After enduring this harsh winter, many of us not only have cabin fever. We are also suffering the after effects from sustained cold, like intensely dry skin. We have also grown accustomed to covering up with scarves and sweaters, forgoing our normal beauty routine because, let’s face it, if there was ever a time to feel yucky and sluggish, it had to be these past few months. But now is the time to spring forward and revamp ourselves.
Since healthy, vibrant skin is the foundation of all beauty, how do we get it back after these long, cold months? It starts with not adding more damage to your skin as the weather warms up.
“My skin has been so dry and flaky this winter, that I don’t know if I’ll ever get it back to being healthy again,” says new mom Kristine McCraig. “I just cannot wait until I can go out in the sun every day again and not be covered up in gloves and scarves. I tried to cover my face whenever I was outside in the freezing cold, and I spend a lot of time in the car, but my face is still so dry.”
1. Apply sunblock
Even though we are sun starved, Dr. Rebecca Baxt, a board-certified New York City dermatologist, advises us to take pause and resist the urge to bask in the glorious, warm sunshine.
“Try to avoid the sun and use daily sunblock SPF 30 or above liberally and reapply every two hours. Moms do a great job protecting their kids, but they forget to put sunblock on themselves.” For moms, particularly, Dr. Baxt recommends the powder sunblock because it’s “easy to apply over makeup as the day goes on to maintain sun protection.”
2. Replenish moisture
Yet, sunblock is only part of the equation, because many people require a moisturizer.
“Dry skin looks dull. Make sure you moisturize once or twice a day. I also recommend really good eye creams, serums, or plain Vaseline petroleum jelly if needed to moisturize — nothing looks worse than dry skin around the eyes, which accentuates wrinkles.”
3. Shield your face
However, Dr. Baxt points out that if your skin is oily, a moisturizer may not be necessary. Other tips for long-term healthy skin include wearing a hat, which shields the face from sun damage, and wearing sunglasses.
“They prevent squinting in the sun and reduce wrinkles in addition to reducing risk of cataracts,” explains Dr. Baxt.
4. Slather on the C
While everyone benefits from a healthy and regular skin care program, “retinols/retinA is great to help reduce sun damage, fine lines, wrinkles, and hyperpigmentation, as is glycolic acid. These are available over the counter or at the dermatologist’s office or with a prescription. Not everyone can tolerate those chemicals, and topical vitamin C is a good alternative and great antioxidant.”
Like most good habits, having luminous skin begins with a routine. So moisturize, moisturize, moisturize, put on the SPF — and then go out and catch the rays we have been waiting for this entire, dismal winter.
Danielle Sullivan, a mom of three, has worked as a writer and editor in the parenting world for more than 10 years. Sullivan also writes about pets and parenting for Disney’s Babbl