5 Ways to Freshen Up Skin After a Long Winter

Winter’s ice-cold temperatures and dry air may have made your skin flaky, irritated and looking dull. Even if you were moisturizing your skin every day to protect it from the elements, the harsh weather and cold climate could still severely dry out your skin. As the weather warms up and you prepare for spring, you’ll need to make some changes to your skincare routine and work on bringing out your natural, healthy glow. Here are five ways to freshen up your skin after a long and cold winter season:

1. Give yourself a head-to-toe exfoliation. Use a buffing cloth and exfoliating tools to get rid of dead skin cells sitting on the skin’s surface. You have probably accumulated a lot of dead skin cells from head to toe over the winter months, and can “shed” this layer easily by buffing it away. Use face and body scrubs to loosen dead skin cells and a body-buffing tool to work on tougher areas of skin.

2. Use petroleum jelly to keep skin soft. Petroleum jelly is still one of the best – and most affordable — skin moisturizers available, and is especially helpful for getting rid of rough patches of skin on your knees, elbows and heels. Apply a layer of petroleum jelly to these dry and rough areas, and wear socks or gloves overnight so that your skin softens up quickly.

3. Choose a body wash with glycolic acid. Glycolic acid is a natural exfoliating agent and can be very effective for smoothing out rough and untoned skin all over your body. Look for a quality body wash or scrub that contains glycolic acid for the ultimate exfoliation in the shower. If you have sensitive skin, choose a body wash with a lowest concentration of glycolic acid.

4. Use a moisturizing body scrub at least once per week. A natural body scrub infused with essential oils, moisturizing oils, brown sugar or white sugar can be particularly effective for smoothing out rough patches of skin and reviving your skin after a long winter. Applying a body scrub using a vigorous, circular motion can also increase circulation to the skin’s surface, bringing out your natural glow.

5. Get a faux tan. If your skin is looking especially pale after a long winter, pick up some sunless tanning products and work up a faux tan! Your fake tan will look more natural and last longer if you exfoliate your skin thoroughly before application. Most sunless tanning products last between five to seven days, depending on your natural skin tone.

New Video Game Keeps Your Skin Healthy

The Nintendo DS is already popular all over the USA and Japan, with all types of games available. Shooting and racing games are popular with the traditional video game target audience of young males, but recently Nintendo has released virtual pet and brain teaser games for the DS that has opened up the market to include older people and women.

The Nintendo Corporation who brought us the Super Mario franchise and Pokemon, has just released a new game for the DS that seeks to broaden their target audience even more. “Dream Skincare” is a new DS game designed for women, young and old, who seek skincare, aging and beauty tips.

The software created by the Konami Corp. allows players to input information about themselves via the DSs touch screen. Body temperature, skin tone, amount of sleep, skin smoothness, and exposure to sunlight among others, are all tracked daily on the DS and the game will automatically tell the player what things they can do to help preserve and better care for their skin.

The game gives advice like what foods to eat, how to keep a good hormonal balance, and what type of daily skin care regime should be used to help women keep their skin beautiful. The game also includes videos of Chizu Saeki acting as a virtual skin care consultant advising women on how to apply makeup, skin care products, and facial massage. The game will also feature recipes designed to keep women healthy and beautiful as well as advice on manners and being womanly.

“Dream Skincare” due out October 18, 2007 in Japan, has been met with mixed reviews. Some people praise Nintendo for trying to expand their audience with innovative games like “Dream Skincare” and making such an innovative console as the Wii released in 2006. Other gamers think that “Dream Skincare” and other games like it are laughable at best and will do nothing but hurt Nintendo’s profits and image. But with over 40 million DSs sold and sales still strong, Nintendo does not seem concerned that their new and untraditional approach to gaming will have any negative effects.

It is still unknown if “Dream Skincare” will be released in the USA or Europe, the reception of the game in Japan will probably dictate whether or not it gets to debut in any other countries. But for those of us women who don’t have access to our own personal skincare advisor via the DS, there’s always the salon, or if nothing else, the skincare aisle at Wal-Mart.