SKIN 911: Reviving Winter Skin
Fall has hit Charlottesville with temperatures dropping, windy days, and a setting sun prior to 5 pm. While some of us look forward to wearing puffy coats and drinking warm drinks by a fire, these chillier conditions as well as the addition of face masks can wreak havoc on the status quo of our skin. It is safe to say that likely any glow from the warmer months is gone, and most of us are seeing only the damaged skin from getting that glow and now fighting with dry, pale, dull, and possibly “maskne” prone skin. Here are some tips and products on how to avoid cold-ravaged skin and maintain a “just vacationed” look on our faces.
HYDRATE AND MOISTURIZE
Skin needs to be properly hydrated to look its best. Hyaluronic acid is an excellent water-attracting substance that can be purchased in many over-the-counter topical products but our favorites are Nua’s Ultra Hydrating Serum that feel refreshing on the skin. This serum gives tight, dry skin the moisture it craves. Plus, all that added hydration naturally plumps your skin, refining the surface of your complexion.
DEMOLISH THOSE FREE RADICALS
You might be thinking, what is a free radical and why does that matter to me? Free-radical damage is the pesky thing that often causes many of the visual and hidden signs of aging. Free radicals are byproducts that are formed in the skin when oxygen is used by the body. Their presence in our skin alters its DNA which results in aging. When talking about antioxidants, more is better. A well-rounded approach starts with eating a diet rich in antioxidants and is enhanced by using a high quality topical product like Nua’s Brightening Vitamin C Serum. Topical Vitamin C is sensitive to heat, light, and oxygen, so it is best to purchase this product from a trusted source.
It seems like many of us have developed a little “maskne” over the past year and here are some tips to help manage it. Change and wash your mask frequently. Have several on hand for all the days of the week. Wash with a gentle, hypoallergenic detergent. Try to find a mask that wicks away moisture and does not get wet throughout the day. Avoid makeup under the mask as clean skin is less likely to clog your pores. Some patients have found spraying a light mist of exfoliating spray into the mask such as the Nua Glycolic/Salicylic spray can help keep the skin clear.
You may tire of hearing it, but to keep your skin healthy — both to reduce the risk of skin cancer and to also maintain an appealing cosmetic appearance — you must use a broad-spectrum sunscreen and you must reapply it often, even in the winter. It is thought that over 90% of skin aging effects are caused solely by the sun. All skin tones are subject to the cosmetic aging effects of the sun, even if some skin tones are more prone to skin cancers. In fact, people with less fair complexions and who do not burn easily, often never develop the daily regular habit of using sunscreen, and are the ones who end up with more cosmetic sun damage. The best product lines provide safe, oil-free, and non-comedogenic chemical and/or physical barriers with added benefits such as antioxidants and water resistance. A great supplement to sunscreen is wearing sun protective clothing, hats, and sunglasses.
Photo: Michelle Mauser, University Hospital Medical Group
With shorter days, colder weather and overcast skies, late fall and winter are the perfect times of the year for several skin and hair treatments that are less safe or effective if performed in the sunny summer months when we are spending a lot of time outdoors. We are offering free cosmetic consultations at Nua for the rest of 2020 and would love to personally meet you and give recommendations on what is best to restore and rejuvenate your skin.
Katherine Loose, MPA, PA-C