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Taking Care of Your Skin in Winter Weather

Taking Care of Your Skin in Winter Weather

If you live in a place where the mercury has dropped enough for  snow to start falling, chances are you’re also starting to deal with “winter skin” right about now: cheeks are getting rough and dry, lips are chapping… and depending on the severity of the weather outside, skin can even flake, crack, or erupt into hives or eczema. This just isn’t a season that’s kind to skin at all. Fortunately, there are ways to combat the damage caused by freezing winds, snow, and hail, and a few of these handy techniques are listed below.

Change Your Moisturizer

The lightweight moisturizer you use in summertime isn’t going to cut it during the winter. To fend off cold damage to your skin in winter, opt for creams that have a heavier oil content, as the oils will create a protective layer on the skin’s surface. Creams rich in avocado or sweet almond oil are ideal for your face, but try to avoid using cocoa or shea butter on facial skin, as it can clog pores.  If you’re prone to breakouts, talk to an aesthetician or dermatologist who can recommend a cream that’s right for your skin type.

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Don’t forget that the skin on your entire body needs special care at this time of year: though you’ll see and feel the damage cold weather can cause to hands and feet (roughness, cracking around knuckles and cuticles, etc.) you might not notice dry patches on your legs or arms until they start to itch or flake. This is where the cocoa and shea butters come in: a good body lotion will replenish the moisture in your limbs as well as your cheeks, leaving you soft and supple all over.

Speaking of cream…

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Sunscreen

If you spend a lot of time outside, don’t forget to wear sunscreen! Your skin can be subjected to just as much UV damage in wintertime as in summer, so don’t hesitate to put on a layer of SPF 15 before putting on your makeup.

Exfoliate

Gentle exfoliation once a week will help to remove dry, dead skin from your cheeks and forehead, but don’t go overboard with it! Your skin takes a lot of damage from the weather outside, and scouring it too much will actually increase wear and tear, and will do more harm than good.

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For the rest of your body, a homemade exfoliant such as a salt or sugar scrub can do wonders to slough off dead skin cells and leave you soft and smooth all over.

Wear Lip Balm

The skin on your lips is the thinnest and most sensitive on your entire body, so be sure to take proper care of them by protecting them from cold damage—that means you too, guys. It’s not a lot of fun to kiss someone whose lips are flaking apart like a dry old phone book. Aim for unflavoured lip balms with a carnauba or beeswax base (stick to the former if you’re vegan), and apply it regularly. It’s best to avoid using petroleum jelly as a lip balm, though; you really don’t want an oil industry by-product on your face, do you? Besides, petroleum jelly isn’t absorbed by the skin: it just sits on top of it, and can clog up pores rather thoroughly. Skin can’t absorb any moisture if it’s congested with oil slurry gel.

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Shorten Your Bath Time

Have you ever gotten out of a hot bath after soaking for a while and realised that you were desperately thirsty? It’s likely because immersing yourself in hot water for long periods of time can actually deplete your body of moisture. Soaking in a hot bath can be absolutely blissful in this weather, but either try to keep your wallowing time to a minimum, or don’t make the water too hot. Scalding showers can also suck a fair bit of moisture out of you, so try to keep them short as well.

Stay Hydrated

Even though drinking water doesn’t moisturize your skin directly, it keeps your cells in top working order, which reflects in every area of your life—skin cells included. Flushing toxins out of your body with plenty of fluids will often keep you from breaking out as well.

Taking just a couple of these precautions should make a significant difference in the health of your skin in winter. Eating properly and getting regular sleep will improve your overall well-being—which will be reflected in the state of your skin—and wearing proper outerwear such as gloves and scarves when traipsing about in the snow will help protect your skin from nose to toes.

Featured photo credit:  winter girl behind snow tree via Shutterstock

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Last Updated on March 13, 2019

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

1. Work on the small tasks.

When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

2. Take a break from your work desk.

Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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3. Upgrade yourself

Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

4. Talk to a friend.

Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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6. Paint a vision to work towards.

If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

7. Read a book (or blog).

The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

8. Have a quick nap.

If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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9. Remember why you are doing this.

Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

10. Find some competition.

Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

11. Go exercise.

Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

12. Take a good break.

Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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