(BPT) - The chill, the dryness, the itch: As temperatures drop, winter can wreak havoc on your skin. Fortunately, you can fight winter's wrath by taking a few smart, proactive steps.
Winter skin woes are common, with 83 percent of Americans saying their skin feels differently during the winter than it does the rest of the year, according to a recent survey conducted online among 2,000 U.S. adults by Harris Poll on behalf of CeraVe. More specifically, 77 percent say their skin feels dry in winter and 41 percent even describe it as itchy.
"Winter weather can affect all skin types," says board-certified dermatologist Dr. Shari Marchbein. "Even though people are aware that their skin is dry, they often unknowingly make mistakes that can cause their skin to feel worse. Being mindful of how you're treating your skin and adapting your skincare routine are two essential ways to help ease the skin discomforts that often come with the season."
To help fight dry and itchy skin brought on by winter, Dr. Marchbein suggests five simple skincare tips:
1. Stay warm, not hot
Everyone loves a long, hot shower in the winter. In fact, the survey found 50 percent of people take more hot showers during the winter. Unfortunately, hot water strips the skin of natural moisture that keeps it healthy, hydrated and protected. Take a short, lukewarm shower instead to avoid irritating the skin. Find that warm comfort by cozying up in a blanket afterward instead.
2. Fix the winter itch
That winter itch is most commonly caused by severely dry skin, so be sure to moisturize daily with products that contain ceramides to maintain hydration and fight dryness. Ceramides are naturally found in skin but can be regularly disrupted by factors like the environment and daily activities, leading to dry skin. Keep a tub of a ceramide-rich cream in your bathroom to slather on while your skin is still wet after showering to really seal in moisture and help restore the skin's protective barrier.
For added moisture and protection, use an ointment like CeraVe Healing Ointment, which contains ceramides and helps to heal dry, chapped skin, and immediately slip on socks, gloves and comfortable clothes to help it soak in.
3. Dress smart
When you're heading outside, be sure to bundle up! Always wear gear that protects your skin from the elements, like hats, scarves and gloves. Additionally, while winter makes us more inclined to bundle up in cozy sweaters, avoid any materials that may irritate your skin. If you feel itchy under your favorite wool sweater, wear a breathable shirt underneath or consider swapping it for a different material, like fleece or cashmere.
4. Maximize moisture
The colder winter air pulls moisture from the skin leaving it dry, itchy and lackluster, and heading indoors isn't helping. The rising thermostat in your house causes dry air that sucks hydration from your skin. Use a humidifier to add moisture back into the air in main spaces, like your bedroom. You should also be sure to adapt your skincare routine for the winter just like you would your wardrobe. Swap your light creams out for richer products that will add the extra moisturization needed during the winter and be sure to use them twice daily.
5. Drink up
However, adding moisture back into the air isn't the only way to hydrate yourself. You should also be moisturizing yourself from the inside out by drinking plenty of water throughout the day. Water has a wide array of health benefits and the quality of your skin is one of them — especially during the winter months when we tend to lose moisture more often. Warm tea is another great way to get hydrated while comforting yourself during the colder months.
"Winter doesn't have to mean dry, itchy and uncomfortable skin," says Marchbein. "A few proactive steps and adjustments to your daily routine can help ease some of those winter worries so you can enjoy all the fun the season has to offer.
(BPT) - Figuring out what's best for your skin can feel like solving a difficult mystery — everyone’s condition is unique, there are countless treatment options and people will do almost anything for a clear complexion.
"When it comes to your skin, there are many elements to consider," says Dr. David Lortscher, board-certified dermatologist, CEO and founder of Curology. "Clogged pores, acne and other common issues can be a result of age, genetics, lifestyle and environmental factors. I often hear about common misconceptions that cause otherwise well-meaning people to make mistakes that trigger larger skincare problems."
To help people better understand skincare and take control of their daily regimen, Dr. Lortscher shares the top misconceptions about skincare and acne.
Misconception: Exercise and sweat can cause acne.
Fact: Sweating while exercising doesn't cause acne. The eccrine glands produce sweat and the sebaceous glands produce oil — so revving up the sweat glands doesn’t actually turn on the oil glands involved in acne breakouts. The truth is sweating and humidity can aggravate breakouts by giving the bacteria on the skin a better environment to grow.
Cleansing is key post-workout, but keep in mind vigorously cleansing your skin can also be a source of friction that aggravates acne. The best strategy is to splash comfortable-temperature water on your face and neck, then pat dry gently.
Misconception: Chocolate and greasy foods cause acne.
Fact: Many people have heard that chocolate and junk food are the worst foods for your skin, but modern science hasn’t found a direct link between acne and oily foods.
Diets are like acne treatments: highly individual. That’s not to say your eating habits can’t affect your skin. Eating simple carbs and sugar raises your blood sugar levels, causing your body to produce excess insulin, in turn stimulating oil production and leading to more inflammation and increased acne severity.
Misconception: DIY skincare and home remedies are good for your skin.
Fact: The DIY craze has extended to skincare routines, giving people ample ways to create their own remedies at home. However, it’s wise to be careful about the ingredients applied to your skin.
Some people try baking soda as a cost-effective scrub or mask. Baking soda is pH 9 and the pH of the skin is 4.5-5 or so. Therefore, scrubbing your face with a baking soda paste can be harsh and disturb your skin’s natural barrier, leading to red, raw and sensitive skin and leaving it susceptible to breakout.
Others suggest lemon juice as a home remedy for acne but it can cause significant dryness, redness and irritation. Lemon juice may have an exfoliating effect on the most superficial dead skin cells, but there are better ways to treat your acne.
If you're fed up with DIY remedies and over-the-counter products just haven’t worked for you, you have options. Try custom prescription skincare like Curology, a service that gets you expert dermatology care from the comfort of your home. Just take a few photos and a skin quiz to get a prescription formula customized to your individual needs.
