Natural homemade clay  facial masks .

How to keep your skin healthy this winter

Over the last couple of weeks winter has finally arrived in the Bay Area, and it has come with a vengeance. Livermore, Dublin, San Ramon, and surrounding cities have been pelted with rare and much needed rain coupled with a drastic temperature drop. After the summer that would never end these are welcome changes, but they do raise some important questions about your skin care routine. Obviously, your skin requires different treatment now that it is no longer a perfect 75 degrees in the Bay Area on a daily basis.

What adjustments do you need to make to your routine? Let’s take a look at some tips that will ensure your skin is just as healthy in the cold as it was it the heat.

Keep Moisturizing

Moisturizing

Even though the weather is a whole lot wetter, your skin still needs moisturizer. In spring and summer we typically use water-based moisturizer, however, “ointment” moisturizers that are oil based are recommended for winter weather. The oil creates a layer on the skin that better allows it to retain more moisture. Beware of oils like shea oil and vegetable shortening that can clog your skin. Non-clogging oils that are great for your skin include avocado oil and olive oil.

Keep Applying Sunscreen

Woman Applying Sunscreen — Image by © Royalty-Free/Corbis

Let’s say you are shopping in downtown Pleasanton. It’s a little bit cold outside, but the sun is out and doesn’t seem too bright. You don’t need to worry about applying sunscreen, right? After all, you can barely even feel the sun.

The truth is that sunscreen should be worn all year, not just in the summer. While the rest of you is bundled up in winter wear, your face and hands will likely still be exposed to the sun. Although the sun’s rays are not as noticeable as they are in the summer, they can still damage your skin. So remember to apply sunscreen to your face and hands before going outside.

Change Wet Clothes ASAP

Wet Clothes

If you’re like me, you like the feeling of running in the rain. You can find me running up the hills of Brushy Peak in Livermore even in the worst of weather. Of course the run ends with me soaked and muddy with horribly wet socks that I take off immediately.

Whether you are going on a hike, a run, or just trying to get from point A to point B in the rain, it is important to change out of your wet clothes as soon as possible. Sure, we think of wet clothes as uncomfortable, but we never consider to impact that wearing wet clothes can have on our skin. Wet clothes can cause skin irritations like itching, sores, and even cracking.

No Extended Hot Baths or Showers

Young blond woman enjoying a foam bath

There is nothing better than a hot bath or shower on a chilly day. Unfortunately, bathing in hot water can further dehydrate your skin. Lukewarm water is definitely not as satisfying but it will better help soothe and relieve your skin.

Wear Gloves

6977798-girl-winter-gloves

A great way to keep your hands soft and moist during the winter months is to wear gloves. Gloves not only keep your hands warm, but they protect you from the sun and trap moisture. If your hands are parched, moisturize them with an oil based moisturizer (as discussed above) then slip on a pair of gloves. The gloves and moisturizer will work in unison to soften up your skin.

Soft Pajamas

Silk Pajamas

Your choice of pajamas is obviously going to greatly fluctuate greatly between the winter and summer seasons. Winter demands more coverage, but with more coverage can come more skin irritation. A general rule for winter pajamas is the softer the better. Avoid rough blends of cotton and synthetic fibers, even if they were a nice gift.

Invest in a Humidifier

Humidifier

Your home heating system may keep you warm, but it is also drying out your skin. A humidifier will get more moisture in the air and help prevent your skin from cracking and getting damaged. If you don’t have a humidifier you can find them at a local drugstore. I recommend buying more than one and positioning them around your home to keep and even amount of moisture in the air.

Exfoliate

Natural homemade clay facial masks at home .

Once a week exfoliate your face to remove dead skin cells from your body. This will reveal healthy, fresh skin underneath. Do not exfoliate any more often than weekly. If you exfoliate too much you can end up doing more harm than good by irritating your skin.

Lip Balm

Lip Balm

Dried and severely chapped lips are one of the worst parts of winter. If you are not already in the habit of carrying lip balm you will want to start. Lip balm will keep you from licking your lips to provide some moisture. Although your lips might feel better for a second or two, licking them will ultimately only make them dryer. Use some lip balm instead to avoid dry and damaged lips.

Drink Plenty of Water

Drinking Water

This one is the same all year. There is no reason why you shouldn’t always be staying hydrated by drinking water. Not only does it help your skin stay healthy and looking young, but it is great for your overall health as well. Overall, hydration is the biggest key to healthy skin; and that all starts with drinking water.

Halloween-Makeup-Profile

How to apply your halloween makeup?

Halloween is the time of year where we get to pretend to be anything our heart desires. Do you want to be something brutal and scary like a zombie or a serial killer? No one will bat an eye. How about a pretty Disney princess or a celebrity? That is awesome as well. Halloween is all about freedom, creativity and having a great time.

No matter what you choose to be for Halloween, if your costume involves facial makeup, follow these simple steps.

Start With a Base

Base

You don’t need to buy an expensive base from a Halloween store, which is likely overpriced. Instead, use your regular foundation to create a base for your makeup. Depending on the color you desire, you can use a lighter shade than your normal foundation or you can add a mix of eye shadow to the foundation to add a tint to the shade. Adding a base is important because it will help keep your makeup in place so you can make it through the entire night. A strong base also makes the rest of the application process much easier.

