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Understanding Why: What's Behind Winter Skincare Tips

woman applying skincare in bathroom, woman smiling in mirror, woman touching her face

As promised in my last blog post, I wanted to give you some concrete reasons behind the 4 winter skincare tips I wrote about last week. Hopefully you have been implementing them into your life this week and are already feeling better about your skin and the direction it is heading in 2024.

Wear SPF

At this point in your life, you have likely heard of UVA/UVB rays and how they cause damage to your skin, but let's dive a little deeper into what each type is and the damage it causes so you know exactly what your daily SPF application will help protect you against. Afterall, knowledge is power, and I cannot think of a better motivator to get me to stick to a habit then knowing the reason why it is beneficial. You may be asking what is the difference between UVA/UVB rays anyway? Ultraviolet A (UVA) has a longer wavelength, accounting for about 95% of rays that reach the ground. UVA rays are associated with skin aging. Ultraviolet B (UVB) has a shorter wavelength, accounting for about 5% of rays that reach the ground. Since UVB rays have higher energy levels, they typically cause damage to the outermost layer of your skin, causing sunburn. I know, I know, what does this mean, Gina?!!! It means that UVA rays can penetrate your skin more deeply and cause your skin cells to age prematurely, so when those skin cells reach the surface layer of your skin, they appear damaged and unhealthy. Some common issues due to overexposure to these harmful rays are hyperpigmentation, sunspots, premature fine lines and wrinkles. By not protecting yourself from UVB rays you put yourself at greater risk for skin cancer. With each sunburn, your risk of developing skin cancer rises. It is recommended that you apply broad protection sunscreen/SPF daily and reapply every 1-2 hours if swimming or sweating. Be sure your sunscreen/SPF of choice has titanium dioxide or zinc oxide listed in the ingredients list and choose SPF 30 or higher for the best overall protection from UVA/UVB rays. Looking for additional ways to protect yourself from the sun? Wearing a hat, sunglasses and sun protective clothing will provide you with additional protection and are recommended when planning to spend time outdoors.

Moisturize Regularly

Your skin is your body's largest organ and requires care and protection in order to stay healthy and do its job, just like any other part of your body. Moisturizing daily (at least 2x) is a great way to ensure your skin is receiving the vitamins and hydration it requires to keep it working as it should and keep you happy with the look and feel of your skin. Some parts of your body, such as your face, neck and chest (décolleté) shed cells more rapidly than other parts of your body. These areas require more moisture to repair itself and bring younger, newer skin cells to the surface. When you apply, the massage-like motion helps stimulate blood circulation and new cell generation. All good things!! Be sure to choose an oil-free, non-comedogenic moisturizer with vitamins A, B, C and SPF for best results.

Sleep 7-8 hours/night

Our bodies need time to repair and rejuvenate themselves each day from the stress, free radicals and sun exposure, etc. we put it through daily. That is not an easy process, and it takes at least 7-8 hours of rest for this to effectively occur each night. That means that when we get less sleep, our bodies do not have the time it takes to repair our damaged cells and produce new cells as they need to. Do yourself a favor and turn out the lights early tonight.

Stay Hydrated

Lastly, there's no one size fits all when it comes to how much water we need to drink, however, generally speaking, the recommendation is a minimum 8 cups of water per day just to keep our organs functioning as they should (some people require up to 13 cups). Many of us are consuming far less than we need, leading to dehydration and causing issues with our skin and beyond. Even those of us with the best intentions refilling our reusable water bottles {that never leave our side} often miss the mark due to exercise (sweating) and/or consuming too much caffeine. While we may also receive water/hydration through food such as fruits and vegetables, we often do not make up for the water loss from our consumption of caffeine or our exercise habits, which leads to dehydration. Before you get out the pitchforks {for going after your coffee habit} or go telling your friends that you found the reason to skip your workout, let me tell you exactly how to be sure that you are making up for any hydration lost. Some sources suggest for every 8oz. of caffeine you drink, you should drink an additional 8oz. of water. This will account for the diuretic effect of caffeine that can lead to dehydration in some individuals. Try to start your day by drinking at least 8oz. of water before you do anything else. If you plan to work out, you should drink water prior, during and after your session to avoid dehydration. The total amounts that I came across vary from source-to-source and person-to-person. Here is an easy-to-use daily water calculator you may find helpful to calculate your daily water needs. This information is to help you achieve more radiant and glowing skin in 2024. Always consult your doctor for medical advice.


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