It’s That Time of Year!

When you hear that phrase you probably think of the holidays, right? Well, accompanying the happy holiday season is winter and, unfortunately, dry skin! Not only does the cold cause skin lines and wrinkles to become more pronounced, but the “winter itch” plagues many. Fortunately, Dr. Yagoda is a skincare expert and facial plastic surgeon who has twenty years experience treating various skin ailments, and she has some tips to help combat cracked and dry skin.

Cold temperatures, low humidity, and the use of drying central heat all compound to pull moisture from skin. Since the skin is the body’s biggest organ, it is very important to keep it healthy! Dr. Yagoda believes skin health and overall well-being are linked; what you put in your body influences how you look on the outside. Eating a diet rich in protein and biologically important oils — as well as consuming plenty of liquids — will help hydrate the skin and keep it glowing. Additionally, supplements (like BeautyScoop) that contain peptides, lipids, collagen, hyaluronic acid, and anti-oxidant vitamins are an excellent addition to your daily topical skincare routine.

Topical skin care products can moisturize the outer layers of the skin and seal the skin’s natural protective barrier.  In addition, they can help speed up healthy cell turnover leaving you looking and feeling refreshed. Of course, sun protection is important all year round!  Although the sun might not seem as bright in winter as it is in summer, damaging UV  rays continue to penetrate your skin even when you are indoors. Wearing sun protection daily will help prevent wrinkles and the “leathery” texture that becomes more pronounced in the dry air of winter. If you would like to remove damage sustained by the sun, peels and IPL treatments help restore skin’s softer texture.

Those with eczema and other genetic skin conditions often suffer the most from the “winter itch.” Although no one can change genetics, Dr. Yagoda can help you choose hydrating and nourishing products and help you avoid those with ingredients that might dry the skin (i.e., many acne creams reduce the moisture in skin). By eating well, staying hydrated, using skin moisturizers and sun protection — as well as indulging yourself in a few skin optimizing treatments like fillers and Botox — you will have beautiful, youthful, glowing skin even in winter!

Can’t Sleep? Try a Sleep Buddy!

Couple’s Feet in Bed — Image by © Radius Images/Corbis

Having trouble sleeping? You aren’t alone! More than a third of US adults do not get enough sleep. Insufficient rest doesn’t just make you tired – it has many other associated health risks. If you are looking to improve your quality of life and sleep, then try resting both your mind AND body!

Getting enough sleep is an important component of reducing stress and tackling the day’s challenges. If you are sharing your bed with a companion, chances are you may think his or her presence can be disruptive to your “beauty sleep.” Worry not! As long as it isn’t snoring or sleep apnea waking you up, then sharing your bed is actually beneficial! Of course, if it is sleep apnea (a disruption of breathing) you should seek treatment. Those with allergies, deviated septums, enlarged turbinates or chronic sinus disease can all benefit from a doctor’s attention.  Whether through traditional or endoscopic surgery, fixing sleep apnea and snoring problems will ensure a more peaceful slumber.

However, if you find yourself waking up often — or just do not feel energized in the morning! — consider getting a sleeping buddy! Research shows that the “love hormone,” oxytocin, is released in greater quantities when your nighttime habits include cuddling. Oxytocin not only has physical benefits – it reduces stress, decreases blood pressure, and promotes healing – but it increases our feelings of affection for healthy relationships.

Why is this? Well, we are social creatures! Having a “protector” nearby increases sleep neurotransmitters, and it is these chemical signals that help foster a good night’s rest. So, to be the most outwardly beautiful and healthy person you can be (heaven forbid you have the face of sleep deprivation!), start with ensuring long-term health through good sleeping habits. Just don’t let your sleeping buddy hog the sheets!