Wintertime Skin Care

by Rebecca Huber

What do you think the wintertime weather does to your skin? During winter months, harsh wind, sleet and snow cause a great deal of environmental erosion to roads, roofs, wood houses and trees­­ so it shouldn't surprise us that our skin takes a beating too! These are the "cold" hard facts about winter and our skin.

A definite physiological change takes place in your skin when the temperature drops, especially the frigid deep freeze kind of weather we've been having. As the temperature and humidity drop and the dry indoor heat is turned on, the evaporation of moisture from our skin increases and sebum production slows. Your skin is about as thick as a piece of cellophane tape and, if left unattended, the outer layers become increasingly vulnerable to dryness and wrinkling. The solution to this problem is added moisture to the dry and damaged skin surface.

To moisturize the skin it must first be clean and free of the outer layers of old dead skin cells. After you have gently cleansed your face with a moisturized cleanser, no harsh soaps or wash cloths please, remove dead skin cells with a exfoliative facial scrub once weekly. Exfoliation removes the outer layers so your newer healthier skin can be seen and is not hidden away. You can make your own by mixing three tablespoons of coarse oatmeal, two tablespoons of jojoba oil and two tablespoons of aloe vera gel. Apply to your face and gently massage. Rinse with tepid water.

Now that your face is clean you can deeply moisturize and replenish with your favorite moisturizing cream. No petroleum based products please. This may make the skin feel better but it actually seals moisture away from the skin­­ exactly what we don't want to do.

Many women are using alpha hydroxy acids and feeling very good about the way it makes their skin look and feel. They have been in the news again lately with experts pondering the question as to whether we are helping or hindering. Alpha hydroxy acids are derived from fruit acids such as those from apples, grapes and sugar cane. Very natural products that leave the skin feeling very smooth and keeps dead skin cells from accumulating. This is good but if you use the alpha hydroxy acids it is even more important that you use high quality moisturizers and sun blockers to protect the delicate new layers of skin cells.

You usually get what you pay for when it comes to moisturizers but don't buy an expensive moisturizer in the hopes that your skin will not continue to age. There are many good products on the market. One of my favorites it CamoCare­­ an all natural product that seems to give the skin a natural glow while reducing fine lines from dryness and weathering.

Good skin care is also internal. Clean diet and clean water are a must. Feeding the skin a steady diet of natural whole foods will give the skin a chance to regenerate and repair daily. These simple steps can help keep your skin looking younger longer­­ something we would all like.

Till next time, Rebecca

This article posted to Zephyr online January 30, 1997
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