Winter Survival Kit
|Winter Survival Kit||Darrell Miller||06/13/05|
June 13, 2005 07:35 PM
Author: Darrell Miller (email@example.com)
Subject: Winter Survival Kit
Winter Survival Kit by Joanne Gallo Energy Times, February 4, 2000
Now that the flesh-baring season is but a distant memory, skin care may have dropped off your list of priorities. But unless you're planning on hibernating until May, Old Man Winter can play a cruel joke on your smooth, glowing complexion-causing cumulative damage not easily remedied. Defend yourself with our survival kit and keep the harsh elements from wreaking havoc on your outer sheath.
Frigid temperatures and blustery winds take their toll on everyone's skin, whether it's normal, oily or dry. Cold dry air, combined with arid indoor heat, results in less natural sebum (oil) production. This oil acts as a protective barrier that helps hold moisture on the surface of the skin; hence less sebum leads to a rough and dry exterior. Icy winds can also cause redness as the stress induces tiny capillaries just underneath the skin's surface to burst.
So the first order of business for winter skincare is preserving your skin's moisture. Along with external methods of bundling up all exposed areas, dietary habits can help preserve moisture internally.
Skincare consultant Lynn J. Parentini, author of The Joy of Healthy Skin: A Lifetime Guide to Beautiful, Problem-Free Skin (Prentice Hall), suggests reducing your intake of coffee and tea, which act as diuretics; eating lots of fresh fruits and vegetables, which contain natural, vitamin-rich moisture; and increasing the amount of water you drink (those daily recommended eight glasses of water are even more important in winter).
A Cleansing Experience
Bathing can strip skin of its natural oils, so you should be careful of washing with overdrying soaps. Avoid deodorant soaps with harsh detergents which can irritate the skin, and look for milder soaps with moisturizers or a skin-softening shower gel. Neutrogena Rainbath Shower & Bath Gels gently cleanse and condition skin with a rich, full lather that won't leave a residue. Showers tend to be less drying than baths, but if you prefer soaking in a tub you can use bath oil to lubricate the skin. Also avoid very hot showers and baths as they can pull moisture out of the body.
For extremely dry and sensitive skin, shower at night and follow with a rich moisturizer. Skin then can replenish its protective oils before the morning's icy blast.
Now's the time to use a heavier cream moisturizer to counteract all these dehydrating forces, so finding the right one is imperative. In simpler times, choosing a body moisturizer came down to which one possessed the most pleasing smell. Today, lotions are formulated with nutrients and natural ingredients for powerful, soothing benefits. • CAMOCARE Soothing Cream contains patented Camillosan Camomile, a natural anti-inflammatory. This thick, therapeutic cream is great for dry patches on hands or elbows.
Face the Season
Faces need extra-special protection during winter, as moisturizers do double duty to fight the elements and aging. Many formulas contain alpha (AHA) and beta hydroxy acids: gentle exfoliants that slough off the top layer of dead skin cells to allow younger, smoother-looking skin to emerge. • Oil of Olay's Age Defying Series: Protective Renewal Lotion contains moisturizers, a beta-hydroxy complex, vitamin E and SPF 15. • Neutrogena Healthy Skin Face Lotion is formulated with alpha-hydroxy acids to ease lines, blotches and discoloration; vitamin A and pro-vitamin B5 to increase firmness and moisture levels; and antioxidant vitamins C and E to fight free radical damage and protect new skin.
So you think the sun is the least of your problems in the winter? Better reflect on that matter again. The general public has finally warmed up to wearing sunblock in the summer, but year-round protection against ultraviolet (UV) rays is crucial to avoid premature aging.
There are two types of UV rays, UVA and UVB: the former are responsible for aging and the latter for burning. Although UVB rays produce a more blatant sign of skin damage, it is limited to the epidermis, or outer layer of the skin.
UVA rays, on the other hand, don't cause any discomfort, but they penetrate deep to the dermis or second layer of skin. Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania Department of Dermatology have shown that chronic exposure to sunlight can cause holes and breaks in the elastin and collagen fibers that give the skin its shape, definition and supple quality. This damage is what is known as "photoaging." Severely photoaged skin appears dry, scaly, leathery, spotted and deeply wrinkled.
While the burning UVB rays are most intense during the summer months, UVA rays are prevalent year-round. Their effect on the skin is cumulative, so that the more you're exposed the more likely your skin is to age prematurely. And as only 14% of Americans wear sunscreen year-round (according to the American Academy of Dermatology), most of us are getting more UVA exposure than we realize.
" New clinical evidence proves that sun damages the skin much faster than previously thought," notes Zoe Draelos, MD, clinical associate professor of dermatology at Wake Forest University School of Medicine. "It only takes small amounts of sun exposure, such as walking to the car or to the mailbox, to start skin damage."
And for those who engage in popular winter sports like skiing, UVA rays are even stronger at higher elevations. Sunblocks with high SPFs (sun protection factor) guard against UVB rays but they do not block against UVAs, so many sunscreen products do not sufficiently protect against the entire range of UVA rays.
It is crucial, then, to look for products that guard against the entire spectrum of UVA/UVB rays. Sunblocks that contain zinc oxide, titanium dioxide or Parsol 1789 provide complete protection against aging and burning rays. Try Coppertone Shade UVA Guard SPF 30, Hawaiian Tropic 30 Plus Broad Spectrum Sunblock, L'Oreal Ombrelle Sunscreen Lotion or Spray in SPF 15, or PreSun Ultra SPF 30.
Don't forget that the lips are particularly susceptible to sun damage too. In comparison to other facial skin, they have far fewer oil glands, no sweat glands, a much thinner protective outer layer and very few melanocytes, the cells that produce the protective pigment melanin. Accumulated sun exposure makes the lips less plump as UV rays damage their collagen and elastin fibers, resulting in rough spots, scaly patches or faded areas.
Even if you wear lipstick on a regular basis, most do not contain the sunscreens and conditioners you can find in a lip balm. Blistex offers a wide range of lip care products, like their new Blistex Herbal Answer, which contains the conditioning qualities of five natural, herbal extracts: aloe, chamomile, avocado, jojoba and shea butter, plus SPF 15; Blistex Ultra Protection with SPF 30 has six protectants for advanced defense against cold, wind and sun; Blistex DCT (Daily Conditioning Treatment) with SPF 20 contains aloe, lanolin, cocoa butter, and vitamins A and E to help keep lips soft and supple. o