Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Winter-proofing Your Skin

Ever notice how your skin changes in the winter?  The most common complaints are of dry skin, rough texture, and even an increase in acne breakouts.  Below we will tackle some of the common myths of skin winter rescue.

Myth …The thicker the cream, the more moisturizing it is.

Fact…  Thick doesn’t equal moisture. The heaviness of a cream is often due to the lipids and emulsifiers in the formula, and sometimes heavyweight creams can leave skin looking dull while trapping dead cells and affecting skin function. Layering fluids and moisturizers is often the best remedy.   Look for products containing ingredients like Hyaluronic acid, which holds 1000 times its weight in water, as well as great hydrators including Oil of Evening Primrose, Sodium PCA, Shea Butter, Colloidal Oatmeal, Algae, Panthenol, Vitamin E, Borage Oil, and Jojoba Seed Oil.  These ingredients help keep your protective barrier intact and help skin to function normally.

Myth …You don’t have to apply sunscreen as obsessively in the winter as you do in the summer.

Fact… Winter, spring, summer or fall: if there is daylight, you’re still exposed to UV light and free radical damage. And if sunscreen helps prevent the signs of aging, why wouldn’t you want to wear it every day? A minimum of SPF15 is suggested for everyday use, and skin showing the signs of aging or experiencing sensitivity should wear an SPF30.

Myth …Skip exfoliation so you don’t dry everything out.

Fact… Quite the opposite! Exfoliation causes a burst in cell renewal, moving newer, moisture-rich cells to the surface.   Exfoliation also removes old dead cells and dry skin, providing a smoother, brighter surface while enabling effective penetration of hydrating ingredients into skin. Just be sure to not over-exfoliate, as this will break down the skin’s protective barrier.  Don’t forget the rest of your body could use gentle exfoliation as well.

Myth Hot… steamy showers are great for skin.

Fact No… especially in winter! Hot water causes a stripping effect to delicate barrier lipids in-between the cells; when the lipids are removed, essential moisture below evaporates out. Combine hot showers with irritation caused by winter wardrobe made of synthetic fabrics like nylon and polyester and you’ve got an itchy, irritated skin situation! Warm water is best for skin when used together with a soap-free body wash.

Myth… Oily skin types don’t need moisturizing.

Fact… You can have oily skin and still experience dehydration, which is a lack of water in skin. This means even the oiliest of skin conditions should moisturize.  Again it is back to using fluids with ingredients that are rich in humectant properties that will help protect and relieve skin from dehydration.

Myth …For dry lips, just apply more lip balm.

Fact… Some lip balms can create more bad than good. Mineral oil (petroleum jelly) creates an artificial film on the lips, and this gives the skin the illusion that it doesn’t need to produce lipids. These ingredients together with artificial flavors, colors, and fragrances can dry out the skin. Use lip healthy alternatives, containing Shea Butter, Silicones, Cocoa Seed Butter, Avacado Oil, and Wheat Germ.

Lips can use a little exfoliation, too!

Another tip: stop use of lip plumpers and long-lasting stains for a few days.

Myth… Let your skin hibernate and cut back on treatments.

Fact… Winter is actually the best time to take care of your skin with professional treatments. Skin may need more help, especially dry, sensitive/sensitized, and rosacea prone skins. Professional oatmeal masques are wonderful during the winter season.

If you have questions or concerns about your skin, schedule yourself a free face mapping with a certified Skin Therapist. They love to help!


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