Outline Your Face

Be sure to outline your entire face before you start with the most intense part of the makeup application process. Makeup pencils work well, or you can use colored eyeliner. You should be able to easily find a color that matches your desired costume at your local drug store. Outlining is important because it allows for easy adjustments to be made if mistakes occur or if you just don’t like the way the look is going.

The Creepy and/or Beautiful Eyes

Zombie Eyes

When people look at your face the first thing they usually notice is your eyes. Spend extra time trying to get your eyes looking great. Sparkles and bright colors are perfect if you are trying to be a princess. If you are wanting to be something scarier like a zombie, try using dark makeup to make your eye sockets look sunken in and undead. Another option for your eyes is temporary contacts. Beware of these contacts however, some can be cheap and harmful to your eyes. Make sure you buy a quality product that is both safe and can transform you into the character you want to be.

Face Powder

Using a light layer of face powder will set your makeup and assure you that it will stay put all night. Translucent powder will not be noticeable, or you can try using baby powder for a more dull and flat look. Do not use face powder too liberally or you may end up ruining your makeup job.

Don’t Forget the Rest of Your Body

Some people make the hilarious mistake of doing a great job on their face makeup but forgetting to put makeup on the other exposed parts of their body. Imagine someone walking around as a green fairy but they have completely natural hands; that would ruin the look, right? You have to complete the job by applying makeup to anywhere that will not be covered by your costume. Put on your costume and take the time to examine what skin will be showing, make marks to remind yourself, and apply makeup accordingly.

Moisturizing

7 skin care mistakes to avoid

There is nothing more important to your overall beauty routine than keeping your skin healthy. Surprisingly, there are many people that have never learned how to properly care for their skin. In this blog, I will take a look at common skin care mistakes that can lead to wrinkles, dry skin, and breakouts.

Are you making any of these mistakes?

Not Using Sunscreen

Sunscreen

If you think that the only time that the sun damages your skin is when you are out on the beach, think again. The sun is slowly and surely taking its toll on your skin even when you are driving in your car, going outside for a run on an overcast day, or enjoying a book in the shade on your porch. The sun’s rays are constantly working their hardest to age their skin, so you need to take measures to combat them. Wearing sunscreen daily (yes, 365 days a year) is the only way to prevent wrinkle causing damage.

Over Exfoliating

exfoliate

Ideally, physical facial exfoliants like facial scrubs and brushes should be used only two or three times a week, while chemical exfoliants should be used three nights on, three nights off. Exfoliation is a great way to get rid of that damaged and dead layer of skin to expose the fresh and healthy skin underneath. However, overdoing it can injure your skin. Too much exfoliation can lead to flaking, severe dehydration of the skin, the death healthy cells and many more problems. Exfoliate in moderation. Just because it’s good for your skin in small doses does not mean that more exfoliation is a good thing.

Not Washing Your Face Before Bed

Washing Face

Yes, I am aware that I just wrote that wearing your makeup overnight is a beauty rule you should break, but I meant once in a very long while. Washing the makeup and oils off of your face before bed is vital to keeping your pores clear. If you do not, dirt and oils can be trapped against the skin overnight and end up clogging your pores. Additionally, a lot of makeup contains ingredients that will irritate the skin overtime unless it is removed.

Washing your face before bed is a skin care fundamental that is essential for keeping a great complexion.

Smoking

Smoking

There are many reasons to quit smoking; add skin health to that list. A study from the University of Michigan found a direct correlation between smoking and skin damage. It was also found that the longer a person continues to smoke, the worse the skin damage. This is because smoking constricts blood vessels and affects the blood flow around the surface of the skin. The skin begins to wrinkle because it does not receive the appropriate amount of oxygen. Smoking also impairs the production of collagen, which is a protein that makes your skin smooth.

Not Moisturizing

Moisturizing

Always apply moisturizer after taking a shower. This will lubricate the skin as well as trap in moisture. Moisture is the essence of skin care. Dry weather, like a cold winter day or a scorcher with low humidity, will relentlessly suck the moisture from your skin. Replace it by making moisturizing a daily part of your post shower routine.

Not Getting Your Beauty Sleep

Beauty Sleep

With work, kids, school, and many other time consuming factors going on in our lives, it can be extremely difficult to get the amount of sleep necessary for your skin rejuvenate itself. Ideally, you should be sleeping somewhere between 7-9 hours per night. This gives your skin adequate time to renew and repair itself before the upcoming day. Consistent quality sleep goes a long way towards having consistently beautiful skin.

In addition to getting the proper amount of sleep, it is important to regularly wash your sheets and pillowcases. Bedding accumulates oils from your body that can clog pores and cause your skin to break out. Keep your bedding fresh by changing it or washing it at least once a week.

Hot Showers

Hot Shower

As fall and winter approach and the weather starts to shift, it will get more and more tempting to jump into a hot shower to combat the cold. Although there is little better than a hot shower on a cold day or night, hot water dehydrates your skin and makes it dry and itchy. Resist the temptation and instead settle for a lukewarm shower. It may not feel as nice, but your skin will thank you for it.

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