There’s nothing like winter weather to test your skincare prowess. Suit up. The battle is on.
Cold weather means dry skin, redness, itching and flakey makeup. The combination of frigid temperatures and central heating sucks the moisture right out of the epidermis, so it’s extra important to focus on ways you can retain and replenish moisture. You can’t avoid the weather, but you can mitigate its effects.
Autumn skin prep: Incorporate these habits before the dry days dawn
Get used to warm, not hot, showers. Hot showers can be harsh and strip your skin of moisture. At the very least, refrain from putting your face directly under the
shower flow. Practise dainty splash- ing instead.
Switch to a non-foaming cleanser. The chemicals present in foaming face washes are harsh on the skin. Try a cleansing milk or balm instead. They are luxurious and kind to your face. If you wear a lot of makeup, try pre-cleansing with micellar water or makeup remover. It’s not uncommon for women who wear makeup to have to double-cleanse at night. If you’re using gentle products, it should not irritate your skin.
Liver support. If you can’t warm up with a long hot shower, try tea instead. The liver and the skin are intimately connected and symptoms of liver problems often appear first as skin issues. Start supporting your inner skin now with herbal teas such as chamomile, peppermint and lemon. Consider adding turmeric to your cooking as it also has a gentle liver-detoxifying effect.
Boost your essential fatty acid (EFA) intake. EFAs help skin cells hold on to moisture, build strong cell walls and have an anti-inflammatory effect. Up your intake of foods such as hemp or flax seeds, eggs and dark leafy greens, or try dietary supplements such as fish oils and evening primrose oil. You can also benefit from using skin products that contain EFAs.
Winter skin warrior: Once the weather hits, it’s time for damage control
Cover up. Time to invest in that cashmere scarf you’ve been eyeing. Also make sure you use a lot of moisturizer on your face, hands and lips, and reapply throughout the day as needed. Moisturizer is like a coat for your skin. It protects from whipping winds and helps hold moisture in.
Ditch the alcohol. Make sure you aren’t using toners or soaps that contain alcohol. They are moisture vampires and will do more harm than good against any pimples or redness you’re experiencing. Alcohol dries you from the inside out too so lay off the vodka while you’re at it. Get back to your herbal tea, or at least try to match your drinks with a glasses of water.
Oatmeal bath. If you’re in need of a relaxing tune up, try an oatmeal bath. Take a clean stocking and fill it with one cup of rolled oats. Feel free to add an essential oil such at lavender as well. Tie off the sock and throw it in the tub as you run the water. Oatmeal is known for skin healing properties and, like
EFAs, is good for the outside and inside of the body. Oats for break- fast is an easy, healthy meal that will support your liver and skin at the same time. Just don’t use your bath oats!
Sunscreen. Even in winter, the skin needs protection from the sun. As dry air depletes your skin of protective moisture, harmful sun rays damage whatever skin is exposed to the light more easily. A little SPF can go a long way to maintaining a dewy visage for springtime!
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