Tuesday, February 22, 2011
Beauty Tips to Prepare for Spring
It may not seem like it, but Spring is around the corner. After the long, cold winter we've had, many of you are probably experiencing problems with dryness, both in your skin and hair. The winter takes a toll on our looks with the extreme temperature changes (going from frigid cold to over-heated offices) and punishing elements like heavy wind.
With more temperate weather around the corner, we can begin to anticipate some changes to our beauty routines and makeup.
Here are some tips for preparing:
1. UVA rays (the damaging heat rays that cause skin cancer and wrinkles) jump in intensity in April: Consider upping your daily moisturizer's sun protection to SPF 30 in late March of each year. Remember to wear a minimum of SPF 15 year-round, as UVA and UVB rays exist even in the coldest winter months and cause cumulative skin damage.
2. You can probably eliminate the heavy-duty moisturizers you may be using at night and switch to lighter, more fluid formulas for day. As the weather heats up, these moisturizers can aggravate acne or make the skin feel oily.
3. If you aren't doing so, begin a fitness plan in February/March. With less clothes to hide under, it's just nicer to feel fit and healthy during the warmer months. Cramming in late Spring is hard on the body and puts you under more stress. Start with 30 minutes of brisk walking three times/week. Every other week, up the intensity and the duration by 10 minutes until you're at 45-60 minutes, 5 times/week. Also, add in a weight training program. Women naturally begin to lose muscle mass in their early 30s, so it's critical to compensate with weight training. For women of all ages, this will up your resting metabolism, along with providing other benefits. Because we lack the necessary testosterone levels, we won't bulk up. If you're not a fan of weight training, try yoga or pilates.
4. Remove dead skin: Focus on exfoliating the dead skin left over from the winter months. A good trick is to apply a chemical exfoliant (glycolic acid, alpha/beta hydroxy acids), massage into the skin, and let it sit for a few minutes. Follow the chemical exfoliation with a physical one (sugar mixed into your cleanser is cheap and effective) to fully remove the skin. Do this no more than 2 times per week. Also consider getting a pedicure to remove the dead skin and calluses that have probably accumulated from wearing heavy shoes.
5. Switch your "signature scent": Look for anything that makes you think of Spring, whether it's floral, fruity, or more clean scents. Also, perfume smells differently on each person due to body chemistry, so make sure to test the fragrance on yourself and wear it for at least an hour to see how it sets. Smell has an amazing ability to lift our mood. Combine that with more daylight hours and warmer weather and you're definitely going to feel happier.
6. Lighten your makeup, in more ways than one: Tinted moisturizers can replace heavier foundations; lighter colors can replace darker makeup. Start experimenting: think more pink or peach toned lipsticks, brighter blush, and lighter eye makeup application.
7. Add gradual tanner to your night cream: This will give you a more radiant complexion over a week's time and make you look like you've been in the sun.
8. Lighten your locks: Consider going two shades lighter or adding a few golden highlights. This will naturally brighten your complexion.
9. Deep condition: To repair your hair from the winter, invest in a good deep conditioner and do a weekly treatment. Tips for more absorption: Keep it on overnight, run a hairdryer (set to warm) over it with the product still in, or wear a shower cap with the conditioner on and stand under a hot shower for a few minutes.
10. Focus on healthy eating: Protein is one of the building blocks of collagen, so make sure that an adequate amount is in your diet. Focus on lean protein like skinless chicken, greek yogurt, and egg white omelets. Try eating smaller, more frequent meals. Also, make sure to incorporate a variety of vegetables in your diet: think as many bright colors as you can. This adds crucial vitamins that help with skin repair. Broccoli is especially known for its high vitamin C concentrations, which is necessary for strengthening collagen and elastin.