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We’ve all heard the warning; winter is coming. Well, winter is here, and it’s gone from kinda cold to harsh winds and mega temperature changes. What suffers first? Your skin! If you’re cuddled up inside under a bunch of blankets wondering how to combat this climate, our friends at Milk Makeup have all the tips to prep for your skin for a polar vortex!
Growing up in Ireland, our mothers and grandmothers would often declare, “Ah, sure ‘tis great drying weather out there.” This was seen to be a good thing – the crisp, chilly temperatures were optimal for airing out freshly washed clothes and bed linens. However, living on the East Coast of America, I’ve come to fear “drying weather” as a different beast altogether.
While the cooler season brings with it many delights—lookin’ @ u, faux fur coats and spiked hot cider— the shift can also wreak havoc on our skin. Skin tends to be driest in the winter as temperatures plummet, and the reliance on central heating, roaring fireplaces, and hot, steamy showers can further reduce humidity in your skin as natural oils dry up.
The same grandmother who preached the importance of drying weather when I was a kid had no shortage of golden nuggets of advice up her sleeve. You know, sensible stuff like rubbing a gold wedding ring on sore eyes to calm them and using flat soda as a drinkable cure-all for any illness. One of her other pearls of wisdom was that I should never stay in the bath long enough to turn into a “wrinkly prune.”
While some of her questionable tips I still adhere to, I turned to Dr. Loretta Ciraldo MD FAAD, a Miami-based dermatologist and co-founder of Dr. Loretta skincare, to get a pro’s advice on how to handle winter skin woes from AM to PM.
When it comes to luxurious winter baths, Dr. Loretta says to avoid the urge to soak in scalding water, even if it’s cold AF outside. “Only bathe in tepid water. Warm and hot water dries you out much more.” Once clean, she recommends patting instead of rubbing yourself dry with a towel to avoid irritation and applying a moisturizing product while your skin surface still feels damp. You know that phrase “trap in the moisture?” This is how it’s done, folks.
“For your face, be sure to use a sulfate-free cleanser, and preferably one with hydrating essential oils and peptides,” she continues. “Then apply a water-trapping serum with a lipid-rich base to lock in moisture for at least six hours after a single application.”
Irritants and drying agents are also a no-no, according to Dr. Loretta. Instead, she recommends singling out “formulas that use hydrating essential oils, marine ingredients that have proven hydration boosting benefits, and bioidentical skin lipids which are the main moisture-trapping element in skin.”
Just like après soak, moisturizing is an essential part of your routine before you catch some Zzzs. According to Katie Sobelman, also known by her online alias The Organic Esthetician, skin is more permeable while we sleep, particularly around midnight.
“Your skin is also more dehydrated during the night due to elevated body temperature and moisture loss through perspiration,” she notes. “Using a richer moisturizer in the evenings ensures your skin is reaping all the benefits of this added moisture.”
Not all moisturizers are created equally, though, so she offered some tips on what ingredients to look for. First up, hyaluronic acid.
“Hyaluronic acid is great for skin that is dehydrated from heaters and cold, dry climates. This humectant holds up to one thousand times its weight in water; pulling moisture from your environment and locking it into your skin,” she says. “Look for low molecular weight hyaluronic acid, also known as hydrolyzed hyaluronate, as this offers a deeper, longer lasting hydration.”
Milk Makeup’s new glow-boosting Watermelon Brightening Face Mask, a solid-clay mask in a stick, contains this *wunderkind* ingredient, alongside watermelon fruit extract, Vitamins C and E, and Matrixyl, a biomimetic peptide, to help simultaneously hydrate and smooth while evening skin tone.
Sobelman also preaches the importance of regular, gentle exfoliation. This is something we should be doing “at least” twice a week.
“Dead skin tends to accumulate in the dryer, colder months – sloughing off dead skin allows for products to penetrate deeper and be more effective,” she says. “For those with more sensitive skin, opt for an acid rather than a scrub. The physical abrasion of a scrub, even a gentle one, can cause irritation and lead to broken capillaries.”
