Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Getting Ready for Winter

Starting to cool off but that doesn't mean we can stop paying attention to our skin. Most people do cover up and wear sunblock on hot summer days, but it is just as important to protect yourself in the fall and winter months.

Sun Protection – Everyone carries a bottle of sunscreen with them in their beach bag, but not many people lather up on cold and wintery days. However, protecting your skin from the sun is vital at any time of the year, even in the winter. While UVB rays from the sun peak during summer heat, UVA rays, which are just as capable of causing a sunburn, are as prevalent in the winter as they are in the summer. Furthermore, snow reflects the sun’s rays, which can lead to a major sunburn; this is not a surprise for many skiers who often come back from the slopes extremely sunburned. Both ultraviolet rays can not only cause your skin to look older, breaking down collagen, but can also cause wrinkles, freckles sunspots, and can lead to skin cancer. To protect your skin from the sun, apply sunblock of at least 30 SPF, and wear a hat and sunglasses.

Moisturize, Moisturize, Moisturize – It is extremely important to moisturize the skin during winter. Skin reacts to the lack of moisture in the air in heated offices and homes. Winds will peel the skin’s layers and remove its natural oils, which will cause more damage the already dry skin. To counteract the dry skin, as well as any unexpected fall or winter sunburns, skin should be moisturized with Aloe Vera. Dr. Willard’s Aloe Gel is a great solution to care for the skin all year long, as it contains natural ingredients, as well as the Willard Water® patented catalyst. This product can restore moisture to the skin after exposure to the most severe temperatures.

Wear Gloves – Just as your face can get dry during the colder months, so do your hands. Since the skin on the hands is thinner than on other body parts, as well as having less oil glands, the moisture is more difficult to contain, leading to itchy and extremely sensitive hands.

A great tip to protect your hands is to wear gloves when the temperatures drop; however make sure to take off wet gloves immediately, as they may lead to even more dryness. When you come inside, slip the gloves off and apply a moisturizer. Wearing thin cotton gloves for an hour after applying moisturizer to the hands will also work to lock in the lotion, boosting its effect.

Invest in a Humidifier – Cold and dry air is an enemy to the skin, sucking the moisture out, and causing the skin to dry, crack, flake and age faster. Humidifiers are worth the investment by increasing humidity levels and restoring moisture in the air. This returns moisture not only to your furniture but to your skin.

Skin Scrub and Masks – A great scrub can eliminate dry patches on rough skin, especially on the elbows and knees. There are a variety of scrubs and masks available but our favorite is the Episilk Moisture mask.

Homemade scrub: contains only two ingredients - honey and coarse sugar. Mixing the two in a small container, and then rubbing it into the skin in a circular motion can not only remove dry skin build-ups, but also improve circulation in the skin. Do not use on face until you have tested on other parts of the body.

Remember that your skin is the largest organ you have, and one that deserves attention at all times of the year. When the weather turns cooler, there are certain routines that are vital to keep your skin looking healthy, vibrant and young.