Skin Rx: How To Care For Your Complexion When You’re Sick

ColdSkin_1Illustrated by Ammiel Mendoza.
When it comes to our faces, we don’t rely on just anyone to tell us what our skin needs to get that ever-elusive glow. Instead, we turn to skin-care veteran (and celebrity fave!) Renée Rouleau, who knows it takes more than the right products to get radiant. Each week, she’ll be serving up her expert tips to keep your complexion in tip-top shape.
Along with the freezing cold weather comes, well, actual colds. And, even if it's not the flu, you're likely suffering from compromised immune system. A worn down body, over-the-counter meds, and just blowing your nose for the umpteenth time can all affect the skin negatively (hi, chapped nostrils!) — and in a big way. So, if you’re feeling under the weather and are home sick with a cold, here are my expert tips to keep your skin looking its best. After all, when you look better, you feel better, right?
Use a humidifier in your bedroom at night.
Whenever the air is dry, it looks for moisture wherever it can get it — and that means robbing it from your skin. Along with decongestants that dehydrate the skin, dry air from indoor heating systems will leave your skin especially parched. Using a humidifier in your bedroom at night will help keep moisture in the air, which will maintain the hydration levels in the skin and keep it feeling comfortable.
ColdSkin_3Illustrated by Ammiel Mendoza.
Apply a cold gel mask to the skin.
Soothe parched, dehydrated skin by using a cooling gel mask. With regular use, they can put moisture back in the skin and make it look replenished and dewy. Due to the cold nature of gel masks, they may also relieve a pounding head and achy face from congestion. To make a gel mask even colder, put it in the refrigerator an hour prior to use.
ColdSkin_2Illustrated by Ammiel Mendoza.
Dab moisturizer on the nose at all times.
Consistent and repeated blowing of the nose, plus friction from tissues (even tissue with added moisturizer) can quickly make the nose and surrounding area red, dry, and irritated. After every sniffle, apply a small amount of cream to the nose area for instant comfort. Keep in mind that using a heavy cream isn't always the solution. Instead of focusing on texture, look for certain ingredients — ceramides and lipid-rich oils like such as borage oil, jojoba oil, carrot oil, phytosterols, sesame seed oil, linolenic acid and shea butter — that help heal and repair a compromised moisturizer barrier.
ColdSkin_4Illustrated by Ammiel Mendoza.
Use skin care products with mint.
When you’re sick, the skin can look gaunt and sallow while your body fights the infection. Also, the congestion of the nose makes it hard to breathe. Switch in a cleanser that contains natural peppermint, spearmint leaf, or rosemary leaf oils that can help clear a stuffy head, open up the nasal passages, and stimulate circulation to give your skin a much needed glow. You can also pick up these minty oils at a natural health food store and add a couple of drops to your fragrance-free facial cleanser.
ColdSkin_5Illustrated by Ammiel Mendoza.
Drink a lot of water.
Contrary to what you’ve always been told, drinking water is the least efficient way to hydrate your skin. However, it’s great for keeping fluids running through your body to flush away toxins and keep your internal temperature down. Drinking water also decreases under eye and face puffiness — so drink up!
I recently just got over a cold so I know firsthand how all of these steps saved my skin. It really makes a difference to put in the energy to be skin-conscious when you are sick. Also, don’t forget to bundle up and stay warm — it’s cold out there! Here’s to feeling and looking better!
If you have any questions for me, leave them for me in the comments section below!

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