Winter Skin Care

 

This week we have another guest writer, our friend and colleague Alexis Reid.  Alexis started her academic career at the University of Waterloo earning a BASc in Chemical Engineering. She then obtained a MSc in Pharmacology and Toxicology from Queen’s University, focusing on breast cancer research. Now a 4th year Naturopathic Medicine student, Alexis has recently founded Eco Chic Movement, a 100% natural skin care line. 

Winter brings with it many great things: the holidays, skating, snow ball fights, and hot chocolate. Unfortunately, the cold weather can also make your skin as dry as the lizard’s you were so infatuated with on your last tropical vacation. Cold, windy weather and our constant exposure to indoor heating are the two main culprits that leave your skin feeling and looking less than ideal. Luckily, there are some simple changes that you can make to your skin care routine to minimize scaly, dry winter skin.

 1. Face Care

  • Water

    First things first. What you put into your body is just as important for skin health as what you apply topically. Making sure you are drinking an adequate amount of water (6 glasses a day minimum) will do wonders for keeping the skin hydrated from the inside out. You wouldn’t put plastic wrap on a stale old piece of bread and expect it to magically get moist would you? If you apply creams and oils to the skin without drinking enough water, that is essentially what you are doing.

  • Showers

    When it is so cold outside it is very tempting to have the hottest shower that you can stand to warm up! This is exactly what you do not want to do. The hot water helps to strip the skin of its natural oils, leaving it dry and tight feeling. Same thing goes for washing your face--stick to lukewarm water and use a gentle cleanser.

  • Exfoliate 

    With skin tending to be drier in the winter it is even more important to slough off that layer of dead skin and allow moisturizing nutrients to get at the new layer of skin underneath. In the summer months exfoliating once a week is sufficient, but in the winter 2-3 times a week is ideal.

  • Oils

    Don’t be afraid of oils, they can be your skin’s best friend! By washing in luke warm water and using a gentle cleanser you can avoid stripping the skin of its natural oils. Oils provide a protective barrier on the skin that helps to keep the moisture in. In the winter it’s a great idea to add  3-5 drops of a facial oil to your moisturizer in the evening. It will result in you waking up in the morning with glowing hydrated skin.

    People with oily skin need not be afraid of oils! One of the biggest misconceptions out there is that people with oily skin need to use “oil removing/oil free” products. When you remove the natural oil from your skin, it wants to maintain its state of balance or homeostasis, so it produces even more oil! People with oily skin just need to use different types of oils, called astringent. If you have oily skin look for a facial oil containing any of the following: grapeseed, hazelnut, or macadamia oil. For dry/mature skin look for rosehip, borage or jojoba oil.

2. Body

Now that you have your face looking fabulous, don’t forget about the rest of your body! Hands and feet in particular can take a beating in the winter. A good trick it to take an hour to yourself one evening and apply a thick, tenacious foot cream to both your hands and feet, put on gloves and socks, and let the cream work its magic! Your legs and arms may also be dry and itchy and a quick and easy way to take care of this is to apply a thin layer of body oil after your shower. Oils that are quite moisturizing, but also fast absorbing, include grapeseed, fractionated coconut, and jojoba.

3. Lips

Last but not least! They face the elements every day and many people, especially those who lick their lips, experience dry, cracked, painful lips in the winter. The best way to prevent or repair this is to use a lip balm that provides a good barrier from the elements. Beeswax is great for this and provides that desired protection. 

 

 

 

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