Autumn has arrived, and while we in the Northwest are welcoming the wettest season of our year, the moisture in our skin is starting to evaporate and will become drier and drier as winter approaches. Due to the increased use of artificial, forced-air heat that we begin to rely on this time of year and the natural inclination to hop into a hot shower to warm up, our skin is set to become as dry and brittle as the leaves crunching underfoot.
This is the number one concern I hear from my clients as winter approaches. And so, to help guide you to your best winter skin yet, these are my top 5 tips for keeping your skin hydrated and happy during fall and winter.
Turn down the heat
My brother and I used to crank the heat when we got home from school in the winter, and when my mom came home she would yell, “Why can’t you kids put on a sweater?!” And while I know her concern was more about having to pay a gigantic heating bill, she was right.
The water in your skin evaporates much more quickly in a hot, dry environment. If you’ve ever vacationed in the desert, you know what I’m talking about. (where my Coachella heads at?)
So try keeping the ambient temperature in your home, car and office on the low side of warm. 55 - 65 degrees should be just about right for most people, and once you do what mom says and put on a sweater (and maybe socks) you’ll feel plenty warm without adding super dry skin to your list of wintertime complaints.
2. Cool down your shower
Let me paint you a picture. You get out of bed and the minute your feet touch the floor a cold shiver runs up your spine. You run to the bathroom and turn on the shower as hot as it will go, then you turn it down a *little and hop in, grateful to be warm. Does this sound like you? I’ll admit, I’ve been guilty of this myself. But trust me when I say that you aren’t doing your skin any favors when you do it.
Hot water causes scalding and massive evaporation of moisture in the skin. It can take hours for the skin to cool back down again, and it causes broken capillaries in the process. Try getting in the shower after turning it down to a medium-warm temperature and gradually turning it down as you warm up. Tepid water is optimum, but the low end of warm is totally fine too.
3. Moisturize your skin. ALL of it.
Do you have a skincare routine? Do you include your body skin in that routine? If not, you definitely should. Even in the summer months, when air conditioning is drying out your skin, it’s very important to moisturize your body. Our faces get all the attention and care, but moisturizing your body literally only takes a couple of minutes and the rewards are massive. Get into the habit of moisturizing your entire body at least once a day.
Choose products that are free of silicones, parabens, mineral oil, petrolatum and phthalates. These can give a smooth feel to the skin, but they have no benefit whatsoever and can cause further dryness as well as having a toxic load that goes right into your bloodstream. Yikes!
Look for ingredients like Hyaluronic Acid and Sodium PCA, both of which will help bind moisture to the skin. Natural moisturizing ingredients such as shea butter and cocoa butter and natural oils such as jojoba, sweet almond, coconut and amaranth are ideal for maximum hydration and absorption.
Do you shave or wax? Moisturizing will help prevent ingrown hairs and keeps the skin supple and strong. This allows your razor to glide smoothly across the surface, and for waxers, it allows the hair to release more easily (and less painfully) as well as allowing the wax to adhere better to the hair itself, not to the skin.
4. Use a humidifier
Humidity is your skin’s best friend. Also your sinus tissues and fragile, thin tissues such as the lips and eyes require it, otherwise they need SERIOUS protection to prevent dryness and irritation. Steam rooms are wonderful, if you can find one, but placing a small humidifier in your bedroom at night while you sleep will do wonders for your skin and sinuses.
5. Get a facial
Facials feel great. I think we can all agree that relaxing on a warm massage table while someone rubs your face for 90 minutes is the best nap ever. But the true benefits are-
increased cell turnover
better oxygenation and circulation
better absorption of your at-home skincare products.
The long term benefits are pretty remarkable as well, just ask anyone who’s been getting facials monthly for a decade or more. You’ll look positively radiant and ageless. I’ve been a Skin Therapist for 20 years and my friends always comment on how little I’ve aged.
So hopefully you can see that suffering through winter with dry, sensitized skin is not your destiny. And now that you know my secrets to happier, more hydrated winter skin, here’s a list of my favorite products to help you achieve your best body skin ever.
The Tranquillity line from our favorite italian skincare brand, Comfort Zone, contains a gorgeous blend of essential oils of rose, vetiver, sweet orange, sandalwood and cedarwood to alleviate the states of stress and tension and rebalance body and mind.
Tranquillity Body Lotion
An aromatic, silky body emulsion with a light, hydrating texture that leaves the skin velvety and soft.
Particularly suited to those who love products that absorb quickly and for hot, humid climates.
For those who love light, hydrating lotions which absorb quickly. Suited to hot and humid climates, ideal at the end of the day to calm and alleviate stress.
Tranquillity Body Cream
A rich, nourishing, aromatic body cream that is extremely enveloping and makes the body skincare routine a true ritual of beauty and wellbeing. The rich and precious texture fuses with the skin, bestowing silkiness, profound hydration and a sensation of comfort.
For all skin conditions, in particular those which are very dry and in temperate and cold climates. Ideal at the end of the day to calm and alleviate stress.
Tranquillity Shower Cream
The creamy texture with a silky effect cleanses even the most delicate skin, thanks to nourishing amaranth oil. The exclusive blend, with its reassuring aromatic notes, alleviates the state of stress and tension and rebalances body and mind.
This versatile formulation transforms when in contact with water: applied directly to the body, it is a nourishing oil, which bestows a silky effect to the skin without leaving the skin oily, diluted in the bath it transforms from an oil into a milky fluid.
Tranquillity Hand Cream
This light hand cream absorbs quickly into the skin, bestowing a silky effect and leaving the skin soft and pleasantly scented. The nourishing non-oily texture repairs and protects the hands against environmental aggressions and skin aging.
The Body Active line from Comfort Zone is a unisex, thermogenic body line designed specifically for use pre- and post-workout.
Body Active Booster
This cosmetic gel treatment for the body with a thermogenic ingredient, pure caffeine and carnitine, is recommended to improve the results of fitness activities. (Think cellulite) The practical roll-on applicator makes it very easy to apply to specific areas of the body in need of remodeling.
Body Active Shower Scrub
The natural particles of Black Rice, Green Tea and Silica have differing granular dimension, which is ideal for both a gradual and delicate exfoliation. The delicate natural aroma of Tea Leaves harmonizes with the blend of essential oils of Mint, Eucalyptus, Sage and Rosemary, with a base of Patchouli and Cedarwood, chosen for their energizing action.
Body Active Cream
Ideal after physical activity, to promote a toning and antioxidant action. The maca polyphenols, from the Peruvian plant with adaptogenic properties, combined with a blend of energizing essential oils, results in an invigorating, firming action.
Sacred Nature Cleansing Oil
Exclusive concentrate of organic oils with a nourishing and elasticizing action. Very effective for improvement of the appearance of stretch marks. Suitable for all skin types, even the most delicate.
Certified cosmetic ECOCERT SAS F-32600