Icy, cold winter weather can leave your hands dry, and your skin chapped!
Throw in the awful dryness that comes with menopause and causes crepey skin, and you can practically hear your skin crying out for help.
Gals over 40 should always baby their skin, and during the winter, we need to be extra kind and gentle, but beyond moisturizer, what can you do? As it turns out, plenty! I rounded up some girlfriends to exchange notes on our favorite dry skin products, and here is what we came up with.
1. Exfoliate Your Lips
Dry, cracked lips are not fabulous at any age, especially not after 40 when we’re already battling the loss of volume and fine lines. Buffing away dead skin helps keep them hydrated, protects them from chapping, and preps them for a perfect lipstick application.
I like to exfoliate my lips by wetting them, then gently brushing them with an old toothbrush or a damp washcloth. Sometimes I pamper myself with a lip scrub like Bite Beauty’s Agave Sugar Lip Scrub especially designed to clean, exfoliate and condition my lips.
My girlfriend Karen would not let me write this post without promising to mention Chanel Hydra Beauty Nourishing Lip Care. Yes, it is expensive, but not only is it one of the best lip moisturizers she has ever used, if not the best, but it also makes her lips look plumper and feel buttery soft, and a little goes a long way, so it lasts for a very long time, she tells me. I can’t wait to try it!
Speaking of moisturizers…
I did a little research, and a lot of women mistakenly think that drinking tons of water is the answer to winter dryness, but it’s really not about getting more water into your skin (often you have plenty); it’s more about keeping the water already in your skin, locked in. That’s where a good moisturizer comes in.
My girlfriend Sheila swears by Hydraboost Body Butter from m-61, a peptide-packed hydrating and nourishing body butter that contains vitamin B5, tamarind, aloe, and coconut oil. She has light, fair skin, which tends to get super dry, and this is her magic winter skin saver. I’m ordering some today. And here’s a noteworthy beauty tip…
2. Moisturize At the Right Time
It really does matter when you slather on your moisturizer if you want the maximum effect. The best time to moisturize is when your skin is slightly damp, so immediately after you towel-dry following a bath, shower, or after washing your hands. Pat it on, don’t rub it hard to seal it in and create a barrier.
Since we’re on the topic of showers, please do remember to …
3. Turn Down the Temperature in the Shower
Just like hot dishwater is better than warm dishwater for removing greasy residue from a frying pan, the hotter the water in your shower, the more likely it is to remove natural oils from your skin. Rather than having a hot shower (I know, I know, they feel great!), better to have a warm shower to clean your skin without drying it out. Also…
4. Keep Baths and Showers Short
Oh, I wish this wasn’t so because I love to soak in a nice warm bath, but the longer you stay in, the more drying your bath or shower is. Keep it short and sweet. One of my favorite bath/shower moisturizers is L’Occitane Cleansing and Softening Almond Shower Oil. It’s so thick and creamy and smells lovely and natural.
5. Use a Humidifier to Add Moisture to the Air
Ultrasonic Cool Mist Humidifier creates humidified air from water and keeps your skin looking fresh and shiny. It fills your room or office with clean and fresh air for up to 24 hours. I like it at night, so I don’t wake up in the morning feeling and looking like a raisin.
6. Swap Your Lotion for Ointments and Creams
Did you know that according to the American Academy of Dermatology Association, ointments and creams tend to be more effective at keeping your skin moist than lotions? It’s true! Lotions are easier and faster to use, but you’ll get better results with an ointment or cream. A fabulous beauty booster is CeraVe Healing Ointment. It protects and heals cracked, chafed skin without leaving you feeling greasy. I’m told this makes your skin as soft as a baby’s bottom.
If you prefer a cream, I’m a huge fan of Eucerin Original Moisturizing Creme for dehydrated, sensitive skin. This stuff is powerful but so gentle that my breast cancer survivor girlfriend Gabriela tells me they use it for chemo radiation burns. I had no idea! No wonder it’s good.
7. Use Aquaphor on Cracked Heels (Or Pretty Much Anything Else)
If you’re a gal who battles dry, cracked heels no matter what time of year it is, do yourself a favor; slather some Aquaphor ointment on your feet and heels before bed, slip on a pair of socks, and within a few days, you’ll notice results. But don’t stop there – in researching this article, Aquaphor came up again, and again, and again.
People use this cult beauty-hit for everything, including soothing dry, flaky skin, moisturizing cuticles, taming split ends, and flyaway hair… The bottom is that Aquaphor is a low-cost miracle worker. (And while we’re on the topic of saving money, check out all my low-cost style tips in my eBook, Chic on the Cheap.)
8. Use Nipple Cream For Cracked Fingers and Thumbs
Cracked thumbs and fingers from weather-related dry skin are the worst! They are incredibly painful and make doing anything that involves using your hands horrible. When I was suffering from cracked thumbs during one freezing weather, a friend of mine told me to try nipple cream.
It sounded a little crazy, but I was so desperate that I went straight to the pharmacy to buy some and applied it as soon as I got home and before I went to bed. By the next morning, the cracks on my thumbs were much better, and they disappeared totally with just a few more applications.
9. Rub Vitamin E into your Cuticles
I just had my nails done, and the gal tooK one look at my ragged cuticles and said, you need Vitamin E. Take a Vitamin E capsule, break it open, and rub it into your cuticles and under your nails before you turn in at night. I’m told there’s nothing like it to make your dry cuticles look plump and healthy again.
10. Eat More Fatty Food
Finally, foods can help too. Avocados, flax and olive oils, and salmon that contain healthy fat help keep hair and skin healthy, something that’s important all year-long but especially so when winter is raging havoc.