Perhaps you’re lucky and never struggle with mid-winter death-by-dry-skin, but for many of us, January and February are the scary months when putting on yoga capris, instead of pants, stops being an option. It’s not just that you’ve basically broken up with your razor; you’ve also got some scary dry skin. Besides being unattractive (who are we really trying to impress in yoga anyway?), dry skin is pretty uncomfortable. Here are some simple tips to help each part of your body make it to spring!
1. Wear foundation. Having an extra layer of protection between you and the cold is almost a must in winter. Foundations have come a long way in the last few years. Now, applying foundation can be another step in your skincare routine. No joke. If you don’t have oily skin, then try Neutrogena’s Healthy Skin Liquid Makeup. It’s been a cult favorite the last couple years for a couple reasons: 1. it’s a clear dupe for Nars’ Sheer Glow Foundation; 2. it’s infused with antioxidants and has an SPF of 20. I have oily skin but don’t have any problems wearing this. If you think your skin is too, too, too oily or acne prone for liquid foundation, then give Revlon’s Colorstay Foundation for oily skin a try. In my opinion, it’s the best drugstore foundation available. It is full coverage, though. If you’re like me and don’t want full coverage, then apply it with a damp beauty sponge. I do this with all foundations because it helps them go on thinner and blend better.
2. Reconsider your skincare routine. If you haven’t changed anything about your skincare routine since August, you probably aren’t doing everything you can to avoid dry skin. In the summer, I’m all about cleansers that banish oil, but in the winter, those make my face tight and itchy.
3. Exfoliate OR use a retinol product. You need to help your skin do away with dead cells more in the winter. Gentle exfoliators are a great way to get glowing skin. If you find that exoliators irritate your skin, then consider adding a retinol serum to your nighttime routine instead. Retinols are great for anti-aging and for helping to clear acne because they aid cell turnover and help unclog pores. They’re basically magic.
4. Use an eye cream. That area of skin under your eyes produces no oil –it doesn’t even have oil glands. Weird, right? How does mascara manage to mosey on down below your eyes, then? It’s actually the upper lid oil that makes its obnoxious way under your eye. Keep in mind that because that area contains no oil glands, it’s completely up to you to prevent aging. If you’re not interested in having more products than necessary, then just dab on extra moisturizer there each time you moisturize. Dab. Don’t rub. Hit the upper lid, too.
5. Put on lip balm before bed. Do it! Every night. I don’t ever need lip balm during the day, and I’m convinced it’s because I put it on every night after I brush my teeth. This is also my trick for perpetually lipstick ready lips. Keep lips balm in your medicine cabinet beside your toothpaste. I prefer EOS brand. They’re the ones that look like eggs. Just go with it.
6. Wear dishwashing gloves if you’re one of the 4 people left still hand washing dishes. (I’m number 4.)
7. Get a cuticle oil pen. These are life savers when you feel like the skin around your nails might crack. E.L.F. makes a great one that’s only a dollar. It soaks into my fingers in a couple of minutes. Keep the pen wherever you watch television. You’ll use it ten times as often that way.
8. Wash your hands after using fingernail polish remover. Your manicure will last twice as long if you do this, but you should really wash your hands because the chemicals in fingernail polish remover are quite drying.
9. Start using a sugar scrub. They are fantastic at tackling rough winter feet. I keep one by Arbonne in my shower year round. Secret: I can’t be bothered to take the time to pamper my feet when I’m not already in the shower. Be realistic with yourself; if you want to use some sort of lovely, deeply moisturizing foot scrub, but you know you’re lazy like me, then keep it in the shower and use it a few times a week. Be careful, though. Those scrubs will make your feet slippery in the shower. But they smell amazing!
10. Take cooler showers. Doesn’t that sound like fun?
Me: OK, I agree. I actually got this advice in a hair salon one day when I lived out in the desert. I asked my chic male stylist if he had any tips to help reduce the oil-fest that was my scalp. Stop taking such hot showers, he said, like that wasn’t the last thing I wanted to hear. I was pissed when I realized it worked. Cooler showers help keep your scalp from working overtime, and they don’t dry out your skin.
Cooler doesn’t mean cold. Just turn back the hot a little for your next shower, and then try to stick to that level for the shower after that. Maybe in a week, you turn it down a little more. Those steaming hot showers feel amazing, but they’re terrible for dry skin.
11. Drink water. Mind blowing suggestion, I know. But we don’t always do it. When a possibly dehydrated patient comes into the ER, nurses perform a quick skin turgor test. It’s simple: they pinch a small area of skin on the arm, hold it for a few seconds, and then they release it. If the skin settles back down right away, the patient probably isn’t dehydrated. If it stays arched and doesn’t go back down straightaway, then they have a problem. My point: drinking water does affect the way your skin looks and feels.
If all else fails, do what bears do: wait it out. Asleep. :)
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