Monday, December 14, 2009

Summer glow - in December?

For most people, cold winter days translate into very dry skin. Itching, flaking and tightness are all symptoms that your dermis is parched. Heaters that warm our homes sap the humidity levels in the air and are the main culprits behind this annoying winter problem- robbing your skin of essential oils and moisture. Before you hide beneath long sleeves and pack on layers of uber-expensive skin creams, try these four tips for reviving your skin's youthful glow:

1. All about the ABC's
We hear it all the time - taking vitamin and mineral supplements contribute to your overall health and longevity. You know it, I know it, but do we practice it? Unfortunately, the common answer is, "NO". For your skin's sake, give it a try. Vitamin A is, by far, the most effective anti-aging supplement. By helping your skin to retain moisture levels it prevents premature aging while preventing dryness.

Vitamin B3, aka, Niacin, is also a friend to your skin. 15mg a day is enough to satisfy the needs of an adult woman. Boasting a wide array of health benefits, B3 is essential for maintaining proper moisture levels in the skin.

Vitamin C, a hero among supplements, is a must for the skin and the body. Making sure you consume ample amounts of C enriched foods is key for a healthy immune system and ensures that your body can heal damaged cells. While eating vitamin C enriched foods is important, your body can only store so much. The best way for your skin to benefit from this wonder protein is through active vitamin C serums applied directly to the skin. These serums address fine lines, wrinkles, age spots and, of course, dryness - lots of bang for your buck!

2. Don't Dawdle!
Limiting the time you spend in the shower will keep the dull away. Hot showers literally suck the moisture right out of you. Lower the temp a bit and try limiting your daily shower time to ten minutes or less. Sounds tough, what, with shaving, shampooing, conditioning and washing it seems downright impossible. But try.

3. Slather, press, repeat
Moisturize, moisturize, moisturize. Did I mention moisturize? Before you reach for that sweet smelling, double whipped buttery perfumed goo in the pretty bottle, remember this: perfume = alcohol. Alcohol is very drying. Why swallow handfuls of vitamins, rush through showers and dab on serums just to rub the moisture right out of your skin? Choose a moisturizer that contains no perfumes or dyes, such as, Cetaphil or Eucerine. If you enjoy a little bit of scent, try a body butter made from real cocoa butter. Just try to avoid synthetic scents.

When applying your moisturizer, try gently pressing it into the skin with the palms of your hands instead of rubbing, which may cause the product to air dry before allowing your skin time to absorb it. If you still feel a bit dry you can always apply more. Carry a small container of moisturizer with you so that your hands and exposed skin can stay well protected from the elements. Apply as often as you need.

4. Calm Down
We all know that stress is no good for overall health. By taxing the immune system, stress can have a slurry of ill effects on our bodies and behavior. Between combating seasonal illnesses and keeping up with your frantic shopping trips, your immune system is on overdrive during the holidays, making it harder to heal and boost the health of your skin. Make sure to take some time for relaxation every day. Put the shopping bags down, kick off the heels and find a nice yule log to sit by. Spend a little time each day doing something that feels good - your skin will thank you.

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