Date: January 14, 2016
Editor: Kathleen Hou
The Ultimate Guide to Winter Skin Care
5. Keep your showers and baths short and not too hot. The shower is not the time to get lost in your thoughts. All of the dermatologists insist that you shower like the National Resources Defense Council is watching you. The ideal temperature is lukewarm, sort of like your feelings toward oatmeal cookies.
“Water is not hydrating to your skin. It can be the enemy if you have dry skin. It’s the natural oils that you want,” explains Dr. Frank, and water washes natural oils away. Excessively hot water also dehydrates the skin. “If the water you use on your skin is too hot, it will dilate capillaries in order to cool itself, resulting in redness,” says Dr. Macrene-Alexiades.
6. Moisturize like you're on the clock. Because you are! Dr. Macrene-Alexiades says, “You cannot get your moisturizer on quick enough.” After washing your face or getting out of the shower, lightly pat your skin dry and start applying moisturizer immediately. You don’t want your face to be wet because that will dilute the product, but your skin can be slightly damp. “Pores are most open after [skin's] been washed. They’re like mouths that are open to be fed, and it’s best to do that on freshly washed skin,” Dr. Frank says.
7. Eat more fish. Dr. Perricone suggests that you make a few changes to your diet to keep your skin supple. First, eat more foods with omega-3s, which includes basically everything in the fish family: salmon, sardines, anchovies, sablefish, and halibut. If you can't do that, you can take fish-oil capsules instead. He also suggests avoiding coffee because it's a diuretic, and alcohol because it accelerates dehydration. Also, "avoid sugary, starchy foods, which cause an inflammatory response in the body and exacerbate a host of skin problems from wrinkles to dry skin to acne, eczema, rosacea, etc.," he suggests. At least you can still eat sushi.
8. Don't exfoliate too much. If your skin is already dry and flaky, don't exfoliate more than you normally would. Dr. Macrene-Alexiades suggests taking out peeling agents or harsh exfoliators, as "these will further weaken and strip your skin barrier at a time when you need it most." You're not using micro-bead exfoliators since they're now banned, but if you're using a salicylic- or glycolic-acid cleanser to exfoliate, try substituting with a gentle cleanser instead.