By Trish Langley
For those of us who live in an area with cool winter months, avoiding dry skin isn’t always easy to achieve. As winter sets in, your skin goes through a transition. The hydrated and healthy skin of summer turns into chapped and dry skin.
During the summer months, humid air helps to moisturize the skin, and the nourishing minerals in Vitamin D are more easily accessible because of the vast amount of sunlight. Also, because of heat and increased activity during the warmer months, people tend to drink more fluids, an important component of healthy skin.
When skin is properly hydrated, nourished with vitamins and exfoliated, it has a radiant glow that is noticeable to you and everyone around you. This is when skin is at its healthiest. When moisture is absent from the skin, it becomes chapped. Flakes of dry and dead skin appear. Conditions may also occur, such as eczema, a severe dryness that forms in patches over the skin.
Here are a few tips to prevent this from happening and to maintain your healthy glow:
1. Avoid hot showers and baths. As tempting and as enjoyable as it is to jump into a hot shower on a cold winter day, don’t. Bathing in hot water breaks down the lipid barriers in your skin, which causes a loss in moisture. I recommend taking warm showers, not hot, and avoid staying in for an extended period.
2. Exfoliate. The top layer of skin cells are either dead or old and make your skin look dull. Exfoliating gets rid of the dead skin cells and reveals newer, healthier-looking skin. I recommend using a light exfoliate scrub three times per week, but do not over-exfoliate.
3. Moisturize differently and don’t pick at dry skin. Peeling off dead skin is dangerous and will not help to revitalize new skin cells. I recommend using a heavier moisturizer in the winter that nourishes skin from the inside and helps balance natural oil production. Use it even when the sun isn’t out. UV rays that cause skin damage are present year-round, rain or shine. I also recommend keeping a small bottle of moisturizer with you if you are going to be outside for most of the day, since your skin may dry out as the day goes on.
4. Use a humidifier. In winter months, the lack of moisture in the air causes skin to crack and become itchy. Humidifiers put moisture back into the air and prevent extreme dry skin. They also enhance moisture absorption in the nose and assist with mucus secretions, which are important in preventing things like sinusitis, especially in the winter months.
Skin needs time to adapt to new routines, so don’t expect drastic changes overnight. But follow these tips and your skin will thank you this winter season. Happy skin will love you.
Trish Langley, owner of My Mobile Salon, Inc., in Gainesville, Va., has won awards as one of the best wedding hair and makeup artists in the Washington, D.C., area. She is a Virginia Living Magazine “Top Wedding Vendor Award” winner and is among winners of WeddingWire’s annual “Bride’s Choice Awards,” which recognizes the best local wedding professionals in the publication’s network, spanning the U.S., Canada and abroad. She has also been featured in The Knot Magazine in its annual list of the best hair and makeup artists in the area. She can be reached at 703-856-2617 or [email protected]. Her site: www.mymobilesalon.com.