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Since the cold weather has finally moved in so has our lifestyle. Hibernation is not unique to the animal kingdom. We humans also enjoy the comfort features of our lairs. As our lifestyles change from summer to winter, so does the functioning of our body. With layers of clothing comes dry skin. And if your skin is naturally dry in the summer you know that it is much worse now.

We hear it daily as professionals, and know how hard it is to keep the body and skin hydrated without ‘extra’ care so here are some suggestions in an effort to bring you relief.

Exfoliate, exfoliate and then exfoliate!

If you are not exfoliating daily, you are ignoring the most fundamental part in controlling the dry skin issue. There are several ways to do this. Dry brushing for the body is an old practice used by the Chinese and this is how it works. A long handled boar bristled brush is brushed up and down the ankles and back of the legs. This is done for two reasons. Firstly, they believe that this ‘brushes off’ the bad energy that they may have picked up during their days travels left by those who walked before them. Secondly, this ‘dry brushing’, gets rid of bad ‘chi’ or energy thus, successfully prepares for a good night’s sleep.

The perhaps more physiological benefits of practicing this procedure would be that you are not only exfoliating the dry skin but also improves both circulation of blood and moves toxins through stimulating the lymphatic system (the body’s garbage system). Either way, you are encouraging good things to happen to your body.

Another effective exfoliation method is washing with a rough cloth known as an ayate, made with aloe plant fibers again stimulating blood and lymph as it also sloughs off most of your dead dry skin cells.

The important factor in exfoliating is to better prepare the skin for effective soothing and hydrating moisturizer. Dry scales have no valuable purpose and are virtually screaming to be let loose! Then, and only then can you and should you apply water based moisturizer. Water based products hydrate this fresh new skin whereas oil only sits atop the skin sealing in moisture if there is any.

A professional secret for treating dry skin is to use a very effective lotion that chemically releases these dry dead skin cells. This method is preferred if the more aggressive methods mentioned above do not appeal to you. Your professional has such potions which in the long run save you time and money and is long proven for their effectiveness seen within 3 days. Our final suggestion used for centuries is the practice of applying warm wax to the body’s exterior skin to promote hydration that comes from within the body. This is best applied by your professional.


• Hot baths are not advised unless you follow at least one of the above helpful hints.

• Ignoring this condition just keeps you scratching -and begging for relief.

• Applying hand and body cream is a waste of time and is a temporary fix.

• Caffeine, alcohol, smoking, bad diet, lack of sleep, avoidance of exercise and general malaise should be visited in moderation. All in excess can be contributing factors.

• Medications whose side effects are dryness both inside and outside the body may necessitate asking your doctor about Hyaluronic Acid as a supplement. We estheticians have been putting this super hydrating ingredient in skin formations for decades with immediate success for dry and sensitive facial skin.

All in all, when you don’t feel good about yourself because of feelings of lack of control, your image both internally and externally are at risk. Personal hygiene, weight issues, lack of body tone, lack of concern about facial wrinkles, general health and even how you leave the house each day expresses your personal self-image.

Do your clothes fit? Do you wear makeup that enhances you? If a man, do you shave, control your hair, and is it clean and what about ear and nose hair? Do you even know you have it? We notice! I guess an important question to ask here, is ‘Do you care?’ Your personal image no matter how you think tells the world about your level of self esteem.

This is a new year, a chance to open up your thinking, take a look at yourself, change something, or help someone you care for do, be or make a better something for themself. Role modeling is the best thing you can do for yourself and others. Respect for oneself breeds respect from others. Be the one who holds standards high, accept only the best and make your daily decisions count.

DESIRED IMAGE SKIN CARE CLINIC – 871 Niagara Falls Blvd., Amherst, NY 14226 (716)-834-1123


By Brenda Romanow

Brenda Romanow is the owner of Desired Image Skin Care Clinic, a Buffalo based business of over 22 years. Brenda has been in education for over 10 years for the New York State Education Committee for esthetics and is also a New York State examiner for esthetics. She started teaching in several school’s continuing education class on subjects such as Anti-Aging, Personal Image, Makeup application as well as Cosmetic Ingredients (what’s in a jar). 834-1123.