Cold, dry, arctic air is here and our skin feels freeze dried! The moisture gets sucked right out of us from this icy air plus indoor heating. We start to feel itchy, scaly, and rough. Some of us develop seasonal eczema or cracking, flaking, even painful bleeding areas, from the cold and wind. Here are my best, tried and true tips to comfort and protect your skin and to restore its lost moisture.
Take shorter baths and showers and moderate the temperature. It’s tempting to use really hot water in cold weather but this, combined with soaking a long time, can dry out your skin.
Don’t be tempted to over exfoliate that rough dry skin. Gently pat your skin dry after bathing instead of rubbing with a towel and, most importantly, immediately slather on a rich body moisturizer while your skin is still moist. Butters and balms are recommended over lightweight lotions as they add vital lipids. Sometimes, I even use an oil before the moisturizer to help seal in the moisture.
Keep your skin super lubricated by moisturizing at least twice every day. This front-loads the moisture content, often preventing winter eczema.
Use a humidifier or keep a pan of water simmering on the back of the stove.
Eat more fruit, vegetables, and soups to get more liquid into your body.
Drink 8 glasses (or more!) of pure, clear, water every day. Tea, coffee, sodas and juices don’t count; the body recognizes them as food, not hydration. The caffeine in tea and coffee, and alcoholic beverages, dehydrates you, so you need to drink even more pure water to counteract this effect when consuming them. Health experts preach and preach drinking 8 glasses of pure water, but it really works! Living in Minnesota in my youth, I would wake up in the morning with an uncomfortably dry mouth, throat, and nose. I didn’t know about the drinking water factor then. Now, when I visit my family in the winter months I drink extra glasses on top of my usual 8 and this problem has disappeared. And my skin feels much more comfortable, too.
Layer a hydrating serum underneath your facial moisturizer. Aquagel Hydrating Serum begins penetrating moisture into your skin within seconds of application, then provides continual bursts of moisture to keep skin moist and supple for hours. With continued use, your skin’s water content improves daily due to a comforting cushion of moisture that forms in deeper skin layers. This instantly restores supple flexibility and well being—even under the driest conditions. When applying, completely saturate your skin and take time to work it deep into your pores. For best results use Aquagel Hydrating Serum twice daily and apply your moisturizer immediately after the serum to prevent moisture evaporation. You’ll feel instant comforting, soothing fabulousness!
Change your cleanser and moisturizer to more winter-friendly formulas. Creamy or hydrating products such as Aquagel Luxe Hydrating Cleanser cleanse gently without stripping skin of vital moisture. More lipid-rich moisturizers are called for to seal in moisture and protect and lubricate your skin. Try using your richer night cream during the day over the hydrating gel. It’s a win-win combination. Nurture Youth Restoration Age Reversal Treatment Moisturizer protects the skin’s barrier from environmental aggressors. It also preserves firmness and elasticity and gradually helps rebuild a tighter, firmer, stronger skin.
Wear soft fabrics next to your skin underneath scratchy woolens. Wool turtlenecks (including cashmere) can rub and chafe delicate neck and décolleté skin causing uncomfortable irritation. I keep a stash of comfy tissue tees & turtles to wear under my sweaters.
Wash hands often to remove bacteria during the cold and flu season and apply hand cream after each washing. Don’t forget to rub the hand cream deep into your cuticles to prevent hangnails and paper cuts. And always wear gloves outside! This protects from dryness and the sun’s rays, which still emit radiation—even in winter. The UVB rays are less, but the UVA rays are the same year around from sunup to sundown. I always apply sunscreen to the backs of my hands when I’m applying it to my face, even in winter, and even if I’m wearing gloves.
Happy Holidays, my friends and my warmest wishes for your days to be filled with love, peace and joy this season.