Learn About The Must-Have Products To Keep Skin Hydrated All Winter Long In My Telemundo NY “Acceso Total” Segment
Is your skin peeling and cracking, burning or feeling parched and itchy? Then yesterday’s winter skincare segment on Telemundo NY’s “Acceso Total,” which you can watch in its entirety above or here, was designed for you! During the segment, I chatted about the causes of winter dryness, offered advice on how to minimize the damage, and discussed an array of products to prevent moisture loss and inflammation.
Below, read more on the causes of common skincare ailments associated with the winter season and get the details on all of the products showcased on TV!
WHAT CAUSES SKIN TO BECOME DEHYDRATED IN THE WINTER MONTHS?
Most people know that there’s less moisture in the air during the winter months, but that’s hardly the only reason behind winter dryness. The truth is that the skin’s hydrolipidic barrier (that protective film that prevents moisture and nutrients from leaving the skin and which, similarly, defend the skin against environmental aggressors like UV rays, harsh wind gusts, and more) weakens during this time as a result of the frigid cold. Why? Well, the blood vessels right below the skin constrict when you’re exposed to the cold as a biological defense mechanism that allows your body to retain its warmth. But, as a result of the decreased blood flow, the cells on the epidermis aren’t receiving the nutrients and oxygen they typically do. This, in turn, leads to a deterioration of that surface layer of skin, making it more susceptible to the damage. During the winter months, skin can lose up to 25% of its ability to retain moisture. With the hydrolipidic layer in such a weakened state, the skin is practically defenseless when confronted with the dry air in the cold outdoors climate. Since we rely on radiators and steam pipes to keep our homes and offices toasty, we also tend to find ourselves coping with dry air even when indoors, which only works to exacerbate the parched skin conundrum. The result tends to be chapped lips, cracked cuticles, peeling noses, reddened and aching cheeks, ashy legs, and so forth.
HOW TO MINIMIZE OR PREVENT DRYNESS
Unfortunately, environmental factors (cold and dry air, arctic wind gusts, and so forth) are out of our control, but there are small steps we can take to minimize the damage caused by these conditions. For one, it’s essential to wear as much protective clothing as possible when venturing outdoors — from scarves and hats to gloves or mittens. Second, during the winter, one should avoid taking long baths or showers — especially piping hot ones. Third, investing in a humidifier can work wonders in terms of increasing moisture levels indoors and, in turn, making skin feel more comfortable. Fourth, physical activity (by which I mean exercise) will help to get that blood pumping and flowing, which will prevent the skin’s barrier system from full-on deterioration. And finally, it’s key to feed the skin by providing it with the most nutritious and moisturizing ingredients.
To that end, here are some great products to rely on this season to keep that complexion hydrated, soft, supple, and looking positively radiant!
TIME TO SWITCH UP YOUR ROUTINE — START WITH YOUR CLEANSER!
Cleansers containing unnecessary and harmful sulfates, parabens, silicones, mineral oils, and artificial dyes and fragrances can strip the skin of its natural oils, so it’s essential to look for products that contain any of these additives. The Shu Uemura Ultime8 Sublime Beauty Cleansing Oil ($90 at ShuUemura-USA.com) is a fantastic choice since it contains eight essential oils that cleanse, purify, soften, and hydrate the skin. These include: antioxidant-rich green tea extract; Omega 6-loaded safflower seed oil; softening, fatty acid-rife shea oil; and olive oil, a bountiful source of squalane, which is a natural emollient and also effectively boosts cellular regeneration. Another sublime option is the M-61 Brilliant Cleanse ($32 at BlueMercury.com) since it has a delightful creamy texture and it focuses both on hydration and on exfoliation. The latter is accomplished thanks to a mixture of salicylic, lactic, glycolic, and mallic acids, all of which gently but effectively slough off the dead cells that linger on the skin’s surface and, by doing so, reveal a more luminous and even complexion while also helping to unclog pores so that any moisturizing ingredients applied thereafter can be readily absorbed. These alpha beta hydroxy acids are accompanied by vitamin C-rich grapefruit extract to brighten and rejuvenate the skin and by mandarin orange peel extract to soothe it.
