During the winter season, the skin changes drastically. The water content decreases and the skins lipid (oil/emollient) capacity no longer provides as much protection as it did in the summer. The result is dryer skin, itchy and sometimes even cracked, sore skin.
Paula Begoun, beauty expert, best-selling author and founder of PaulasChoice.com gives us her top tips and some affordable product recommendations, to help you get skin ready for the harsh winter months ahead.
1) You still need sunscreen: Daylight even dim, obscure daylight causes skin damage. This means it slowly becomes unable to hold moisture or feel smooth. One of the most effective sunscreens on the market is Paula's Choice Non-Greasy Sunscreen SPF 45 ($14.95).
2) State-of-the-art moisturizers: Any moisturizer you choose should be filled to the brim with antioxidants, water-binding agents, and anti-inflammatory ingredients. Anything less leaves skin incapable of warding off the environmental causes of dry skin. Olay Total Effects Moisturizer ($19.38) Clinique Pore Minimizer Instant Perfector ($17.50), and Neutrogena's Oil-Free Moisture ($12.99) have some of the best and most reasonably priced options.
3) Apply and reapply moisturizer: You can never use too much! When your skin starts feeling dry, pile more on. Be diligent about reapplying moisturizer. A good tip is to reapply everytime you wash your hands. Keep a moisturizer in your purse, at your desk, and in every bathroom in your home. The NEW RESIST Barrier Repair Moisturizer ($22.95) by Paula's Choice, builds and preserves collagen, firms and protects against moisture loss.
4) Avoid soap, use ONLY gentle cleansers: This cannot be stressed enough. Never use a cleanser that is harsher than the weather outside, and that includes from the neck down. Do not scrub skin, you cannot scour away dry skin. Try Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser ($7.99) or Dove Cool Moisture Facial Cleansing Cloths ($6.49).
5) No oils in your bath water: It does not make sense to pour bath oils in to water because most of the oils ends up going down the drain and not on your skin. It also makes the bath slippery and dangerous. bath oils encourage you to soak for longer periods of time in the tub and that isn't good for the skin. Oils are best applied post-bath or shower. Good options include Vaseline's Intensive Rescue Clinical Therapy ($6.99), Auqaphor Healing Ointment by Eucerin ($5.99) or Paula's Choice Slip Into Silk Body Lotion ($16.95).
6) Don't forget your lips: Lips are the least capable of staying smooth and soft when the air becomes dry. During the day and night be sure to put an emollient lip gloss or lip balm on your lips. Make sure it doesn't contain any irritating ingredients such as peppermint and menthol which cause irritation and it will help keep lips moisturized. Try the Moisturizing Lipscreen ($8.95) by Paula's Choice, Blistex Clear Advance SPF 30 ($2.19) or Jelly Balm L'Oreal Paris ($9.00).
Follow these basic rules and you will have great, hydrated, well-moisturized skin all winter long!