She recommends looking for products containing lactic acid, an alpha hydroxy acid which penetrates deep into the skin to stimulate collagen production and increase hydration. “It’s fantastic for dissolving dead surface skin while also leaving it plump and dewy,” she adds.
When it comes to ~ scrubbing up your act ~ Milk Makeup’s new Matcha Detoxifying Face Mask should whet your appetite for a wellness moment without facing the ten-minute wait for a matcha latte.
In half that time, this mask delivers a fReSh complexion thanks to matcha green tea, organic cactus elixir, witch hazel, salicylic acid, and kombucha — because, hey, we did say it’s as much a ‘moment’ as it is a mask.
Finish off with a slick of Milk Makeup’s new Kush Lip Balm, infused with conditioning, hemp-derived cannabis oil. This soothing and softening daily hydrating balm contains shea butter as well as jojoba and olive oils. In short, you can kiss your winter skincare woes goodbye.
Ah, 2020—the year that truly put our sanity to the test. On top of that, something that most people use to navigate through a tough time has essentially been stripped away from us—our normal workout routines. I don’t know about you, but even skipping a week at the gym can send me into a tailspin. But several months of sheltering in place and being forced to adapt to this new normal?
That’s a different story.
While I think we can all say we’re grateful that fitness studios were quick to offer virtual classes when COVID-19 hit—there is something about constantly working out by ourselves that may trigger some of us to hit pause on our workout routines and start turning towards less robust habits. *Reluctantly raises hand*
The other day I came across a stat that really set off some alarms. According to a recent study, Americans are spending an additional two hours each day on their couch since March 2020. As of recently, I can say I’m totally guilty of a little too much R&R. While an evening of Netflix and wine once sounded like heaven on earth for most of us, I think it’s safe to say the repetition of this is starting to get kind of old. Also, Schitt’s Creek is over now, so I really don’t have any excuse to not dedicate my free time to jumping back into my at-home workouts.
I started pondering what made dial back my fitness routine in the first place? Was it a lack of motivation? No, not really. Screen fatigue? I think my Netflix history outlined above would tell you that’s a solid ‘no.’ Then it hit me—the thing that motivated me to stay on top of my fitness goals was being around other people with the same goals. Pre-COVID, going to my favorite spin studio and the local yoga hot spot was how I typically spent my social hour during the workweek. I realized the best way to amp up my at-home workout routine was to re-connect with my workout buddies and start doing virtual classes together to create that sense of community I craved.
If you’re also experiencing some form of live stream lull when it comes to your workouts, then getting a virtual workout buddy may be exactly what you need. Here’s why:
Just like in-person workouts, making plans to sweat it out with one of your friends motivates you to show up and be your best self. According to the Mindbody Wellness Index, 25% of the folks we surveyed said they found it difficult to hold themselves accountable to their workout goals on their own—and an additional 20% of people said a lack of support was responsible for missed workouts.
Everybody enjoys a little friendly competition, right? Maybe you have a friend who is a powerhouse at virtual HIIT—try signing up for a class with them to help you take your workout to a whole new level.
Getting a workout sesh in with a friend is the perfect time to try a new exercise such as virtual yoga or virtual barre. Trying something new can be scary—I get it. But by trying a new type of exercise with a friend, you can both give each other a confidence boost by acting as each other’s personal hype man.
Look, we’re all craving human interaction these days—and I know I’m not the only one who is missing weekly happy hours with friends. Luckily, fitness studios are getting creative with their virtual offerings post-workout, too! When we asked members of our MindbodyOne Community how they are keeping things interesting for their students in the virtual space, they said they are hosting monthly virtual wine dates to share fitness stories and personal victories. Not only do you get to drink wine, but you and your buddy get to meet other like-minded people at the same time.
As 2020 winds down (thank goodness), you have a unique opportunity to reconnect with your friends and take your workout sessions to the next level with a virtual workout buddy. So, why not start now? Book a virtual fitness class and encourage your friends to show up for you and themselves today.