APPLY A SERUM AFTER CLEANSING
Serums tend to boast higher concentrations of peptides, antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals, so they can make an extraordinary difference in regards to the skin’s health. And, since the molecules within most serums have such a low molecular weight, they tend to penetrate upper layers of skin with ease. In the segment, I highlighted three all-star serums. First, I discussed the Kiehl’s Hydro-Plumping Re-Texturizing Serum Concentrate ( $58 at Kiehls.com), a refreshing elixir that has a 15% concentration of glycerin, a natural humectant, and Shiso leaf extract, which is loaded with antioxidants and has anti-inflammatory properties that help relieve such common ailments as keratosis pilaris (which worsens in the winter). Next, I discussed the Boscia Cool Blue Hydration Essence ($48 at Sephora.com), a gel-like liquid serum that’s a lovely shade of blue and which instantly gives the skin some relief due to the inclusion of Frescolat, a refreshing peppermint-derived ingredient that immediately cools the skin. This instant soothing sensation, however, is only part of the allure. The real benefits are derived primarily from the star ingredient: fermented yeast filtrate, which accounts for 82% of the essence’s base formula and which is itself the byproduct of sake production. This vitamin- and mineral-rich substance immediately moisturizes skin without leaving behind any greasy or oily residue. Other interesting ingredients within this serum’s formula include DayMoist CLR, a complex of plant-derived ingredients that strengthen the skin’s own moisture barrier, thereby guaranteeing longer-lasting hydration, and sea whip, an algae extract that both calms existing flare-ups and prevents any future inflammation potentially caused by external allergens and irritants.Third, I mentioned the Radical Skincare Youth Infusion Serum ($170 at RadicalSkincare.com), which immediately hydrates the skin and makes it appear smoother and plumper thanks to its high concentration of hyaluronic acid and which reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles thanks to the incorporation of stem cells extracted from Swiss apples.
WHEN PICKING A MOISTURIZER, REMEMBER: HYALURONIC ACID IS YOUR FRIEND
After applying a potent serum, you’ll want to follow up with a heavier moisturizer. Why is moisturizer necessary? Well, aside from delivering even more nutrients to the skin, these cream formulas create a protective film or veil over the epidermis that prevents moisturizing oils, peptides, and vitamins from escaping. When choosing a moisturizer, you’ll want to look for one that contains humectants like hyaluronic acid, which draws moisture from the air around us and then infuses it into the skin. Hyaluronic acid can absorb up to 1,000 times its weight in water, making it an extraordinary moisture magnet, and it has a low molecular weight so that it slides right down the pores and penetrates the upper layers of skin, hydrating the complexion from deep within.
During the segment, I showcased three moisturizers that count hyaluronic acid as one of their primary ingredients. First, I discussed the M-61 Hydraboost Moisturizer ($72 at BlueMercury.com), which incorporates hyaluronic acid, as well as several peptides (Palmitoyl Pentapeptide-4, Acetyl Tetrapeptide-5, Palmitoyl Oligopeptides, and Palmitoyl Tetrapeptide) that stimulate collagen production, helping to thicken the skin and make it appear plumper and smoother. Other vital ingredients in this formula include: vitamin B5, a humectant that helps to stabilize the skin’s barrier function, preventing unnecessary moisture loss; tamarind seed extract, which moisturizes the skin and helps to eliminate the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles; green tea extract, a polyphenol-rich substance that protects dermal cells; and vitamin E, which protects the skin from UV rays. Next, I spoke about the Tata Harper Repairative Moisturizer ($100 at TataHarperSkincare.com), a 100% natural and vegan lotion that incorporates hyaluronic acid, along with mango butter, honey (a natural humectant, emollient, antioxidant, and antibacterial agent), safflower oil (which prevents lipid loss), and cocoa extract. I also suggested the Kiehl’s Super Multi-Corrective Cream ($62 at Kiehls.com), a multi-purpose treatment with both moisturizing and anti-aging benefits. Advisable for normal, combination, and sensitive skin, this cream relies on fragmented hyaluronic acid, a form of hyaluronic acid with an even lower molecular weight and size that facilitates its quick absorption. This ingredient is then paired with jasmonic acid, which prompts the skin to begin repairing itself, and beech tree extract, which improves elasticity. Together, this trifecta helps to hydrate, firm, lift, and sculpt the skin.
QUENCH SKIN’S THIRST IN THE LONG RUN
Hyaluronic acid is hardly the only ingredient capable of delivering long-lasting moisture! Brands like Origins and Clinique have developed entire lines catering to severely dehydrates skin. In Clinique’s case, it’s the Moisture Surge collection, a delightful gel-to-cream hybrid that provides instant relief while also locking in moisture for hours at a time. One of the best products within this line is the Clinique Moisture Surge Intense Skin Fortifying Hydrator ($38.50 at Sephora.comand Clinique.com), which contains aloe extract and chamomile extract to instantly alleviate any burning, aching, or itching, along with olive extract (which contains hydrating squalane and antioxidants that play a key role in anti-aging), milk proteins, and firming caffeine. Similarly, the Origins Make A Difference Plus+ Rejuvenating Treatment ($39.50 at Origins.com) offers the visage a treat thanks to the inclusion of refreshing watermelon extract while guaranteeing long-term hydration via rhodocrosite extract, which helps the skin achieve an optimal moisture balance, and rose of Jericho, which staves off future dehydration. To fortify the skin, meanwhile, the formula incorporates lychee extract, which is rich in vitamin C and thereby brightens the skin and boosts collagen production.
