The holiday season has a way of placing a rose colored tint over the harsh conditions that come with the cold winter months. Once the holiday feasts have been served, the presents unwrapped and the decorations tucked away until next December, we’re reminded just how abrasive winter weather can be when we take a good look at the damage caused to our skin. Between cold air, dry climates and harsh winds, aging skin in particular is far more susceptible to dryness, cracking and wrinkling. Integrate these anti-aging all stars into your winter skin care routine to stay healthy and glowing all year long.
When faced with dry, cracked skin, the most obvious remedy is to reach for a moisturizer. It makes perfect sense to replenish your skin with the moisture lost in the harsh winter weather conditions, but it’s important to make sure you are applying products that will help your skin rather than irritate it more.
Many moisturizers contain added fragrance, which can dry and damage your skin even further. Look for fragrance-free moisturizers made from natural ingredients that will heal your skin rather than harm it. Skin that is cracking, peeling and scaly might require a denser treatment than one would get from a standard moisturizer. Mix a few drops of Argan oil into a thick moisturizing cream (typically comes in a jar rather than a tube or pump) to promote healthy collagen and boost antioxidants. To integrate anti-aging into your winter skin care routine, look for moisturizers with elasticity boosting ingredients such as retinol, peptides and hyaluronic acid.
Water & Tea
As important as it is to hydrate from the outside, winter skin care starts with hydrating from the inside. Your skin is your largest organ, and the millions of cells that make it up need to stay hydrated in order to stay firm, strong and supple. When the extremely dry winter air strips the skin of its moisture, it becomes far more susceptible to sagging and wrinkling.
This winter, make it a priority to get serious about your fluid intake. Aim for 8-10 glasses of water per day to rehydrate your skin cells and flush out any toxins that could be contributing to signs of aging. Your fluid intake could also be in the form of tea. In addition to warming you up, teas such as green tea and white tea have been shown to fight off cellular damage and slow the breakdown of collagen.
That rosy glow on your face after hitting the slopes or shoveling the sidewalk might be more than just a flush from the cold air — it could be sunburn. Even after the days of fun in the summer sun are long gone, harmful UV rays still pose a major threat against aging skin. Snow can reflect up to 90% of UV rays (more than water!), causing nearly double the typical sun exposure and doubling your chances of skin damage.
Sunscreen shouldn’t be taken out of your skin care routine just because the summer has ended! Along with covering your face with a hat and scarf before trekking into the great outdoors, apply sunscreen for an added layer of protection. While an SPF-infused moisturizer might be enough on days you’ll spend mostly indoors, an SPF of 30 or higher is needed if you will be spending an hour or more soaking up some winter sunshine.
If you eat well, stay hydrated and get a restful night’s sleep every night, there’s no reason you’d need a supplemental source of vitamins and nutrients, right? Not exactly. While abiding by the above might help keep your overall health in check, supplements will provide damaged skin with the nutrients needed to delay signs of aging as well as prevent further damage in the long term.
If the winter chill has left your skin’s surface looking rough and irritated, antioxidant-rich idebenone can help retain damaged cells and protect your skin from the inside out. If dry skin has revealed more wrinkles than you’d like to see on your face and hands, the supplement Imedeen Prime Renewal has a proven reputation for smoothing and firming skin in women 50 and older. If improving your overall skin appearance is your main concern, integrate Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) into your winter skin care routine to assist in skin cell regeneration.
Creating a Winter Skin Care Routine
As the seasons change, so should your skin care routine. Just like how we exchange our lighter summer wardrobe for heavier clothing in the winter, our anti-aging regimen must be adjusted as well to reflect the new obstacles your skin is facing. If your skin has felt the damaging effects of the harsh winter weather, consult with a functional medicine doctor to create a custom winter skin care routine tailored to your skin type and aging concerns.
Dr. Lorraine Maita is a recognized and award-winning holistic, functional, and anti-aging physician and author. She transforms people’s lives by getting to the root cause of illness using the best of science and nature. Her approach is personalized, precision medicine where you are treated as the unique individual you are. If you’re ready to start your journey to a healthier, happier life, schedule your visit today!