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7 Steps to Soft, smooth, flake-free skin

by Raffi Nersesin, Paramedical Skin Health

Skin CareWinter is the worst time of the year for dry, flaky, cracking, chapped and leathery-looking skin. Here’s how to protect your face from the elements by changing your skin-care  regimen during the colder months.

1. Cleanse

You want to be gentler on skin by avoiding foaming or soap-containing products because these will encourage dryness and irritation by stripping all the natural oils.

The result: your sebaceous glands will begin producing excess oil to compensate, causing breakouts and irritation. Choose a lighter, non-stripping cleansing milk instead for restoring the natural moisture balance.

2. Exfoliate

To eliminate dry, flaky skin that’s caused by a buildup of dead cells, exfoliate more often during winter. Gentle exfoliation will reveal softer, smoother skin. More importantly, it will ease the penetration of other treatment products by removing dead surface cells.

A natural enzyme peel, like the one derived from pumpkin, is a very effective choice.

3. HYDRATE

Because of low humidity conditions in winter, having an extra layer of moisture from a serum visibly improves complexion. Serums contain more potent, deep-penetrating ingredients and have the ability to attract and retain moisture. Look for one that’s specifically labeled “hydrating” and apply it just after cleansing and right before moisturizing.

4. MOISTURIZE

Prevent moisture loss by using richer moisturizing products than you would during the summer months. Avoid petroleum-based ingredients as they can clog pores. Choose one with natural ingredients like sea buckthorn, evening primrose oil, shea butter or almond oil. Apply at least 30 minutes before going outside for proper absorbtion, otherwise it can freeze into damaging micro-ice particles.

5. SUNSCREEN

Protection against UV-light is a concern during winter too, since the sun’s reflection on the snow can be higher in intensity than that of summer. Prevent UV damage and photo-aging by using a sunscreen containing no less than 5% zinc or titanium dioxide.

6. NUTRITION

A healthy diet also helps in nourishing the skin from within. Avoid winter dehydration by drinking more water. Include a diet of antioxidant-rich dark, leafy vegetables and foods rich in omega 3 oils. And to ensure proper intake, use a daily supplement. The best antioxidants for the skin are vitamin C, B, E, zinc and magnesium.

7. TECHNOLOGY

Seeking a skin-care professional during winter is a worthwhile investment. Cold temperatures result in a poor blood circulation in facial skin. As a result, skin

doesn’t get enough nutrients and the regenerative process slows down. Magnetic pulse and RF technology can safely stimulate collagen formation for results that are immediately visible. Photographic technology also exists to measure the degree of skin damage and tailor a program to reverse it. Dull, dry skin is an unfortunate result of our winters. Following these easy steps will ensure the protection you need to maintain a healthy complexion.