Winterize Your Skin
According to the American Academy of Dermatology, without a change in your skin care, dry winter air and its harsh weather can make fine lines and wrinkles even more noticeable as well as trigger other skin conditions such as broken capillaries and dry patches.
What’s the answer? “Winterize” your skin care routine! Here’s how:
Moisturize, Moisturize, Moisturize!
Upgrade to a creamy moisturizer that contains emollients like shea butter and vitamin E. Ingredients that bind water to the skin—such as glycerin or sorbitol—help pull moisture from the air into your skin. We found this and other tips for beating dry winter skin at Good Housekeeping Anti-Aging & Skin Care. You should also reduce washing your face to one time a day—at night—to minimize the removal of naturally occurring oils on the skin surface.
If you don’t want to give up your favorite moisturizer, Self Magazine says, “simply winterize it”
by applying a moisturizing serum first. You might try one with hyaluronic acid, a naturally occurring compound that can hold nearly 1,000 times its molecular weight in water, according to the LA Times. When applied to the skin surface, hyaluronic acid helps create a barrier preventing additional moisture loss. It’s the ultimate hydrator, even in the driest climates.
For guys who don’t like to “lotion up,” Men’s Health says go with moisturizing body washes that lather easily.
If you live in a particularly dry climate, buy a humidifier and place it near your bed. The increased moisture can work wonders on your skin, and your ability to get a good night’s sleep.
Dry Lips: Beware of Your Water Bottle
Don’t forget: It’s just as important to stay hydrated in the winter as it is in the summer, so remember to drink lots of water. But, here’s and interesting observation from Allure: Your water bottle could be contributing to your chapped lips. When you drink from a water bottle, water droplets are often left on your mouth. As the molecules evaporate moisture can be taken from your lips. Contrary to popular opinion, exfoliating lips can actually make them more dry. DailyMakeover.com reports that lip exfoliation actually makes chapped lips worse, even with something as harmless as a soft toothbrush. The best way to treat dry, chapped lips is to use a super-emollient lip treatment. It may be in the form of a balm, a stick or a gel—the key is the hydration level. Apply it under lipstick or lip gloss, and always apply it before you go to sleep at night.
Remember The Sun Screen
Even during the winter months, the sun can still cause skin damage, especially if it’s reflecting off snow. Apply a broad-spectrum UVA/UVB protection and an SPF 15 or higher sunscreen to your face and your hands about 30 minutes before going outside.
Don’t Be Harsh
You may want to take a vacation from harsh toners, astringents, and synthetic alcohol-based products that can strip skin of its natural oils.
The ingredients to avoid are:
- SD alcohols
- Ethyl alcohols
- Rubbing alcohol (isopropyl alcohol)
- Artificial fragrance
- Synthetic coloring
- Sulfates (any of the sodium sulfates found in many shampoos)
- Witch hazel
- Apple cider vinegar
Try this moisture-retaining tip using oatmeal. Martha Stewart Essentials says to place a handful of whole oats in a clean washcloth; use a rubber band to secure it. Immerse it in a sinkful of warm water and squeeze the bag four or five times. Once the water is cloudy, splash it on your face and air-dry. Soothing and anti-inflammatory, oatmeal contains beta glucan, a soluble fiber that creates a thin, moisture-retaining film on the surface of the facial skin.
Modify Your Make-Up Routine
Lack of moisture means modifying make-up routines especially if you’re Fabulous After 40. Start using a primer underneath foundation for extra hydration. When it comes to foundation, you get what you pay for. Find the most hydrating moisturizer you can. Look for hydrating or emollient ingredients as well as the “bad” ingredients that can strip skin of its natural oils. Use a synthetic brush to apply, instead of your fingers or sponges, which can be to abrasive against skin.
To complete a look, consider a tinted moisturizing lip balm instead of lipstick, which can be drying. Don’t over-powder. It can settle into fine lines and highlight wrinkles making you look older.