this urge. Saliva contains food digesting enzymes, which are too drying for delicate lips. Instead, use a lip ointment made with petrolatum, glycerin, and a sunscreen. Avoid menthol and camphor in winter because they cause more dryness, creating a harmful cycle of licking lips, then reapplying with no relief in sight.

The bottom line for battling the winter beauty blues is choosing ingredients wisely, adding moisture to indoor air, and treating problems with soothing oils and ointments. Ask a licensed esthetician for advice, and splurge on a comforting winter facial or body wrap to keep your skin in shape until spring. You deserve it, and your skin will thank you!

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January 14, 2020

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