NEW YEAR, NEW HEALTHY SKIN

NEW YEAR, NEW HEALTHY SKIN

With just a few weeks left of 2020, now’s the time when many of us begin to look forward to the new year and make some goals and resolutions. While self-care has been a popular resolution in recent years, one small part of that, skincare, is not often something that people resolve to change. By adding some steps to your daily routine, however, you could be enjoying softer, better-looking, healthy skin by the time Auld Lang Syne is sung at midnight on January 1. And if you keep them up, you will be able to avoid much of the typical throughout the season. Let us find out how we can all enjoy healthy skin in the new year and beyond.

HYDRATE, HYDRATE, HYDRATE

When you are going through the holiday season, drinking water will do so much for your healthy skin goals and the rest of your body! You will probably be spending more time at home than usual this season, but that means that you are in with the artificial heating you use in your home, and it’s easy for that to contribute to dull, dry skin. Since outdoor gatherings may continue throughout the winter, you will also be exposed to lots of sun and wind, as well as snow and maybe sleet.

Keeping yourself well-hydrated will help keep your healthy skin from becoming dehydrated. (Drinking water also helps balance out the effects of too much alcohol and too much caffeine, both of which can be overdone this time of year!) While you are drinking your fluids (remember, apple cider counts as a liquid unless it is spiked, in which case you will need to drink more water to compensate for the alcohol), you should also focus on adding hydration from the outside in. Slather on some rich creams and lotions to keep healthy skin comfortable.

Look for anti-aging products – these will promote cell turnover, which will keep dry skin from accumulating in areas like your elbows and knees. You also might consider using a humidifier. These add moisture to the air, which will keep your skin softer and ease any chapping around your nose or lips. The one caveat here is that you need to clean it properly and keep mildew from building up. A dirty humidifier is worse for you than no humidifier, so be sure that you have time to maintain it if you buy or use one.

CLEAN UP YOUR SHOWER ROUTINE

Nothing feels better to start or end a day than to stand under a scalding shower for 20 or 30 minutes at a time. You might enjoy lathering up with fragranced potions using a body puff or loofah… bliss, right? Unfortunately, this routine is likely drying out your skin and should be modified. First, lower the temperature of your shower a little. Hot water feels good, but it also dries out your skin by stripping necessary oils.

Ditch the body puff because these tend to accumulate bacteria over time (yuck!). If you must use one, at least replace it monthly or a bit more often. A clean washcloth (returned after every shower) is your best bet for lathering up. Choose a cream-based cleanser rather than a translucent shower gel. These also come in yummy scents, so you are not giving up anything in that regard! Look for something containing aloe vera or jojoba and try to avoid those containing sulfates.

DO NOT FORGET SERUMS AND LOTIONS

Serums that add moisture to the skin are a great addition to your daily skincare routine. There are some available for your eye area, which is particularly sensitive to harsh winter weather. You might choose anti-aging serums containing vitamin C (which neutralizes free radicals that can cause skin damage), hyaluronic acid, or both! Look at what each serum does to find one suitable for your skin type. You want to use your serum before you put on your lotion. Any moisturizer you use on your face should be non-comedogenic.

Your body’s skin can handle some oil; in fact, oil-based creams can help hold in moisture. Do not use the same cream you use on your dry elbows on your face, just inviting acne and other skin issues. During the summer, the light lotions you use might not be enough for your dry body skin now; switch to a body butter or a more decadent cream. You also might want to choose wintertime scents like vanilla, brown sugar, and spices rather than the light florals and fruity smells you used all summer, but that’s up to you!

YES, YOU NEED SUNSCREEN IN THE WINTER

Any skin that is exposed needs to be protected from the sun. This means that you do not need sunscreen on your back if you are wearing typical winter-wear, but you do need it on the back of your hands, your wrists, your neck, and your face. If you are wearing a dress or skirt, you should also apply it to your legs below your hemline, even if you are wearing tights. You can get a sunburn any time of year, and during the winter, any snow on the ground will reflect sunlight onto your skin. So be sure to keep sunscreen as part of your daily routine all year long.

DO NOT PUT OFF NECESSARY DERMATOLOGICAL CARE

Finally, we know it’s been a weird year for getting medical care, but if you are due for a dermatological checkup, don’t put it off. If you are struggling with skin issues like eczema, psoriasis, rosacea, acne, or other problems, talk to your primary care doctor about getting a referral to a dermatologist. Many will be able to make telehealth appointments, so do not let safety concerns get in the way of getting the care you need. Skincare is more than just skin-deep, and having skin that looks and feels great will help you start the year off right.

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