Here are my favorite winter skin care tips for women in our 40s. We have enough problems with skin care (oh hello peri-menopause you fickle witch) with wrinkles, adult acne and saggy skin. Throw in a solid dose of cold weather to strip every last ounce of moisture out of our skin and we are wearing a bag over our head November through March.
Let’s break down the three major factors that are speeding our skin to disaster and some ways to sucker punch them in return. (Part 2 & Part 3 are linked at the bottom.)
Lack of Moisture
What’s a gal to do? MOISTURIZE ME! (Okay, that was my lame attempt for a Doctor Who joke, but Cassandra scares me!) As we age and the estrogen in our system takes a sky dive it causes our skin to dry. More specifically it means that your body produces less of what your skin needs to stay not-dry – collagen. Collagen is the protein in your body that makes your skin stretchy and soft. A lack of collagen is also what causes stretch marks and worsens wrinkles. While increasing the collagen in your skin is a gazillion dollar beauty industry I’m going to talk here about a few works-for-most tips.
Tip 1: We need to moisturize from the inside and outside
How much water is enough? You may not like this, but it is recommended that you drink half your bodyweight in ounces of water daily. If you weigh 150 pounds that comes to 75 ounces a day. Excuse me while I go find a few gallon jugs to fill for the day… To be honest it isn’t that I don’t like to drink water, it’s that I forget to drink water. And I can’t count. To solve both problems I have my very favorite Thermos Water Bottle (mine is purple of course, but it comes in pink, blue, green and red) that has a counter so that I know I need to drink nearly four bottles a day to keep hydrated. (Please don’t do the math to figure out how much I weigh!)
The other main benefit to drinking a lot of water is that it metabolizes fat. Body fat apparently is water soluble. Who knew?!
Tip 2: Winter skin requires an extra dose of moisture and protection
My friend Lisa Frame is always urging me to use coconut oil. Cringe. Is this a Southern thing? I don’t know but her skin is a-maz-ing. So about this idea of putting oil on your face. It works. I was trained in all things St. Ives as a teen in the 1980s that OIL = PIMPLES. Not all oil is bad, and your skin actually needs oil to stay crease-free and pliable (I want my skin to be clay not drywall after all).
Since you are putting this on your FACE try to pick up organic coconut oil. If you are nervous about layering makeup over oil, start out by using it as a night cream. I should warn you, coconut oil at room temperature looks a bit like lard. As soon as you scoop out a bit and rub it in your face it ‘melts’ into faintly-scented tropical goodness. Some have reported breakouts when using the oil, so like everything else I talk about, test it out before ditching every single beauty product you own.
Coconut oil isn’t just for your face. Get a large container because you will wind up cooking with it and slathering it all over your hands, knees, elbows and even in your hair. You can use it to remove makeup and soothe burns. It’s rumored to have anti-bacterial properties (so less breakouts?). My favorite use … coconut oil is a great personal lubricant. Now you know.
Tip 3: Switch your moisturizing products from the ones you use during the summer
Summer skin care for me includes lighter moisturizers and heavier sun blocks. You need to use sun block all year, but in the summer I use Neutrogena Age Shield Face Lotion Sunscreen (SPF 110) and layer it on top of my moisturizer. I hit our country club’s pool a few times a week with my kids (I take my laptop and work since the club has a snack bar with a liquor license and WiFi) and really need to be extra diligent about sun protection.
During the summer I can get away with a moisturizing lotion, and use the same one both day and night. Freezing cold and windy winter makes me turn to creams (thicker so they are usually in pots and not bottles) as well as a dedicated night time moisturizer.
Mid-October I ditch the Neutrogena sunscreen and choose Melaleuca Daytime Delivery Cream that has a SPF 15 build it. I don’t go outside much in the winter but basically travel from heated environment to heated environment. Right now I’m in the process of shopping around for winter moisturizer alternatives in addition to coconut oil. (Leave your suggestions in the comments!)
Want more tips? Check out the rest:
- Part 2: Overzealous Exfoliation
- Part 3: Environmental Stress (publishing soon)