The second phase of winter has arrived with all the usual bells and whistles—unfortunately, dry, flaky skin can be one of the most distracting things of all now that it’s February. If you’ve made it a New Year’s Resolution to go on more dates this year, the last thing you want to be dealing with is dry skin! If you’re like me and suffer from dry hands, it may be a hard sell to move things to the next level with your date—whether you want to take things to the cama or to date number three. There are tips all over the place to help resolve this dilemma. We think it’s best to take a holistic approach—paying attention to both what you put into your body and what you put on your skin. Here are some ways to keep your piel prepped for the cold.
Don’t worry, we’re not shaming you into starting that overdue New Year’s Resolution! Here are a few things you can incorporate into your diet to make sure you’re putting your skin first.
Water helps to hydrate your skin by carrying oxygen and nutrients to the body’s cells. That’s why winter is the most important time of the year to make sure you’re drinking the full recommended amount of nine cups. If you think you’ll forget, try setting an alarm to remind you on your phone.
Celery and cucumbers contain silica, which helps the skin to stay moist and looking young and supple. Silica will help boost your skin’s elasticity and prevent it from drying out. Try adding cucumbers and celery to your salad, or enjoy some refreshing cucumber water. Okay, I guess we are trying to indirectly guilt you into starting on that diet. Too bad fries don’t contain much silica…
Flax seeds and nuts contain Omega-3s, which help the skin to retain moisture. If you’re new to flax seeds, grind them with a coffee grinder and keep them in the freezer. They’re a nice crunchy topping for salads or other foods. I guess this is a healthy way to finish up those flax seeds that I bought to make those deep fried latkes back in December…
Avocados, broccoli, spinach, kale, and other leafy greens contain essential vitamins and minerals—particularly vitamins C and E which protect your skin from free radicals and slow down the aging process. Turn up the heat at home and blend some green veggies together for a smoothie that will taste good and help your skin too. For awhile, I wasn’t so into the #greensmoothie life—if you’re hesitant to start, you can add some berries for a super-nutritious, skin-enhancing concoction that tastes like a dessert.
Avoid caffeine and alcohol! Try to skip that second (or eighth) cup of coffee during the day. Caffeine can really dry out your skin. And as much as I would like to recommend some cucumber flavored vodka to help protect your skin, the alcohol will counteract the positive effects of any silica that might have made its way into the cucumber infused vodka.
Prep Your Piel
A daily regimen is essential for healthy skin. Every day, your skin needs three basic things: cleansing, toning, and moisturizing. Cleansing removes makeup residue, excess oils, and impurities from the environment to fight irritation. Toning corrects the pH balance of delicate skin tissue, which normalizes oil production (this is effective for both oily and dry skin types). Alcohol-based skin toners and harsh cleansers can strip the natural oils from your skin, making it feel tight and uncomfortable. Opt instead for a cleansing milk or mild cleansing foam, and once a week or so, try a deep moisturizing mask. Use these products sparingly, so you avoid over-cleaning, which can further dry out your skin.
Winter months require a heavier, more robust moisturizing routine from head to toe. For your face, exfoliate weekly using a facial exfoliator to remove the dead layer of skin on your face. Rub in circular motions for a minute or so before rinsing. Check your skin closely an hour after moisturizing to determine frequency required. For hands and feet, go for a heavy, glycerin-based lotion that’s thick and luxurious. Re-apply your moisturizers as often as you can to keep your skin feeling soft and supple. And don’t think that only dry skin needs moisturizer—nothing could be further from the truth. Even oily complexions require healthy moisture to remain soft and smooth and to maintain elasticity. The trick is to use a moisturizer that is geared toward your skin type. For a normal to oily complexion, look for formulas that are non-comedogenic and use humectants like hyaluronic acid to supplement moisture.
We all need sun protection, too. Our skin may be slower to develop sunburns, but burns do happen, and protection from UV rays is of utmost importance. The Skin Cancer Foundation reports that incidents of skin cancer in the entire Latino community have risen by 20 percent in the last decade–and often, this disease is preventable. Applying makeup or skin care products with broad-spectrum SPF 30 sun protection on a daily basis can decrease your chances of developing the most deadly form of skin cancer, melanoma, by 50 percent.
Humidifiers aren’t just for kids—they’re one of the best investments you can make to fight dry air in the colder months. You’ll notice a big change in how your skin feels in just a day or two when you add an adequate amount of moisture to the air. It will also help to make your room feel warmer and more comfortable as well.
Combining nutrition-packed foods and drinks with a beauty routine that includes gentle cleansers and moisturizers will give your skin a fresh, healthy glow until the spring tulips bloom. Whether you’re doing it for yourself or for your latest príncipe azul, you’ll be ready if you follow our advice.