It's hard to keep your skin dewy and fresh looking, especially when winter weather has taken its full toll. Here, Cosmetics Cop gives you six tips to perk up your complexion, no matter what season you're living in.
1. Choose antioxidant-amped moisturizers. Don’t reach for just any old cream—to truly repair the damage done by harsh climates, skin needs a formula loaded with antioxidants and repairing substances (think hyaluronic acid, plant fatty acids and glycerin) cold weather steals. Dealing with combination skin? Spot-treat the dry areas with a richer lotion (and skip the oily areas) using a toner loaded with skin repairing ingredients. See Begoun’s top picks for moisturizers here.
2. Add non-fragrant plant oils for flake-fighting results. Add a few drops of jojoba, olive, grape seed or evening primrose to your nighttime moisturizer or serum (or layered underneath). These oils are heavy on moisture and antioxidants, but light in texture and won’t leave skin feeling greased up. Extra dry hands? Supplement a thick hand cream with plant oils for a moisture boost! Tip: Skip the high-end plant oils and shop the cooking section of the local health food store. The grape seed, olive and other oils sold there are identical to the trendy skin-care versions, but are a fraction of the cost.
3. Avoid long, hot showers and bathtub soaks. As wonderful as a leisurely bath or shower feels, too much water is bad for skin. Long showers and soaking in the tub breaks down the substances in skin that keeps your healthy outer layers intact. Studies have shown that soaking for as little as 20 minutes results in damage to skin’s barrier, which puts out a welcome mat for dryness. Keep showers or baths short, especially during the winter.
4. Ditch harsh scrubs, stick to AHA or BHA exfoliants. Getting overzealous with scrubs or using those that are too harsh creates tiny tears on the surface of skin, literally chipping away at its ability to retain healthy lipids and other substances. A well-formulated AHA (glycolic acid) or BHA (salicylic acid) exfoliant helps skin shed built-up layers without the damage scrubs can cause. Plus, both AHA and BHA have anti-aging benefits, too. Tip: AHAs and BHA exfoliants aren’t all created equal, click here to see the best recommended exfoliants.
5. Never skimp on the sunscreen. Sun-damaged skin can’t retain the substances in skin that keep it healthy and hydrated. Studies have made it clear that just one minute of unprotected sun exposure starts destroying collagen and skin’s natural protection. Sooner than later this damage replaces a radiant complexion with brown spots, dryness, and wrinkles. Make sure to wear sunscreen every day, no matter the season or weather. Everyone can find an SPF that works, no matter the skin type daytime moisturizers with sunscreen here.
6. Put back the humidity winter steals away with a humidifier. “Low humidity indoors and out is the cause of most weather-related dry skin,” remarks Begoun. Humidifiers are relatively inexpensive, last a long time, and work for the whole family. Larger homes may need two or three humidifiers (opt for the models that offer UV light chambers to reduce mold and bacteria). At the very least, run a humidifier in the bedroom overnight.
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