With the temperature plummeting and winter on its way, you’ll need to revamp your skincare routine to combat the cold, dry weather. Just as you would change your wardrobe with the turning of the seasons, you should also make some adjustments to your skincare routine. As opposed to the summer when most women are battling oily skin, winter’s cold and even indoor heating leaves skin dull, ashy, and parched for moisture. Whether it’s for your face, hands, or body, follow these tips to beat your winter woes and have perfect skin all season long!
1. Turn Down the Heat
I know how good it feels to take a long, hot shower on a chilly day. And as tempting as it is to turn up the heat when bathing and washing your face, this can cause more damage your skin. Hot water actually dehydrates skin, breaking down the lipid barriers and stripping your skin of its natural oils. Keep water temperatures below boiling point and limit your shower time as much as possible to keep skin
2. Moisturize, Moisturize, Moisturize
Keeping skin hydrated with moisturizers and lotions is important year-round, but even more so in the winter. Immediately after washing, while skin is still damp, generously apply moisturizer to your face and body. If you have oily or acne prone skin, choose a moisturizer that is oil-free, but don’t skimp when applying! If your skin is on the drier side, choose a thicker lotion or cream. Products that contain lactic acid, glycerine, sorbitol, or alpha-hydroxy acids, will attract moisture to the skin and keep it hydrated. Apply lotion or moisturizer as much as needed throughout the day.
3. Fight the Flakes
One way to combat dry and flaky skin is to exfoliate-in moderation! Skin tends to be more sensitive in the winter months, but a little exfoliating can slough away dead skin cells and leave skin silky smooth. Choose a gentle exfoliator that won’t irritate skin, and limit your use to about once a week. Don’t apply too much pressure when washing, and apply a moisturizer or lotion immediately after to hydrate skin.
4. Block Out the Sun
SPF-based products are not just for the summer anymore! The sun can be just as harsh in the winter months as it is during the summer. And even if you’re indoors all day, proper sun protection is important to prevent UV damage. Make sure to apply a daily sunscreen, or a moisturizer with SPF, to face and hands about 30 minutes before leaving the house.
5. Load Up on H2O
In addition to applying moisturizer to the outside of your skin, keep hydrated from the inside out by drinking lots of water. You’ve heard about the health benefits of drinking enough water time and time again. Drink water throughout the day for overall health, to flush the body of toxins that may effect skin health, and to fuel body functions that will protect your skin from the cold climate.
6. Pucker Up
Chapped, dry, cracked lips are NOT cute. If your lips need a little TLC just follow these steps. First, exfoliate them! This can be done with a toothbrush, or a home made mixture of brown sugar and a few drops of water. Next, apply a lip balm of your choice. One with SPF is suggested, as well as balms containing bees wax and shea butter that have natural moisturizers. Lastly, avoid licking your lips! It’s hard to stop this habit, but saliva is alkaline which increases dehydration and makes chapping worse. Keep a lip balm handy throughout the day and reapply frequently.
7. Amp Up the Humidity
If you have the resources, consider investing in a humidifier. The hot, dry air that is circulated by indoor heating systems dries out skin as much as the cold weather. By adding moisture to the air with the help of a humidifier, skin will be less dry and flaky. Don’t have the money for a humidifier? Try placing bowls of water in the room that you spend the most time in. The water will evaporate and add moisture to the air.
8. Don’t Be Harsh
Winter weather is brutal enough, and you don’t need harsh astringents, cleansers, and toners adding to your skin troubles. Avoid using alcohol based products at all costs during the winter months as they will dry out skin and strip it of its natural oils. Instead, opt for mild foaming cleansers, alcohol-free toners, and hydrating face masks. Limiting the amount of soap or cleanser that you apply to your face and body also helps maintain skin moisture. Most times a dime-sized amount is all you need to get clean.
9. Pay Attention to Your Hands
During the winter, the skin on your hands always seem to bear the brunt of the harsh weather. Because the skin on your hands is thinner than other parts of the body, it has fewer oil glands and is harder to keep moisturized. Combined with the cold temperatures and windy weather, your hands will be cracked and dry more than usual in the winter. Lather on lotion throughout the day and protect skin from the elements by wearing gloves whenever you step outside.
10. Cover up
Besides keeping you warm, adding extra clothing to your extremities will help skin retain its moisture. The less your skin is exposed to the elements, the better. By slipping on a pair of gloves, a scarf, or hat, you will create a barrier between skin and harsh weather. Avoid wearing rough fibers such as wool directly on the skin to limit irritation.