As winter winds and cold, dry air dehydrate our skin €”what’s a woman to do?  Slather their skin with moisturizers, right?


A moisturizer is like dessert to your skin €”it feels good, nice and smooth, but does little to nothing for your skin cells that lay beneath the surface €”the source of skin aging.  That’s why it’s important to remember the main course of skin care €”products that activate, stimulate and protect your skin.

During winter, it’s especially important to:

Exfoliate.  The dull, dry skin cells on the surface of the skin should be exfoliated, and there are a couple of reasons for this.  (1) Exfoliation allows younger, healthier skin cells can emerge, (2) you can enhance the penetration of other skin care products, because they don’t get trapped by the superficial cells.  If anti-aging products (and these are generally the pricey ones!) remain on the surface of your skin, they’re pretty useless. Allow them to work, and work hard!  (3) Exfoliation deep cleans the pores, and helps reduce excess oils. During the summer, I recommend exfoliating twice a week, but during the winter, every day.  Use Exfoliating Polish in the shower; it’s easier to rinse off that way.
Protect.  During winter the days are shorter, but UVB rays will stay damage your skin, and UVA rays will penetrate through windows and go straight to the dermis €”where they can create permanent damage .  If you’re headed to the mountains for skiing (or even if you’re a ski bunny), remember that UV rays are intensified by snow and high altitude.  Taking a vacation from sunscreen during the winter is a big mistake.  

Avoid the use of hot water.  It may feel good for a few minutes (no showers longer than 10 minutes, please), but will dehydrate your skin, deplete the natural oils and create parched, chapped, dry skin.
Your face and hands need extra care during the winter, because they have greater exposure.  Be sure to exfoliate and hydrate!
With shorter days and colder temperatures, most of us spend more time indoors during the winter, where the air is warmer, but also dryer.  Use a humidifer, don’t overuse space heaters (including your car), and drink plenty of water.
Escape.  These are stressful times.  Find time for yourself.  Take a warm bath, read a good book, do something just for yourself.  I like to study foreign languages, especially French, because it’s a brief respite from the real world and 24-hour news.  Do something that you enjoy for short, daily escapes.

While you take care of everyone else this holiday season, be sure to take care of yourself (and your skin!)

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