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We’ve all heard the warning; winter is coming. Well, winter is here, and it’s gone from kinda cold to harsh winds and mega temperature changes. What suffers first? Your skin! If you’re cuddled up inside under a bunch of blankets wondering how to combat this climate, our friends at Milk Makeup have all the tips to prep for your skin for a polar vortex!
Growing up in Ireland, our mothers and grandmothers would often declare, “Ah, sure ‘tis great drying weather out there.” This was seen to be a good thing – the crisp, chilly temperatures were optimal for airing out freshly washed clothes and bed linens. However, living on the East Coast of America, I’ve come to fear “drying weather” as a different beast altogether.
While the cooler season brings with it many delights—lookin’ @ u, faux fur coats and spiked hot cider— the shift can also wreak havoc on our skin. Skin tends to be driest in the winter as temperatures plummet, and the reliance on central heating, roaring fireplaces, and hot, steamy showers can further reduce humidity in your skin as natural oils dry up.
The same grandmother who preached the importance of drying weather when I was a kid had no shortage of golden nuggets of advice up her sleeve. You know, sensible stuff like rubbing a gold wedding ring on sore eyes to calm them and using flat soda as a drinkable cure-all for any illness. One of her other pearls of wisdom was that I should never stay in the bath long enough to turn into a “wrinkly prune.”
While some of her questionable tips I still adhere to, I turned to Dr. Loretta Ciraldo MD FAAD, a Miami-based dermatologist and co-founder of Dr. Loretta skincare, to get a pro’s advice on how to handle winter skin woes from AM to PM.
When it comes to luxurious winter baths, Dr. Loretta says to avoid the urge to soak in scalding water, even if it’s cold AF outside. “Only bathe in tepid water. Warm and hot water dries you out much more.” Once clean, she recommends patting instead of rubbing yourself dry with a towel to avoid irritation and applying a moisturizing product while your skin surface still feels damp. You know that phrase “trap in the moisture?” This is how it’s done, folks.
“For your face, be sure to use a sulfate-free cleanser, and preferably one with hydrating essential oils and peptides,” she continues. “Then apply a water-trapping serum with a lipid-rich base to lock in moisture for at least six hours after a single application.”
Irritants and drying agents are also a no-no, according to Dr. Loretta. Instead, she recommends singling out “formulas that use hydrating essential oils, marine ingredients that have proven hydration boosting benefits, and bioidentical skin lipids which are the main moisture-trapping element in skin.”
Just like après soak, moisturizing is an essential part of your routine before you catch some Zzzs. According to Katie Sobelman, also known by her online alias The Organic Esthetician, skin is more permeable while we sleep, particularly around midnight.
“Your skin is also more dehydrated during the night due to elevated body temperature and moisture loss through perspiration,” she notes. “Using a richer moisturizer in the evenings ensures your skin is reaping all the benefits of this added moisture.”
Not all moisturizers are created equally, though, so she offered some tips on what ingredients to look for. First up, hyaluronic acid.
“Hyaluronic acid is great for skin that is dehydrated from heaters and cold, dry climates. This humectant holds up to one thousand times its weight in water; pulling moisture from your environment and locking it into your skin,” she says. “Look for low molecular weight hyaluronic acid, also known as hydrolyzed hyaluronate, as this offers a deeper, longer lasting hydration.”
Milk Makeup’s new glow-boosting Watermelon Brightening Face Mask, a solid-clay mask in a stick, contains this *wunderkind* ingredient, alongside watermelon fruit extract, Vitamins C and E, and Matrixyl, a biomimetic peptide, to help simultaneously hydrate and smooth while evening skin tone.
Sobelman also preaches the importance of regular, gentle exfoliation. This is something we should be doing “at least” twice a week.
“Dead skin tends to accumulate in the dryer, colder months – sloughing off dead skin allows for products to penetrate deeper and be more effective,” she says. “For those with more sensitive skin, opt for an acid rather than a scrub. The physical abrasion of a scrub, even a gentle one, can cause irritation and lead to broken capillaries.”
She recommends looking for products containing lactic acid, an alpha hydroxy acid which penetrates deep into the skin to stimulate collagen production and increase hydration. “It’s fantastic for dissolving dead surface skin while also leaving it plump and dewy,” she adds.
