Dry. Chilly. Brisk. Yep, cooler weather is just around the corner and that means your skin is in for a change. Unless you live someplace tropical, the fall and winter months can really impact your complexion. But, whether your climate is cold or downright frigid, you can protect your skin's supple, youthful appearance by making some simple changes to your beauty routine.
Try these 10 quick and easy winter skin care tips to stave off the dry skin blues this season.
Charge up your ingredients
When shopping for winter skincare products, pay attention to the ingredients and opt for a boost of antioxidants to jump start collagen production. "Look for products containing ascorbic acid (vitamin C), tocopherol (vitamin E), green tea, coffee berry, blueberries, copper peptides, lipoic acid, and CoQ enzymes," says Dawn Richardson, director at Be Lifestyle Medspa in Towson, Maryland. "Antioxidants help regulate melanin formation, increase the skin's repair rate, and encourage circulation."
For many, it's difficult to really use super effective ingredients during the warmer months because of the resulting sun sensitivity. The winter months are the ideal time to turn up the volume on your beauty regime. "If you have acne problems, discoloration, or are bothered by wrinkles, make an appointment to see your medical skin expert and consider transitioning into some corrective products such as Retin A and hydroquinone to reveal healthier skin," says Medical Aesthetician, Susan Perry.
Moisturize your air
Dry air is one of the biggest contributors to dull winter skin. Keep skin hydrated by humidifying the air around you in both your home and your office. "Your skin is happiest at 60 percent or above relative humidity, below that your skin starts to get dehydrated," says Perry. "Sleep with a humidifier in the bedroom or put dishes of water nearby."
Don't forget your hands
Let's face it: our hands are often neglected. As a result, they age much faster than more protected areas of our bodies. This winter, use an SPF hand cream and, "Apply oil to cuticles each day," says Ellen Sirot, hand supermodel and founder of Hand Perfection products. "Gently push back cuticles while they're soft and supple. This is an especially important step in winter to replenish dry, brittle nails and rough, jagged cuticles."
Listen to your skin
Dry, chilly weather means sensitive, chapped, and itchy skin. If your skin is screaming for help, try this remedy suggested by Susie Galvez , international image consultant, author, and beauty industry expert, "Brew a pot of chamomile tea. Cool, and pour into an ice cube tray. Take out a frozen cube, wrap in cotton gauze, and rub gently around the face for five minutes. Then take a cotton ball soaked in milk and press over the entire facial area for five minutes. The skin will be calm and de-stressed."
Sealing in valuable moisture post shower is a crucial step in keeping skin hydrated, but act fast! "After you wash, you only have three minutes to add moisture back to the skin before it seals itself off," says Galvez. "So wash, towel dry, and use a deep conditioning moisturizing body cream to get the most out of your products and protect the skin."
Cuckoo for coconuts
The coconut is a well-known source for beauty products, but you may not know that eating a tablespoon of virgin coconut oil every day does wonders for the skin. "Coconut oil is nature's richest source of lauric acid, a medium-chain triglyceride," says Kathy Wright, skincare expert and author of Your Health in Your Hands. "The fats in coconut oil are similar to fats in mother's milk and have similar nutraceutical effects and skin softening effects. Eating a tablespoon of virgin coconut oil will protect the balance of the skin from the inside out."
Feed your skin
Your winter diet can have a huge impact on your skin. "Eat foods that contain omega 3s like ground flax seed and salmon," suggests Jennifer Clark of Jennifer Clark Skincare in San Francisco. "Eating foods that contain antioxidants that fight free radicals like blueberries, spinach, and other leafy greens are great for your skin as well."
Sometimes the idea of a nice, warm bubble bath is enough to take our minds off the chilly weather outside, but think twice before filling your tub with suds. "You want to avoid products that can dry skin such as highly alkaline soaps and detergent soaps," according to Dr. David Bank, president of the New York State Society for Dermatology and Dermatologic Surgery. "Trade your bubble bath for a few drops of lavender oil, almond oil, or oatmeal."
Ditch the pump
When choosing a moisturizer for the winter, look for products that come in a jar rather than a pump. "A pump and pour bottle has a higher water content and PH base that can dry out skin," says Dr. Brooke Jackson, board certified dermatologist and founder of the Skin Wellness Center of Chicago. The thicker formula is better suited for skin parched by chilly winter conditions.
A homemade mask for dry skin
Banana & egg white mask
Learn how to make a homemade mask to treat dry skin using bananas and egg whites.