Don’t Break Out

Don’t Break Out- Practical Winter Skin Advice

Ah, the holiday season is upon us. There’s a certain stillness in the winter that’s just so calming…except…wait, what’s that faint whimper?

It’s your skin. And it’s crying for help.

The air gets colder during these winter months, and that also means it’s getting drier. Winter air has significantly less humidity (read: moisture) in it than it does in the summer. Couple this with the dry heat blasting out of your vents and you’ve got a recipe for some dry ass skin.

It’s no surprise, then, that this time of year is H U G E for cosmetics companies. Philosophy’s got these yummy dessert-scented soaps which practically smell good enough to drink (pink frosted animal cracker anyone?), Versace’s lotion is probably the least expensive item they’ve slapped their name on, and a certain super-intern from The Hills has just released her own glossy line with bonus stickers.

The ridiculous amount of skincare choices on the market is enough to drive anyone insane. What if I spend $40 on a salve and it doesn’t work? What if it DOES work and I’m stuck buying a $40 salve for the rest of my life because I don’t want to fuck up something good I’ve got going for me??

Relax. Stress leads to breakouts.

Here’s a roundup of skin advice for the cold months ahead. Because they’re easier than trekking to Sephora and navigating your way through the holiday crowd, and because no one should have to pay $40 for salve.

STAY HYDRATED

This goes without being said, and I’m sure you predicted this bit of advice would be in here from the get-go. And there’s a reason it is- BECAUSE IT WORKS. Seriously, remember the moisture thing? Your skin is the largest organ you have- it needs a lot of water. Make sure you get dat 64oz per day. Bored of the still stuff? Try hydrating in the form of seltzer or green tea (or any kind of tea, really).

SLEEP >40 WINKS

You’ve heard of ~beauty sleep~ time and time again. But here’s the rizzle dizzle: when you sleep, your body enters “repair mode.” The more sleep you get, the more repair you get to counteract that damage from the cold winter winds. When you don’t get enough sleep, your body makes more of the stress hormone cortisol, which results in inflammation. Inflammation then leads to breakouts. On top of that, lack of sleep screws with your body’s water regulation which cancels out all that hydrating you did today!

P.S. Make sure you regularly change your sheets, or at least flip your pillow over.

SWEAT IT OUT

Exercise is huge in maintaining not only your internal health, but also your outer looks. When you sweat, your pores open up and release all the dirt and grime that has built up. They’re like little self-cleaning ovens: you just push the “sweat” button and away they go. Just make sure you wash your face after hitting the gym or track: the dirt won’t hop off your face by itself.

DON’T TOUCH YOUR FACE

Your fingers are DIRT VEHICLES. Would you rub a doorknob on your face? Would you press your visage all over a park bench? Because you’re doing the equivalent when you touch your face! The world is a dirty, dirty place and your hands know this all too well. Sometimes touching your face is unavoidable. The stray eyelash happens, your nose itches… Stop. Wash. Your. Hands. Go.

IN THE EVENT OF A BREAKOUT

Don’t panic. Be gentle. Oftentimes these things have to run their courses, and the most beneficial thing you can do for your poor skin is to wait it out. When it comes to treating a breakout with products, read the ingredients. Stay away from ones with alcohol, obviously, because that will take your skin straight to desertland. The less ingredients in a product, the better. Would you eat that ingredient? Maybe you shouldn’t put it on your face. Use your judgment, but remember, less is more (effective).

AQUAPHOR + VASELINE: OUR SAVIORS

Aquaphor (made by the angels at Eucerin) and the classic vaseline (or your generic petroleum jelly) are amazeballs for any skin problem. Every time I go to Target, I manage to snag one of the last little tubes of A-phor (we’re tight, so I can call him that) and for good reason: it works miracles. In addition to being A+ for healing tattoos, the ointment is a godsend for dry spots. Dab a little on at night, and when you wake up, it’ll be like it never even happened. Vaseline is also bomb for removing makeup and moisturizing your skin in the process, and it’s cheap as hell. With these two little tubes in your arsenal, winter air doesn’t stand a chance.

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