Natural skin care creator Paul Penders gives 12 tips to protect your skin against the winter elements and keep your complexion moist, supple and glowing during the colder months.

During the wintertime air outside becomes drier, colder and clearer. Although the sparkling blue skies and crisp, clear mornings may nourish the spirit, gusting winds and falling temperatures can be harsh and irritating to the skin. At the same time, artificially heated indoor air can leech life-giving moisture from the body.

Together, these two factors combine to diminish skin hydration, reduce cellular turnover and decrease skin metabolism. Old cells tend to build up on the surface of the skin, causing a grayish tone to the complexion. The skin looses the radiance it had during the summer and in the worst cases, becomes chapped and inflamed. Even oily skin can dry out and look sallow. But it doesn’t have to be this way! Follow these 12 simple steps, and you can maintain your summer glow all year long!

1. Drink plenty of liquids, preferably water. Hydrating your body on a daily basis is one of the best ways to maintain skin moisture and elasticity.

2. Use an indoor humidifier, even if it’s just a small portable unit. Humidifying air can greatly reduce dry skin and nasal passages.

3. Take shorter baths and showers, using warm water instead of hot. Long, hot soaks dehydrate the body, removing the skin's natural oils more quickly than cooler water.

4. Immediately after bathing, pat skin dry but don’t rub it. To lock in moisture, apply a rich body cream or natural oil immediately to damp skin.

5. Use mild soaps and cosmetics. Using products that contain petroleum-based ingredients can trap moisture on the surface of the skin, interfering with the skin’s ability to eliminate toxins through the pores. Trapped toxins will cause the skin to flake and thicken, keeping it dry. These products also don’t allow skin to absorb oxygen from the air.

6. Reduce cleansing frequency. In the winter, cleansing once daily is sufficient to remove harmful buildups without stripping the skin’s essential oils. Products formulated for dry or sensitive skin can be especially beneficial. During cleansing, massage the face gently in a circular motion to stimulate blood circulation within the skin.

7. Exfoliate regularly. Stimulating blood flow and sloughing off dead skin cells will help maintain skin health. While weekly exfoliation is usually sufficient in the summer, exfoliating every few days is best during the winter months.

8. Use an oil-based moisturizer generously and frequently. Oil-based moisturizers form a protective layer on the skin that still allows skin to breathe. While lightweight lotions are excellent in the spring and summer, heavier moisturizers are better in winter to protect against dryness. Because moisturizers designed for nighttime use are often more oil-based than daytime products, using a nighttime moisturizer can help protect skin during extreme winter or high mountain weather days. For even greater benefit, a day or nighttime moisturizer can be mixed with a little organic sesame, olive or wheat germ oil before applying. But make sure not to apply the oil directly to your face without adding moisturizer, since the emulsifier in the moisturizer helps shrink the size of oil molecules, making them more easily absorbed by the skin. For best results, warm moisturizer in the hands before applying.

9. Make sure to use products containing sunscreen before going outside. Even though the temperature is cooler, the sun’s UVA rays remain strong throughout the year and can even cause damage on cloudy days. Reflection from snow can further increase the risk to skin. Products should contain a sunscreen of SPF 15 or higher.

10. Protect your lips. Because the lips don’t have oil glands, they can quickly become dry. To help retain lip moisture, use high quality, non-petroleum-based lip products; bundle up behind a scarf outside, and don’t lick your lips. The cycle of continual wetting and drying causes lips to chap more quickly.

11. Spend some time outdoors each day. Even a few minutes outside will refresh your skin. But make sure you protect your face, hands and body with clothes made from non-irritating materials. Many people find that wearing cotton next to the skin, covered with wool or other warm fabrics, will comfortably keep them warm and dry. Try to dress in layers, since the most common causes of itchy skin are sweating and overheating. Removing layers can help prevent this. After coming inside, take off wet clothes and shoes right away.

12. Enjoy the season! Finding the joy in whatever you do will help you stay happy, which in turn will boost your immune system and just plain make you prettier!

 Visit Paul Penders Skincare Products to keep your skin looking wonderful!