Smart Steps to Healthy Winter Skin

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  • By Lois Joy Johnson

    Every December women 40+ become winter warriors. Blasting winds and cold temperatures, toasty indoor heating and de-frosting soaks in hot baths give us no alternative. Our skin gets dry and sensitive. Our hair turns wimpy and dull. Our lips, hands, elbows and feet feel crusty. A winter wardrobe of chic leggings, cozy cords and sexy sweaters can only do so much. Here's my seven point plan to get your looks back on track before the first big snow:
  • Go Back to Basic De-Agers Wrinkles, brown spots and saggy skin make us crazy, but right now your number-one priority is moisture retention. Drop the fancy cocktail creams and head for a simpler solution. All you need is a moisturizer that includes some of these ingredients : humectants, especially glycerin and hyaluronic acid to attract and hold water in the skin; ceramides and dimethicone to strengthen the protective lipid barrier at the skin's surface; and super- soothing shea butter. Skip the bells and whistles, retinols and complicated regimens for a month or two. Your wrinkles will plump up. Your skin will feel cushioned and calm and face makeup will go on without a hitch. Try: L' Oreal Paris Revitalift Triple Power Deep Acting Moisturizer ($19.97, walmart.com) or...
  • CeraVe Facial Moisturizing Lotion SPF 30 AM ($ 13.99, drugstore.com) or...
  • Boots No 7 Beautiful Skin Night Cream in Normal/ Dry or Dry/ Very Dry Skin ($13.99, target.com)
  • Switch to a Sunscreen Designed for Kids Sun damage doesn't brake for winter. An SPF 30+ sunscreen with titanium dioxide and zinc oxide is super gentle on dry, sensitive, mature skin, but the best formulas are those designed for babies. If you live in a high altitude area or visit one, ski, run, bike, flea market shop or sit outdoors for hours in a café, wear one of these and reapply every hour. Cloudy or sunny you still need broad spectrum sun protection every day even when driving, on a road trip, flying to a business or vacation destination or working at a desk directly in front of a window for long periods of time.UVA aging rays do penetrate glass. Try: Neutrogena Pure & Free Baby Faces Ultra Gentle Sunblock SPF 50+ ($ 9.99, target.com) or..
  • California Baby SPF 30+ Sunscreen ($23.02, dermstore.com)
  • Exfoliate with An Oil-Based Body Scrub Exfoliating body washes are fine for spring and summer or warm climates, but time to upgrade! You need an oil-based scrub with enough muscle to slough away dead skin cells and truly hydrate parched skin in one go. Look for a base of botanical oils like sweet almond, jojoba, apricot, soybean or grapeseed oil and a salt or sugar exfoliant. It eliminates dead skin residue inside our tights, dark tees, black sweaters and pants during the season. Massage enthusiastically on elbows, feet, arms and legs but work gently on back and backs of hands before rinsing off. Try: Fresh Brown Sugar Body Polish ($ 38, neimanmarcus.com) or...
  • Alba Organics Sugar Cane Hawaiian Body Polish ($8.76, drugstore.com)
  • Get Into Omega-3s and Argan Oil Supplements of omega 3 or fish oil can help revitalize skin, hair and nails in winter, but argan oil is a topical must-have. Rich in vitamin E and essential fatty acids, it's practically a makeover in a bottle. Massage a tiny amount of argan oil into nails and cuticles daily to prevent breaks and hangnails and enhance circulation. Rub a drop between palms and apply to the ends of your hair to seal splits. Dab palms again and through layered cuts for gloss and a chic tousled separated look. Massage into dry feet, soles and hands overnight for a difference by morning. Try: Now Solutions Argan Oil 100 % Pure & Certified Organic ($15.99, drugstore.com) or...
  • Josie Maran Argan Oil ($48, sephora.com)
  • Change to a Comfort Foundation A feel-good cream with a hint of color is all you need to boost your skin and camouflage flaws. Swap your usual face makeup for a hydrating BB cream or balm. Look for moisturizing brands (some are matte or oil-absorbing!) with skin- soothing ingredients and a range of skin tone shades. A tinted BB or balm smoothes patchy sun damaged spots for a more youthful, dewy complexion. Both provide just enough color to blur imperfections and perk up sallow, pasty, ashy undertones too. To camouflage and counteract excess red in your skin, chapped cheeks, a ruddy nose or rosacea go up one shade from your match for a slightly warmer, sunnier effect. Works as an alternative to self-tanner too. Try: Bobbi Brown Extra Tinted Moisturizing Balm ($52, bobbibrown.com) or...
  • Miracle Skin Transformer SPF 20 ($48, nordstrom.com) 7 shades, vitamins A, E. K and botanical extracts, coenzyme Q10. Or...
  • Maybelline Dream Fresh BB 8-in-1 Beauty Balm Skin Perfector ($7.44, walmart.com)
  • Get a Hydrating, Light-Reflecting, Brush-On Concealer Nothing looks worse in winter than heavy, sticky concealer congealed in a cakey mess under your eyes. The skin there is naturally dry and thin and winter doesn't help matters. Instead, apply eye cream, let it absorb for a minute or two, and then brush on a semi-sheer slightly shimmery tinted concealer / highlighter. Work from inner corners out in a wide arc swooping beneath the eyes in a half moon shape. Go right up beneath the lower lashes too, not just in the hollow. You'll look fresh and alert. Try: Yves Saint Laurent Touche Eclat Radiant Touch ($ 42, sephora.com) Or...
  • Maybelline Dream Lumi Touch Highlighting Concealer ($7.99, ulta.com)
  • Trade Lipstick for Tinted Balm Forego lip liners and opaque lipstick the minute your mouth feels dry, cracked or flaky. A tinted balm in red, berry, rosy or caramel shade will wake up your face but treat your kisser with shea butter, botanical oils and antioxidants. TryClinique Chubby Stick Moisturizing Lip Colour Balm ($16, clinique.com). Or...
  • Revlon ColorBurst Lip Butter ($7.49, drugstore.com). Or...
  • L' Oreal Paris Colour Riche Le Balm ($ 7.95, drugstore.com)

    About the Author

    Lois Joy Johnson is ThirdAge's Beauty and Fashion Director. Her newest book, "The Wardrobe Wakeup: Your Guide to Looking Fabulous at Any Age," will be published later this month and is available for pre-order on www.amazon.com.