Archive for December 2014

Winter Skin Care

skinDry skin can be a serious problem in our dry Colorado climate, especially in the winter when the air holds less moisture. Severely dry skin, sometimes called xerosis makes skin look dull and flaky and is often very inflamed. Dry skin can be itchy, and become cracked and fissured leaving us more prone to infection. It can also lead to rashes, eczema and skin discoloration.
Dry skin results when lipids (oils) in the skin are depleted and the water content in the stratum corneum layer of the skin decreases. Skin just doesn’t function properly when there is not enough water in the stratum corneum. As we age, some of the lipids in the skin decrease making it more difficult for the skin to hold water resulting in dry skin. Others who are more prone to dry skin are healthcare workers and those in food preparation because they wash their hands more often which depletes the lipids.
Here are some tips to help deal with and prevent dry skin.

Some tips include:

1. Drink more water. It is easier to hydrate the skin from the inside out.

2. Exfoliate, but just a little. Moisturizers can soak into the skin easier when the dead layer of skin on the outside is removed. Too much exfoliation however can damage skin.

3. Decrease the length and temperature of your showers. Now I know a very long, hot shower feels great when it is blustery outside, but hotter and longer showers can remove more of the natural protective oils from the skin causing more water loss.

4. Moisturize. There is a tendency with some to use just oils and butters on dry skin, but I recommend a moisturizer that contains water. When moisturizing we are trying to put water back into the skin and only water can ‘moisturize’. A heavier product rich in oils though is good to help prevent water loss from the skin. I also look for products that have some kind of protein because that too will coat and protect the skin.

5.  Use a non-drying Soap. Some commercial soaps and deodorant soaps can be harsh and strip oil from the skin. Hand crafted soaps are usually moisturizing and contain an excess amount of oil for protection. Ask you soapmaker if they ‘superfat’. I particularly like shea butter soaps.

6. Look for beneficial skin care ingredients. Antioxidants and anti-inflammatories are good ingredients to have in your skin care products. Look for things like botanicals, green tea, vitamins and allantoin.

7. Wear gloves. Wearing gloves on your hands can help prevent the cold and the wind from pulling moisture from your skin.

8. Facial Hydration. Use a hydrating facial mister throughout the day as necessary to keep the face hydrated.

9. Improve your diet. What you eat is as important as what you put on your skin. Remember to get healthy oils in your diet like olive oil and almonds.

10. Use a humidifier. If necessary, a humidifier in the bedroom while you sleep can work wonders.

Destress Tips for the Holidays

lavender bathMany people, including myself, feel stress this time of year. There is so much to do and so many people depending upon us.  Here are some things you can do to destress and enjoy the Holiday Season more.

Spritz Lavender. Lavender has some very relaxing and anti-anxiety properties. Spritzing your skin and face can help you feel more refreshed and relaxed. See our Facial Hydrators here.

Keep your skin care routine; routine is important and comfortable to continue in times of stress.

Take a bath and add some lavender or rose scented salts to the bath.

Drink calming tea (Lemon Green, Lavender black, chamomile, lemon balm). Tea is rich in antioxidants and can help the body recover from stress. See my recipe here for a lemon balm tea.

Buy yourself a little something too. While buying gifts for others there is nothing wrong with picking up a little something for yourself.

Exercise. Be sure to get outside once a day regardless of the weather for some exercise. Even a short walk can help relieve stress and help your mind refocus.

Sing and Dance. Put on your favorite song and sing and dance around the house. Feel free to act crazy while doing this (no one is watching)!

Take a B complex vitamin. Stress can deplete the body of some vitamins, particularly vitamin B.

Stretch the muscles. Even while watching TV you can sit on the floor and do some stretches. Work on the hamstrings, abdomen and lower back. Be sure to practice deep breathing while doing this and you will feel the stress leave your body.

Volunteer. Once you focus on helping others in need your own issues tend to dissolve.  I love Audrey Hepburn’s quote: “As you grow older you will discover that you have two hand; one for helping yourself and the other for helping others.”