Most people don’t realize that as the seasons change, your skin’s needs also change. A drop in temperature combined with harsh wind causes skin to become dry, dull and chapped. The heat in our homes also lowers humidity in the air, pulling out moisture from our skin.
The biggest mistake people make is not modifying their routine as the environment demands. If you think about your skin as an amazing protective barrier that holds in moisture and protects you from external radiation, toxins and germs, you’ll understand how important it is to keep it healthy. When the skin is well hydrated, it can function optimally and will appear supple and luminous.
For busy women, taking care of your skin does not have to be complicated or a full-time job. A few simple tricks and modifications to your routine will give you the radiant skin you deserve.
1. Avoid Harsh Soaps
Every time you see bubbles when you wash, a chemical reaction between soap particles and the natural oils in the skin is occurring. This chemical reaction removes healthy moisturizing oils from the skin. In areas like the arms and legs that have very little oil, the skin’s protective barrier becomes completely stripped, making it vulnerable to rashes and infections. 99.9% of dirt and sweat can be removed with a gentle, non-soap cleanser. For the body, I recommend CeraVe or Cetaphil gentle cleanser, which can even double as a shaving cream! For your face, fall is a good time to switch to a sensitive skin cleanser and removed harsh toners and astringents from your routine.
2. Hydrate Immediately After Washing
For your body, it is preferable to use a cream over a lotion as it has more hydrating effects. Look for a moisturizer that is fragrance-free with ceramides to help skin recover from sun damage, dryness and irritation. Ceramides also help keep collagen and elastin, the supportive structures in the skin, healthy. If you are looking to exfoliate and hydrate your body simultaneously, Replenix smoothing body lotion with retinol to tighten up collagen, exfoliate and hydrate will do the trick. If you find that the facial moisturizer you use in the summer isn’t cutting it, add a hyaluronic acid serum, such as SkinMedica HA5 or SkinCeuticals H.A. Intensifier, as a booster. Hyaluronic acid attracts water— about 1,000 times its weight— to plump skin. It will give your skin that youthful, dewy look without making it greasy or breaking you out.
3. Add Fish Oil, Tocotrienols And Healthy Fats
Feed your skin with high omega-3 fatty acid fish like Wild Alaskan Salmon, tuna and sardines. Avoid farm-raised fish as the chemical load outweighs the health benefits. Adding a fish oil supplement of 2,000 milligrams a day and some vitamin D2/K2 is also beneficial, but remember that fish oil can have blood-thinning effects, so avoid and speak to your physician if you are having any procedures. Adding avocado, flaxseeds and nuts to your diet will also hydrate your skin from the inside out.
4. Reduce Sugar Intake
Sugar and processed, carbohydrate-rich foods dehydrate skin and should be avoided. Replace these foods with colorful, organic fruits and vegetables rich in flavonoids. Flavonoids are pigments with cell-protecting properties that naturally give these foods their color. Those vibrant pigments will transfer to your skin to give you a brilliant, healthy glow. Choose foods from all colors in the rainbow— yellow, purple, red, orange and green, as they each have their own benefits.
5. Stay Active
Healthy blood flow will deliver nutrients and oxygen to your skin and remove toxins. Exercise also encourages your skin to produce natural moisturizing factors to combat winter skin insults. Avoid wool and fabrics that chafe and irritate your skin, since skin tends to be more sensitive in the winter. While you need to stay warm, your pores will still need to do their job to purge toxins, so sweating and wearing clothing that wicks moisture from the skin is mandatory.
6. Choose Water And Avoid Dehydrating Alcohol, Soda and Coffee
Alcohol and soft drinks deplete nutrients in the skin, giving it a dull appearance. If you are at a party, choose a white wine spritzer and alternate with water, as it is better for your skin and waistline.
7. Don’t Forget Sunscreen
If you don’t need a flashlight outside, UV radiation is present and damaging your skin. Avoid skin damage and protect your healthy skin barrier by always wearing and SPF 30+ sunscreen containing zinc oxide every day to cover all exposed skin.
Your lifestyle decisions and skin care routine will make a huge impact in the health of your skin. And, you deserve healthy skin.