Love Your Skin- Cold Weather Beauty Tips
Like so many, I struggle with dry skin in the winter time. My hands are often cracked and scratchy from washing them too much, my cuticles- a dry mess, my scalp (hate to admit this one) always gets a little flaky in the winter. So what can we do to help combat the cold weather and in particular it’s drying effects on our skin?
Here is the skinny on a few of my cold weather beauty secrets…
1. Everyday our skin benefits from Good Nutrition. Our bodies work from the inside out. And if you want your skin to have that healthy glow about it, you must start by eating right. Although wrinkles and and acne can come and go during different times in our life, eating a balanced diet allows our skin to be at it’s best.
* Make a conscious effort to eat more fruits and vegetables, especially in the winter months. In the summer, when fresh produce is so abundant, it’s much easier to remember to eat healthy. We stop at a Farmer’s Markets and many of us even grow our own gardens. But in the winter, it’s easier to forget these important colorful foods packed with vitamins, which are skin enhancing power houses.
* Don’t forget to include heart healthy fats in your diet. At a time of year, when so many people are starting diets- fat can be left out of the picture. Although we don’t want to BE Fat. Fat in our diets helps our bodies absorb the many vitamins and minerals we need for beautiful skin. Foods with heart/skin healthy fats: Olive & Canola Oil, Fresh Avocado, Walnuts.
Four of my favorite foods for beautiful skin:
- Sweet Potatoes: They are an excellent source of beta-carotene. (FYI-veggies that are bright orange- are a great source) Beta-carotene is converted by your body to vitamin A, which is a nutrient that continually generates new & healthy skin cells.
- Spinach: This mean green fighting machine delivers a trifecta of wrinkle-fighting antioxidants: vitamin C, vitamin E, and beta-carotene. All three work together o protect your skin from the sun (UV rays) and help it stay vibrant and healthy! Hint: Add spinach to your fruit smoothies in the blender (you won’t taste it I promise!) or add some to your favorite pasta sauce.
- Carrots: Like Sweet Potatoes (obvious by the orange) supply lots of beta-carotene. In addition to its lovely job in skin-cell renewal, beta carroten is also a strong antioxidant. Antioxidants soak up free radicals which are know for accelerating skin aging. How to eat them? Raw of course or my favorite- Carrot Soup (which reminds me…post my recipe soon!)
- Sunflower seeds: are loaded with vitamin E, a nutrient vital for skin health and not on the nut allergy list. By forming a protective barrier in the cell membranes of your skin, the vitamin E in sunflower seeds helps to ward off harmful free radicals and keeps skin firm and elastic. And if you don’t like sunflower seeds, try pecans or almonds. FYI- many cereals on the market like Total Raisin Bran are also fortified with vitamin E. Note: nuts and seeds do pack a lot of calories in a small handful, be aware of their calories while benefiting from their Nutrition.
2. Drink lots of water. It’s easy in the winter to gulp down extra coffee or a mug of hot chocolate to stay warm, but remember caffeinated beverages can dehydrate you and leave your skin looking extra dry. Tea, decaf or regular, which contains much less caffeine than coffee, is a good choice. Teas contain natural compounds known as polyphenols, which have antioxidant properties. Don’t like tea, try warming up a cup of water and add a little honey and lemon. You’ll also get a little extra Vitamin C, that your skin so loves to receive.
3. Always moisturize your skin right after you get out of the shower or tub. This is when your skin will best absorb the moisturizer. I have very sensitive skin and am a big fan of Aveeno Body lotion which you can pick up at any local drugstore. And want to hear my biggest secret? You know that purple tube of cream you used when you were nursing, Lanisoh? Mix that with a little of a lighter creamier lotion and put it on your hands, especially your cuticles. It is an instant cure to cracked dry skin and torn up or ripped cuticles. Maybe I should market that! At night, use Lanisoh alone, but I find it way to sticky to use alone during the day.
4. For my FACE, I am a big believer in Old Fashioned Oil of Olay. I say Old fashioned because I have memories of my grandmother. She swore by it (and had great skin by the way!) Every Christmas we would buy that pink bottle of cream to put in her stocking. I have also tried the Oil of Olay Regenerist line and find it very gentle. I’ve just started using the wrinkle reducing cream…keep you posted on how that works. Also, use a liquid foundation with sunscreen. Those powder mineral makeups that may be lovely in the summer will just settle in your wrinkles and make you look older!
Here is another trick, unless you have oily skin, try washing your skin ONLY at night with cleanser followed with a moisturizer. BUT in the morning, just splash your face with water, pat dry and moisturize. I know manufacturers tell you to wash your face twice a day with their products, but that is nonsense. In my opinion, it’s a way to sell you more soap! Too much washing just strips your skin of it’s natural moisture.
5. If you have a flaky scalp in the winter, try using an over the counter product like Head and Shoulders and see if that helps. Follow with a hydrating conditioner. If you still have a real issue with dandruff after trying over the counter shampoo, consult with a Dermatologist. It could be something more like eczema or psoriasis. Also, if you use a flat iron on your hair, make sure you use a product to help protect your hair from being sizzled! Sizzled hair is not pretty whether it’s wavy or flat.
6. If you color your hair (seriously, I think just about every hair on my head is really Gray!) try using L’Oreal Root Rescue in between colorings. It’s exhausting, expensive and drying to color your hair every 4-6 weeks. By using L’Oreal Root Rescue, which takes just 10-15 minutes, you can stretch out your Salon visits and…Bonus- Save some time and money! I’ve also tried Clairol Root Touch Up, but don’t think the color lasted as long for me.
7. Wash your hair every other day or every two days. Try a Dry Shampoo in between washings if you feel as if your hair is looking “greasy!” This may sound grouse at first, but washing your hair every day (especially in the dry winter months) is very drying. Dry Shampoo get the oily dirt out.
8. Introduce new products to your skin one at a time. This way if you have a reaction, you know which product it is AND won’t blame it on the wind.
9. Love your hat or get a Cute Crochet Knit Headwrap If you have an adorable winter hat or warm headband on your head, you’ll feel beautiful playing outside, even on the coldest day. Being outside helps your body generate it’s own vitamin D. Head to the stores this week if you need an update. All coats, hats and gloves are on CLEARANCE. Fresh air is good for you and will give your cheeks a rosy glow.
10. Hit the gym or go for a walk at lunch. Winter is that time of year that it just feels good to hibernate or snuggle up on the couch to watch the latest sinful activities of the Bachelor. Make a serious effort to stay active and fit. If you don’t belong to a gym, can’t afford it or are intimidated, THINK about getting the Wii Fit Plus with or without the Balance Boardor just try walking at your local Mall during your lunch hour (leave your credit cards at home!) The fitter you are, the more beautiful you will feel.
And no matter what, remember to laugh. . All beauty starts on the inside. Audry Hepburn said, “For beautiful eyes, look for the good in others; for beautiful lips, speak only words of kindness and for poise, walk with the knowledge that you are never alone.”
Kristie Finnan is a Registered Dietitian/Licensed Nutritionist, Freelance Writer and Published Children's Author. She is the Mom of 3 and Food Snob with a passion for Nutrition Education, Healthy Kids Foods, Marketing and Social Media. Kristie is the Creative Director/Editor for www.DivaDietitian.com and www.KidsLoveFood.com & Founder of www.DoylestownNutrition.com. Diva Dietitian blogs in Full Disclosure. Please see: http://kristiefinnan.com/about/disclosure.