My lips are chapped, my skin is dry and itchy, and it’s only the beginning of winter! What do you recommend for these problems?
A: It seems like we went from summer to winter just like that — and the abuse our skin gets from sun exposure to the dead of winter with cold winds and heated homes is sapping every bit of moisture from our skin, with no time for recovery.
This is leading to a particularly itchy holiday season. Now is the time to get ahead of the game and prep your skin for what is predicted to be a loooong winter.
First of all, the biggest culprits for dry skin and chapped lips are not the elements bombarding you outside, but the comforts we take inside the house. Cranking up the heater sucks up all the moisture in the house, leaving none for your parched skin.
So, get ahead of your New Years resolutions and resolve now to increase your water consumption. Bonus: Having a belly full of water will help keep you from overindulging on holiday treats (at least a little…mmmm, fudge).
Also, it seems counter-intuitive, but lingering in a hot shower will make your skin drier. In theory, we should all be taking short, lukewarm showers, and that might be fine and dandy further south, but it’s cold up here in the mountains and mama needs her steam. So, to combat the moisture-zapping effect, lotion every inch as soon as you get out of the shower. Try switching to a heavy duty cream or lotion infused with shea butter, like Nivea Smooth Sensation ($7).
Gentle exfoliating several times a week is the most important step to ridding yourself of the inevitable dead skin that plagues you. We are all used to the body scrubs with little grains of sand or sugar in them, but if used too often or too aggressively, the traditional scrubs can leave tiny cuts or scratches on your skin and aggravate the problem. An alternative is chemical exfoliation. Gold Bond Rough and Bumpy Skin uses a combination of AHA, BHA, and PHA to gently exfoliate while moisturizing.
Dry skin is especially noticeable on the gentle skin of your face that is constantly exposed to the elements. Unless you want to scare the pants off of everyone by trying to pick up your kids wearing a ski mask; I don’t recommend it.
Unfortunately, when see those patchy spots of flaky skin, the temptation to pile on lotion will only protect your skin from further damage — but it won’t actually solve the problem. You have to exfoliate. The dream would be one perfect product for every skin type across the board, but sadly, there’s no such thing.
My recommendation is to look at your favorite skin care line, whether it be Olay, Estee Lauder or Mary Kay, doesn’t matter. If your skin reacts well to it, look to the same line for either a chemical exfoliator or something gentle like jojoba beads. Finish off your routine with a lotion with sunscreen. Even though we associate sun damage with warmer weather, those UV rays haven’t gone anywhere and even reflect off of snow and clouds for a double whammy. Also, chemical exfoliators can make your skin more susceptible to burns.
Now, to prettify your pucker! One more time: exfoliate. Yes, even your lips, but no one wants to put a yucky chemical that close to your mouth, so this is a perfect time to DIY a scrub with a tablespoon of brown sugar and a dash of honey. To repair already dry lips, gently rub your yummy scrub in circles on your lips. Once repaired, prevent any more flakes by keeping a protective product on your lips at all time.
My kids and I like the flavor free Aquaphor and the silicone like substance is great for protection and repair. It is also great for chapped ears or a red nose. If you want a little color, Baby Lips by Maybelline comes in several different hues and isn’t sticky or flavored like some glosses. I cannot resist licking my lips if I wear anything flavored..like a 3 year old…it’s a real problem.
Okay, now that I have been sitting here itching the entire time I wrote this, whether it is psychosomatic or my own neglectful skin care, I’m going to go douse myself with body balm and curl up with a cup of cocoa…or wine. We’ll see how smoothly bed-time goes.
Happy Thanksgiving, my Lovely Ladies!
Andi, mom to three adorable kiddos, loves playing with makeup and hair. Lucky for us, she shares all her tips and tricks with us here on Beauty Buzz! If you have a question for Andi, send it to firstname.lastname@example.org.