Winter is right around the corner bringing along cozy scarves and sweaters, smell of burning wood, hot creamy coffee, and that crisp chill in the air. It also means it’s time to change our skin care routine! That’s right! Dry winter air can seriously take a toll on our skin.
The winter comes with a whole lot of enjoyment. But, what the cold weather does to our skin is definitely not enjoyable. Dry skin? Check. Flaky lips? Check. Dandruff? Check, Feet that shouldn’t see the light of day? Check. Basically, winter weather can do serious damage to our skin—from head to toe. So, when we switch out our tees for jackets, it’s also time to change-up our skin care routine to help our skin through these chilly months!
Luckily, it’s not difficult to smooth things out. In fact, we can integrate some simple hacks into our winter skin care routine to feel softer every day.
Why Winter Weather Affects Our Skin
Along with rosy cheeks and pink nose, winter also results in dry, cracked and chapped skin. Winter air is drier and humidity is lower. This weather change, coupled with dry indoor temperatures further zaps our skin’s moisture.
According to Dr. Joshua Zeichner, dermatologist and director of clinical research at Mt. Sinai Hospital in New York:
Protect Your Skin in Winters
This weakens its ability to protect itself when our skin loses its moisture barrier. Thus, it becomes more important to pay attention to our skin’s seasonal needs and adjust accordingly.
Additional moisture helps, but, you need to do more to actually counteract these effects and keep skin looking youthful and smooth. In order to reduce chapping, itching, and keep skin more healthy and comfortable this season, try these tips.
Use Lukewarm Water
Hot showers and baths feel heavenly in the winter, but when washing face or hands particularly; use lukewarm water to avoid extracting as many oils away from the skin as possible.
Swap Gel Cleanser for Cream Cleanser
Since, our skin is already lacking moisture, with stronger cleansers, we don’t want to strip it of natural oils. Cream cleansers on dry skin are gentler and moisture is incorporated into them. If you have oily skin, you may not be affected as severely by dry winter air. However, if you have dry skin, you may be afraid of cold weather months. Try using a cleaning oil to remove if your skin is extremely thirsty.
Moisturize Frequently for skin care
Maintain healthy skin by moisturizing after washing up. Dr. Stein Gold. said:
Hand-washing is vital, especially during cold and flu season. But constant washing will cause the hands to take a beating. Dryer places, such as arms, feet, elbows and knees, have thin skin and tend to lose moisture more easily than other areas on the body. Slather deep moisturizing balm at night, then wear cotton gloves and socks to seal in the moisture until morning.
Choose Moisturizer Carefully
Soaps can make skin itchy and dry. Also, regular bar soaps, contain unpleasant ingredients and fragrances. Many over – the-counter moisturizers have ingredients dependent on petroleum that in the winter months can potentially dry our skin further. Pick a formula that includes organic, nutritious ingredients. Go for an oil-based solution instead of a water-based one, as it is more likely to help the skin retain moisture in the winter
Hydrate from the Inside Out
Eating high water content foods can help the skin hydrate from the inside out. Winter brings along lots of seasonal fruits. Make sure to get benefit from all. Try eating apple, orange, kiwi, and watery veggies such as celery, tomatoes, cucumbers, and carrots. Make sure to get enough vitamin C and zinc for good collagen and elastin growth. According to Barbara R. Reed, MD, a dermatologist in private practice at Denver Skin Clinic:
Apply Sunscreen — Even on Gray Winter Days
According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, snow reflects the sun rays up to 80%, raising our risk of exposure. Whether we’re out on the slopes, playing in the snow, or just walking through a parking lot on an errand run, applying sunscreen in the harsh winter weather is just as necessary as it is in the summer.
And, don’t let the lighter days fool you. The sun’s harmful UV rays can permeate clouds and still cause damage. Before you go outside, apply SPF of 15 or higher to all exposed areas of your body.
Always Carry a Lip Balm
Chapped lips are a fact of life during winter, regularly applying a hydrating balm, can help them keep moist. Any balm that contains almond oil, jojoba oil, coconut oil, aloe Vera, Shea butter, will do the trick. In addition, avoid using long-lasting or matte lipsticks because their ingredients tend to cause dryness.
In the winter, we sometimes forget to help the skin slough off dead cells. If the dead cells are too large, water cannot get in. Choose and use an exfoliating mask on face and hands as well as on your lips, then immediately follow with moisture to see a cleaner difference. Exfoliating body washes in the winter months are also helpful.
Wear Nonirritating Clothing and Avoid Allergens.
If one has eczema, dermatitis, or psoriasis, allergens and irritants that can cause a flare-up should be avoided. Keep wool and rough clothing from directly touching your skin; this can cause dry skin to get irritated and itchy. Instead, first wear light layers made from soft, breathable materials and then pull on your heavier, warmer sweaters. Be sure to protect your hands from cold winter air with gloves or mittens. Similarly, put on cotton glove liners first if you prefer wool gloves. Also, avoid chemically activated detergents and use mild skin cleansers and moisturizers for sensitive skin.
Use DIY Masks
Homemade hydrating masks can never go wrong. It can provide the much needed moisture to skin in the winter months. Use all the natural moisturizing ingredients like honey, avocado, yogurt, olive and jojoba oils, almond oil, bananas, and aloe. Mix what you like together to create a cream or paste, and leave on skin for 20-30 minutes for lasting hydration.
Change Out of Wet Clothes Quickly to Avoid Itchy Skin
Wearing wet clothes and shoes can make skin more sore and itchy. Make sure to remove them as soon as possible when gloves, shoes, or trousers get wet. If your skin gets irritated in winters more than often, talk to the doctor. You may need a prescription-strength moisturizer to overcome winter’s drying effects on your skin.
I know it’s difficult to leave the blanket’s warmth and coziness behind and exercise on a chilly winter morning. But, if you love your body, do that. Exercise pumps up our heart rate, pumping more oxygen into our organs and body.
Oil and sweat glands in our skin and blood vessels contract a little during the winter. It makes it difficult for our skin to stay healthy and so it needs our help. Exercise 20 minutes daily to keep your body and skin stay healthy and fresh.
Summing it all,
Give Your Skin the Love It Deserves
Winters bring lots of coziness with it. It’s up to us to either enjoy or ruin it. When devouring hot food to keep our body warm, we should also think a little about our skin. By taking extra care of our skin, we can surely enjoy these chilly days to the fullest. I hope these special tips throughout the winter season, can help you to treat your skin with ease and leave you feel protected, nourished and comfortable.
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