Here in Pennsylvania, this time of year means cooler, crisp mornings and warm sunny afternoons. Beautiful weather if you ask me! However, in just a few more weeks, crisp, cool mornings will turn into downright “freezing-my-buns-off” kind of days. Along with this cooler weather comes dry, itchy and, at times, dull skin. As changes in weather occur, so should our skincare routines if we want to keep it happy and healthy. Always remember, when we change our clothes for the season, we need to change our skincare routines as well. Don’t let your skin dry out like the soon-to-be autumn leaves!
As our skin ages, the ability to naturally shed dry, dead skin cells slows down. Because of this natural aging process, we are left with a layer of dry, flaky skin that needs a little extra TLC. By exfoliating our skin once a week, we help our body to get rid of that uppermost layer of dull skin as well as brighten and soften the skin. There are many different ways to exfoliate including dry brushing, using a natural body scrub or a loofah. Whichever method you choose, just make sure it is appropriate for your skin type (sensitive, oily, etc.).
The best time to moisturize is after you exfoliate. When the uppermost layer of dry, dead skin cells is removed, it allows a moisturizer to penetrate deeper rather than just sitting on the surface of the skin. Choose a moisturizer wisely and make sure the top ingredients are oils such as shea butter, cocoa butter, sweet almond oil or other natural oils rather than man-made chemicals. The higher oils are on the ingredient list the better it will be for softening and moisturizing your skin.
You Are What You Eat
Not only do we want to moisturize the outside of our skin we also want to ensure our diet helps to maintain soft and supple skin as well. Below are a few foods suggested by the Mayo Clinic which appear to have a protective effect on the skin:
- Carrots, apricots, and other yellow and orange fruits and vegetables (high in vitamin C, a powerful antioxidant)
- Spinach and other green leafy vegetables (high in vitamin A and C)
- Tomatoes (high in selenium, a powerful antioxidant)
- Blueberries (contains powerful antioxidants)
- Beans, peas and lentils (high in protein, promotes skin healing)
- Salmon, mackerel and other fatty fish (contains essential fatty acids)
- Nuts (contains essential fatty acids, high in vitamin E)
And, don’t forget water! Drinking the recommended 8 glasses a day will help rid the body and skin of toxins along with helping your largest organ, your skin, function at its best.
Back to the Basics
Below are a few more simple steps to take every day to ensure soft supple skin:
- Take a warm shower or bath (not hot) to prevent further oil loss from the skin.
- Apply a moisturizer immediately after showering (towel dry first of course!) to lock in moisture.
- Use a gentle cleanser that does not contain alcohol or harsh SLS (sulfates).
- Limit your time in the tub or shower to 10 minutes to prevent further moisture loss.
- Do not bathe more than once a day if possible.
- Invest in a humidifier for severe cases of dehydrated skin.
What techniques do you use to keep you skin healthy in the fall?
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