I was going to write about blackheads this week, but it’s cold. REALLY cold. Polar vortex cold. The University of Minnesota is closing its doors due to extreme cold for goodness sakes. Minne-frickin-sota says it’s too cold! So, since your blackheads are probably shriveling up and hibernating, I’ll post that article next week.
However, the cold temperatures bring about a host of other skin issues (other than hypothermia, if you suspect hypothermia stop reading blogs and get to a hospital!), primarily wind and an extreme lack of humidity. Dryness, redness, irritation and cracked lips are the top complaints that occur in these conditions.
By the way…just because you’re in California and enjoying the perpetual 75-degree year-long weather doesn’t mean you can skip this article. Much of California has an arid climate and is currently experiencing a drought, so you could probably benefit from reading about how to protect your skin in extremely low humidity. Stop being smug. So….minus the scarves and wind burn, this advice still applies to you. Also, I wouldn’t mind visiting if anyone has an extra bedroom…
So, how is a girl (or guy!) to protect themselves from the wind and low humidity? Here are a few things you can adjust in your daily skin care to help you weather the extreme weather (see what I did there?):
1. Skip your cleanser in the morning. All you’ve done is sleep, and you should have washed your face last night before bed. Feel free to just splash your skin with moderately warm water and continue your morning routine without the cleanser. Your normal cleanser could overdry your skin in these polar vortex conditions.
2. Avoid hot water. I know…it’s freezing, you really want that scalding hot shower, but it’s going to deplete your skin of the hydration it desperately needs. I’m not saying prepare for the Polar Bear Plunge, just keep it moderately warm. Your skin shouldn’t be red from the heat after you get out of the shower.
3. Use your Hydrating Toner liberally. Normally, I recommend that people use it every morning and night, but since it’s basically drinking water for your facial skin, use it whenever you want throughout the day, even on top of makeup (if it’s a spray bottle). Just spritz, blot, and keep on going with your day! Your skin will benefit from the hydration.
4.Use SPF moisturizer. Some of the worst sunburns I see are from skiing trips. The snow reflects the sun, and it’s like taking a day-long swim in the ocean with no sunscreen. You should be using moisturizer with SPF 15-30 every day, no excuses. I don’t care if it’s negative 40, blizzarding, and you live in a cave. Unless that cave is lined with lead, apply your SPF.
5. Get a thicker moisturizer. If you have a night cream, use it in the daytime and apply the SPF daytime moisturizer on top. If you already use fairly heavy creams morning and night, it’s ok to mix in a dab of Vaseline to your regular moisturizer to increase the protection against the elements.
6. Protect your lips. I’ll be honest. I hate ChapstickÒ. Sorry. Ok, sorry I’m not sorry. I personally use Aquaphor from EucerinÒ, because it protects lips without the nasty side-effect of your lips becoming dependent on the product and stopping their own natural lubrication.
7. Drink water. Drink as much as you possibly can, then drink more. If you live at a higher altitude, this is even more important because humidity decreases at altitude. Your body needs it, so give your body what it needs.
8. Stop being so smug, California. It’s not good for your skin. 🙂
Now that you are properly protected from the cold weather, using hydrating toners, SPF moisturizers, and drinking more water, go out and enjoy the winter wonderland while it lasts! Just think—in a few short months you’ll be complaining how you’re melting under the hot summer sun!