3 Ways to Improve Your Skincare Routine by Amy Sloane


Your skin is always at risk from environmental factors. In the heat of summer, the sun will damage it, and in the cold of winter, dry air inside and out will cause problems. To keep your skin clean without abusing it, strive to avoid extremes, consume the right foods, drink plenty of water, and use gentle antibacterial products.

Not Too Hot, Not Too Cold

A cold shower won’t keep you clean if you can’t stand to soap up and rinse off effectively, and a scalding hot shower will strip your skin of natural oils. Aim for warmth.

Use lukewarm water to wash your face and hair. Hot water strips away oils needed to protect these surfaces. Once your hair is washed and rinsed, bump up the temperature to wash your body and treat your face to a pat-dry process using a warm soft towel that you keep on a heated towel rack. Don’t scrub or wipe your face dry.

The skin on your body could probably use some exfoliation and a brisk rub, but there’s no reason to use a cold towel! Even a plush, soft towel can get the blood circulating and clear away the dead skin cells. You can also mix brown sugar and olive oil for a gentle exfoliation at the end of your shower.

Finally, wrap your hair in a turban scarf that ties back up to itself and doesn’t pull on your hairline. These microfiber towels can absorb a lot of water without a lot of tugging.

Swap Your Fats

Saturated fats are hard on your whole body from the skin in. Polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats, such as the omega-3 fatty acids found in

  • salmon
  • avocadoes
  • almonds

Additionally, you can improve your skin by making simple changes in your habits. Invest in quality thermal water bottles and fill them with filtered water every evening so cool water can be your beverage of choice. Break your soda habit, whether diet or regular, and strive to eat something raw at every meal.

Raw produce is high in antioxidants, which pulls the free radicals out of your body before they can cause tissue damage. You can make choices that reduce your exposure to free radicals, such as avoiding cigarette smoke, but toxins are part of our environment no matter how careful we are. Enjoy fresh berries and grapes as a snack instead of chips. Dip sliced bell peppers into your hummus instead of pita chips.
Add color and crunch to your diet with raw produce. The extra water you’re consuming will flush out the toxins by supporting your kidneys, your gut and your liver.

Use Gentle Antibacterial Products

Commercial antibacterial products may be helpful in keeping your body clean, but they can be harsh and dry out your skin. If you spend your winters itching, consider using a non-detergent body wash with a few drops of antibacterial essential oils.
Tea tree is a good antibacterial that isn’t sweet or flowery. If you prefer something with a bit of zing, add lemon and rosemary. Eucalyptus and mind are a wonderful combination during cold and flu season, and lavender and geranium are a wonderful way to add a soft scent without a harsh perfume.

If you like a bit of bubble, consider using an unscented biodegradable soap in a spray bottle and spray yourself down before you get in the shower. If your skin is very dry, use liquid Vitamin E as a moisturizer and work it into your skin while you’re wet after your shower.

Finally, consider cutting back on the number of showers you take during the dry months. For example, if you shower twice a day, try pairing your morning shower with an evening sponge bath and add put on an unscented lotion before you put on your pajamas.

Gentle care is often the best decision for healthy skin. A diet high in roughage, fiber, vitamins and minerals will help all your tissues from the inside out. Plenty of water is critical for a healthy glow. Finally, if you need heat, crawl in a sauna or wrap up in a MiHigh infrared sauna blanket. Don’t strip your skin to deal with the cold.