Winter Preparation

Let’s face it, winter weather can be tough on us. The moment we switch on the heat in our homes everything begins to dry out, like fruit in one of those dehydrating contraptions we see on late night television. You can head off the winter skin woes by changing your routine up just a tad.

  • Try a new moisturizer.
    You will likely find that the moisturizer you use during summer and autumn months needs to be tweaked a bit.
  • Look for a moisturizer that is oil-based rather than water-based.
    The advantage of an oil-based moisturizer is that it acts as a protective shield on your skin, helping you retain more natural moisture.
  • Make sure that your hat, gloves and socks are dry before slipping them on.
    Dry protective clothing will help keep your skin from cracking and chapping.
  • No matter how big a hurry you are in, don’t forget to use sunscreen.
    Not only can you become sunburned from the wintertime sun, but the reflection of the sun off of snow can do a number on your skin. Apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen to your body (including your hands and top of your ears), and reapply frequently.

If your summer routine consists of peels, masks and toners, you might want to rethink your strategy during winter months. You can use each of these products, but look for formulations that will nourish your skin rather than strip it. Look for a deeply-hydrating mask and a toner with no alcohol. Cut down on how often you use peeling products and follow every procedure up with moisturizer.

For many people – particularly those who live in areas with extended winter weather – Seasonal Affect Disorder (SAD) is a very real issue. Aside from depression, people suffering from SAD often experience fatigue and weight gain. Experts believe that a lack of light cuts serotonin to our brains. We need this serotonin to make us feel happy. The trick to actively seek light, either by using a lightbox for 30 minutes a day or getting outside at every opportunity. The real problem is that people with SAD can have a difficult time feeling motivated enough to get out there and do something. If it helps, think of sunlight as a natural medication for mood.

There is some evidence that supplements such as St. John’s Wort and 5-HTP can help ward off depression while increasing the serotonin to our brains. When the sun is not out to give us vitamin D naturally, foods rich with this vitamin become even more important. Add cod liver oil, canned sardines, egg yolks and salmon to your diet for a vitamin D boost. If you’re having a problem with SAD, see your doctor to find out which of these suggestions she recommends and if there is anything else you can add to your wellbeing arsenal.

Even if you lounged around all summer, exercise is essential during the winter months. Not only will a regular exercise routine tighten your body, but it will also lift your mood and give you something other than shoveling snow to concentrate on.

Finally, consider the mood-elevating power of being kind to yourself. Call to schedule a relaxing facial that will plump up your skin with moisture and give you some time to just enjoy.

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