Winter is upon us, and ready to wreak havoc on our beautiful skin. Tight dry skin, rough heels and knuckles as well as the dreaded chapped lips are how winter says “Hello, I am here!”. So, here are 11 Winter Skin Care Tips that will aid in keeping your skin happily hydrated throughout the winter season and ready for spring.
Cold, breezy conditions outside can leave our skin feeling raw, while the lovely (created) indoor heat takes away the moisture from the air also from our skin. Even the little things that make winter so wonderful, such as sitting by a roaring fire tends to dry out our skin. I mean, who doesn’t want to sit by the fire or heater in the winter to keep warm? No one!
Do not worry there are simple ways to combat the causes of dry winter skin and help keep our skin feeling moist and supple all season long. Here are the 11 Winter Skin Care Tips to consider and include in your everyday routine.
My Top 11 Winter Skin Care Tips:
1. Limit Your Shower Time and Temperature
I Know, I know, it may be tempting to take a very long, steamy shower or bath. As much as taking a hot shower might seem like a good way to get warm, hot water as a result dries out our skin by stripping it of its natural oils. So, our skin will be much better aided with a 5- to 10-minute lukewarm shower or bath.
Winter Skin Care Tip #1 watchout for the shower and bath temperature. So, if the water causes your skin to turn red, it’s too hot.
2. Drink Lots and Lots of Water
Firstly, when it’s cold outside we often forget to drink enough water throughout the day. I too always opt for a cup of coffee or tea, for example. When humidity is low, it is most likely to strip our poor skin of its moisture. Therefore, it is important to always remember and actively drink your daily intake of water through the winter season to re-hydrate.
A win-win situation for example, would be indulging in some warming winter teas such as natural ginger and lemon. This is a wonderful way to keep hydrated and as a result you will feel healthy and warm all at the same time. Also try to swap your coffee for green tea which has great antioxidant effects.
3. Eat Right
This must be the most difficult one, at least for me. This is because I think winter is synonymous with comfort food. However, our skin is complemented by the food we eat. So, including foods or supplements that contain omega-3 or omega-6 fatty acids, such as fish oil and flax seed oil could help curb dry skin. If you eat right, your skin will thank you.
4. You Still Need SPF, Sunscreen Is Not Just for Summer
Just because it is winter, it doesn’t mean you should put away your sun protection for both your face and body.
We may reach for the sunscreen automatically during the warmer months, but sunscreen is just as important during winter to shield our skin from those harmful UVs. Make sure to cover your face, neck and hands (if they are exposed) with sunscreen. Also, opt for a sunscreen with at least SPF 30 protection.
It is very important to protect your skin from UV rays. Very important.
There are many different types of rays present in sunlight. The rays that are most damaging to our skin are called ultraviolet (UV) rays. There are two basic types of ultraviolet rays that reach the earth’s surface namely UVB and UVA. UVB rays are responsible for producing sunburn. UVA rays can penetrate more deeply into the skin and play a greater role in premature skin aging changes including wrinkle formation and skin cancer. “Traditional chemical sunscreen products have been more successful at blocking UVB rays than UVA rays”. So, use it!
5. Protect Your Lips
Do not forget your lips! Applying a moisturizing balm (such as petroleum jelly or another ointment) can help heal dry, cracked lips and keep them from getting chapped.
Also, don’t lick your lips! I am going to say it again. Don’t lick your lips! When your lips are dry, it’s natural to want to lick them to make them moist. But licking your lips actually has the opposite effect. Once you put saliva on the lips, it dries out and makes our lips even more dry.
Similarly, avoid brushing or rubbing your lips when they are flaky or peeling. It’s better not to scrub your lips or pick the peeling skin off with your teeth or your fingers. That just creates cracks and sores on your lips and can make things much worse.
Lastly, do apply lip balm before you go to bed. Many people sleep with their mouths open. You can imagine that +/- eight (8) hours of breathing in and out through your mouth can really dry your lips.
6. Use Gentler and Fragrance-Free Products
It is important to use gentle cleansers, for both body and face. Find yourself a foaming body wash for body that is very moisturizing and does not strip moisture away from the skin. Also, for your face, you might want to use a milder cleanser. Save the fragranced body wash for summer. Instead, cream-based cleansers will help keep the moisture in, while still taking off the day’s dirt and makeup.
Avoid Ingredients such as alcohol and any added fragrances, these won’t do any favours for dry, cracked skin as they strip away natural oils. Instead, wash with a fragrance-free, moisturizing cleanser or gel, paired with a richer night moisturizer for your face. Also, apply toners sparingly, if at all.
That is to say, it is best you stop using products that contain alcohol and fragrances in winter in order to help your skin retain its natural oils.
7. Use A Natural Moisturizer and Apply Immediately After Washing
This one might seem obvious, but moisturizing your skin is crucial for keeping it hydrated throughout the winter. However, choose your facial moisturizer and body lotion very carefully. For the winter, go with oil-based products rather than water-based to keep important hydrating oils in your skin. Correspondingly, apply your moisturizer or lotion immediately after washing to lock in as much moisture as possible. In addition, don’t forget to include your hands and your feet, which are the most hardworking parts of your body.
8. Exfoliate Less
When it comes to exfoliating, the answer to whether you should do it, is not going to be the same for everyone. Certainly, you’re going to exfoliate less than you would normally, because your skin barrier is going to be a little bit compromised because of the dryness and the cold air. Do still exfoliate, just less often. Exfoliating is necessary for helping to speed up the skin’s regeneration while allowing better penetration of your moisturizer.
9. Keep Moisture in The Air and Invest in A Humidifier to Maximize Moisture
Our skin is the barrier that keeps water inside of our body, so when it is dry and cold, water evaporates from the surface faster and easier. To prevent dryness try using a humidifier as well as drinking an extra glass or two of water. Humidifiers are a great way to add moisture back into your home, especially if you’re inclined to blasting the heat.
Using a humidifier in your home or office will add moisture to dry winter air and help keep your skin hydrated. Do run a humidifier in the rooms you spend the most time in, including your bedroom.
10. Wear Comfortable, Non-Irritating Clothing
Many cold weather fabrics can intensify dry winter skin. Keep wool and other rough clothing from directly touching your skin. As this can cause dry skin to get further irritated and itchy. Instead, wear light layers made from soft, breathable materials directly against your skin, and then layer on your heavier, warmer sweaters.
11. Turn Down the Heat to Avoid Dryness
When it’s chilly outside, what is the first thing you want to do? Turn up the heat! But all that heat can make the air in your house, car and office even drier. Try setting the heater temperature to a cool yet comfortable setting (20°C/68°F to 22°C /72°F) to maintain healthy skin.
These are my top 11 skin care tips for winter. Making these minor adjustments will have your skin happily hydrated as well as ready and glowy come spring time.
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