Saturday, November 12, 2011

Winterizing the skin you're in

In the upcoming winter months, your skin will suffer the consequences of low humidity, high wind-speed, and cold temperatures. All of these factors together will lead to dehydration, cracking and unattractive skin. You will want to invest in a moisturizer, not necessarily a thick-consistency formula, but definitely an effective formula, possibly including petroleum gel so that it stays on your skin and protects it for longer. Make sure whatever cream you're buying has SPF to it because, although you may not feel it while you're outside, if the sun is out you will still get burned even in the winter. It is important to protect your skin against sunburns, because they promote aging, sunspots, wrinkles and skin cancer. The key to moisturizing your skin externally is ingesting lots of liquids internally so that the hydration spreads around to all of your body systems and organs (including your skin).  Consider investing in a humidifier for your room, it will allow your lungs to intake oxygen more easily and allow your airways not to overproduce mucous to compensate for the dry air. Humidifiers will also be a saving grace for your skin, especially during the night-time when you're asleep and incapable of moisturizing or drinking liquids.

To avoid crackling, you will want to eat antioxidants (fruits and veggies, usually) and omega-3's to increase the fatty acids in your skin. These fatty acids will allow your skin to become more flexible and soft, protecting against breakage and cracking.  If you find yourself licking your lips often, consider investing in a moisturizing lip balm (that doesn't have any alcohol base in it), because licking your lips often means that your lips are dehydrated. Unfortunately, licking your lips actually has the opposite effect because of the acid in your saliva which serves to dry out your skin even more than it already is.

Although it may be tempting to take long, hot baths during the winter months, you should stick to short cooler showers as to avoid your pores from opening up in the hotter temperature. What happens when your pores are open after a hot bath during the winter months is that you are tempted to quickly rub yourself dry with a towel which causes your fragile pores to break open and cause mild scarring which leads to wrinkles and skin breakage. Make sure you apply moisturizer after taking a bath/shower every day and don't forget to apply it to the areas that don't get exposed (toes, stomach, shoulders) because they are still getting dry from the general conditions.

Take your vitamins (A, B, and C) during these months because they will make a big difference in your appearance and overall comfort. Vitamin A will promote skin thickness and protect against it stretching apart, while it will also allow it to create new layers. While vitamin B will improve your circulation and this means the supply of blood replenishing supplies (minerals) to your skin is increased, allowing it to heal quickly. Vitamin C is an integral part of collagen formation along with the fatty acids you intake, which is self-explanatory - collagen is an elastic compound that allows skin stretching without breaking or wrinkling.

If you use cleanser or soap during your washing routine, make sure that they have moisturizing and hydrating properties, otherwise the cleaning astringent chemicals inside will leave your skin parched (use oil-based cleansers instead of makeup wipes to remove makeup). It really is all about common sense, try to stay away from after-shave if you're a man and alcohol-based body sprays if you're a female because the alcohol-base of these products will cause your skin's natural moisture to evaporate. As a female, you can try to use a moisturizing foundation or cream eyeshadow to help your skin out during these harsh, cruel months. Stay away from anything that stings your skin, as a good general rule, because these products will always have alcohol as a base. Good luck and take care of your external-most organ!

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