Change is in the Air

Fall weather signals drier skin. Use a richer moisturizer to protect your skin.

Photo by Rena Baer

Fall has arrived and while it’s thrilling to pull out the sweaters and schedule hay rides, our skin is surprisingly sensitive to changes in season and sunlight.

This is a good time to exfoliate our skin and switch to a richer moisturizer that boosts our protective barrier against colder temperatures, low humidity, and indoor heating.

And let’s not forget about sleep. The clock will roll back an hour on Sunday, Nov. 3, giving us an extra hour of rest. But our bodies need time to adjust and reset our biological clock.

Most of us know that sleep boosts our brain power, energy levels and immune system. But
did you know that sleep also promotes skin cell renewal and reverses everyday free radical damage?

Lack of sleep can cause problems that go well beyond puffy eyes. When you a get a good
night’s rest the body releases the right levels of melatonin, cortisol and growth hormones.
These hormones regenerate collagen-producing cells responsible for the skin’s elasticity.

Earlier this year, a team of scientists at University Hospitals Case Medical Center in Cleveland, Ohio, demonstrated for the first time that not getting enough rest reduces your skin’s health and accelerates skin aging.

“Sleep deprived women show signs of premature skin aging and a decrease in their skin’s ability to recover after sun exposure,” the study concluded. “Insufficient sleep has become a worldwide epidemic. While chronic sleep deprivation has been linked to medical problems such as obesity, diabetes, cancer and immune deficiency, its effects on skin function have previously been unknown.”

So, beauty rest isn’t just a cliché after all.

To speed our adjustment process to the time change, experts recommend that we:

• Reduce caffeine and alcohol

• Create calming rituals to gradually relax ourselves before going to bed

• Consider wearing ear plugs and eye masks

• Make sure exercise occurs several hours before bedtime

• Get light exposure during the waking hours but avoid bright light when it’s dark outside.

Moving into fall:

Now that summer is behind us, it’s a good time to exfoliate our skin to improve circulation and remove the dead cells that have surfaced during the summer. Exfoliation can remove the dull outer layer of skin and unclog pores that can get plugged by regular sunscreen use.

“Your skin can appear dull and dry after a summer spent in the sun,” says dermatologist Dr.
Michele Goldberg. “Exfoliate only once or twice a week, and don’t get over-aggressive.”

Fall is also a good time to look for a non-soap cleanser – one like Lavender and Oats that doesn’t have foam or detergents. It removes dirt and impurities but doesn’t strip your skin’s natural oils or its protective barrier.

Dead cells on the surface of your skin are also duller and dryer than the newer cells underneath. If you don’t remove dead skin cells, dirt and debris can become trapped in your pores, causing blackheads and acne.

Go gently. Too-vigorous scrubbing can scratch, tear, and damage skin, compromising the glow that gentle exfolation gives.

People with normal, dry and sensitive skin may exfoliate once a week. Oily skin types may
exfoliate a bit more frequently, perhaps up to three times a week.

Exfoliation also allows the moisturizer to do its job and bring out your skin’s radiance. This is the time of year to use a richer moisturizer that protects the skin barrier, which locks in moisture.

Look for moisturizers like Cranberry Nectar or Prime Time Eye Serum, which contain bioactive ingredients and antioxidants such as green tea extract or cranberry seed oil. Unlike other organs in our body, the skin can receive nutrition through our diet as well as through topical application, according to researchers at the Linus Pauling Institute, an Oregon State University center which carries on the work of Nobel Prize winner Linus Pauling.

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