On the TLC Tip: A Budget-Friendly Winter Skincare RegimenJan 20, 2022 09:00AM ● By Nana Ama Addo
( Image by Sora Shimazaki via Pexels )
Winter weather can be tough on the skin. The skin, the body’s largest organ, needs TLC to optimize its elasticity and protection during the cold months. A good skin care regimen may also help to boost self-esteem and alleviate seasonal affective disorder. Let’s get into it.
Skin types are often the result of genetics and environmental factors such as sun exposure. Here are the main skin types and their characteristics:
Oily skin has overactive sebum-producing glands. Sebum is a wax or oil-like substance produced by your body to coat, protect, and moisturize the skin. People with oily skin may have enlarged pores.
Dry skin has underactive sebum producing glands and is normally characterized by flakiness, rough patches, or sometimes cracking. Winter weather may exacerbate or increase the chances of dry skin.
Normal skin is characterized as being neutral, neither excessively oily or excessively dry, or well balanced.
Combination skin may include a mixture of oily, dry, and normal skin on different parts of the face.
A good skin care regimen starts with one’s diet. Eating foods with beta carotene, an antioxidant and plant pigment that has proven to benefit the skin, cognitive function, eye health, lungs, and protect against UV radiation, will help to optimize your skin’s health this winter and during the whole year. Some beta carotene-containing foods to include in your diet are carrots, kale, spinach, cantaloupe, peas, romaine lettuce, cilantro, cayenne pepper, parsley, butternut squash, and sweet potatoes.
Drinking skin affirming liquids like water, green tea, lemon water, honey and lemon water, ginger and lemon juice, fruit juices, turmeric milk, cucumber juice, carrot and beetroot juice, and broth will help to replenish your skin. Too much alcohol in the winter can dry out your skin.
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After a skin-affirming diet comes a good soap.
African Black soap is a natural, fragrance-free, antibacterial and antifungal soap that balances skin’s oil production, and is said by Healthline to potentially remove more bacteria than chemical-based soaps. This versatile soap is used to treat skin irritation, rashes, eczema, contact dermatitis, psoriasis, acne, hyperpigmentation, and more. Black soap is produced in varying parts of Africa and is usually made from cocoa pods, palm oil, plantain bark, shea butter, and coconut oil.
Black soap can be harsh on some skin types, so a Black soap that is mixed with other ingredients may be less abrasive on your skin. The Madina brand offers affordable African Black Soap variations like Madina African Black Soap, Shea Butter and Aloe Vera, or Madina African Black Soap, Cocoa Butter and Vitamin E, and can be found at local stores like Walmart. Some African Black soap variations have exfoliating beads. Drugstore exfoliators like Neutrogena Oil-Free Acne Wash Daily Scrub can help remove dead skin, and can be found at stores like Walmart and Target.
Drying your skin with a face towel can be tricky, as one may be wiping bacteria from a towel onto a clean face. It may be helpful to let your face air dry. A few years ago, I began applying my moisturizer to my face while my face is still wet, and I discovered that the water itself helps my skin to retain moisture.
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Now that we have covered utilizing a good diet, soap that works well and hygienically drying one’s skin, we move on to moisturizing.
The skin is composed of 64% water. Water-based moisturizers are recommended by dermatologists due to water’s ability to lock in moisture without clogging pores. Good and affordable water-based moisturizers like CeraVe Moisturizing Lotion can be found at stores like Walmart and Target.
APDerm advises people to wear sunscreen-based moisturizers in the winter to prevent sun damage during the cold months. There is a common misconception that Black people don’t need sunscreen, and that is absolutely false. To protect yourself against harmful UV rays and sun exposure-related skin ailments, wear products with sunscreen. My go-to sunscreen based product is Nivea Perfect and Radiant Eventone Day Cream. The brand has a moisturizer for normal to combination skin, and one for oily skin.
Shea butter is a natural, antifungal, and antibacterial moisturizer made from the shea nut that is awesome for all skin types, and can help to protect your skin this winter. Shea butter is used for stretch marks, acne, scars, and more. It is also estimated to contain a small amount of SPF, which protects the skin from the sun.
Applying shea butter over your moisturizer before bracing the winter weather or before going to sleep will help the face to stay moisturized and balanced. Head to your local African store to pick up some affordable shea butter today.
Cocoa butter like Palmer's Cocoa Butter Formula also offers a great layer of protection and can be found at local beauty stores like Walmart and Target.
Lip moisturizers like Blistex and Carmex, which can be found at local corner stores, drugstores, and more, can offer excellent protection this winter.
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Let’s recap: A good winter skincare regimen includes a skin-affirming diet, a thoroughly cleansing soap like African Black soap, a hygienic face drying routine, a water-based skin moisturizer, sunscreen moisturizers, shea butter, and a lip moisturizer like Blistex or Carmex.
What winter skincare tips do you have? Comment below!
Nana Ama Addo is a writer, multimedia strategist, film director, and storytelling artist. She graduated with a BA in Africana Studies from the College of Wooster, and has studied at the University of Ghana and Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology. Nana Ama tells stories of entrepreneurship and Ghana repatriation at her brand, Asiedua’s Imprint ( www.asieduasimprint.com ).
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