Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Skin care tips to combat the effects of cold weather

Skin care tips to combat the effects of cold weather

By Tiffany Bentley | The Express-Times 
on November 04, 2012 at 7:06 AM, updated November 04, 2012 at 7:11 AM

Colder weather can take its toll even on the healthiest skin. Laura Parker, esthetician and owner of The Skin Clinic in Easton, offers the following basic tips on how to make sure the season doesn't diminish your glow

  • Switch to a heavier lotion and cleanse the skin only once a day at night to prevent dryness. Over-cleansing the skin can actually strip the skin of necessary oils that keep it looking healthy.
  • Try to take shorter showers. Winter usually means we take hotter showers, which zaps the skin of moisture. Make sure to moisturize head to toe immediately after and towel dry. The skin will be able to absorb the moisturizer more effectively if it is still moist.
  • Don’t skip sunscreen. This is one of the biggest skin care mistakes people make during the winter. UVA and UVB rays are still out in the winter and you can even catch damage through your windshield driving to and from work. If you plan on spending a lot of time outside, such as skiing, make sure to wear an SPF of 30 or higher.
  • Exfoliate. One of the best ways to prepare skin for winter and repair damage caused by the summer is exfoliation. Alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) are my favorite form of exfoliation because they dissolve dead skin without the irritation of a harsh scrub. AHAs are also water-loving. After you use them they actually help bind moisture to the skin. They also increase cellular turnover, improving skin tone and texture. Common AHAs are glycolic acid (derived from sugar), lactic acid (derived from milk) and mandelic acid (derived from almonds). The Skin Clinic offers AHA exfoliating pads that retail at $15.
  • Stay hydrated. Drink at least six to eight glasses of water a day. A healthy dose of water increases the body’s ability to remove toxins, which can lead to acne breakouts, dry skin and inflammation.
  • Monitor the heater. As the weather becomes cold, we tend to crank up the heat, which can throw your skin's balance out of whack. The combination of an indoor heater and drier weather can cause skin to become dehydrated and as a result, send oil production into overdrive. This increase in oil or sebum production and skin dehydration can cause pore-clogging buildup and lead to breakouts.
  • Treat yourself to a facial. Facials provide a professional level of exfoliation, balancing and deep cleansing the skin while addressing a multitude of skin conditions including acne, rosacea and prematurely aging skin. 

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