Those who are fighting both dryness and dullness will appreciate the efficacy of the Lancôme Energie de Vie Dullness Relief & Recharge Day Cream ($55 at Sephora.com), which incorporates three herbal extracts used in modern beauty rituals in China: rhodiola, which combats the dehydration and fatigue faced by the skin; wild yam, which offers nourishment; and gentian extract, which is rich in antioxidants that protect the skin.
OPTING FOR OILS
Busy women who prefer a one-step skincare routine can always rely on powerful facial oils to deliver the moisturizing benefits they seek. In the segment, I highlighted two facial oils: one a drugstore beauty brand pick and the other a luxury skincare treat. For those seeking a bargain-priced product, there’s the L’Oréal Paris Age Perfect Cell Renewal Facial Oil ($24.99 at drugstores), which includes LHA, a salicylic acid derivative that exfoliates the skin and stimulates cellular regeneration without any potential irritation, and eight essential and precious oils — among them argan oil, lavender oil, clove oil, rosemary oil, wheatgrass oil, and chamomile oil. Those who love luxury, meanwhile, can opt for the decadent, fragrant, heavenly Sisley Paris Black Rose Precious Face Oil ($235 at Sisley-Paris.com). Black rose extract can be found at the core of this facial oil’s formula, helping to tone and soften the complexion. Extracts of two additional rose varieties, Bulgarian rose and magnolia rose, help to leave skin silky soft while imparting a romantic and feminine aroma upon this product. Additional ingredients include plum and camelina oils, both of which are rich sources of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids and which help the skin to retain its lipid structure.
It turns out Princess Aurora was onto something when she took her multi-year snooze and awoke looking more stunning than ever. See, our skin has its own biorhythm and, as such, most of our cells’ regenerative functions happen as we sleep. To take advantage of this fact, many companies have developed skincare treatments that work in tandem with natural cellular activities. The Korres Greek Yoghurt Advanced Nourishing Sleeping Facial ($48 at Sephora.com) is a fine example of one such product. Featuring a formula based on centuries-old Greek remedies, this melt-into-the-skin cream is meant to be applied in the evening, over your nighttime cream, so that you can awake with baby-soft skin. The intense treatment is formulated with a Greek yogurt protein that contains two and a half times the amount of protein found in regular yogurt.
I’ve long extolled the benefits of the eos Smooth Sphere lip balms, so I was ecstatic to find out that a new member was introduced to this family of pout savers: the eos Visibly Soft Lip Balm Sphere ($3.29 at Walgreens, CVS, Target, Walmart, and Rite Aid). Like its predecessors, this creamy lip balm is packaged in an egg-shaped container, but what’s inside that container is completely novel as this product features the shea butter found in its ancestor along with hyaluronic acid for immediate hydration satisfaction and vitamin C. Featuring a 99% natural formula, the eos Visibly Soft Lip Balm Sphere comes in two flavors: Coconut Milk, packaged in a baby pink sphere with a white swirl pattern, and Vanilla Mint, packaged in a baby blue sphere with white swirls.
KEEP THAT BODY TIGHT!
Winter dryness doesn’t just affect the complexion, so it’s key to moisturize from head to toe. Luckily, there are some amazing body moisturizers on the market and, as an added benefit, many of them boast both hydrating and anti-aging benefits. The brand new Murad Youth Builder bodycare collection, for instance, consists of top-notch products designed to hydrate, smooth, firm, and replenish the skin. Among the star products in the collection, you’ll find the Murad Youth Builder Detoxifying White Clay Body Cleanser ($26 at Murad.com), which contains kaolin, a type of white clay that absorbs toxins, purifying and cleansing the skin, but which also contains circulation-boosting ginger root extract, exfolating glycolic acid, and omega-6 rich safflower and sunflower seed oils that effectively moisturize the skin while also fortifying the hydrolipidic barrier. Perhaps my favorite product in the collection, however, is the Murad Youth Builder Firming Peptide Body Treatment ($36 at Murad.com), a lightweight lotion that contains omega-6 rich grape seed oil, as well as a Glyco Firming Complex featuring an amino acid-rich peptide blend that supports collagen production. When skin needs an intense hydration boost, meanwhile, I suggest reaching for the Murad Youth Builder Collagen Support Body Cream ($40 at Murad.com), which contains heftier emollients like shea butter and jojoba extract along with sunflower seed oil, green tea extract, and vitamin E. All the products in the Youth Builder line have a zesty but fresh and herbal lemongrass vetiver scent that’s invigorating but also calming to the senses.
