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Survival Skin Care Tips For The Fall And Winter

For those of us who experience the change in seasons, we know fall and winter can really have a harsh effect on our skin. Cooler air temperatures can increase water loss and disrupt our skin’s barrier causing dry, uncomfortable, irritated skin, redness, inflammation as well as cause our skin to be more susceptible to allergens and irritants.

Follow these tips to help your skin survive the fall and winter months.

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1. Start With A Clean Palate

Clean skin is a prerequisite for healthy skin, but in the fall and winter, many of us are concerned about stripping moisture with cleansers and too much washing.

To remove dirt, excess oil, bacteria and allergens, cleanse skin at least once a day with a mild cleanser. When the skin isn’t too dirty, say for example after waking up, consider a quick rinse with plain water or a swipe of (alcohol free) toner to help freshen up without the drying effect from a full washing.

2. Remember To Exfoliate

Skin cells in general have a turnover rate of about a month and this process slows down as we age. Be sure to include the step of exfoliation in your skin care regimen as dead skin cells can make skin appear tired and old. One Rave favorite, ACURE Organics Argan Stem Cell + Chlorella Growth Factor Brightening Scrub (a pea sized amount goes a long way).

3.Want To Maintain That Summer, Dewy Glow?

Summer may be over and you might be missing your warm summer glow, but one easy way to add a hint of glow power to your complexion is by adding a few drops of facial oil.

Try an antioxidant facial oil to help fend off free radicals from stress, pollution, and ultraviolet light. One Rave favorite is Laurel Whole Plant Skin Care Antioxidant Facial Serum.

Its whole plant blend contains antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and EFAs that help in stimulating collagen production and promoting healthy cell function.

Want glow without the oil? Lightly dust on a dry product like Rejuva Minerals Bronzer. This vegan friendly product uses cocoa, natural minerals, clay, organic fruit extracts and herbs to give you a warmer glow (without synthetic ingredients, yes!).

4. Flaky face?

Do you suffer from dry, scaly patches on your face despite moisturizing over and over again? Consider attacking problem areas with a healing salve like Elemental Herbs All Good Goop. The plant based formula uses botanical herbs blended with organic extra virgin olive oil to rehydrate and heal dry skin, a definite Rave favorite! A salve can aid in sealing moisture in longer as well as soothe and heal. If flakes persist more than a few weeks, consider a visit to the skin doctor to rule out possible issues such as seborrheic dermatitis or a fungal infection.

5. Avoid Products With Harsh Or Irritating Ingredients

Chemical surfactants such as sodium lauryl sulfate may be really effective at removing sebum and dirt but it is also known for its irritating potential. Milder surfactant options include decyl glucoside and cocamidopropyl betaine. Drying alcohols can also strip the skin of oils. Avoid ingredients known to be irritating to help maintain the skin barrier.

6. Switch Up Your Products

For many, change in the seasons also means change in our skin, so it makes sense to change up our skin care products.

For example, one might consider

  • Swapping out that drying (summertime) cleanser for a milky moisturizing one
  • Or changing out that alcohol based toner to one without
  • Incorporate the heavier cream or lotion on top of your face serum

7. Apply Emollients Frequently

Frequent application of moisturizers will help keep the skin barrier hydrated. When the skin barrier is dry, it can be red, inflamed and irritated. Dry skin can compromise the skin barrier and allow penetration of microorganisms and irritants.

Hydrate skin by use of moisturizers or emollients. These help prevent and soothe dry skin and assist in reducing water loss. Moisturize not only after cleansing and bathing, moisturize several times throughout the day. Although your skin may not appear or feel dry, clinically, it might be dehydrated, so remember to moisturize, moisturize, moisturize!

Consider using oil based products (ointments) to provide a layer to seal in water. Some oils known to be less comedogenic include almond, sesame, sunflower oils and shea butter. A wonderful brand we heart is Nourish Organic, their facial lotion and body butters contain many organic oils to keep skin well hydrated.

During daytime hours, consider a hydrating mist and facial oil to help prevent skin from feeling parched. If skin feels particularly dry under make-up, try a layering approach with your products. Play around to see what keeps your skin moisturized best.

For example, you can play around with layering hydrating mist, antioxidant serum, face cream and sun protection before make-up.

At night, incorporate an oil based night cream to hydrate skin while sleeping.

8. Continue Sunscreen Use Everyday

Sunscreen is recommended daily to protect from the harmful ultraviolet rays of the sun and should be applied in the fall and winter months as well. Ultraviolet rays penetrate clouds and can be reflected off of surfaces such as snow, water and sand (so do remember the sunblock while skiing down the slopes). The AAD recommends a broad spectrum sunblock with a SPF of 30 or higher.

9. Do Remember Your Hands And Feet

Dry cracked hands? Dry cracked soles? Remember to wear protective winter gear that includes gloves and warm socks. These areas can be a source of big time suffering with cracks and fissures so be sure to give them the attention they deserve. Moisturize often and incorporate oil based formulas to keep moisture from escaping.

10. Improve Indoor Air Moisture Level

Dry, cooler air can increase the rate of moisture loss in the skin’s outer layer leading to drier skin. Consider using a humidifier in the home to improve moisture levels in the air. Allergy sufferers take note, Consumer Reports recommends keeping the humidity level below 50% to lessen dust mites and mold growth as these organisms require a moist environment to live and grow. Do place humidifiers at home in the areas where you spend the most time and avoid turning the heat on too high.

11. Turn The Hot 20 Minute Shower To A Warm 5 Minute One

You’ll save water anyway!!!! Exposure to hot water translates to water loss in the skin and drier skin. Drier skin = itchier skin, keeping water lukewarm is best.

What tips do you have to help your skin get past the fall and winter? Please share your ideas, we'd love to hear from you. :)