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Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Winter skin solutions

The East Coast has already had their first snow storm of the season. Which means, it is only a matter of time before we in the West get gifted with beautiful snow. I love winter, I love snow, I love everything about the season except the extreme cold and painful dry skin winter can cause. In the winter months we combat the outside chill with dry furnace air. The combination of dry air and cold air zaps moisture. 

The most common winter skin problems and their remedies are: 

Not moisturizing enough: 
Winter cloths such as wool, can irritate the skin, mix that irritation with the dry furnace air and you  have a recipe for dry, flaky, and itchy skin. A once a day, post shower moisturizer might not be enough. Come winter you should aim to moisturize 3 times a day. My favourite winter luxury creams are Pretty Peaushun, and Johnson & Johnson Baby lotion

Over exfoliation: 
In the winter, when suffering from dry skin it is common to make the mistake of over exfoliation. Exfoliating removes dead skin cells to make the skin appear brighter. In the winter we want to over exfoliate instinctively because our skin appears dry. However, doing so can cause more harm. When we over exfoliate in the winter we strip our faces of the good oils that help keep our skin moisturized. Come winter, exfoliate only once or twice a week. 

Using to a Harsh a cleanser:
Anti blemish cleansers and heavy duty cleansers are too much for winter. In the winter we need to swap out our summer skin products for a more gentle variation, (a milk based cleanser). Wash with lukewarm water.  

Forgetting to wear sunscreen:
Sunscreen is a must all year. UV rays are not exclusive with summer; they hang out in the winter too. In fact they can be even more potent in the winter. The UV rays reflect off of snow and ice which hits us with twice the force. SUNSCREEN is a must all year long. Use a day moisturizer with a spf 15 or higher and keep it with you. In winter a moisturizing sunscreens is your best friends. 

Taking HOT showers and baths:

Yes it is cold outside, and yes a nice scolding hot bath or shower might sound like the perfect way to relax. While your muscles may thank you profusely for the soak your skin wont. Long hot baths and showers can worsen dry skin. Try to limit your soak to ten minutes max, and use water a little cooler than normal. If your skin is still in need of moisturizing; an air humidifier in the bedroom can help offset the dry furnace air. 

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