Saturday, December 22, 2007

The Winter Woes Of Skin Care And Makeup!

Winter time is here again and along with it the dry rough skin that itches, flakes and gives us those lovely rough patches on our face and body. Makeup and moisturizers need to be applied differently during this time of year. Since winter is brutal to our skin, we must be vigilant to prevent further damage from the cold, dry outside air, and the forced air heat in our homes which will drop humidity in a home by 20-40% compared to summer weather.

Here are ways to combat winter dryness and make your face glow with these winter skin care tips:

  1. Use a humidifier in your bedroom at night to keep your skin from getting too dry while you sleep. The added benefit also, it will aid in keeping your breathing passages open and moist.

  2. Use a detergent free cleanser to avoid drying out your skin and make sure you remove all traces of makeup, including Mineral Cosmetics. I love facial soaps with rich saponified oils and butters and those that contain shea butter and goats milk. Wonderfully creamy and leaves my skin soft without dryness. Also I recommend using a heavier moisturizing crème at bedtime during winter months or add olive oil to your regular moisturizer for intense treatment of dry skin. Please don’t neglect your neck and décolleté area.

  3. Make sure to exfoliate to remove any flaky skin that may appear during this time of year. Sensitive skin ladies want to use caution when doing this. Luscious sugar scrubs are wonderful for smoothing the skin on our body while in the shower. A poultice of raw grade rice or oat flour makes for wonderful gentle exfoliation of your delicate face. But exfoliation should be limited to no more than two times per week. Or the use of a gentle Micro Fiber Towel will also work well and it can be used daily.

  4. Always use a creamy moisturizer before applying your makeup and right after you wash your face, one preferably that includes Shea Butter and / or Neem Oil. You can also enhance your face crème by adding a few drops of Jojoba Oil. These ingredients will penetrate the skin quickly without leaving a greasy feel. They will also not interfere with mineral makeup applications but actually aid in adherence to the skin. And mineral makeup will further aid in keeping the moisture against your skin, protecting you from winter dryness while offering you sun protection benefits. Remember, winter sun can cause damage as well.

  5. Applying a good D20 Moisture Mist is also beneficial since it will possess natural humectants that bond moisture to the skin and draw moisture from the air keeping skin plump and velvety.

  6. Remember to treat the whole body, not just the face for reducing itchy, flaky skin. Oatmeal baths are also wonderful for that winter itch. Also, bathe and shower in warm water instead of hot since hot water is extremely drying to the skin by stripping your natural oils away.
Skin fades and becomes more sallow:

Once you lose that summer glow, your skin may take on a greenish yellow cast like mine tends to do. If this is not something you prefer to endure until Mr. Sunshine returns next summer, then you can perk up sallow skin in the meantime by applying a bronzer with red undertone to counteract the yellow / greenish cast to the face. Just remember to use a light hand since you are much fairer this time of year.

A perfect blush color is another excellent way to counteract sallow skin if bronzer is not your bag. Stick to Pinks, Rose, Mauves and Lilac shades for the best results. They will brighten your skin and give you a nice flush as though you just came in from the cold. If this is your complexion during winter time orangey shades are better saved for summer months. Also a powder blush vs liquid or stick blush will appear more natural on the skin without sharp lines on the face, instead of looking like someone smeared something on your face that your friend is always trying to blend out for you.

Ruddy skin with acne scarring or other redness in the face:

A ruddy complexion seems to intensify also as we lose our summer color. I look like someone slammed a door into my nose in the winter time. W.C. Fields kind of comes to mind! The best way I found to counteract this is to use a yellow to neutral based foundation to neutralize redness, and preferably use mineral makeup with zinc oxide for calming erythema and other skin irritations. Keep Titanium Dioxide to a reduced concentration for dry skin types since it will intensify in the winter to make you even dryer. Stick with softer shades of blush that are not so intense such as Peach, Coral, Rose, dusty Pinks and pale Mauves since chilled winter air will add a natural flush to the cheeks.

Purple / bluish under-eye circles:

These always tend to increase when we get paler in the winter, giving us a black and blue look to our eyes. The best way to counteract this is to use a concealer that is one to two shades lighter than your regular foundation shade and combining some pink with yellow based makeup will help to hide these to perfection. If you need additional camouflaging then follow up with a yellow based shade. Also by leaving mascara off of the lower eyelashes and only lining the upper lid, you will divert attention away from this area, yet give the eyes a more rested, brighter appearance.

Health Tip: If you have this problem with your eyes year round or it worsens at certain times of the year, check with your doctor or allergist since this is commonly referred to as the “black eye” or “shiner” effect caused by airborne allergens. I possess this problem myself and when my allergies are under control, the purple tone literally disappears. It’s worth checking into and maybe gain some relief from allergies in the process.

Weepy eyes are a pain:

Do your eyes flow rivers of tears when out in the brisk winter winds? Mine certainly do! It seems I am always blotting the corners of my eyes when I am exposed not only to wind, but to the cold air. Then my eyes go in reverse and dry out terribly inside my home when air humidity can fall as low as 20%. So, I use Refresh Celluvisc liquid tears for the irritation and for keeping them moist during the dry winter months. This product has greatly reduced tearing during this time of year and aids in resolving the burning and itching of my eyes due to dryness. I also steer clear of any shading on the lower lid since it will tend to wipe off or run into the lower area of the eye.

Dry, cracked or chapped lips:

Do your lips crack when you smile and then may even begin to bleed or sting something awful now that you have a sore spot exposed? Many ladies experience this problem the worst in winter. Always keep a good moisturizing lip balm handy. I have found Aveeno lip balm to work wonders for keeping my lips moist and supple. It is rich in Jojoba and Shea Butter. However, if you want to keep color on your lips in the winter time, stay away from matte shades or the “last all day” lip colors since these are very drying and will cause flaky, cracked lips to get worse. Also, avoid licking lips excessively since this removes any natural oils they may exude. A moisturizing lip balm, lipstick, or lip gloss is all excellent for giving you color, plumping up the lips for a pouty expression, and will keep them soft and kissable.

Don’t overlook the hair:

Your hair will also dry out and become more brittle this time of year. Using a gentle detergent free shampoo is excellent for not stripping the hair or scalp. J.R Liggett soaps are great for this purpose since they are all natural and preservative free and they will leave the hair quite soft even without conditioner. However, in the winter time a good conditioner is also essential. Use of "leave in" pomades is excellent for protecting the hair shaft from dryness and a creamy conditioner will put moisture back into the scalp. A good one I have found is the Pantene Restoratives Conditioner. The itchies on my scalp are practically non-existent. Also reduce the heat in your hair dryer to aid in reduction of breakage.

There you have it. Enjoy winter time and just take care of your precious skin since it is the only skin you come in.

I hope everyone is enjoying the Holidays and are all looking forward to 2008. I posted my Blog early due to Christmas and my next one will be the week after the New Year. I am taking a bit of time off for family and friends.

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