Winter’s cold, dry weather can be brutal on the skin. This year, give your winter skin care routine a boost with the following tips and make dry, cracked and chapped skin a thing of the past.
Turn on a Humidifier
When the temperatures drop, we turn on the heat, which pulls moisture out of the air and causes dry skin. A humidifier is a quick and easy way to re-hydrate your home. Place one in your bedroom and turn it on while you sleep. Or add a few throughout the house to evenly disperse moisture into the air.
Take Warm, Not Hot, Showers
The cold winter months seem like the ideal time to enjoy a long, hot shower. But for the sake of your skin, avoid the urge. Hot showers strip skin of its natural oils that trap moisture. And for baths, turn down the temperature and limit your time in the tub to 5 to 10 minutes. Better yet, add baking soda or oatmeal to a warm bath to help relieve dry, itching and irritated skin.
Nourish Your Skin from the Inside Out
Get your skin ready to combat the cold by making sure your diet is full of nutrients important to overall skin-health, such as vitamins A, E and D. Fight dryness by increasing your intake of healthy fatty acids by eating more salmon, or add flax seeds or oil to a salad.
Rethink Your Face Wash
Choose a gentle face wash that can hydrate your skin while cleansing it. Antibacterial soaps and those with added fragrances can be harsh on the skin, so avoid these products in your face wash. Limit the use of toners, astringents, peels or cleansers that contain alcohol which strip the skin.
All-natural options like honey, oils and yogurt can be effective and gentle facial cleansers. Use them in their natural form, or try adding a little lemon juice to a teaspoon of honey to cleanse oily skin. Yogurt is full of healthy proteins and fats that skin loves, while caster or avocado oil is excellent at removing stubborn eye make-up.
Sun is the primary culprit behind dry, wrinkled and damaged skin. Use a broad spectrum sunscreen year-round to help protect your skin. Snow reflects the sun’s UV rays and increases your exposure, so be sure to reapply often throughout the day if you are enjoying winter’s outdoor activities.
Keep Your Outdoor Clothes Dry
Skiing, snow-shoeing, sledding and more – for many, wintertime is also playtime! Get out there and enjoy, but dress in layers to prevent excess perspiration, which can irritate the skin. Pay special attention to keeping gloves and socks dry as feet and hands are particularly vulnerable to irritated, chapped skin. Cotton is notorious for holding moisture and invites both chapping and a chill. Stick to wool or quick-dry synthetic materials instead.
Choose a Good Moisturizer and Use It
Read the label for products that contain shea butter, ceramides, glycerine, sorbitol and alpha-hydroxy acids that help attract and trap moisture to the skin. Oil-based moisturizers are better at retaining moisture than water-based lotions or creams. For your face, choose a product that is “non-clogging” to prevent build-up in your pores. To get the most out of your moisturizer, apply it to damp skin a few minutes after a shower. To ward off dry hands, reapply lotion after each hand-wash.
These beautiful days won’t last all winter. Get out and enjoy. With a little effort, you and your skin can take advantage of all the fun this time of year.