You can smell it in the air, it’s cool & crisp.  It is our season of change from bright and green to a plethora of brown, yellow and red hues.  Yes, fall is here.  It is here bringing with it beauty of the turning leaves, but it wreaks havoc on the beauty of our skin. What can we do to rescue our skin from the not so nice elements of Fall & Winter, you might ask?

First, some thoughts about hydration and skin.  Skin dries out because the epidermis (the outer layer of skin) becomes deficient in lipids allowing water to escape from the skin and evaporates.  Since there is less humidity in the Fall and Winter, the air zaps our skin of its moisture. The skin is like a brick wall. The layers of skin are brick and the lipids are the mortar.  When the “mortar” is missing, the “bricks” dry out and agents that cause irritation gain access to our skin making it itchy, uncomfortable, and not to mention the looks of it! Yes, the look of dullness, fine lines and wrinkles all become more pronounced with dry skin. 

A good way to fortify and protect skin’s moisture barrier is to use products that contains key ingredients like ceramides and hylauronic acid.  Start in the shower with luke warm water; yes we all love, love, love the hot shower, but our skin suffers from this pleasure because the heat pulls the moisture out of our skin. Use a gentle cleanser and moisturize your skin after every shower. There are some really great products on the market now like Cereve, Cetaphil, and Avene that have these ceramides as primary ingredients. You can get a great body wash, cream or lotion that has these important components.  P.S. Don’t forget your lips, they retain less moisture than any other skin on your body.  Try to kick the habit of licking your lips for moisture. This actually speeds up moisture loss and leaves your lips less hydrated. Instead reach for a moisturizing lip balm throughout the day.  Use a moisturizing lip exfoliate twice a week during cool and dry weather. Follow the exfoliating treatment with an application of  moisturizing lip balm. 

Beyond the goodies that we can put on our skin to rescue it from the doldrums of the dry seasons, there are several other ….you can do to keep your skin happy.  Create a less dry environment at home by  adding a humidifier to the rooms you live in, like the family room or bedroom. You can also humidify your home with live plants.  The water that you put into the pot will be evaporated into the air. These both add moisture to the air, which in turns helps your skin retain its moisture instead of losing it to dry air. Also protect your skin from cold wind and air when outside by wearing protective clothing and thick moisturizer on unprotected skin.  

The bottom line to helping your skin survive the winter blues is to add moisture however, whenever you can.  Take care of your skin and it will help take care of you.  It is time consuming, but your skin will thank you by feeling great and looking fabulous.

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