Winter Skin Care: Despite Harsh Weather, You Can Keep Your Skin Looking and Feeling Beautiful

By Norment, Lynn | Ebony, December 1990 | Go to article overview

Winter Skin Care: Despite Harsh Weather, You Can Keep Your Skin Looking and Feeling Beautiful


Norment, Lynn, Ebony


WINTER is upon us, and while some may welcome the cooler, breezier weather, no part of your body-or spirit-suffers more than your skin. To combat the harsh effects of wintry weather, you should start right now to beef up your beauty regimen and protect your most visible asset.

Yes, there are some lucky individuals with naturally gorgeous skin, but most men and women have to work hard to counter the effects of not only the weather, but also the environment and the aging process.

Your skin is the body's largest organ. It is alive. It breathes. Vulnerable on two surfaces-inside and out-your skin exists in an environment that is more complex than that of other body systems. As the body's natural protective shield, it regulates body temperature, prevents dehydration, and protects the body against bacterial attack. Through perspiration, the skin eliminates certain wastes from the body. It also aids in transmitting vital nutrients to hair and nails. It is the conduit for pleasure, pain, heat and cold.

The skin must contend with blistering sun, icy winds, the drying of indoor heating systems, the shock of air conditioning, as well as the onslaught of dust, soot, smoke, grease and grime.

From within, it must withstand the assaults of nerves, tensions and emotions. It may suffer from the food we eat, the chemicals we breathe, and the rest and relaxation we fail to get.

Dermatologists stress the importance of a well-balanced diet to healthy skin. Protein helps prevent premature aging. Vitamin A is essential for dry skin and helps correct blackheads and acne.

Drinking plenty of water -at least eight glasses a day-is essential to beautiful skin. You should also be aware that certain foods may affect your skin. Allergic reactions may be caused by chocolate, caffeine, citric acid, shell fish, and soft drinks, as well as a host of other foods.

With proper care, you can keep your skin looking and feeling soft, supple and sensational. And you are never too young to start caring for this precious commodity.

Cleansing

Establishing a good cleansing routine based on your skin type is essential to maintaining a beautiful complexion. Twice daily, thoroughly clean your face to remove old makeup, dirt and the skin's own constantly shedding outer layer. Never sleep in makeup, for it clogs and enlarges the pores and leads to breakouts. There are numerous facial scrubs and other exfoliating products available to help remove dead skin cells and leave your skin vibrant.

Pamper Dry Skin

Winter is especially tough on dry skin, for cold temperatures and harsh winds can cause dehydration. Rather than washing your face with soap and water, use cleansing creams and lotions, followed by a toner. Do not use astringents on dry skin. Lavish on moisturizers to seal in natural oil and protect your skin from the elements.

Before you retire in the evening, use replenishing night creams and other moisturizing treatments. Use gentle exfoliating products.

Short, warm showers are much better for dry skin than long, hot baths. During cold weather, dermatologists recommend that those with dry skin rub on moisturizers before leaving the shower. And when you must submerge your body in water, make sure you add bath oils to help keep your skin silky soft.

Oily Skin Advantage

Because it is less prone to wrinkling, oily skin can be an advantage, especially during cold months. It is most important that you regularly cleanse your face and entire body to prevent blocked pores that tend to cause blackheads, whiteheads and acne in general. There are numerous mild soaps and facial cleansers formulated especially for oily, acne-prone skin.

After washing, use an astringent, and depending on the severity of your oiliness, you may need to use an oil-blotting facial mask. Skin-care specialists also recommend getting facials regularly. …

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