Brrrrrr! Can you feel winter in the air? Even here in sunny Los Angeles we've been having extremely brisk temperatures as of late. Now, I know 40 degrees is nothing compared to what many of you are enduring, chill-wise, but it's still cold (especially to us Southern California folk) and still warrants taking precautions to make sure that the chilly temps don't get the best of us. Therefore, I'm sharing some tips on keeping your cool (skin care-wise) during the... well... cool.
H2O a go-go
Just because you're not feeling as hot (temperature-wise) doesn't mean you should ease up on the necessary amount of water you should drink per day (depending on your individual needs). Consuming water is good for your internal system year round. When that's operating at peak capacity, your skin (and everything else) is going to reflect it with a healthy glow. So even if you're not feeling as parched as you might in the middle of July, keep up the water-drinking habit 24/7/365. (Well, not while you're asleep -- but you get the idea.) To help calculate how much water you should be drinking a day, click here.
When it comes to protecting your lips, not all lipbalms are created equal. Look for a formula with shea butter, which goes on soft (as opposed to waxy). If you're wearing color on your lips, choose a lipstick with lip balm built in (you want to moisturize while you glamorize).
Most hairstylists will tell you that during the winter your hair doesn't need washed as often as it does during the warmer months of the year. This doesn't mean you shouldn't "clean" your hair. But try using shampoo on one day, conditioner on the next and then just hot water (along with a vigorous scalp massage) on the day after. Try this routine out and your hair just might thank you for it -- by looking healthier (please don't expect a verbal thank you from your hair).
Give Yourself a Hand
Hands have fewer oil glands, which means they get drier faster than the rest of your body. Thus, it's important to moisturize your hands often during winter months -- especially if, like me, you're constantly washing your hands (sometimes with harsh soaps) in order to avoid winter-related germs. And if the temperatures are especially frigid outside, don't forget the gloves (needed as much for comfort as they are for protection).
Don't Forget the Sunscreen
Just because it's winter doesn't mean you shouldn't leave the house without your SPF in place on your exposed skin. Look for moisturizing formulas with a SPF of 15 (a more reasonable amount recommended for winter months, as opposed to SPF 30, which is recommended by dermatologists during the summer). Don't forget that when the sun is shining, cancer-causing UVA rays can even pass through car windows -- no matter how cold it is outside.
With moisturizing lotion, that is. This reccomendation applies to your face as much as it does to your body. The same moisturizer you use during the summer doesn't offer the necessary protection you need for winter's chill (and winds) -- no matter what your home turf's version of winter is. When it comes to a skin moisturizer for the body, (again) look for something with shea butter listed in the ingredients. As for the face, skip the gel-based formulas you might use in the summer and look for something with a creamier base.
Most skin-care specialists recommend not painting your toenails if they're going to be covered up during winter months (more to give your toenails a break from harsh polish removers than anything else). A sweet evening footcare routine can include moisturizing your tootsies with foot cream and then putting on your favorite pair of wooly socks to help encourage the cream to do its best work.
Do you have any winter rituals you put into play for your own skin-care routines at this time of year? If so, I'd love to hear them. Until then, please stay warm -- weather you're facing a Southern California winter or something a little more extreme.