By Cindy Jones, Ph.D.
If your lifestyle involves being outdoors you may have noticed some of the effects that climate has on your skin. Although being outside has many health benefits both physical and mental, the outdoors also has damaging effects on your skin. Taking proper care of your skin and using products that help maintain your skin barrier function is important for overall skin health.
There are five main weather elements that can damage your skin; UV light from the sun, lack of humidity, wind, temperature and altitude. Together these factors can break down the skin’s collagen, dry the skin, and cause skin redness and hyperpigmentation. While it is important to wear sunscreen to help prevent sunburn, sunscreen will not completely protect your skin against damage caused by climate. Sometimes this damage does not show up immediately but will surprise you later in life. So, it is important to be proactive and take care of your skin now.
Here are tips to help your skin recover from being outdoors. The goal of recovery is to calm redness in the skin with anti-inflammatories, repair the skin with antioxidants, moisturize and reinforce the skin a barrier function.
Cleanse. Use a cleanser to remove sweat, sunscreen and dirt from your face after your hike. I like Yarrow oil cleanser to really remove trail dirt from my face. But you can also use a milky cleanser such as Meadow Mist cleanser. Its jojoba beads will help exfoliate dead skin.
Hydrate. Follow cleansing with a pH balanced face mister to help restore your skin’s natural pH. You’ll love our aromatic Face and Body mists distilled from herbs (including lavender) that we grow on our Certified Naturally Grown farm. These mists are high in anti-inflammatories to help calm reddened skin. Use one of these spritzers whenever your skin feels red or dry.
Use an antioxidant rich Moisturizer. Moisture must reach the skin from both the inside and outside. So, drinking water is vital to staying hydrated, but so is using a good moisturizer topically. Springtide Face Cream contains green tea, vitamin C, calendula and fennel. These ingredients will keep the skin moist and provide antioxidants to help the skin barrier function. Vitamin C is essential for protecting collagen in the skin. Take some time to massage this into the skin to get its full benefit. And don’t forget your neck, chest and hands; they are exposed to the elements as well and tend to show signs of aging early.
Use Antioxidant Rich Products. Antioxidants are important for repairing skin damage caused by the sun and the elements. Besides eating a diet rich in antioxidants, also use skin care products that are rich in antioxidants. Colorado Aromatics uses herbs that are rich in complex antioxidant polyphenols and bioflavonoids to help repair skin damage.
It’s also important to bring something with you on the trail to use for minor scrapes and scratches. We recommend Knuckle Balm, which is infused with the herbs calendula and plantain. Use this balm on knuckles, cuticles and fingertips, as well as scrapes to help protect the integrity of skin. This 2-ounce tin fits nicely into your pack. Because wind can actually burn the skin, use a thin layer of Knuckle Balm on the cheeks if you are skiing or out in winter wind.
Being outdoors helps us regenerate and relax. Good skin care is important for maintaining healthy skin and something to consider daily. Colorado Aromatics Cultivated Skin Care products are formulated by a biochemist and herbalist who understands skin. Use them to help your skin recover from the stresses of the outdoors.
Cindy Jones is the founder of Sagescript and Colorado Aromatics, a provider of natural skin care and cosmetics.
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