HOW TO PREP YOUR SKIN FOR WINTER

Have you noticed that when winter comes around your skin gets a mind of its own?  Already sensitive skins becomes redder and more irritated.  Acne products that worked in the summer don’t pack the same punch they did in those hot and humid months.  Here are a few tips to help your skin adjust to the cooler temps ahead so you can keep acne in check as the weather dips.

DRINK UP

Drinking water is essential for healthy, glowing skin.  We don’t break a sweat as much during the winter as we do during the summer.  As a result, we may forget to get enough water intake for the day.  Don’t enjoy the blandness of plain water?  Spruce it up!

Add tart lemon, sweet berries, or refreshing cucumber for a tasty twist on your glass of H2O.  Herbal tea also counts toward your daily water consumption.  Three acne fighting herbal teas I keep in rotation are: chamomile, dandelion, and spearmint.  They keep my skin and taste buds very happy.

CLEANSE GENTLY

It isn’t enough to stay hydrated inside our bodies.  Skin also needs moisture on the surface particularly with the dry air winter brings.  Our homes, cars, and offices may be havens from the cold outside, but they also blast our skin with heat that zaps the moisture from the air.  The last thing we need to do is further dry our skin by using harsh cleansers that irritate it.  This is where micellar water enters the picture.

It’s gained a lot of popularity recently.  But what makes it a good option for acne sufferers or those with sensitive skin?  To find out, it’s important to understand its makeup.  A micelle is basically  a particle that exists in a state of balance with the other molecules or ions in a solution from which it is formed.

When micelles are distributed in a solvent like water, it is referred to as micellar solution.  You get micelles by solubilizing a surfactant in water. Micelles attract dirt, makeup, and excess oil so you’re left with clean, hydrated skin.  Micellar water isn’t designed specifically for acne prone skin.

However, it can benefit blemished skin by keeping it hydrated.  When skin is well hydrated it reduces oil gland activity – a definite perk for acne sufferers.  In comparison to sulfate or alcohol based cleansers, micellar water offers a gentle way to cleanse without stripping the skin. It’s so gentle that it doesn’t even need to be washed off.

Some girls have complained of dry skin around their eyes after using micellar water.  Although the cleanser is designed to be left on the skin, some said that after rinsing it off they no longer had an issue with dry skin.  With that being said, micellar water can be a great cleanser for those with sensitive skin who also struggle with acne.

MOISTURIZE YOUR SKIN

Speaking of the power of hydrating skin, did you know that hyaluronic acid can hold 1,000 times its weight in water?!  It attracts and holds water from the air and moisturizes the top layer of your skin.

Use a serum if you have oily or combination skin. Apply it to damp skin to create a moisture sandwich.  A formula with a lightweight texture will keep your skin moisturized without clogging pores.  Hyaluronic acid is known to have calming properties which means it’s gentle enough for those with sensitive, blemish, and redness-prone skin to use.

If you happen to live in a drier climate, make sure you have enough moisture in the air for hyaluronic acid to attract.  Otherwise, it may pull moisture from your skin instead of the air.  Instead of waking to dewy perfection, you’ll wonder why your skin feels drier than the Sahara.  Since winter is upon us and most of us will be left with dryer homes, it’s important to keep our air hydrated as well.

HYDRATE YOUR HOME

Keep skin moist by running a humidifier while you sleep.  This will open your pores and help loosen those pesky whiteheads and blackheads.  If you decide to buy a humidifier, be sure to properly maintain it to get the most benefit from it.

Clean your humidifier with plain dish soap and warm water to keep germs, mold, and bacteria from developing.  Clean it twice a week, or every three days.   Fill the tank with distilled water not tap and don’t run it on the highest setting.  Excess moisture can create problems you don’t want to deal with like mold and spores.

Honeywell Germ Free Cool Mist Humidifier.

Honeywell has made a reasonably priced humidifier that claims to kill up to 99 percent of the bacteria floating around your room. It keeps quiet ensuring you’ll get all the beauty sleep you need.  When it comes down to cleaning, just place the parts in the dishwasher.  Reassemble and dream your way to dewy skin.

EXFOLIATE WEEKLY

Exfoliating removes dead skin cells to reveal brighter more even toned skin.  It opens pores preventing dead skin cells from clogging them.  Sebum or oil is then able to flow through the open pore and reach the skin’s surface where it can moisturize the skin.  An added benefit of exfoliating is that it brings oxygen to the skin, which makes it look fresh and speeds up blemish healing.

Be gentle with the skin when exfoliating!  The last thing you want to do is use a harsh exfoliator with rough edges that will cause bumps to burst under the skin and infect other areas around it.  That would only make your acne worse.  Not a pretty picture.  There are two types of exfoliators: chemical and mechanical.

Mechanical exfoliators use an abrasive substance to get rid of dead skin cells.  Chemical exfoliators use natural alpha hydroxy acids (AHA) and beta hydroxy acid (BHA) to get the job done.  AHA’s are found in milk, citrus fruits, and sugar cane.  BHA’s are found in pineapple, papaya, and berries.  If at all possible, try to sample an exfoliator before buying it so you’ll know for sure it’s gentle enough for your sensitive skin.

 

Join the Conversation

My favorite part of doing these posts is getting your feedback. Each week, I ask one question. This week, it is this:

How will you winterize your skincare routine this year?

Disclaimer:
The information contained on this site is provided as an information resource only.  It is not to be used or relied upon for any treatment or diagnostic purposes.  This information is not intended to be patient education.  It should not be used as a substitute for professional diagnosis and treatment.   The statements on this site have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.   This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.  Please consult your healthcare provider before making any healthcare decisions or for guidance about a specific medical condition, such as if you are pregnant, nursing, taking medication, or have a mental condition.  Please read all product packaging carefully and consult with a healthcare professional before starting any diet, exercise, supplementation or medication program. Cosmetic products have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent disease.
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Sources

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Micellar_solutions

Raoul Zana, “Micelles and Vesicles” Encyclopedia of Supramolecular Chemistry, Volume 1, page 861, edited by J. L. Atwood, Jonathan W. Steed, https://books.google.com/books   

“The Creepy Truth About Humidifiers,”  http://time.com/4685972/humidifier

Kelli Ann Wilson, “Weather Proof Your Skin,” Remedies, October 2017

Harold Lancer, M.D., “Younger,” pg. 119