Four Tips For All Skin Types & Budgets
The winter weather can sometimes be gloomy and depressing, but with a few basic steps, your skin can remain radiant and happy! This time of year our skin faces several major assaults, including dry air, cold temperatures, excessive wind, and increased stress from the holidays. It’s important to give your skin what it needs to defend itself from these conditions and a little extra TLC to repair itself when necessary. No matter how busy you are, what budget constraints you face, or what skin type you have, a few basic steps can get you through the winter months with happy, healthy, radiant skin.
1 – MOISTURIZE, MOISTURIZE, MOISTURIZE
Throughout the year as the seasons change, so should your moisturizer. What keeps your skin moist in the summer is not likely to be sufficient in the drier winter months. Creams and lotions are often water-based and do not retain as much water as oil-based, ointment options. Switching to an ointment in the winter will provide your skin with a protective barrier trapping moisture in the skin and shielding it from harsher winter conditions. Make sure to choose ointments that are non-comedogenic or claim to be “nonclogging” oils. Shea oil & butter can clog facial pores, however Almond, Primrose, Avacado, and Mineral oils are all safe and effective for the face. Ointments are the best option during winter months for your hands and feet as well.
2 – WEAR SUNSCREEN EVERYDAY
Winter sun is just as harmful as summer sun! Every day, all year long you MUST protect your skin from UVA and UVB rays. Many think the winter is not a season for sunscreen, but remember, the suns rays in the winter may feel good but are extremely harmful. In addition to increasing your risk for skin cancer, the sun’s rays will silently destroy your skin’s elastin. Weakened and damaged elastin will result in skin sagging, stretching, easy bruising, and poor healing. Mineral based sunscreens (those containing zinc oxide & titanium oxide) are the ONLY effective option for blocking both UVA and UVB sun rays. Don’t forget to protect your hands with sunscreen too!
3 – HYDRATE
We get thirstier in the summer. It’s hot, we are sweating, and are typically more active so drink more water. However, it’s equally critical to stay well hydrated in the winter months. The air is drier and our body needs us to give it more hydration. Well hydrated skin looks younger and healthy. Dried out skin looks older, dull, and unhealthy. So… drink up! Not just for your skin’s sake but for your overall health all year long. Daily water consumption recommendations are extremely individualized, but eight 8-ounce glasses per day is considered safe and sufficient for most.
4 – SEE A PROFESSIONAL
While the drug store and cosmetic counters in department stores sell LOTS of products, they may not be right for you! They also don’t offer professionally trained clinicians to properly assist you in making wise skin care decisions. What your friend or neighbor loves may not be what your skin needs. What you’ve been using for many years may no longer be benefiting your skin. And, what you used last winter may not be what you need this winter. Every year, ideally at least twice per year, see a skin care specialist. Estheticians and Dermatologists can analyze your skin, identify your skin’s current needs, and partner with you to develop an individualized skin care regimen & treatment plan. Your health and skin care is an investment. Make sure you are investing in what YOU specifically need!
There are obviously a lot of skin care products, technologies, and treatments available to you. Start with these 4 simple steps and see an Esthetician or Dermatologist to help you expand from there. The most important thing to remember is that your best skin care regimen needs to be developed JUST FOR YOU!
It’s a new year and the perfect time to recommit to helping your skin look & feel it’s very best.
~ Kim Donahue, MPA, PA-