Moisturize to Fight Drought, Inside & Out

When in doubt, moisturize. That’s skin’s best advice all year long in Southern California’s dry Mediterranean climate, but it’s especially true in the winter months, when chilly winds and indoor heating evaporate natural moisture.

El Nino rains may be taking the edge off our prolonged landscape drought. But don’t rely on Mother Nature to moisturize your skin. Here are 5 tips for fighting skin drought, inside and out.

  1. Moisturize from within. Remember to hydrate. You may not feel thirst as readily in cooler weather, but you still need to drink lots of water, especially after working out in a hot yoga studio or on a cold morning run. Winter beverages like hot coffee and warming alcohol concoctions can also be dehydrating, so be sure to balance with water and water-packed foods like soups, fruit smoothies, and steamed veggies.
  2. Moisturize your atmosphere. If you keep your home heat turned up, balance the dry air by using a humidifier occasionally. Always use fresh distilled water and clean the humidifier after every use. An atomizer of mineral water can provide a spritz of moisture on the go or in an overheated office. And don’t sleep too warmly! Turn down the thermostat at night to give your body a chance to replenish and stimulate cell turnover. (Sleeping in a cool room is also known to build brown fat, the kind that burns unwanted fat cells!)
  3. Moisturize all over. You may wish to alter your bath or shower routine during cooler, drier months. Shower every other day, or shower or bathe with warm rather than hot water, to preserve skin’s natural oils. Use a gentle soap or a body wash infused with moisturizers like shea butter. Go gentle on the exfoliation. After bathing or showering, gently pat skin almost dry, leaving a bit of moisture. Moisturize all over with your favorite lotion, oil, or cream (fragrance-free formulas are best for sensitive skin) while skin is still slightly damp. Don’t forget hands and feet, which need extra moisturizing attention this time of year.
  4. Moisturize in the morning. After cleansing and before applying makeup and sunscreen, use a daily facial moisturizer suited to your skin type, sensitivities, and any existing conditions such as acne or rosacea. Apply to your neck and chest, too; skin here is thinner and dries out more easily. To speed your morning ritual, choose a combination product like Revision Intellishade that can serve as a moisturizer, light foundation, and SPF 45 sunscreen all at once. Reapply sunscreen after exposure, and use a moisturizing lip balm.
  5. Moisturize and hydrate at night! Let your skin absorb powerful hydration while you sleep, when it can have the most effect. After cleansing and applying serums or other targeted treatments, use a penetrating hydration complex like SkinMedica‘s new HA5 Rejuvenating Hydrator, which stimulates production of your own natural hyaluronic acid and helps your moisturizer work even better.

Dry skin isn’t just a flaky irritation. It adds years, speeding wrinkles and lines and dulling your glow. For help choosing the moisturizing and hydrating products perfect for your skin, call or email our cosmetic consultant Mary Lou today. Then make it a habit to moisturize–and let it rain!