Winter has been a little slow to hit this year compared to last. Nonetheless many of us live in regions where we prepare for the colder winter months. For us, it’s putting heaters in the horse waters, winterizing trailers and turning off the yard sprinklers. Even though we have had a mild winter so far, the days are still chilly, the heater is running a lot more in the house day and night, and long sleeves or sweaters are a must. We prepare ourselves for winter in many ways, but do you do the same with your skin care routine or the products you are using? Many of us use the same products year round and in many cases that is an epic fail for your skin. Traditional research shows that dry skin and chapped lips are the biggest complaints this time of year. Winter can sometimes be the toughest time on our skin and we need to prepare our skin for winter just like everything else.
Winter is tougher on our skin for so many reasons. Here is a list of some things that makes winter time such a challenge and how to combat it…
1. First of all, you are probably dehydrated. Most of us do not consume enough water in the winter months since it is not hot out and we don’t desire it. A lot of times we are replacing water consumption in the winter with more cups of hot coffee or tea. Even though that warm beverage feels good going down, caffeinated beverages actually have a dehydrating effect on the body. I love that warm cup of coffee or tea and if I’m not in the mood for a cold glass of water when I’m freezing my but off I like to have a warm glass of water with some lemon in it. My Keurig coffee maker is great for this. I don’t put anything in the brewing part and just fill my Yeti Mug up with hot water and a lemon slice. Easy as that.
2. Weakened Immune System. I know we can get sick all year round, but winter time it is more prevalent. If your body is sick, so is your skin. Try to help give your immune system a boost. I like taking extra Vitamin C and Zinc to help prevent from getting sick. Plus, both these supplements are great for your skin too.
3. HOT Showers. This is one of my biggest faults. I love a hot shower, especially in the winter, but those hot showers are drying out your skin. Even when you are at the sink cleansing your face many of us love that HOT water to wash with. Try your best to start taking a luke warm shower. It’s going to be a struggle – trust me I know, but with the luke warm water you will be helping in removing less oils from your skin that are part of your natural protective barrier from the environment.
4. It’s warm inside and it’s cold outside. Going indoors to outdoors in the winter months can be a big shock to our skin. Especially our faces – they are almost always exposed. Running the heater in the house dries out the air and there is less moisture or humidity. Also the same with the outdoors. The air is typically drier. Either way your skin is either warm and dried out from being inside or cold and dried out from being outside with some wind chill factor added on as well at times. One of my favorite things to add moisture in my home is a humidifier. There is one in the bedrooms and another in the family room. You can just put water in them, but I love adding a few drops of my favorite essential oils like peppermint, lemon grass, or eucalyptus. Its a great way to add moisture to your home and also you’re getting the added benefit of some aromatherapy. Not to mention your home smells amazing.
5. Exfoliation. Some of us think the winter time is the best time to head to the dermatologist and do some major skin resurfacing like doing a chemical peel or laser. For all the reasons listed above, winter is actually the worst time of year to do this. Yes, you will probably be out in the sun less and hibernating, but if your skin is already compromised from being dehydrated and having a weakened immune support system you are just punishing your skin. I’m not a big believer to begin with when it comes to aggressive resurfacing of the skin. If you want to use a mild exfoliant in the winter months, I recommend Polish. This is an enzyme and lactic acid mask. The enzymes are papain and bromelain which breakdown the dead skin cells but do not affect the other ones and Lactic acid is a natural moisturizing agent. I leave my bottle in the shower. About twice a week after I wash my face in the shower I take 1-2 pumps of the Polish and massage it in thoroughly all over my face. I finish bathing without rinsing it off and when I get out if I still feel some on my face I massage it in a little more. If you want, you can remove it in about ten minutes, but odds are it has completely absorbed into your skin and you can just go on with skin care routine for the day.
6. Switch your Cleanser. This time of year you want to calm your skin down and if you’re super sensitive it might be time to change up your cleansers. I like to use Cleanse because it is ultra calming but still effective at removing makeup. It also has peppermint in it which is another soothing ingredient.
7. Increase your Moisturizer. If you don’t use a moisturizer at all, it is probably time to start using one. If you use one already, then you might need to think about using a heavier one. I like to use Quench Plus. It has hyaluronic acid in it which is a super moisture booster and aids in plumping the skin. It is light and airy, but still gives you the moisture your skin needs to battle the cold and dry air. If you are ultra dry, it is time to take the leap and use Immerse. (Sometimes I even add a small amount to Quench Plus and combine the two.) This is a moisture booster that I always feel instant with relief with. It’s even great for chapped lips and wound healing.
I know I have listed off a lot of bad news about winter, but this time of year is not all bad. Getting enough sleep is such an important factor in beautiful skin and with cooler temperatures, most of us sleep better. Some people even believe cold rejuvenates the skin. Just like you see the cold chambers that athletes are stepping into to heal their bodies. Also, cold can help reduce puffiness. Its like putting the cold cucumber on your eyes to help get rid of those bags, well mother nature is helping you out by just turning the temperature down. Lastly, most of us spend less time outdoors in the winter so were exposed to the sun less. The result is less photodamage to our skin.
As always, I’m here to help. We all have specific concerns regarding our skin and I may not have tackled it here. If you have Rosacea or a condition that makes you fearful of trying anything, please feel free to reach out to me. I’m here to help and would love to hear your story and your goals with your skin care.
Here’s to Living Country. Beautifully.
If you are skin care savvy, you may purchase these products at Osmosisskincare.com. You just need to use the code 17407 when you checkout.