Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Winter Skin Fixes

Here in New England, the weather still hasn't decided whether it wants to be fall or winter. Last Friday and Saturday night I ran around New York in a t-shirt and jeans, while the previous weekend I was wearing full-on snow gear: heavy coat, gloves, hat, and scarf. While I enjoy the rare warm weekend in November, I have a feeling that soon enough it's going to get cold and stay cold for a long time, which means a lot of bad things for your skin.

Every second you're outside during the colder months, the low temperatures and heavy winds attack your skin, stripping away the moisture. Every second you're inside, heating sucks up all the humidity in the air indoors. Most people find that their skin is rough, red, sensitive and dehydrated (or at least more than usual), and that the products they use the rest of the year aren't moisturizing enough. If your skin is dry, it doesn't have that fresh, dewy look that you have during the summer, which means makeup doesn't look as good.

Here are a few tips for keeping your skin hydrated all year round:

Get a humidifier. This is especially important if you live in an old building that uses radiators, like I do. You can get a relatively inexpensive humidifier at Walmart, CVS or Target, but make sure it has a filter (easier for cleaning) and that it produces cool air, not hot air (these have always broken on me). Leave it on whenever you're in the room, particularly at night, and you'll find that your skin isn't dry and tight when you wake up in the morning.

Use heavier moisturizers. During the rest of the year, it's nice to use light, fragrant lotions in pretty containers, but when winter rolls around, I end up throwing those in the closet in favor of two products: Cetaphil Moisturizing Cream and Aquaphor Original Ointment. These are not the most aesthetically pleasing products, and they aren't fragranced, but they are incredibly effective. The Aquaphor works great on hands, lips, elbows and feet, but because the main ingredient is petrolatum, it's best when applied before sleep (otherwise everything you touch will get greasy, as I quickly found out). Cetaphil is another multi-purpose product, but unlike Aquaphor, it's not oil-based (meaning you can use it during the day) and non-comedogenic (won't break out skin), so you can slather it all over your face and body to your heart's content.

Mix your makeup with lotion
. If you find that your makeup is drying, mix your foundation or concealer with a squirt of your favorite face lotion. The color won't be as strong (you're essentially making your own tinted moisturizer) but your skin will look better overall.

Use a moisturizing sunscreen. Just because you're not outside as much as you are during the summer doesn't mean you can ditch the sunscreen. It's still important to get protection from UV rays, just make sure that you're using a product that won't dry you out. I recently started using Vichy's Thermal S1 Long Lasting Rehydration Lotion with SPF 15 and I love it. It sinks in quickly without leaving a greasy residue and works so well at moisturizing my skin that I even use it at night.

Protect your lips. Chapped lips are painful and unattractive, so keep your lips soft and smooth with a good lip balm. My favorites are Burt's Beeswax Lip Balm and Blistex Lip Medex.

For anyone living in a climate with cold winters, it's critical to adapt your skin-care routine to the harsh weather. You can look just as good as you do during the warm weather, it just might take a little more planning and a few more products.


Christina H. said...

Haha...you're right! We did do the same post! I'll put a link to your entry at the bottom of mine so people can come over to see your tips as well. :)

Anonymous said...

I love using products with cocoa butter in the winter, because they are super moisturizing (plus, they smell like hot chocolate!)
Always be sure to check the ingredient list to see where cocoa butter is listed though. If it's one of the first two ingredients, then the cream is probably going to be very moisturizing. If it's at the end of the list though, I would be wary of the product because it probably doesn't contain much cocoa butter.

Meg said...

Great tip! I love cocoa butter too.

Anonymous said...

I ordered these for a gift exchange for the upcoming holiday season: (body butter)


Now I'm tempted to use them myself. It's so dry out and the flavors smell yummy!

Meg said...

Wow, those body butters look good enough to eat! Very cute gift idea too.