Winterizing Your Skin

With the official start of winter being only a couple of short weeks away, I thought I would share a little information on how to care for you skin and how you can keep it looking it’s very best. So how do you determine what products are right for your skin? Do you go according to the latest used in Hollywood? Is it by household tradition, where everyone in the family used the same thing? Or maybe you go for a more simplistic method and use whatever is on sale for the week?

Well at one time I did all of the above. It was by process of elimination that I had to learn that every one’s skin is different and what works for me, may not work for you. I am NOT a skin expert. However, I do think I have found what works best for me, as I’m sure you have …or have we?

We all know that the top layer of our skin is the most sensitive and therefore, we must keep it protected. There are plenty of soaps on the market that smell nice and appear to leave our skin clean; however, some end up leaving a film or making it dryer with the combination of chloride found in water. According to Dr. Oz, when the outer layer of our skin becomes dry and cracked, it is stripped of it’s natural oils. Once this happens, the skin becomes susceptible to bacteria and the risk for infection can arise. This is the reason why we need to make sure we have a good barrier in the form of a moisturizer.

I personally use Dove’s Beauty Bar. It has been my go to cleanser/moisturizer for half of my life. When I have tried other soaps in the past, I found nearly all of them made my skin feel itchy and dry afterwards. With Dove, no matter the season, it has always kept me moisturized and made my skin feel oh so smooth. Now that I am getting older, I do wonder if Dove is going to be enough. Did you know that as time goes on the rate of skin cell turnover slows down? With that being said, we need to make sure that we are giving our bodies the extra nurtients it needs to maintain a healthy appearance inside and out.

 One thing we can start out doing is making sure we have enough intake of antioxidants and Omega 3 found in foods like bluberries and walnuts. In addition, we need to make sure we are taking our vitamins. Particularly Vitamins A, B and C. This will help our skin create new layers, enhances our metabolism and rebuild the collagen in our skin. Now, you can eat the specific foods that warrant these vitamins or you can actually take vitamin pills/gummies daily to help achieve the same results. Don’t forget about your water. It is a nautral way of flushing out your system and hydrating your skin at the same time!

For most of us, our face, hands and feet are more commonly exposed on a daily basis. I have tried an actual exfoliating bar like Dove, which have tiny little blue micro beads and that are not harsh on your skin. Just like the original Dove, it makes my skin nice and smooth after use. When it comes to feet, aint nothing like some good ol’ Epsom Salt! It has many uses for your entire body inside and out. Another thing to think about is getting an exfoliating brush. Don’t worry, if you can’t afford a Clarisonic system, there are others that are similar being sold for far more reasonable prices at places like Wal-Mart and Target.

 Here’s something to make you laugh! I used to believe that in order for me to “deep clean” my skin, I had to scrub myself as hard as possible. You see, I grew up with an African mother, which means some traditions never change no matter how long you have been in America. In this case, bath time was one of them. My mother use to bathe us with a rag that was blue in color and looked like a piece of fish net. Please don’t get it twisted, it was nothing like those cute and colorful looking sponges you find at Wal-Mart for under a $1.

When I say that rag was rough, it was rough! My mother scrubbed my entire body with it and my face was no exception. If you can believe it, I honestly saw my bath time as punishment. I could wouldn’t wait for that rag to wear out and become tolerable. However, once that happenend, of course it was time for a new one! Needless to say, as I got older, I learned that I didn’t have to use the “fish net” style rag, to get ” deep clean.” It was just simply finding the right cleanser.

Now, getting back to exfoliating…be sure to do it no more than 2-3 times a week. More than that is over exfoliating and you can end up damaging your skin and causes it to age more. Other signs to look for is your skin turning red and becoming even dryer in appearance. Other methods that are being used are Microdermabrasion and Chemical Peels. These method are used when trying to get rid of large amounts of dead skin. Such include acne and skin discolorations.

As far as a good moisturizer, I look to make sure that the product is thick yet goes on light such as the raw form of shea and cocoa butter. In general, when looking for a moisturizer, make sure to look for other important ingredients like lanolin, aloe, jojba oil, glycerin and carotene. All of these things help the skin retain it’s moisture and supple state. Other products I use for me and my family on a daily basis include Aveeno and Eucerine. Well, so much for a little information!;