Say Goodbye to Winter Skin
Winter has been taking its own sweet time saying goodbye this year, and while we’re all ready for spring to burst forth with a little sunshine and warmth, it’s safe to say that we’re equally ready to say goodbye to dull, winter skin.
There’s no disputing that winter takes its toll on your skin. Harsh winds and cold temperatures are drying, and even if you’ve taken all the precautions to protect your skin during the winter months, chances are you can still see and feel at least some of the effects of spring being a little past due.
Now is the perfect time to pamper your skin and bring it back to life, just in time for spring. Here is how to take extra good care of your skin and regain some your glow.
Time to Shed
A telltale sign of dry, wintery skin is the accumulation of dead skin cells on the surface. Sounds attractive, right? The fact is that it’s inevitable and something that each of us deals with. However, when dead skin cells accumulate, mixed with other debris like dirt and oils, what you end up with is a complexion that looks dull and lifeless.
One of the best ways to welcome spring is by reinvesting in a regular exfoliation routine. Exfoliation is important because those pesky dead skin cells don’t always come off by themselves. While you do shed some naturally, most of them are held onto the skin’s surface with a substance that’s similar to glue.
Exfoliation breaks up this bond, so that the dead skin cells can be easily removed. The thing is, there is both a right way and wrong way to do exfoliation.
When done incorrectly, exfoliation can be damaging to the skin, cause excess oil production and even premature wrinkling.
It’s incredibly important to avoid harsh exfoliants on the delicate skin of your face and neck. Those super grainy exfoliating scrubs? Pitch them or save them to soften the bottoms of your feet. For your face, you should only use exfoliants that contain gentle skin polishers, such as our Ancient Orient Bamboo Dermafoliant.
How much you exfoliate matters too. Most people find that once or twice a week is optimal for exfoliating treatments, but as always, listen to your skin and develop a schedule that works for you.
Supercharge your Vitamin C.
I hope you are already incorporating a Vitamin C serum into your skincare regimen. This simple step benefits all skin types by protecting your skin from free radical damage and helping counteract the damage that may have already occurred. This spring, consider stepping up to our Vitamin C+AHA Serum, a supercharged natural formulation that includes the addition of natural alpha hydroxy acids. By combining the gentle exfoliating power of AHAs with the brightening and protective qualities of Vitamin C, this serum pulls double duty when it comes to addressing dull, winter skin.
Seal in the Moisture
Moisture is absolutely critical to maintaining healthy skin during the winter months. But, we all know that sometimes even the best moisturizing routine doesn’t cut it. People who have spent lots of time outdoors during the winter months or hiding away in buildings with the dry heat cranked way up know all too well what we’re talking about.
It really seems like there’s no way to win. Well, now that spring is here, it’s time to replenish all the moisture that’s been lost and regain that fresh glow that’s been hiding all winter long.
To repair dry, damaged skin, you need to be vigilant about maintaining both a day and nighttime moisturizing routine. Choose a deeply nourishing moisturizer that is rich in antioxidants, such as our Super Youth Retinol Moisturizer. Always follow with an SPF30 sunscreen during the day.
This is a good time to take a look at your current skin care system and reassess. Spring means a fresh start, so ask yourself if your products are really doing the job that they once were, or if your skin has changed and requires a different approach.
Choose Hyaluronic Acid
Hyaluronic acid is very often recommended by dermatologists for its ability to revive dull and dry skin and add additional layers of protection against further damage.
There are several ways that hyaluronic acid will help heal and restore winter skin, the first of which is by helping it maintain moisture. As we age, some of the molecules in our skin lose their ability to retain water. This is only exaggerated by the drying effects of winter, and hyaluronic acid has been shown to help decrease moisture loss in the epidermis.
Just how powerful is hyaluronic acid at holding in moisture? Just one gram of the substance can hold in six liters of water. What’s even better is that hyaluronic acid doesn’t just hold in moisture, it balances it.
Plus, when formulated into gentle, natural products, hyaluronic acid is usually well tolerated by even the most sensitive skin. You can find this restorative skin care ingredient in OZNaturals Hyaluronic Acid Serum.
Replenish from the Inside Out
Reviving winter skin by approaching the problem from the outside is only part of the solution. You’ve probably heard that skin is your largest organ, so you need to take steps to protect it and keep it healthy just like you would any other organ in your body.
This means nourishing and replenishing it from the inside out with proper hydration and nutrition.
