Winter Beauty...Beyond the Basics

Winter is here and every year we find ourselves searching for new and different beauty fixes beyond the usual basics.  I know how it goes after all of the holiday madness and excitement.  The temperature drops, the days become shorter and we look for ways to relax and enjoy staying warm.  But we still want to feel pretty!  

What we need to know about winter and how it affects our inner and outer beauty...

We get less sunshine, which means less vitamin D and unfortunately for many, a negative impact on mood.

Try to regularly get 15 minutes of sunshine a day.  Do not forget to wear your daily sunscreen, it is still a must.  

Good sources of vitamin D in foods are fatty fish, such as salmon, especially wild caught salmon, tuna, mackerel, mushrooms and eggs.  You can also look for Vitamin D fortified milks.  

For brightening your mood, try brightening your environment by opening curtains or blinds.  Eat healthy, enjoy a little chocolate...it's known to enhance mood!  Exercise.  Let's be honest...you'll not only enjoy the benefits now but you'll be prepared for a spring getaway.  Now is a great time to start a new pastime, start a new book, get out and most importantly, help others.  

"The purpose of life is not to be happy.  It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well."

~ Ralph Waldo Emerson  

The cold air and heating systems wreck havoc on our skin and hair by dehydrating both.  

The effects of lack of moisture in the air can be overcome by adjusting our daily skincare.  Be sure to use mild facial and body cleansers.  Avoid hot showers and baths, which further dehydrate the skin.  Reapply your lip balm throughout the day.  Try both a hydrating facial mask and a deep conditioning hair mask once a week.  Moisturized hair keeps static away.  Be sure to drink plenty of water throughout the day.  

Exfoliation is key.  We must get rid of those dry, dead skin cells.  By doing so, not only is our skin smoother but our treatments work better.  Use a gentle exfoliator on the face to start.  An exfoliator can work manually or chemically.  A manual exfoliator would be a product that uses round beads, for instance.  Examples of chemical exfoliators are glycolic or salicylic acids.  Exfoliating one to two times a week will keep you smooth without stripping your skin during winter months.  Remember, start gentle and alternate days.   

Prepare yourself before bed, our bodies naturally dehydrate while we sleep.  At this time of year, it's even worse.  Apply a good hand and foot cream for overnight softening.  Slather on that lip balm.  If you're not already using a retinoid, consider it.  Retinoids help to exfoliate the skin, boost skin's firmness and reduce fine lines and discoloration.  Start by using it once every 3 nights, slowly work to every other night.  Eventually you may be able to use it every night.  I recommend layering your moisturizer over the retinoid for multiple benefits.  Another good investment is a humidifier, which adds moisture back into the air while you sleep.  

A few more treatments to change up your winter beauty routine...

Treat yourself to a relaxing manicure and pedicure.  While there, try a paraffin hand and foot dip treatment.  This is one of my favorites, I always feel like I just want to dip my whole body!  There are several benefits including softening, help with calluses and providing deep heat therapy.  Don't forget to keep up results daily with a cuticle oil and hand cream.  

A spray tan!  For many of us, it just makes us feel better.  Go with a lighter, more natural intensity during these months.  

If you have been considering facial laser treatments, laser hair removal or facial peels, NOW is the time!  It is strongly recommended that these treatments happen during the winter months..revealing smooth, beautiful skin for spring.    

What is your favorite winter beauty tip?  Which new tip will you try first?