Winter Skin Practices to Combat Dry Skin
By Stephanie Milner Giles
So much of what we do and how we feel internally and externally is directly related to environment. During these winter months, it seems no matter where you reside or visit it’s difficult to escape some sort of cold snap. With that comes dry, itchy, sometimes flaky skin. How do you revive that smooth, soft, radiant glow your skin once had? Let’s talk about ingredients and do’s and don’ts.
Call me a crazy cat lady but the more natural the ingredients = the better. Yes, some natural ingredients have chemical names such as Vitamin E is TOCOPHERYLACETATE (or a version of). As a consumer, I try to educate myself on what’s super harmful and what’s super beneficial as ingredients are not regulated as strictly in the US as they are in, let’s say Europe.
As far as your skin, a few things to try to avoid: products containing alcohols, sulfates, petroleum, synthetic dyes and fragrances. Enjoy a long, hot shower with a harshly strong soap? Well your skin doesn’t. That hot water and harsh soap is striping natural oils and damaging the outer top layer of skin cells. So what can you do to lock in water, close the barrier and maximize moisture? Turn the water temp to lukewarm, use a more mild cleanser and within 3 minutes after towel drying apply a rich moisturizer, nourishing oil or both!
Ingredients to consider adding to your daily regime: hyaluronic, glycolic and lactic acids, shea or cocoa butters, essentials oils such as rose hip, jojoba, carrot seed, chamomile and ylanng yang to name a few. Don’t believe the hype that oils will make your skin more oily, in most cases it’s not true, they actually absorb into the skin more easily than some cream based moisturizers. Also, don’t be intimidated by products, I believe trial and error is the most effective way to find what works best for you and the health of your largest organ.