There is no question that the cold air wreaks havoc on our skin and for many of us, dryness is a huge concern. In anticipation of the cold temperature outside and the dry heat indoors, skin care expert, Renee Rouleau, offers A Girl's Gotta Spa! readers some precautionary steps to take to prepare your skin for the cold front!
-Reanalyze your current routine:
How do we know when it's time to change up our daily skin routine? The key is to really listen to your skin. If your skin doesn't feel comfortable then a product is not working how it's meant to. It's time for a change! Ask yourself if your skin feels too tight or maybe you're discovering excess oil. What product in your routine might be causing these symptoms? Is one of your moisturizers leaving a greasy residue? Or if your skin is flaking then perhaps it's time to go easy on exfoliating. If you have questions that can't be answered on your own, take a look at our 9 Skin Types or e-mail Renee Rouleau for suggestions!
Bottom line: If the products aren't working, your skin will let you know!
-Be sure to perform your night time routine:
When the heat is on at night that means your skin has dry air blowing on it for about six hours or more while you sleep. Good for you but not for your skin. This makes your night time skin care routine crucial because your skin needs to adjust to a different environment. As we know, our skin repairs and rejuvenates while we sleep and this process cannot unfold properly unless we remove the dirt and grime from the day. While our skin repairs, we must prevent damage from the dry heat. We do this by using a nighttime moisturizer (any moisturizer without SPF) that is appropriate for your skin type. Often, I find that clients believe their night time moisturizer has to be heavy or greasy to last through the night, but that is not always true. The most important aspect of skin care is matching your products with your skin type so battle off the dry heat and help your skin rejuvenate with the appropriate products.
-Use a humidifier, in your bedroom, especially if you are acne prone:
Before switching to heavier products try out this secret solution. Put a humidifier in your bedroom! It sounds so simple but this trick will work, especially if you are acne-prone. When we feel our skin getting dryer our first idea is to use a heavier, creamier moisturizer. For acne- prone skin a heavier product may create more damage because, in this case, a product switch is unnecessary. A humidifier will put more moisture into the air, which will regulate your bedroom's environment. Your skin can grab more hydration without causing you to purchase a new moisturizer.
-Incorporate more products into your routine:
The basics may not be enough as your skin changes with the winter climate. Applying only moisturizer consistently is important; however, when your skin craves more hydration, the answer is not adding on extra layers of moisturizer, especially for those of you who experience clogged pores. The solution for alleviating tight, dry skin is using a water- based serum to accompany your moisturizer. Use the serum underneath your moisturizer to hydrate the skin because the damp skin will help to absorb your regular moisturizer more effectively.
-Switch to a milder cleanser:
I cannot stress enough the importance of not only washing your skin morning and night, but also to use a cleanser that will not dry the skin and cause damage.
Many foaming and gel cleansers made today are formulated with an ingredient called Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, Sodium Laureth Sulfate or Ammonium Laureth Sulfate. This ingredient is a surfactant; a cleansing agent that cuts oil from the skin. These ingredients are simply too harsh and will strip the water out of the skin after every washing leaving the skin feeling tight and creating more oil and shine. And what you wash with is the MOST important part of your skin care routine. Why? Because if you wash with a foaming cleanser or soap that is too drying, it pulls all the water out of the skin and creates dead, dry skin cell buildup. Then you have to quickly run and put your moisturizer on to put back in what you just took out! It makes no sense! Choose either cleansing lotions or gel cleansers that avoid the harsh ingredient, Sodium or Ammonium Lauryl Sulfate. These are better choices as they will effectively deep clean the pores but will not rob the skin of much needed water.
Remember the rule: More lather, more drying. Less lather, less drying. All Renee Rouleau cleansers are sulfate-free.
Check out Renee's skin care blog for more great skin care tips!