Winter is here, which means your skin has to deal with a lot of harsh environments. Strong winds, cold air, indoor heaters, rain, snow, sleet, and an overall lack of a good healthy dose of sunlight all leave our skin dry and easily chapped and cracked.
But have no fear! The cure is simple. Your goals this winter should be to moisturize, exfoliate and moisturize again. Your skin functions differently in the winter so you need to change your routines. Keep moisture in mind with all the choices you make in your skincare regime.
Winter is the time of year when you need to put away your foaming and soap cleansers and stock up on cream cleansers. Cleansing creams, lotions and milks are very effective, and they do not contain the typical surfactant or detergent ingredients that can be too harsh for your skin in the winter months.
Put away your astringents and switch to a toner for winter. Your skin needs to be soothed and balanced, not dried out.
Choose heavier creams in the winter than you would in the summer. Feel free to use your heavy eye cream around your lips and on your entire face. If your skin is itching, it is because the dry air of winter is causing the moisture in the top layer to evaporate quickly. You need to slather those areas with extra moisture until you feel relief.
Never be afraid of using pure oils on your skin in the winter months. A bottle of jojoba oil or olive oil is a great thing to have on hand. During the cold and flu season, you should wash your hands liberally, but be certain to apply a heavy hand cream every time you do.
Don’t be flaky! Exfoliate twice a week to remove dead skin cells and allow your skin to absorb the extra moisture you are lathering on. Central heating plays havoc on the sebum our skin normally produces, which makes our skin lose the water that should be retained in the lower dermis of the skin.
Have you ever wondered about the areas that look like your skin is flaking off your body? What happens is that during the winter months, the thousands of dry skin cells ready to be sloughed off become clumped together with oil, forming what appear to be flakes. Exfoliate with cream-based exfoliates with jojoba beads and your body will soak up the rich oils of a butter or oil-based body scrub.
For a simple in-home hydrotherapy, start out your day with a hot, steamy shower, and just as you are finishing, switch the water to cold for about 15 seconds. Repeat the process for two minutes. This hydrotherapy technique will revitalize your skin by stimulating the flow of blood.
In the shower and bath:
One of the best times to apply body oil or cream is right after a hot bath or shower, but did you know that you can apply any oil, lotion or cream while you are still in the shower or bath? The heat and steam from the shower allow your skin to thoroughly absorb moisture. You can even use your hair conditioner all over your body for soft and supple skin.
And once you bring your body oil, lotion and cream into the shower, try shaving with them. The rich oils protect your skin and give your razor a perfect glide. After you try it, you might never go back to shaving with soap or shaving cream again.
KAYLA FIORAVANTI is the vice president, chief formulator, ARC registered and certified aromatherapist for Essential Wholesale and Essential Labs. A mother of three, she runs the company with her husband, Dennis. For more information visit www.Essentiallabs.com.