It can happen overnight and can almost be predicted the same time of year, every year… and it only gets worse with age… DRY SKIN! For some people it is a constant battle, but for most of us, we get some relief in the summertime, when the humidity levels are higher and there is more moisture in the air. But with the change of the seasons comes cool, dry air and out of nowhere… all of the moisture seems to disappear from our once, dewey skin. To make matters worse, cold temps brings the need for heat in the house, which will zap the last ounce of moisture out of the skin, leaving some of us feeling like the Sahara. Throw in a little mid life hormone imbalance… and, well, it’s not pretty! You could dunk your face in a vat of olive oil and find no relief!
So how are we supposed to keep that “fresh from the facial” glow in these conditions? There are several things that can be done to get some relief, from what can actually be an uncomfortable situation, not to mention, one that doesn’t exactly give us that glowing palette that we aspire to have for all of those holiday events. Dry skin needs to be replenished from the inside, as much, if not more than from the outside… and it also needs some preparation. By that I mean, we know the cool snap is right around the bend, so these remedies are all things that should be started in advance, so that the body has time to acclimate.
Let’s start with the inside. So many people make the assumption that water consumption is a warm weather thing, that keeps us from getting dehydrated. Well, it’s an “all year” thing. In the winter, when the air is dry and the heat steals that last drop of moisture from our skin, drinking water can be your best friend. Your dry skin, hair and even nails are revealing what is happening from the inside. They are thirsty! Drink water like crazy! Shoot for a gallon a day.(It is not as much as you think it is) Hydrate from the inside and you will be surprised what it will do for you! Also, jump on those healthy fats… foods that are high in omegas that will replenish the oil in your body. The avocado is the “everything” food in my opinion. Everything about it is good for you… and there is nothing about it that is bad for you… and it is great for hydration of the skin. Increase you intake of fish such as salmon … and eat more nuts. Also, with your physician’s OK, up your intake of both fish oil and flax seed oil, with the highest amounts of DHA and EPA as possible and the lowest amount of filler. Those are the two ingredients that are the pure work horse of the supplement, that deliver the healthiest return. And for every alcoholic drink you have, also have a glass of water… because as you know, alcohol is dehydrating.
Now, for the outside. Your product routine has to change in the winter time to compensate for the lack of hydration that you are getting due to the elements. If you are using a lot of exfoliating products, such as those with salicylic or glycolic ingredients, pull back on your usage of them by about a half. In other words, if you are using a glycolic cleanser to wash your face, only use it once a day instead of twice a day… and use a gentle cleanser in replacement. If you are a Retin A user, cut that in half also. If you use the product four nights a week, drop back to two. Also, moisturize on top of your Retin A. It will make a huge difference! Use a serum with hyaluronic acid in it. This will help your skin retain moisture…. and always apply your serum on a damp face, for better penetration. The serum is always the closest to the skin, then moisturize on top of that. I am also a big fan of pure facial oils. Mixing them with your moisturizer can do double duty! Lastly, once a month, get an exfoliating facial to rid the skin of the dead, dry layer, so that your moisturizing products will work. I highly recommend dermaplaning, because it gently lifts off the dead layer of skin in a much less abrasive way than other forms of exfoliatiation. (For more information on dermaplaning, see my blog post from October 3, 2017)
For those of you who are blessed with a lot of oil in your skin… this is your “happy skin” time of year. Yes, oily skin has its own set of challenges, but for those of us with dry skin issues… we envy your natural moisture this time of year. For the rest of us, we just have to adjust, and prepare for what is to come as the seasons change. I start to change my products before the weather gives that cold punch, to try to stay ahead of the game. Remember, your skin is your body’s largest organ, so it stands to reason that it needs some extra attention when it is thrown a curve ball. When your skin is dry, just think of it as thirsty, and treat it accordingly. Eventually, it will balance out… and before you know it, you will retain your, “fresh from the facial” glow!!
PS. Photo of Actual Dermaplaining Client Virginia Richardson (@yourlifeedit)