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Archive for November, 2017

Caring for Winter Skin

Thursday, November 9th, 2017

Can you believe winter weather is just around the corner?  Where did the summer go? The leaves are turning.  Soon the trees will be stripped bare, left only with their grey, withered bark to show. The vibrant, supple flowers of summer, left unprotected, will become wilted and drab. Lack of hydration and sudden changes in temperature can have this kind of effect on your skin if you do not take the proper measures to protect it.

As the seasons change, so do the needs of your skin. For most, colder weather can create dry, tight, flakey, blotchy, even irritated skin.  Let’s face it, nothing amplifies your little imperfections (lines, wrinkles, discoloration, aging) the way dehydrated winter skin can.

Think of your skin as your body’s “body guard.” The outer most layer of skin serves as a “barrier layer.” Its purpose is to protect the deeper layers.  This protective barrier locks in the needed hydration and skin nutrients to maintain healthy skin. Because winter is a dry season, retaining moisture can be a big challenge. If your barrier layer becomes dry and depleted, it becomes much more difficult to lock in moisture.

So what can you do to protect your skin this winter?

  1. Keep your thermostat set at 68 degrees or less.  Higher temperatures will dehydrate your skin.
  2. Avoid taking long, hot showers.
  3. Increase your water consumption, especially if you are taking meds for colds, flu, antibiotics etc. Remember that coffee, tea, pop and alcohol can also dehydrate the skin.
  4. CHANGE YOUR HOME CARE ROUTINE WITH THE CHANGE OF THE SEASON:

Talk with a trained Medical skincare specialist, cosmetic plastic surgeon, or dermatologist about how to most effectively change your home skincare routine.

Here are a few general skincare tips…

CLEANSER:

You may need to change you cleanser during the colder months if your skin is affected by wind and climate changes. Pay attention to how your skin feels after you wash it (before you apply your moisturizer). Does it feel tight or dry?  If so, you may find it beneficial to switch from your “warmer weather cleanser” to a gentle, creamy, hydrating cleanser to avoid further irritation of your skin.  The purpose of warmer weather cleansers is to remove excess sebum (oil) and impurities from your skin. If your skin becomes irritated, removing too much sebum from your skin will create further dryness and irritation.  In addition, use a buff puff with your cleanser to help remove dead skin cells.

EXFOLIANTS:

Winter skin tends to look dull.  To keep it glowing, use a daily exfoliant such as a 10% glycolic acid.

HYDRATE / MOISTURIZE (in layers):

Maintaining healthy, balanced skin during colder months often requires an increased level of hydration. By this, I am not indicating that you should just apply twice as much moisturizer to your skin. Moisturizer building is best done in layers.  First apply a moisture-enhancing serum, such a hyaluronic acid, squalene or ceramides to enhance your protective barrier function.  Then apply your regular day or night moisturizer next.   Moisturizers that nourish the skin and replenish are essential for maintaining a healthy moisture barrier.

SUN PROTECTION:

I can’t say enough about this topic.  SUNBLOCK, SUNBLOCK, SUNBLOCK.  UVA rays are JUST as prevalent on bitter cold winter days. Remember that UVA rays penetrate deeper into your skin then it’s more well known partner- in- crime – the UVB ray. UVB rays are at least courteous enough to most skin types to let you know when you have been over-exposed to the sun (red or tan skin, burning, blisters…). UVA rays are a bit more sneaky. Because UVA rays penetrate more deeply, they do not leave the same immediate superficial signs of over exposure.  Eventually and unexpectedly,  it pops and says “surprise – got cha”, in the form of brown spots, broken vessels, leathery, wrinkled, yellowed, damaged skin.  Oh, and let’s not forget the more than one million new “surprises” it dished out this year alone in the form of “skin cancer.”

Keep in mind that sun reflects off snow, water, glass… further increasing its harmful abilities. I recommend using a sun block that has these blufour forms of defense.

  1. A physical block agent such as micronized titanium dioxide or zinc oxide at 7% or higher with an SPF of 45 or higher.
  2. A chemical sunscreen
  3. Anti-oxidants
  4. Tinted sun block – (iron oxides)

For more information on choosing a sun block, check our blog archives for a very detailed description.  You may also schedule a FREE skin consultation appointment with me, (Roxanne- Skincare and Laser Specialist) in either our Savoy 0ffice 217-359-7508  (Champaign-Urbana area) or Bloomgton office 217-309-662-0436 for more information specific to your skin type and skin concerns.

https://www.cosmeticplasticsurgery.com/cosmetic-surgery/skin-resurfacing.cfm

https://www.cosmeticplasticsurgery.com/cosmetic-surgery/facials.cfm

Roxanne, Skincare & Laser Specialist

Roxanne Hammond, RMA
Skincare and Laser Specialist
G. D. Castillo, M.D.
COSMETIC PLASTIC SURGERY
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https://www.cosmeticplasticsurgery.com
800-252-7123 (within IL)
217-359-7508 Savoy (Champaign-Urbana)
309-662-0436 Bloomington