Winterize Your Skin

By Jennifer Beaucage

Winter presents unique challenges for skin care. Changes in temperature and humidity remove important oils and moisture from your skin causing itching, cracking and flaking. As the largest organ in the body, your skin is greatly affected by seasonal changes. To winter-proof your skin, apply the following simple ideas to protect and moisturize your skin.

Bathing - Hot water is more efficient at emulsifying (breaking up) body oils so they can be easily washed away. If you must languish in a hot bath, add almond oil, sesame oil, or other bath oils to the water. Another home remedy for moisturizing your skin is to add whole milk to your bath - the dairy fats in the milk restore the oils in your skin, leaving it soft and supple.

Cleanse & Exfoliate - Moisturizers can't penetrate dead skin, so remove the dead layers with exfoliation. Avoid hot water and antibacterial products. Use gentle products and warm water - an exfoliating cloth is all the scrubbing really needed on your face. When washing your face, avoid strong astringent products; opt instead for moisturizing, revitalizing products. Body skin is tougher, and may require an exfoliating cleanser to remove old skin.

Moisturize from Within - We hear it all the time - drink 8 glasses of water each and every day. Yet more than 75% of us are chronically dehydrated. Without adequate fluid resources, your skin will suffer dryness, rashes and oiliness as it tries to deal with the loss of water from surface areas.

The best thing you can do for your skin is keep it well hydrated. Avoid excessive use of caffeine beverages such as tea, coffee and sodas - these leach moisture from the skin. Also, the diuretic properties of many of these drinks will increase the amount of water expelled from your body.

Moisturize from Outside - Use a good moisturizer that provides vitamins and hydration to your skin. Don't forget about the eye area - specialty moisturizers are needed for this sensitive area.

Use a humidifier to maintain at least 30 percent humidity in your home to help reduce skin dehydration.

Old Standby - Dab petroleum jelly on problem areas to seal in moisture and heal dry skin. This includes your face. Petroleum jelly won't clog your pores and is very soothing. Use on your lips instead of lip balm. For an overnight treatment, rub petroleum jelly on dry skin areas and cover with a cotton shirt to save your sheets.

 

Homemade
Moisture Mask

Ingredients:
6 oz plain yogurt
¼ finely crushed almonds
2 tsp Beeswax or honey
2 tsp wheat germ oil

Mix all the ingredients until you obtain a smooth texture. Apply and massage into skin. Keep the mask on for twenty minutes.

Ingredient Benefits

Crushed Almonds
• Exfoliating power
• Eliminates dead skin Honey
• Aids in adhering mask to   the skin
Wheat Germ Oil
• Contains Vitamin E
• Fights free radicals

Shaving - Shave using lotion or hair conditioner instead of shaving foam. Many shaving foams and creams use emulsifiers to reduce oil in skin for a smoother shave - less oil in your skin will result in more rapid dehydration of skin cells.

Vitamins - Make sure you get your vitamins! Studies show that most people don't get all the nutrients they need even from a so-called balanced diet. So take a multivitamin pill - a good dose of vitamins B, C and E will help your skin, as well as fight off the common cold! But don't overdose on any vitamins. Taking too many water-soluble vitamins (like vitamin C) requires a lot of water for digestion, resulting in dehydration.

Protect - Even in winter, sunscreen is important. Use a light, oil-free sunscreen with a minimum SPF 15 whenever you go outside. Additional protection is needed for prolonged outdoor exposure (such as skiing).

Spa Treatments - There are many luxurious and rejuvenating treatments at spas for your winter-weary skin. Wax dips for your hands will seal in moisturizing creams and super-hydrate your skin for a quick fix. Mud baths and other hydration treatments can all play a part in your skin care.

Winter fun doesn't have to mean dry, cracked skin. By using these preventative measures you can enjoy the cold, fresh air without paying the price of winter-weary skin!

Jennifer Beaucage is the Website Designer for Life Tools for Women. She has a Bachelor's Degree in Business Operations and works as a self-employed graphic designer. Her past enterprises have included the start-up of two successful pet tradeshows. With the recent sale of the shows she is now working to build her design business. Visit Jennifer's design company online at www.un-caged.com


 
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