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Beat The Winter Skin Blues


by Livia Mercer

With the onset of winter around the corner, a lot of us will experience dry skin. Our initial reaction can be to rush out and buy a heavier or more emollient moisturizer. While in some cases this is needed, for the most of us that is not the case.

To start with let me explain what a moisturizer is and isn't. The word moisturizer is actually quite misleading as it does not add any moisture to the skin. As we age our skin gets thinner allowing moisture to escape. The moisturizer simply acts as a barrier, preventing water loss and helping to maintain existing moisture levels in the skin. So how do we keep and maintain baby soft and comfortable skin during winter? Here are a few recommendations to go by:

  • Only use very Gentle Cleansers and Scrubs. Sometimes our tendency is to scrub those dead skin cells away as fast as we can. This however can do a lot of damage to the skin. Rather try an exfoliating lotion like Clinique Clarifying Moisture Lotion or Shiseido Bio-performance Intensive Clarifying Essence. These chemically exfoliate the skin without harsh granules to scratch or irritate the skin.
  • Use water-rich products rather than oil-rich. Sometimes all the skin really needs is literally water or moisture rather than oils in the form of a moisturizer, especially if you are in a particularly drying environment such as high winds, flying or extreme cold. In this case make sure your skin is moist before applying your moisturizer.

    There are some great spitzes on the market that really hydrate the skin such as House of Herbs Organic Rose Hydrating Mist, Claudalie Grape Water, and Shiseido Skin Care Soothing Spray. Clinique also has a whole range called Moisture Surge and it contains a gel-cream, eye gel and a face spray. These are all great to stop your skin from dehydrating. Personally I always carry a small bottle of face spray with me in my handbag, because most of these sprays you can use over the top of your makeup. So use them throughout the day, whenever you feel the need to.

  • Remember the skin south of your neck too. During winter, dry scaly skin on your legs, knees and elbows is not uncommon. A great way to solve this is to pour body oil in your bathwater. You don't need much - the same amount as if you would be applying it directly to your skin but it's the lazy person's way of making sure your whole body is covered in oil. Also pure olive oil is fantastic, especially for the elbows and knees. Joan Collins recommends this.
  • Keep your lips and eyes well maintained. As both these areas have thinner skin and fewer lipids in the skin than the rest of the face, it is vitally important to look after them well. Not by applying heavy creams as this will only block the pores but by using products that will retain the moisture levels.
  • Remember your hair. Hair takes a beating through the colder months. In summer it's the sun, salt and chlorinated water, in winter it's the hairdryer and the cold. Apply regular hair masks or oils. I love Unrefined Coconut Oil in my hair but some prefer olive oil. Whatever it is you like to use make sure you do it regularly.

Following these suggestions, not only will your skin beat the winter blues but you will also develop great skincare routines that you will take with you into next summer.

Livia Mercer is the creator of The Beauty Review. A free monthly online magazine for women who love beauty and cosmetics and want real product reviews by real women. Livia Mercer may be contacted at The Beauty Review.>


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