Ah, winter… the most drying time of the year for your skin… head to toe. Even me, the redheaded shiny-faced oil slick gets big time flaky from the dry, inside heat as well as the cold, outside air. That means it is even more important now that we all take the time to exfoliate the dead skin cells that occur during these chilly days and nights. But how can we get rid of the old and expose the new without drying our skin out even more??
Easy. VERY easy!
All skin types should exfoliate at least twice a week (slightly oily skin can exfoliate a little more). In the winter, exfoliating can leave your skin feeling tight and dry. The key to keeping your face from getting too dehydrated is to prepare it – and protect it! – BEFORE you exfoliate! Here’s how:
1) Get yourself fresh, pure oil that is great for your skin. My favorites include sweet almond oil, coconut oil (organic cold-pressed and unrefined), apricot kernel oil, grape seed oil or even organic extra virgin olive oil. You don’t have to get anything special online. Just go to your local market and take a trip down the aisle with all the oils. If you don’t find one there, check the market’s organic department. I have found that lately even Wal-Mart Super Centers carry most of these!
2) Now invest in a mild face cleanser with an added gentle exfoliant in it! By combining these two steps, you reduce the chance of over stripping your skin of the natural oils and moisture it needs, especially now. My favorites: Aveeno’s Positively Ageless Daily Exfoliating Cleaner ($9.99 @ local retailers); Befine’s Exfoliating Cleanser ($25.00 @ befine.com); Clarins’ One Step Gentle Exfoliating Cleanser ($35.00 @ fine department stores)
3) Prepare your skin by splashing it with warm water. (Stay away from hot water as it is drying and irritating to your face.) Cover your fingertips with your preferred oil and rub it all over your face in small circular motions. Loosen up all of your makeup (including your eye makeup if you want!) then let the coating of oil sit on your skin for about a minute.
4) Apply your exfoliating cleanser to your face (be careful around your eye area especially when working with a granular exfoliant) by gently rubbing where you applied the oil.
5) Rinse everything off with warm water and pat dry. Apply an enriched moisturizer immediately.
By pre-conditioning your face with an oil that is rich in vitamins and antioxidants, you not only prevent your skin from becoming overly stripped of the oil and moisture that can occur when you exfoliate during the colder months, but you will also protect it against free radicals that can cause premature aging. And if you have a tendency for the occasional breakout, don’t fear: the pure oils that I mentioned above are non-comedogenic. That means they won’t cause pimples or blackheads. It’s the “waxy” based oils and creams that clog up your pores and causes those nasty breakouts!
Remember, too, that hydrating is important from the inside out so don’t get slack on your water intake during the colder months. Treat your body right on the inside, pamper it correctly on the outside, and keep yourself glowy and fresh all year round!!