Misconception: You can make your pores smaller.
Fact: Most people want smaller pores, but in reality, you can’t change the size or force them “open" or “closed."
Pore size is genetic; you can't shrink them or make pores go away. To keep large pores from worsening, treat acne breakouts, don't pick and use sun protection. Sun exposure breaks down collagen, which is the support structure surrounding the pores, so pores do appear larger as you age.
Misconception: You only need to wear sunscreen on sunny days.
Fact: It doesn't matter if it's sunny or cloudy; if you plan to spend time outdoors, wear sunscreen daily. It is estimated that damage caused by ultraviolet rays from the sun is responsible for up to 80 percent of skin aging.
SPF is a measure of a sunscreen's ability to prevent UVB from damaging the skin. Most sunscreens with an SPF of 15 or higher do an excellent job of protecting against UVB. For extended outdoor activity, use a water-resistant, broad spectrum (UVA/UVB) sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher.
When temperatures plummet, a seasonal wardrobe change helps protect most of your body from the elements. However, your face and hands are likely still exposed and even areas protected by clothing can be affected by a harsh climate. A fall skin-care regimen can help ensure your delicate features fare well even as blustery winds blow.
7 Ways to Promote Cool-Weather Skin Care
(Family Features) When temperatures plummet, a seasonal wardrobe change helps protect most of your body from the elements. However, your face and hands are likely still exposed and even areas protected by clothing can be affected by a harsh climate. A fall skin-care regimen can help ensure your delicate features fare well even as blustery winds blow.
Sunscreen smarts. Most people know that slathering on the sunscreen is a must when heading to the pool or beach, but your skin can actually take a hit from the sun’s damaging rays year-around. Apply a sunscreen lotion or moisturizer containing SPF daily to reduce the risk and minimize your chances of sun spots and wrinkles.
Healthy hydration. When it’s hot, you’re more likely to feel thirsty and drink more, but staying well hydrated is important in colder weather, too. Proper hydration affects numerous body functions, such as ensuring your muscles and joints are well lubricated and helping your body to regulate its temperature. Water is the solution most experts recommend, but non-sugary options like tea can also help.
Food factors. Although limiting the amount of fat you consume is generally recommended for a nutritious eating plan, in the fall and winter it’s especially important to be sure you’re consuming enough healthy fats and omega-3s to promote moisture from the inside out. Good sources include eggs, nuts, avocados and lean proteins like fish, turkey, chicken and beef.
Clothing concerns. Even if you don’t feel the chill, cold wind can do a number on your skin. Be sure to cover up adequately when outdoors to prevent the chapping and irritation that can come from sustained exposure. Also be wary of precipitation; be sure your outer layers repel water and that you’re able to change into dry clothing promptly if you do get wet.
Ample exercise. Getting your heart rate up helps get your blood circulating, which is not only good for burning calories and beefing up your muscles, it also promotes healthy skin. Sweating helps push impurities out of your pores, and the increased circulation helps distribute nutrients throughout your body, including the skin.
Avoid irritants. Especially if you have sensitive skin, cool wind can be brutal. Take care to avoid potential problems by sticking to softly textured fabrics that won’t get itchy, take it easy on the exfoliating and be mindful of skin care products, soaps and detergents that may be particularly drying to already parched skin. Also skip the temptation to warm up in a hot shower, which can dry your skin even further.
Manage moisture. Even oilier skin types may need extra moisture when dry, cold conditions prevail. Oil-free options let you add moisture without over-stimulating oil glands, while natural oils such as coconut or jojoba are ideal for dryer skin. Apply lotion after every shower to trap in moisture and as needed throughout the day to prevent chapping and cracking, and give special attention to areas that are prone to damage, such as your lips and hands.
Find more ways to weather through this winter at eLivingToday.com.
4 Ways to Perfect a Carefree Style
A carefree style may appear effortless, but creating a look that stands up to a busy day still requires some simple work.
Keep your skin in top condition and your hair and makeup on point with these tips from the beauty experts at Macy’s to help you look and feel your best.
Protect your skin. If there’s only one skin care product you use, it has to be sunscreen. Not only is daily SPF important for avoiding sunburns, it also helps prevent wrinkles and spots caused by sun damage. Apply early and often, and don’t be fooled by a cloudy day. Even when skies are overcast, those UV rays can inflict plenty of harm. If you’ll be out for an extended period, consider a stylish hat to lend extra protection to your scalp, ears and face. Also remember to cover or apply sunscreen to often-overlooked places, such as the tops of your feet.
Go for all-day eyes. When you’re embracing a laid-back look, a fully done eye can be overkill. A basic tint and some mascara is a simple way to achieve a put-together but fuss-free style. Using a waterproof formula can give you the confidence that your lashes are in perfect condition and ready for whatever the day may bring. If you have a favorite formula, check to see whether a waterproof version is available.
Make it matte. For lip color that lasts from sunrise to moonlight, matte lipstick is the real deal. In addition to being long-lasting, matte lipsticks pack an intense punch of color perfect for a bright and cheerful lip. If a little sparkle or shine is more your thing, go ahead and add a light layer of clear gloss and give yourself bonus points if one layer or both include SPF.
Explore new ideas. Switch up your look and unlock new favorites with Macy’s Beauty Box, a $15 monthly subscription to beauty’s most wow-worthy products specially chosen by beauty experts. With a variety of products from the best brands ranging from eye shadows to mascaras to lipsticks, each month you’ll receive five deluxe beauty samples, one bonus item, a collectible cosmetics bag and a $5 beauty coupon available for use in-store and on macys.com.
Photos courtesy of Getty Images (woman outside)SOURCE:
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