Monday, March 1, 2010

What Can I do to Heal My Dry, Winter Skin?

by Candy Dye

Even though the Groundhog has seen his shadow, parts of the country are up to their roofs in snow!  Believe it or not, spring IS just around the corner, but tell that to our skin, right?  What are the signs of dry, wintery skin and what you can do to help heal and moisturize……. 

Symptoms of Dry Skin
  • Skin tightness 
  • Skin appears dull and less supple
  • Rough skin 
  • Scaling, Flaking, or peeling skin
  • Cracking that may bleed if severe 
  • Itching 
  • Redness 

For many, the winter months bring dry, itchy, tight feel­ing skin that lacks the glowing, youthful appearance seen in warmer months. Why? As the temperature drops, our skin is bombarded with forces that cause dryness and leave it feeling and looking a bit lackluster. Central heat­ing reduces indoor humidity, while outside cold, dry, windy weather strips skin of its moisture. Often the worst dam­age is caused when the harsh glare of winter sun off of snow and ice increases exposure to harmful UV radiation. While the combined effects of indoor and outdoor condi­tions may just leave some skin in need of a little extra TLC, for others the effects can be as severe as cracking, flaking, and even eczema. Following a few simple suggestions, however, makes it easy to maintain healthy, glowing skin even when winter throws its worst at us! 

Common Causes of Dry Skin 

  • Dry air from central heating 
  • Hot water; frequent bathing 
  • Harsh surfactants; cleansers 
  • Not enough moisturizer 
  • Harsh weather 
  • Sun exposure 
  • Age; genetic conditions
Dry skin is easily aggravated – once the natural barrier layer is dis­rupted, more substances are likely to cause skin damage or irritation. Avoid the discomfort of tight, dry, flaky skin this winter by making some small changes to your routine that prevent damage; keep your skin healthier all winter long.

What causes dry skin? The stratum corneum is a layer of skin cells and natural oils that resides on the outermost portion of the epidermis. This layer forms a pro­tective hydro-lipid barrier system to both prevent moisture loss through evapo­ration while protecting against invasion from foreign substances (such as bacte­ria). When the stratum corneum is disrupted, the skin is not capable of retaining the moisture levels necessary for proper skin function; breaks in this protective outer layer make skin more susceptible to irritation and infection. So what can disrupt the stratum corneum and natural hydrolipid barrier? Common culprits include soaps with harsh surfactants, using hot water to bathe, and harsh envi­ronmental conditions that stress skin and strip it of its natural oils. Skin dryness can also be genetic, and tends to become more severe as we age.
Cleanse gently! Mild cleansers and warm water are the key! A long, hot shower or bath definitely feels great at the end of a cold day outside. Unfortunately, hot water and harsh surfactants are highly effective at breaking down the natural hydrolipid layer that protects skin. Without this layer, skin is less capable of retaining moisture and more susceptible to irritation and damage. To avoid drying out skin choose a gentle cleanser (such as Celloxylin Creme Cleanse), use warm water, and keep showers short and sweet! To achieve the best results, continue your skin care regimen immediate­ly after cleansing to lock in moisture absorbed during rinsing!
Moisturize more often! Cold, windy weather outside and dry, heated air inside suck moisture from skin during the winter months. As soon as the heater goes on, you should consider making small changes to your skin care routine that help maintain healthy skin moisture levels. First, apply moisturizer more often if your skin is feeling dry and tight. This applied to your face and your body, es­pecially areas that are prone to dryness like the hands, elbows, knees, and feet. Moisturizers should always be applied when skin is still damp to help seal in moisture, and seek out products with powerful humectant ingredients (such as Hyaluronic Acid and Tremella Fuci­formis in the Nutrient Reservoir) to help your skin draw in and retain moisture.
Be diligent about your sun protection! Clouds and shorter days don’t mean it’s time to ditch your sunscreen. Not only do we experience UV exposure from above, snow and ice provide the per­fect surface for reflecting UV rays up onto our skin from the ground. UV damage only worsens the effects of harsh weather conditions and dry air. A sunscreen that provided superior moisturization dur­ing this time of year is essential if you want to avoid the compounded effects of sun damage and dry skin! Apply a moisturizer with broad spectrum, UVA/UVB protection every time you go outside.
Exfoliate! Exfoliation will help clear away dead, dry skin cells that build up during the winter, making skin underneath more recep­tive to the benefits of moisturizing products. Remember – don’t over exfoliate! When used too frequently, exfoliating products begin to strip away and damage healthy skin cells at the surface; resources from deeper skin layers are then necessary to help in the repair and regeneration processes. Depending on your skin type, 1 to 3 times per week is enough to promote healthy skin cell turnover and get the most out of your moisturizer!
Invest in a humidifier! No, it’s not a part of the Apriori Beauty product lineup, but this simple piece of equipment can help return moisture to the air in your home or office, decreasing the drying effects of central heating. If you don’t have a humidifier, boiling water can also serve to return moisture to the air.
Don’t forget your lips! The skin on your lips is unique from other areas because it doesn’t produce sebum.  Harsh conditions during the winter, therefore, mean your lips are even more susceptible to dryness and chapping.  To ensure soft supple lips all winter long, be sure to use a moisturizer designed specifically for the delicate lip area, such as Celloxylin Eye + Lip Age Eraser from Apriori Beauty.  Another tip for getting silky smooth lips:  Gently scrub your lips with Celloxylin Enzyme Activated Micro Scrub before applying Eye + Lip Age Eraser.  The soothing beet sugar crystals will help remove dry, flaking skin, while reducing inflammation!  Carry around a 30 day sized Eye + Lip Age Eraser as a fantastic substitute for less effective lip balm.

Candy Dye loves everything about wellness and beauty which has brought her to Apriori Beauty!

Because the condition of your skin is a result of what is going on inside of your body, the science of Nutrigenomics - the effects of specific nutrients on your cells and genes, which can prevent degenerative diseases - is being embraced by both the scientific research world and skin care products industry.

This is the science upon which Apriori Beauty products are founded. "Apriori Beauty's mission is to help women look and feel beautiful with the purest, most-natural and most-innovative products and opportunity. When you look beautiful, you feel good. When you feel beautiful, you look good. And, when you can share this beauty with others, you can feel good inside and out. Beauty from personal success will also be key to success."

A Neonatal Nurse Practitioner and Pediatric Clinical Nurse Specialist, she also currently teaches in University of California Irvine's Nursing Program. Candy also shares health, wellness and beauty tips on her blog ( ) and on twitter (@candydye). This week she was listed as one of the Top 25 Nurse Practitioners on Twitter. WAY TO GO CANDY!!

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