How to Keep Skin Hydrated During Winter Travel

Here are 5 tips to keep your skin hydrated during winter travel.

On a recent flight, a woman sitting across me whipped out a cosmetic bag bursting with facial products. She squeezed, rubbed, and spritzed her face all the way from San Diego to Minneapolis. Was she doing the right thing? Maybe. Though her seat mate probably wasn’t too happy.

There’s no doubt that air travel dries out your skin. At 40,000 feet, there is extremely low humidity in the air which evaporates all the moisture off your skin.

Here are 5 tips for keeping your skin looking and feeling healthy during winter travel:

1. Moisturize, moisturize, moisturize. Before you leave your house, apply a facial moisturizer. (Here’s a post on 6 tips for choosing the proper facial moisturizer.) Also, keep one in your bag so you can reapply as needed.

2. Hand moisturizer. If you’re smart, you’ll be washing your hands a lot and applying gel hand sanitizers to ward off colds. Unfortunately, you’ll also be suffering from dry skin, nails, and cuticles. Always keep a travel size hand moisturizer in your bag so you can reapply after every hand wash, gel application, or anytime you feel dry.

3. Don’t forget your lips. Because the skin on your lips is so thin and delicate, moisture evaporates off of them more quickly, leading to dry, chapped lips. Pamper your lips with a soothing lip balm, preferably with SPF 15 or 30, and reapply frequently. If you’re prone to licking your lips, avoid flavored balms.

4. Skip the peanuts and pretzels. Eating salty foods will draw moisture away from the skin and cause swelling and bloating. Bring your own healthy, low-salt or no-salt snacks instead.

5. Beware the booze. Tempted by the free wine coupon? Alcohol dehydrates you and your skin. If you do imbibe, then have 2 glasses of water for each alcoholic drink.

Photo credit: FCC, Irargerich

6 Tips To Not Gain Weight During the Holidays

Here are 6 tips to not gain weight during the holidays.

When you’re younger, you worry about “the freshman 15.” When you’re older, you worry holiday parties. Eggnog shots, peppermint fudge, Christmas cookies, bacon-wrapped everything. How can you not gain weight? It’s possible. Not easy, but possible.

Here are 6 tips to not gain weight during the holidays:

1. Exercise in the morning. Studies show that people who exercise in the morning are more likely to make healthier eating choices throughout the day. And morning exercise means you burn more calories all day long.

2. There’s an app for that. Whether you’re trying to drop a few pounds or simply maintain your weight, using a diet or calorie count app will help you stay on track. Studies show that when people record everything they eat and drink, they’re more likely to make healthier choices.

3. Be choosy. Going to a potluck or buffet? Scan all the food choices before digging in. One satisfying bacon-wrapped scallop may be fewer calories than 5 pieces of baked chicken. Eating what you’re really craving may help you to avoid overeating foods you don’t really want. Just remember one word: moderation.

4. Make it 2 for 1. For every alcoholic beverage you imbibe, drink two glass of water. It’ll help you stay fuller and less tipsy.

5. Eat normally. Don’t starve yourself the day of the party so you can pig out. You’ll slow down your metabolism and weaken your willpower, two things you do not want to do before a party. Instead, eat a light breakfast, lunch, and snack high all high in lean protein  whole grains, and fresh fruits and vegetables.

6. Step away from the table. See the guy in the picture above? Don’t be him. Walk around the room, strike up conversations, dance, and kiss under the mistletoe. You’ll eat less and have more fun.

How about you? What are your stay-slim tips for the holidays? Please share them with us in the comment section below.

Photo credit: FCC, Average Jane

4 Tips to Use Retinoids the Right Way

Can’t tolerate your retinoid? Here are 4 tips on how to use retinoids the right way.

Can’t tolerate your retinoid? You’re not alone.

I prescribe a lot of retinoids because they work. Originally intended to treat acne, we now know that retinoids are an effective anti-aging treatment as well, reducing fine lines, wrinkles, and spots. Yet, many of my patients who start on retinoids contact me within a week to complain that their face is red and peeling.

They’re not allergic or intolerant to the retinoid. In fact, redness and peeling are both signs that the retinoid is working. It’s actually sloughing off old skin to reveal new skin underneath. That doesn’t mean they or you have to suffer.

Here are 4 tips to use retinoids the right way:

1. Take a break. If your face is flaking like a Noreaster or looks wind-burned, then take 5 to 7 days off. When you resume the retinoid, use it every third or fourth night. You’ll get the same benefits without the discomfort.

2. Stop using all of your anti-aging and acne products, especially those containing glycolic acid, salicylic acid, or benzoyl peroxide, unless otherwise directed by your physician.

3. Before applying a retinoid at night, be sure your face is washed and completely dry. This might require waiting a few minutes after washing. Apply pea-sized or smaller dabs of retinoid on your forehead, nose, cheeks, and chin and gently massage into the skin. Do not apply to your eyelids or lips.

4. Always wear sunscreen when you’re using a retinoid, even in winter, as it significantly increases your sensitivity to the sun.

Photo credit: FCC, Alyssa L. Miller