When it comes to ~ scrubbing up your act ~ Milk Makeup’s new Matcha Detoxifying Face Mask should whet your appetite for a wellness moment without facing the ten-minute wait for a matcha latte.
In half that time, this mask delivers a fReSh complexion thanks to matcha green tea, organic cactus elixir, witch hazel, salicylic acid, and kombucha — because, hey, we did say it’s as much a ‘moment’ as it is a mask.
Finish off with a slick of Milk Makeup’s new Kush Lip Balm, infused with conditioning, hemp-derived cannabis oil. This soothing and softening daily hydrating balm contains shea butter as well as jojoba and olive oils. In short, you can kiss your winter skincare woes goodbye.
That’s something I never expected to hear. Think about it: we join gyms and studios because of their equipment, instructors, space, community (and AC, of course). But who’s to say we can’t get all that—or at least most of it—with virtual and online classes, too? In this new wave of wellness, we’re all switching up our fitness routines as we switch up our everyday schedules and habits. It’s not just in-studio or at-home anymore. It’s in-studio, at-home, at the park, beach, parking lot, rooftop...virtual, hybrid, Instagram Live, online, on-demand, and so much more. As we’re adapting, adjusting, finding our groove, etc., online gym memberships enter the fray. Has a nice ring to it, doesn’t it?
There are tons of benefits to an online gym membership, especially right now.
Let’s break this down:
1. Scheduling convenience
A virtual/online gym fitness membership is a monthly subscription that gives you access to tons of live stream fitness classes you can take anywhere, from studios across the globe. These fitness studios offer tons of at-home workouts, group exercise, and one-on-one training sessions to choose from, no matter your exercise program or fitness level. With so many options, it’s easy to find one that fits your schedule. Whether you want to fit in a morning flow before work, combat that afternoon slump with some cardio, squeeze in some strength training before dinner, or wind down with an evening barre class, you can pick and choose classes to fit your fitness routine.
2. Minimizing exposure to COVID-19
And because they’re online, you can take these classes from the comfort of your home (or wherever you are), thus minimizing your exposure to COVID-19 and eliminating your commute to the gym or studio. By now, many of us have our designated “workout spot,” whether it’s an actual weight room, a quick scooch of the coffee table, or a grassy area in the backyard. Maybe you’re comfortable here... maybe you’ve even learned to love it.
With an online gym membership, you can stay in your safe space/comfy workout spot. Or, you can go somewhere new (local park, beach spot, a different area of the house, you know). You can access these virtual, live stream fitness classes from any device, so you can prop up your phone, laptop, or tablet wherever you want to go, or roll out your mat in front of the big screen TV in your living room.
We all have our favorite, go-to workouts. But sometimes, it feels good to switch it up (especially right now). Working from home all day, many of us are craving some variety and excitement, and an online gym membership can definitely help with that. According to our recent poll about COVID’s effect on our fitness routines, 64% of you have tried new online workouts since the start of the pandemic—I know I have. Maybe it’s because trying new things is easier in the comfort of our homes, maybe we’re finally able to try some classes we normally can’t find locally, or maybe we’re all just bored out of our minds...I don’t know. But I’m excited about it.
With an online gym membership, you can get that spice you’re looking for easily. Start out your Monday by hitting some HIIT, ease your sore muscles with some Restorative Yoga, and end the week with some dance cardio to pretend you’re at the club. The world is yours.
4. Working out without a commute
My favorite part? No commute. There are literally no more excuses when it comes to skipping workouts. No traffic, no schedule conflicts, no fear of returning to the studio. You don’t even have to worry about packing a gym bag with a change of clothes and shower supplies or prepping a snack or protein shake to bring to work. Just shut your computer, throw on some leggings, and get to work.
Community—the element of online fitness memberships we don’t often think of. When we go into studios, we understand the beauty of a fitness community. We’re greeted by our instructors, we chat with others in the class, and we all sweat together and encourage each other throughout. But working out at home is different... or is it?
We can do workouts on our own at home all we want, but we’re definitely going to miss out on the community aspect we all know and love. But, with live stream classes, we can create a different kind of community. The beauty of it? It’s not just your neighbors anymore. Anyone with an online fitness membership can join these classes, regardless of where they’re located in relation to the studio, so you can be working out alongside people from all over the world—now that’s something I can get behind.