Updated 1/18/18. It is winter and that means the season for cold and flu. With the continuous blowing of your nose, your body being worn down, and taking all sorts of medication to manage the symptoms, this will affect the skin greatly—and not for the better.
In this post, I’ll share my expert skin tips to care for your skin when you’re sick with a cold, to keep it looking its best. After all, when you look better, you feel better, right?
How can I make my skin look better when I have a cold?
Use a humidifier in your home and bedroom at night.
Whenever the air is dry, through a process called osmosis, it looks for moisture wherever it can get it— and that means robbing it from the deep layers of your skin. Along with decongestants that will dry out the skin from within, your skin is guaranteed to be especially parched and dry. Using a humidifier in your home and bedroom at night will help raise the humidity levels, so the dry air is less likely to want to take moisture from your skin. This will help greatly to keep your skin feeling comfortable.
Another benefit of using a humidifier is that you may be able to prevent the spread of the flu. I read a study that showed that a virus is 32% less likely to survive when relative humidity is between 40% and 60%. A home in the winter can drop to a 15% humidity level, but a humidifier can boost this up significantly.
Apply a cooling gel mask to the skin.
Since decongestants can dehydrate the skin, a gel mask will put water back in the skin to keep it looking moist and dewy. Due to the cold nature of gel masks, another benefit is the relief it can provide to a pounding head and achy face from all the congestion. To make the gel mask even colder (which will feel even more amazing when applied to the face), put in the refrigerator an hour prior to using. Recommended gel mask: Bio Calm Repair Masque or Rapid Response Detox Masque.
Sleep with a cream mask on your skin.
If you are a skin type #5, #6, #7, #8 or #9, your skin will be dry in the winter no matter what, so add in a cold or flu and it will be even drier. For dry skin types, I like to recommend a deeply nourishing cream mask to dramatically restore moisture levels in the skin. Instead of the usual process of rinsing off a mask after 15-20 minutes, a cream-based mask can be left on the skin overnight to maximize the effectiveness. The skin will feel and look so moist and dewy in the morning from all the reparative oils. Recommended cream mask: Pure Radiance Creme Masque.
Keep moisturizer or a facial oil on the nose at all times.
From repeated blowing of the nose and friction of the tissue (even tissue that has added moisturizer), the nose area can quickly become red, dry and irritated. After every blow, apply a small amount of cream or facial oil to the nose area. This will provide instant comfort and prevent more damage to the skin.
To repair dry, flaky skin, look for the following emollient barrier-repair ingredients when choosing a moisturizer or oil:
•Bois De Rose Oil
•Evening Primrose Oil
•Sweet Almond Oil
•Sesame Seed Oil
These ingredients will correct both the lack of oil and lack of hydration deep within your skin and actually repair the skin’s lipid moisture barrier to make your skin moist, supple, and smooth. Recommended cream and oil: Phytolipid Comfort Creme, Glow Enhancing Creme, and Pro Remedy Oil. For more product recommendations take the Skin Type Quiz or schedule a virtual consultation to get customized advice in person, over the phone or online via Skype or FaceTime.
Use skin care products with mint ingredients.
When you’re sick, the skin can look gaunt and sallow due to your body fighting an infection within. In addition, the congestion of the nose makes it so hard to breathe. Using a natural mint-infused cleanser to wash your face will help to clear up a stuffy head by opening up the nasal passages and stimulate blood flow to the face to give a much-needed glow. Recommended cleanser: Luxe Mint Cleansing Gel. I will put this in the palm of my hand before applying to my face and do a few slow and deep inhalation.
Put pure eucalyptus essential oil in your shower.
I personally do this every single morning, but certainly, for times when you need to clear your head due to a cold, this is so wonderfully helpful.
- Get some pure eucalyptus essential oil. (It contains a high amount of the oxide called eucalyptol, which loosens mucus secretions, relaxes muscles, and opens the airways for easier breathing.)
- Pour 30 drops all over your shower floor. (I shake the bottle for 15 seconds, so I’m not sure how many drops actually come out but you have to use a fair amount of it.)
- Don’t turn on the shower fan. (Since there is little to no humidity in the air during the winter, the steam given off from a shower can be wonderfully helpful for preventing moisture loss.)
- Wait 5 minutes for the scent to settle into your shower.
- Step into the shower and breathe in deeply to take in the eucalyptus scent.
- Turn on the hot water and close the door. Your shower will be instantly transformed into a luxurious spa experience to wake you and get you breathing better fast. (You can also add a few drops directly to the palm of your hands and cup them over your face with your eyes closed and do five slow in-and-out inhalations.)
Drink a lot of water.
Despite what you’ve always been told, drinking water is actually the least efficient way to hydrate the skin so, unfortunately, this tip isn’t so much for making your skin appear more hydrated. Where drinking water does become helpful is for keeping fluids running through your system to flush away toxins and keep your internal temperature down while you’re sick.
I sincerely hope my expert tips will help you look better when you’re not feeling your best. They can really make a difference if you can muster up the energy. Feel better!