The signs of winter are here. It gets dark early and the air is sending chills down your spine. You might even be noticing signs of winter show up in your skin.
Dry skin is more common during the winter months when the cold causes moisture in your skin to evaporate readily. Indoor heating also has a drying effect by lowering humidity levels in the air, contributing to the risk of getting dry skin. Here are eight things you can do to protect your skin against winter exposure and heal dryness and irritation if it occurs.
It’s true that too much exfoliation can dry out winter skin. However, not enough can block the penetration of hydrating moisturizers into your skin.
Let’s face it. Your wintertime skin is more prone to dryness and irritation, which means more dead skin cells to cleanse away. A moisturizing exfoliator can save the day. Choose a product with a hydrating and protective base like shea butter or coconut oil may be beneficial this time of year.
Start by exfoliating weekly, moisturizing after each time. Adjust to more or less frequent exfoliating according to how your skin responds. Keep in mind that everyone’s optimal skincare routine is different.
Use Alcohol-Free Toner and Makeup Remover
The most common skincare products that contain alcohol are toner and eye makeup remover. Avoid using these products on your face during wintertime, since the alcohol further dries out your skin. It’s also shown to reduce your skin’s natural oil production, which is critical for protecting against the elements during winter.
Find an alcohol-free toner or skip toner altogether until the temperature and humidity drop. Opt for an alcohol-free eye makeup remover, too.
Keep Your Skin Moisturized
It’s not just time to pull out your flannel and turtlenecks for the season, but also your heavy-duty moisturizing creams and ointments like petroleum jelly. A light everyday lotion may not be enough if you’re particularly prone to dry winter skin.
According to dermatologists, you should apply your moisturizer immediately after a shower when your skin is still just slightly damp from being towel dried. This way, the product is able to penetrate deeper and lock in more moisture for your skin.
Get into the practice of putting hand cream on your hands after each time you wash them to prevent dryness. Use a lip balm to avoid chapping. Be sure to moisturize your face with a facial moisturizer after each time you cleanse it.
Wear Sunscreen Lotion (Even Though It’s Winter)
If you’re going out for a run around the neighborhood or you’re shoveling snow out the driveway, wear sunscreen or lotion containing sun protection factor (SPF) before leaving the house. Even if it’s 15 degrees and there’s no way you can imagine getting a sunburn, don’t forget UV rays can reach your skin nonetheless. In fact, the snow-covered ground can reflect more of these UV rays, which are linked to skin cancer. To protect your skin and stay on the safe side, wear a sunscreen that has a minimum of SPF 30 wherever your skin will be exposed outside.
Drink More Water
Your skin is the first organ to dry out when the body is starved for water. Dry skin shows in its appearance and can cause the appearance of wrinkling as the body pulls fluids from its cells for use in other organs.
With less sweating and sunlight in wintertime, you might think you don’t need as much water intake to keep you hydrated. In truth, cold air draws out more water from your lungs when inhaled, compared to warmer air. Stay in the habit of drinking plenty of water so that adequate hydration extends to your skin.
Get a Humidifier for Your Bedroom
Having a humidifier going in your home is shown to improve your skin’s health in the presence of indoor heating. Because your body does the most healing during sleep, it’s often advised to place one in your bedroom.
According to studies, a humidifier can help keep the skin, hair and nails moist wherever it is used. If you spend as many or more hours in your home office or another room as you do in your bedroom, place your humidifier there. Or, get one humidifier for each.
Think you’re too tough to wear gloves? They might be a hassle, especially when you use your smartphone or tablet all the time, but they’re worth it for preserving your skin. Gloves are able to directly retain your skin’s moisture when you’re in cold air, which would otherwise evaporate if exposed, drying out the skin.
You should also wear waterproof gloves while doing dishes so that the chemicals in the dish soap don’t dry out your skin. Whenever your hands show signs of dryness or skin cracking, apply a heavy-duty moisturizer right away.
Get Your Essential Fats
Essential fatty acids are naturally-occurring fats found in virtually all living things. As the building blocks of fat, they help form the walls of your cells, making them healthy and strong. This goes for skin cells, which rely on fat for moisture retention and as a fuel source for cell functions.
Informs such as shea butter and olive oil, essential fatty acids are found in the ingredients of many natural skincare products such as moisturizers. That’s for good reason.
The dryness of indoor air during winter and dryness from exposure to cold outdoor air means essential fatty acid consumption is important. Skin products aren’t enough to treat deficient cells working overtime against winter threats. Eating a healthy amount of omega-3s, omega-6s and omega-9s, or taking them as supplements, can ensure your skin has the resources it needs for optimal health and maintenance.
Winter Skin Care Routine for Youthful, Healthy Skin
The seasons come and go, and with them, your skin’s needs. Without altering your skincare routine to meet the demands of winter, you can easily suffer from dryness. Dry skin looks older, and much of having a youthful facial appearance comes from having amply moisturized skin cells. Knowing the right skin tips for winter can help you maintain glowing skin all year round.