Yes, the holiday season is upon us and along with it comes shopping, cleaning, cooking, celebrating and a multitude of stressors. If that’s not enough, factor in the harsh wintry weather and you have the perfect combination for stressed out skin. Changes in season are always a stress on the skin and particularly so in our neck of the woods here in the High Country — snow, dryness, freezing temperatures all wreak havoc on the skin. If you are aiming for glowy, dewy and sparkly you could wind up with dark, zitty and patchy.

The better you prepare for this season, the better you’re going to look going into and coming out of the holidays. Here are a few tips to help you achieve and maintain that glamorous glow all season long.

1. Bump up your moisturizer. Now that it’s getting colder you are changing up your wardrobe. Likewise, we need to make seasonal changes to our skin care wardrobe also. If you’ve been using a gel base move up to a lotion. If you’ve been using a lotion, step up to an oil-based cream that is richer and more emollient. If you’re really dry, try using your night cream in the day.

2. No alcohol-based toners or products that strip. Use deeply hydrating masks, avoid clay masks (unless you are extremely oily.)

3. Invest in a humidifier. A few winters ago I would wake up in the morning feeling like my nasal passage had experienced a sandstorm — dry, dry. I placed a humidifier in my bedroom and discovered that not only did my dryness cease but my skin was more soft and supple. We are indoors way more in the winter and whether it’s wood, oil, electric or gas, the bottom line is heat dries.

4. Stay hydrated. Drinking water should be something you do for health. It won’t plump up your skin but it will give your body what it needs to take care of internal workings and thereby benefit your skin.

5. Slather on sunscreen. Yes, I know the sun feels so good on those days that make you shiver. Don’t be fooled those UV rays are still a’coming down and when there’s snow on the ground the snow reflects 80 percent of the sun’s light. (Don’t forget to reapply.)

6. Keep those lips kissing soft. Please do not stand under the mistletoe if you have puckered, dry, peeling and painful lips — no one will kiss you. Gently exfoliate your lips with a baby soft toothbrush and then treat with a good moisturizing lip balm (many to choose from).

7. Give your hands a hand. There are fewer oil glands in the skin on your hands. Couple that with the frequency with which our hands are washed and that is a recipe for dry hands. Pamper those hands with lotions and creams. Wear gloves to protect them from the harsh cold.

8. Cut the long hot showers. They feel great, but the truth is that wonderful hot shower just opened your pores so moisture can escape, thus leaving you with dry itchy skin. Treat your body by slathering on oil while skin is still damp then blotting (not rubbing) dry. I use organic oil from the grocery store; there are many — safflower, grapeseed, etc.

9. Forgotten feet. Summer is over and the sandals are put away. Don’t forget to pamper those faithful hard working feet. Keep them exfoliated and well moisturized. Give them special treatment by piling on the greasy stuff and donning socks for the night.

Marion Edwards is a Licensed Esthetician, Professional Makeup Artist and Certified Trainer for Motives Cosmetics. She can be contacted at 828.773.1500.

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