Do we really need to list the symptoms of winter skin? We know them all too well don’t we? But just for the hell of it, let’s walk through a few common winter skin freakouts and explore a few corresponding, fool-proof strategies for putting these woes to bed.
Follow along, skin pilgrims, we’re going to the land of happy winter skin.
Problem: Chapped Upper Lip (cold or flu related)
Nothing fancy here folks, my go-to cure is plain old coconut oil. On my trip back from The Indie Beauty Expo in LA, I caught a whopper of a plane cold that caused an especially runny nose that, 100,00 sneezes and nose wipes later, left an upper lip that looked like it’d been hacked with a meat tenderizer. Treatment plan? Frequent applications of coconut oil throughout the day and an extra layer at night. See ya, chappy upper lip from hell.
Problem: Dry, itchy skin
OK, we need to come at this a few ways.
If you are cleansing your face twice a day, please stop. Nothing happens overnight that requires you to wash your face in the morning unless you are working third shift in a coal mine.
I cannot tell you how madly overcleansing wrecks your skin’s barrier function and opens the doors for all kinds of skin crazy.
Squeaky clean skin is not healthy skin. Your skin is an amazingly complex ecosystem, balanced by a synergistic interplay of physiology, environmental influences and naturally occurring microbes. Too much scrub a dub dub gets this whole magical process totally out of whack.
Healthy bacteria in your skin’s microbiome is vital for optimal skin health and vigorously sudsing that bacteria away (a la Howard Hughes) does your skin no favors.
So, (OMG) please, ease up on the soap. Cleanse your skin with something skin friendly, once daily, at night. ‘Nuff said.
I’m here to tell you that gentle exfoliation is OK in moderation, but do not go buck wild and strip your skin of all its natural goodness. We are looking for a gentle polish here, not shock and awe.
But if you hear the word exfoliation and start to reach for anything –
with apricot kernels in it
(please stop what you are doing, take a deep breath and step away from the jar)
that peels off your face in a way that is painful
(crazy-ass charcoal masks purchased from sketchy sources, I’m looking at you)
(do you really need a 40% glycolic peel or a daily dose of alpha hydroxy acids? Probably not)
Something with either organic rice powder, fruit enzymes or a combination of both is the way to go.
Problem: Skin that feels tight
Solution: Hydration and Moisturization
Most of the skin we encounter in the NBB studio is gasping for a drink of something worthy. From your skin’s perspective, that means a combination of skincare ingredients that deliver both hydration and moisture.
“What’s the difference?” you might ask, and this would be a great question!
Ingredients that hydrate your skin help increase and retain water in the layers of your skin.
Ingredients that moisturize help create a protective barrier on the surface of your skin to soften and smooth the upper layer (or stratum corneum) and give your skin a permeable veil that helps prevent transepidermal water loss (AKA evaporation).
Make sense? Not yet? Let’s break it down a little further with a couple of examples of common ingredients and what they do.
Hyaluronic acid, which is naturally occurring in our bodies, is an incredibly gentle, super hydrating ingredient used in skincare products because it is capable of attracting and holding up to 1800 times its own molecular weight in water.
Hyaluronic acid is awesome because as a humectant ingredient, it significantly helps skin to retain water at a cellular level.
Benefits? Smoother, firmer skin, a reduction in fine lines and wrinkles and no pore-clogging side effects.
Hemp oil for its phenomenal ability to create a lightweight, emollient layer on the skin while delivering significant levels of moisturization, naturally occurring antioxidants and phytoactives that help control acne as well as fight premature signs of aging.
Hemp oil is awesome because it’s plant-based and highly sustainable and delivers a veritable smorgasbord of readily bioavailable nutrients.
Benefits? Healthier, vibrant looking skin with fewer breakouts and less irritation and surface dryness.
With the right program and products, winter can be a time for your skin to really thrive and NBB is here to help you do it!
Be well in the world,