A Fresh Start for your Skin
Thursday, May 23, 2013
Q: Winter did a number on my face -- my skin is dry, flaky, and irritated. How can I give it a fresh start for spring?
First, don't make the mistake of
over-scrubbing, over-cleaning, and over-treating. Frosty temperatures may have
damaged the outermost protective layer, exposing facial skin to irritants and
Hydration and exfoliation are the keys
to smoother skin for spring. Slough off dry skin cells with a gentle
exfoliator. Beta-hydroxy acids loosen the dead cells of the epidermis, making
room for new growth.
A mild unscented soap that won't strip
away natural oils will reduce moisture loss and maintain a healthy outer-skin
layer. Rebuild your skin's outer layer with a barrier repair moisturizer, which
boosts hydration and reduces water loss. Don't forget to add sunscreen - SPF 30
or higher. Then add a makeup packed with moisturizers and vitamins (and more
Most women find they need to moisturize
more in the winter when the humidity drops and skin gets drier. Yet because
skin can feel raw and sensitive, they're likely to skip exfoliation. The result
is a dry, flaky complexion by the start of spring.
The best way to start anew is to
exfoliate dry winter skin without leaving your face red and irritated. Mildly
abrasive cleansers or ones with mild exfoliants like glycolic or lactic acids
help eliminate flakes. For an at-home treatment that doesn't harm weather-worn
skin, try a face mask that sloughs away dead cells. Exfoliate only a few times
a week. Every other time, wash with a gentle cleanser to help skin retain
At night, apply a moisturizer with
glycolic acid, lactic acid, or salicylic acid, which helps the gentle sloughing
away of dead skin continue while you sleep. Be sure to moisturize soon after
washing your face, when the skin is still hydrated from the water it absorbs
during cleansing. This technique locks in more water than when you apply lotion
to dry skin. Finally, always use a sunscreen with an SPF 30 or higher to
prevent sun damage and skin cancer.
If you’re interested in improving your
skin, call us at Mangat-Holzapfel Plastic Surgery for a
consultation at (513) 984-FACE in Cincinnati, (859) 331-9600 in Northern
Kentucky, or (970) 766-FACE in the Vail Valley of Colorado.