BRRRR!!! It’s mid December and it’s freezing (literally) outside! This time of year, the ground is covered with a crunchy layer of frost in the morning, maybe a few snowflakes fall now and then, the heat gets cranked up in our home so that I don’t have to live in a blanket…and the moisture gets sapped right out of our skin!
It is super difficult to transition from the normally high humidity that we have here in the Midwest during the summer months, to the absolute depletion of moisture during the winter months. Fortunately, there are many ways to implement some extra TLC into your daily routine to retain moisture, and to hydrate your body for winter. So let’s talk moisture!
First and Foremost…Water.
It’s inevitably close to impossible to keep the skin hydrated on the outside, without first quenching that thirst inside. Water is a critical component to keeping the skin hydrated. I know there are people preaching left and right all over the place that water is important…but from a skincare standpoint..IT REALLY IS. The overall health, vibrancy, and elasticity of the skin on the body as a whole is largely dependent upon how much water is taken into the body.
I like to carry an insulated bottle around with me, and toss in some lemons, limes, cucumber, and mints. Water isn’t always my desired drink, so adding some extra goodies to it really adds a tasty element, and I feel more encouraged to drink it because of the added detox benefits of the above mentioned add-ins.
Nothing can take the place of staying properly hydrated throughout the day, so remember, skimp on the water and expect to see the lackluster results in the skin.
Moisturizers, by definition, are products that help increase the moisture content of the skin surface. There is usually a pretty big difference in the active ingredients in moisturizers for the FACE, and moisturizers for the body. One should generally not be substituted for the other, for this reason.
The two main ingredients that you will find in near every moisturizer are humectants, which are also referred to as hydrators, and emollients. Humectants’ job is to attract water to the skin. The emollients are oily or fatty, and they prevent moisture from leaving the skin. These two components of a moisturizer will take the form of various things in the ingredients list of a moisturizer, such as Hyaluronic acid, glycerin, Shea butter, cocoa butter, etc.
It’s important to keep in mind when choosing a moisturizer, that you need to be aware of the condition of your skin, and of the overall type of skin that you have.
If you are an individual who struggles with oily skin, you DO NOT want a thick cream for your face, and depending on the skin type of the rest of the body, you might want to stick with a lighter lotion for that area as well. If you have frequent back breakouts, or notice pimples and pustules on the chest, you should go with a light lotion, not a heavy cream that contains a bunch of coconut oil and Shea butter.
For the population of men and women who have mature, very dry skin that has a cracked appearance on the body, and exhibits fine lines and wrinkles on the face, definitely choose a heavier cream. Thick creams have more emollient (Shea butter, cocoa butter) in them, resulting in a bit more oil deposit on the skin. This is a good thing for mature, dry skin, as this layer of oil prevents the moisture from leaving.
Take It Up A Notch
So, when you are trying to decide which moisturizer you would like to use, consider the fact that many of these products have extra goodies in them that are wonderful in performing additional functions. Take, for example, a cream for oily/blemish prone skin. If the product is specifically formulated to lightly moisturize and not clog the pores, if will often times include an ingredient such as benzoyl peroxide, which is great for helping treat acne.
If you are seeking out a product that will moisturize your sensitive skin that reacts unfavorably to certain ingredients, there will likely be ingredients in the lotion or cream that will soothe and relieve the inflammation.
Likewise, if you are searching out a product that will be heavy enough to adequately moisturize those dry, cracked elbows, feet, and hands, there will likely be a few key ingredients such as AHA’s or peptides, which assist in diminishing lines and wrinkles. There are a number of facial creams, also, that hold the power to work some wonders on the face- like retinol, BHA’s, and hyaluronic acid. And hey, if you can kill two birds with one stone, why not?!
Just A Few Extra Tidbits
The new popular thing that has hit drugstores and beauty stores, alike, is oil moisturizers and cleansers. These are great, but similar to what is discussed above, only people with normal to dry skin should invest in these. For those of us with oily skin, these products could make the problem worse.
Try to apply lotion and cream to the body right after getting out of the bath or shower. The warm water and steam will have opened the pores, and the ingredients in the moisturizer will be able to penetrate through a little easier. Also, try not to take a scalding hot shower. I know it feels great on a cold morning, but it dries out your skin.
You might notice that unscented, natural products are more effective at moisturizing. If this is the case for you, drop a few drops of your favorite essential oil into the lotion, oil, or cream, and mix well. The product will be just as effective, and you’ve now got a natural, pleasing scent going on as well.
Run a humidifier in your home if you are in an area that has low humidity. I run mine just about all day through the winter months, and not only do I not wake up at night coughing, but my skin has reaped the benefits of it as well.
Keep a small hand cream or lotion in spaces you visit often, such as the kitchen sink, bathroom sink, bedroom nightstand, car, desk at work, etc. Toss a facial mist in your purse, as well. These can be purchased at drugstore or beauty store, and I LOVE these because you can take them anywhere and just spritz a little on your face when its feeling thirsty.
Diligence is key! Dab some moisturizer on as needed, and carry that water bottle around with you! Stay hydrated during the winter months, and your skin will be flourishing and beaming when Spring approaches!
Thank you all for stopping by!
Please feel free to leave any questions or comments below!
Have a blessed, beautiful day!