Aesthetician Reveals Top Tips for Healthy Winter Skin

Between clocks changing and holiday planning (and myriad other things), there’s a lot to think about in November. Keeping your skin healthy likely isn’t top of mind. The days are more dark than light, so there’s less sun damage to worry about, right? Well, no. You should keep vigilant about protecting your skin, regardless of the season. So in honor of National Healthy Skin month, let’s talk healthy skin tips. Hint: It’s all about water.

Drink More (Water)!

While it’s hardly revelatory that drinking more water is good for you, it bears repeating. Your body needs water to be healthy. Along with a healthy diet and not smoking, drinking water is one of the primary ways to ensure your skin is healthy from the inside-out. Virginia Mason aesthetician Carlee Katchka recommends drinking half your weight in ounces of water per day. Getting enough omega-3 or 6’s – via fish oil, chia seeds, flaxseed, etc. – is another one of Carlee’s tips to keep your skin hydrated from the inside.

What’s in your moisturizer?

Make sure to moisturize your skinDuring warmer days you may be using lighter, water-based moisturizers. Now’s the time to switch to more lipid-rich moisturizers. “Lipid rich” or “emollient” moisturizers help retain moisture. The weight of your moisturizer depends on your skin type. Carlee suggests lightweight lotions for normal to oily skin, and heavier creams for normal to dry skin. Those wanting a richer, more emollient feel should use more lipid-based creams.

Along the same vein, if deep-cleaning masques are part of your skin care regime, consider switching to a deep-hydrating masque. Vigorous scrubs and harsh soaps can irritate the skin.

Moisturize the Air

Colder temperatures, when paired with dry days, can remove moisture from the skin. Colder temps also mean increased use of heaters. Indoor heat will definitely dry out your skin. Humidifiers are a great way to add some moisture to the air, and thereby your skin.

Carlee advises that with obvious dry skin/texture from dehydration, exfoliating your skin is crucial. We have to (gently) remove this layer of dull skin to allow the moisturizers we use to actually reach our healthy skin.

Extra bonus: humidifiers will keep your nasal passages moist – which not only makes breathing more comfortable, but helps reduce inflammation.  Make sure you use your humidifier safely.

Shed the Wet Clothing

Take off wet clothing right away. Wearing wet clothing is not only uncomfortable, it can lead to skin problems. Wet clothes chafe and irritate the skin, potentially creating rashes and cracked skin. (Cold, wet clothing also lowers your core temperature, which can lead to hypothermia. But that’s another matter.)

(The Water) Is Too Darned Hot

Don’t overcompensate for the cold weather by taking scalding baths. Hot water dries out the skin, removing healthy oils from your skin. Excessively hot water can also inflame the skin, causing itching and rashes – particularly if you have sensitive skin.

Don’t Forget the SPF

Always wear sunscreen when outdoors, even if it’s a cloudy day. Especially if you’re on snow (frozen water) that reflects the sun. OK, that may be stretching the water metaphor a bit, but the caution is real. Ultraviolet rays from the sun – whether diffused by clouds or not – are one of the leading causes of skin damage, including skin cancer. Carlee recommends using a sunscreen with an SPF 30 or higher, and applying it to all visible skin: not just your face, but your ears, neck and hands too. Don’t forget to check the expiration date to make sure your sunscreen hasn’t expired!

Want more expert tips on how to update your winter skin regime? Come to the Virginia Mason Medi Spa. Carlee Katchka and the other experienced aestheticians can help you achieve healthy skin, not just in November, but throughout the year.

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