Another ideal replenishing and rejuvenating option is the SheaMoisture Olive & Green Tea collection. Both the SheaMoisture Olive & Green Tea Body Wash ($9.99 at Walgreens and Target) and the Olive & Green Tea Body Lotion ($9.99 at Walgreens and Target) contain antioxidant-rich green tea and olive oil extracts, along with softening avocado oil. These natural ingredients soothe, hydrate, heal, and nourish the skin while also protecting it from free radical damage and fending off aging signs.
MILK IS GOOD FOR THE BODY (AND OATMEAL TOO)
It’s believed that Cleopatra bathed in milk — and with good reason! Milk contains lactic acid which, as previously disclosed, helps to unclog pores and remove any impurities lodged therein and also stimulates exfoliation. It also contains amino acids that fortify the skin’s lipid barrier, and quickly soothes irritated and dry skin. This knowledge likely spawned the creation of the Elizabeth Arden Red Door Spa Professional Milk & Honey Nourishing Body Cream ($45 at RedDoorSpas.com) and Milk & Honey Sugar Scrub ($39 at RedDoorSpas.com). Both products contain milk extract, as well as shea butter, Colorado honey (a great humectant). and vitamins C, D, and E.
Those whose skin woes have reached unbearable levels can seek instantaneous relief by applying the St. Ives Naturally Soothing Oatmeal & Shea Butter Body Lotion ($4.99 at drugstores), which pairs the moisturizing powers of shea with the anti-inflammatory benefits of oatmeal.
SHEA IT UP
When it comes to getting your arms and legs to feel silky smooth in a flash, I can’t think of a single ingredient that will accomplish this feat as formidably as shea butter. Most of my favorite lotions and body butters include this fatty acid-rich, vitamin-loaded, nutty butter. Take, for instance, the Clinique Deep Comfort Body Butter ($29.50 at Clinique.com), which feels like it’s giving your parched skin a warm bear hug. To give skin even more TLC, try pairing it with the Clinique Deep Comfort Body Wash ($25 at Clinique.com), which has a creamy consistency that lathers nicely and won’t strip skin of its moisture. Another great option is the Kiehl’s Creme de Corps Soy Milk & Honey Whipped Body Butter ($38 at Kiehls.com), which has an exquisite, soufflé-like texture and which is enriched with shea butter, jojoba butter (which restores the skin’s lipid barrier), and carrot extract (an excellent source of betacarotene, which helps to stimulate collagen production). This particular Creme de Corps formula feels inviting and homey thanks to the sweetness of the honey aroma and the creaminess of the vanilla-tinged soy milk note.
Want a shea-based lotion that doesn’t smell too sweet or buttery? Then try one of the Pacifica Body Butters ($18 each at PacificaBeauty.com), Target stores, and Ulta.com), which are formulated with both shea and mango butter and come in tropical scents like the juicy Hawaiian Ruby Guava, the invigorating and ripe Brazilian Mango Grapefruit, and the creamy and slightly tangy Island Vanilla.
DON’T FORGET YOUR HANDS!
Perhaps more than most parts of the body, the skin on our hands tends to become scaly and ashy, or else crack and peel, rather often during the winter months — a consequence of the dry and cold air, as well as of certain behaviors like forgetting to wear gloves or washing hands too often (doing the dishes can wreak havoc!). To keep hands silky, try the SpaRitual Handprint Hand Serum ($40 at SpaRitual.com), which boasts a vegan formula comprised of 72% organic ingredients — among them stem cells from Swiss apples, which have been shown to prolong cellular longevity and hence have a rejuvenating effect on the skin; ginger root extract, which softens the skin; and pumpkin extract, which contains enzymes that stimulate collagen production. This lightweight, non-greasy serum not only moisturizes hands, but it leaves them looking more youthful.
Next, massage a nutrient-packed lotion onto hands, such as the O.P.I. Avojuice Skin Quenchers Hand & Body Lotion ($9.95 at professional salons and ULTA.com), which contains an increased barrier renewal complex that has been shown to increase the skin’s hydration by 88% in just 24 hours. These lotions are available in yummy fruity aromas like Mango or Coconut Lemon, as well as floral scents like Ginger Lily, Jasmine, and Violet Orchid.
Last but not least, to prevent your cuticles from cracking, make sure to brush on a potent oil or salve like the Lauren B. Cuticle Oil ($20 at LaurenBBeauty.com), a botanical treatment comprised of 12 plant, nut, and flower oils that I will now be keeping in my makeup bag for easy access whenever my hands start feeling a bit too coarse.