Step one is to amp up your hydration game. The human body is as much as 60% water, so there’s no possible way to be or look healthy without taking in enough of it every day.
Most adults need at least 64 ounces of water a day. But, that’s a conservative amount. If you’re physically active or consume beverages like coffee or soda, you’re going to need even more to counteract the effects of dehydration.
It’s surprising how many people think that they’re taking in an adequate amount of water when they really aren’t. Do a little experiment and keep track of the amount of water that you drink for a day or two, and then adjust your intake accordingly.
Next, let’s talk about nutrition. There are certain nutrients that your skin craves to be healthy. Nutrients like essential fatty acids, vitamin C, vitamin E and antioxidants are all crucially important for skin health.
Where are you going to find all these luscious skin nutrients? Mostly in the produce section of your favorite grocery store. Foods like avocados, sweet potatoes, broccoli and walnuts top the list. But, let’s not forget about decadent dark chocolate and all its antioxidant properties.
If you’ve managed to maintain your normal level of physical activity throughout the winter, you have our utmost respect. Cold winds, snow covered roads and the constant grey of winter clouds can easily put a damper on motivation.
That’s why so many of us feel a surge of motivation with the first signs of spring. Our bodies have been dormant for long enough and now it’s time to get moving. This urge to get out and be more active is also good for adding a springtime glow to your skin.
Regular physical exercise has a couple different restorative effects on the skin. First, as contradictory as it might seem, regular exercise actually counteracts inflammation. Acne, rosacea and other inflammatory skin conditions can often be eased with moderate exercise.
Secondly, exercise increase the flow of blood and oxygen through the body. This helps to provide more nutrients to your skin, making it healthier. Plus, the boost in circulation will give you a healthy, rosy glow.
Don’t Forget the SPF
Honestly, we all need to be using sunscreen all year round, regardless of the temperature or cloud cover.
But Spring is the perfect time to start preparing for the summer months ahead by recommitting to the habit of applying sunscreen regularly throughout the day. Even the sunscreen in your cosmetics is designed to only last so long. If you’re planning on being outdoors for an extended amount of time, sunscreen should be applied at least once every 2 hours, more frequently if you’ve been sweating or swimming.
But, what if you weren’t planning on being out so long and re-applying sunscreen isn’t an immediate option?
Use whatever you have to protect your skin. Hats, long sleeved shirts and shaded areas will help to minimize damage from the sun, although they are best paired with sunscreen application. The bottom line is that it’s impossible to repair dry winter skin when it’s receiving further damage from the sun, so take every precaution to protect it and keep it healthy. We recommend choosing natural, mineral-based sunscreens with an SPF of at least 30.
Don’t Forget About the Rest of Your Body
It’s easy to focus on the face because it’s the part of the body that everyone can see every single day. After all, you can’t really hide it under a bulky sweater or thick pair of socks. But, even though your face might get most of the exposure, now is the perfect time to start a pampering routine that will restore the skin on the rest of your body too.
First, if you haven’t been in a while, now is the time to schedule an appointment with a dermatologist. Making an appointment now will help you address any skin issues before the blazing hot days of summer come along and make matters worse. Plus, you’ll get a thorough skin examination to check for any changes and maybe even get a pep talk about why sunscreen is so important along with professional advice on how to use it properly.
Secondly, break all those wintertime bad skin habits. Put a stop to long, hot showers that have robbed your skin of moisture and choose comfortably warm water instead. A gentle exfoliation, occasional skin brushing and emollient after shower moisturizer will go a long way in restoring your skin.
Finally, go ahead and pamper yourself a little. A homemade sugar scrub followed by our ultra luxurious Sweet Almond and Macadamia Nut Body Butter will banish that flaky, bumpy skin that appears on your legs and arms at the end the winter. It’s easy to make a sugar scrub: simply mix a cup of sugar (I like to use equal parts white and brown sugar) with about a quarter cup of extra virgin olive, almond or coconut oil. You can add in a few drops of your favorite essential oil for an uplifting scent.
After scrubbing in gentle circular motions (always avoiding your facial skin), rinse off in the shower and follow with the OZNaturals Body Butter while your skin is still slightly damp.
Spring is the time of renewal and rejuvenation, and it’s also the perfect time to think about how the quality and integrity of your skin care affects you and the environment. One of the best ways you can revive winter skin is by choosing skin care products that feature gentle, natural ingredients. Then, say hello to smooth, spring skin again!
-- Angela Irish, Certified Aesthetician & Co-Founder OZNaturals