It is official. My summer glow is gone. Inevitably, as the leaves change their colors to beautiful and vibrant oranges, reds and yellow, my skin takes on a greenish hue and I have to stand further and further from the mirror to avoid depression. Each year, it is a little worse and each year I find myself in a cosmetics’ department spending more and more money on a slew of creams that will end up collecting dust under a new slew of creams next year. This isn’t meant to be an anti-aging skincare piece, but keeping your skin healthy during the ravaging fall and winter months will have the added benefit of making you look better, or at least keep you from looking like a slee-stack (from Land of the Lost, spelling anyone?) On top of that, you’ll be less itchy.
1. Face – START NOW. You may not be feeling the effects of the cold weather yet but now is the time to start. The term “skin-care regimen” used to be laughable to me as, for years, mine consisted of a bar of dove soap. There never seemed to be time for personal pampering but as the lines in my face sink deeper, I am starting to think of skin care as more of a necessity and less of a luxury. Use an exfoliating wash followed by a moisturizer twice a day. Removing the dead skin cells and adding moisture are the two best things you can do for your face. If you are feeling adventurous, November is a good time to add a toner.
2. Body – Same as above – exfoliating and moisturizing are key. Use an exfoliating bar or loofah in the shower. Follow that up, every day with moisturizer. While it is hard to reach certain places, try, because these same hard to moisturize places are also hard to scratch places. Exfoliating and moisturizing is not just for women, so men, I hope I didn’t turn you off with “loofah.” Parents remember to protect your children’s skin. You can start by adding a few drops of baby oil to their bath and follow up with a mild moisturizer. Dry patches and sore, red noses respond great to plain Vaseline. Tougher spots should do well with over-the-counter cortisone cream applied 2-3 times a day.
3. Hair - as good as that hot shower or bath feels, it is extremely drying for your scalp as well as your skin, so turn down the temperature or decrease the frequency of your baths and showers (at least for your kids.) Showering without washing your hair is a good alternative to B.O. and allows the natural oils to lubricate your scalp. Keep a bottle of T-gel shampoo on hand for when your scalp gets extra dry and itchy. For tough cases, you can use it every day but using it even once a week will help prevent flakes from forming which is good, because I just heard that black is the new black.
4. Nails - If you are like me and rarely make time for a manicure, try to at least keep polish or hardener on your nails to protect them from the elements. Taking a little time to rub oil or cream into the nail and cuticles will help too.
5. Eyes - My eyes get so dry in the winter, they actually tear. This works great as an excuse for when the morning madness makes me cry but can be very annoying the rest of the day. A few drops of a lubricating eye drop before I go out helps a lot.