The following is a guest post written by Bea Kinnear, a USANA Associate and author of Your Skin & You. She is owner and moderator of the Yahoo! Sensé Help Site, where she works with Kathleen Rockney, Jacquie Malinowski, and Janet Bernstein to educate members about skin care. The site is where a version of this and other articles in the “Let’s Talk” series originally appeared. Bea has agreed to share select articles with What’s Up, USANA? as a resource for readers to learn more about Sensé products. Read previous posts here.
Cold weather and snow seem to affect our outlook on life. One thing we know for sure about cold weather is your skin functions differently in it.
Winter dry skin can be an issue for people of all ages, whether or not they have other skin problems. Dry skin results when there is not enough water in the stratum corneum (the outermost layer of the epidermis) for it to function properly.
When protective oils in the stratum corneum are lost, it could allow for water that is normally present in the skin to escape. This outermost layer has natural skin oils that keep the water inside our body from escaping into the air. It also helps protect against irritating substances from entering the body.
Your skin requires thoughtful care all year long, though there are a few special steps to take when dealing with the dry, cold air of winter.
The damaging effects of winter happen to both internal and external layers of skin.
When skin becomes cold, the blood vessels supplying the skin become constricted and blood flow to the skin is reduced. Sweat glands and oil-producing glands also experience reduced blood flow. When the water content of the skin diminishes, skin cells become shrunken and dry. This produces flaking of the superficial skin cells. The nerves beneath are irritated and cause itchy sensations. Most people do not feel as thirsty during winter and therefore, do not usually drink enough water. The ultimate result is a lower volume of circulating blood.
Low humidity during winter, both outside and inside the house, enhances the drying effect on the skin, as does exposure to dry wind and cold water. Note: drying soaps further increase the skin dryness.
Caring for Your Skin During Winter
Here are a few tips to follow:
- Keep the Showers Short: Avoid soaking in the bathtub, Jacuzzi, or taking long showers. Inundating skin with water breaks down the substances that keep skin cells intact. As soon as you are out of the tub or shower, apply Sensé Firming Body Nourisher (within 3 minutes). With your skin still damp, the ingredients will be absorbed into the skin. Acting quickly will help keep any moisture on the skin’s surface from escaping into the environment.
- Moisturize: If you’re struggling with dryness, use Sensé moisturizers, which contain antioxidants to fight environmental damage. They also contain ingredients that help keep water in skin, as well as anti-inflammatory ingredients to reduce irritation. Note: Sensé products contain many natural moisturizing factors (NMFs).
- Be Gentle: Don’t use cleansers that are as harsh as the weather outside. Do not scrub skin; you can’t scour away dryness. Scrubbing creates tiny tears on the surface of skin impairing its ability to keep water where it needs to be. Use the Gentle Daily Cleanser for morning and evening face cleansing. Never use a bar soap as the ingredient used to make bars solid will clog pores.
- Give Your Skin a Boost: Exfoliating with Sensé Shower Gel can help facilitate normal skin cell turnover. Helping skin do what it should do year-round (turn over the top layer and replace it with newer, smoother cells that can better protect skin) is a great way to prevent dryness and dull skin. Try the Firming Body Nourisher for your body; the Rice Bran Polisher followed by the Nutritious Crème Masque and Serum Intensive (Serum Intensive for night application only) will assist your face.
- Mind the Sun: Wear Sensé Daytime Protective Emulsion 365 days a year no matter how warm or cold.
- Help Out Your Lips: Lips are the least capable of staying smooth and soft when the air becomes dry. They lack the oils and skin structure present in the rest of the fact and, as a result, are far more vulnerable to the effects of dry air. During the day and night be sure to put on the Sensé Deeply Nourishing Lip Moisturizer. Keep one by your bed to apply before you sleep. Often lip damage is done during the night from licking the lips or drooling. Certain enzymes present in our saliva saps moisture from our lips.
- Healthy Hands: Do your hands feel like sandpaper? It is a must to apply the Intensive Hand Therapy moisturizer on a regular basis, especially after you wash your hands. Read Jessica Reimer’s latest Inside Beauty post for additional tips to keep your hands healthy in the winter.
Without omega-3 fatty acids dryness, skin irritation, whiteheads and blackheads will become regular on the skin. Fatty acids are essential for dry sensitive skin, and USANA’s BiOmega is your best friend.
Vitamin D is one of the first things you should think of every day. In the winter, take USANA’s vitamin D once in the morning and again after your evening meal.
Have a proper program to help build your immune system and fight the results of cold temperatures, forced-air heating and lack of days of sunlight. Common sense is your best defense, along with moisturizers found in products such as Sensé.
For an application to join the Sensé Help Site, please contact Bea.