Winter weather is not fun for skin. Cold weather and low humidity levels result in dry air, which then steals moisture away from the skin every second of every day. Additional moisture helps, but you need to do more to actually counteract these effects and keep skin looking youthful and smooth. To reduce chapping, redness, itching, and keep skin more healthy and comfortable this season, try these tips:
Hot showers and baths always feel good in the winter, but when you can, particularly when just washing your face or hands, choose lukewarm water to avoid stripping as many oils away from the skin.
Your skin not only needs more moisture, but moisture right after you wash. Applying moisture to damp skin helps seal that dampness into the skin. Keep a bottle near the bathtub, shower stall, and at every sink and use liberally every time you wash.
Some over-the-counter moisturizers have petroleum-based ingredients that can actually further dry your skin in the winter months.
Get used to wearing gloves and scarves to protect skin from cold winds, rain, and snow. Also, don’t forget the sunscreen. Winter sun can be just as damaging as summer sun, so apply a safe option like zinc oxide or titanium dioxide to any exposed areas.
Heating systems dry out the air, so consider installing a humidifier in your home, particularly in your bedroom, to put moisture back into the air and help prevent your skin from drying out.
We tend to drink less water in the winter because we turn to hot drinks like cocoa and tea, but don’t forget that your skin needs hydration from the inside, out. A little warm water with lemon can be very refreshing and hydrating at the same time.
Dryer areas like hands, feet, elbows, and knees have thin skin and tend to lose moisture faster than other areas on the body. Consider slathering on a deep moisturizing balm at night, then wear cotton gloves and socks to seal in the moisture until morning.
We often forget to help the skin slough off dead cells in the winter, particularly on our hands. Yet moisture can’t get in if the dead cells are too plentiful. Find an exfoliating mask and use it on your face and your hands, as well as gently on your lips, then follow immediately with moisture to truly see a smoother difference. Exfoliating body washes are also helpful in the winter months.
Particularly if you have eczema, dermatitis, or psoriasis, you have to avoid allergens and irritants that may trigger a flare up. Winter skin is more fragile, so avoid irritating fabrics (like wool) and chemical-laden detergents and use mild cleansers and moisturizers designed for sensitive skin.
Eating foods high in water content can help hydrate your skin from the inside out. Try watermelon, cantaloupe, apples, oranges, kiwi, and watery veggies like celery, tomatoes, cucumbers, zucchini, and carrots. Make sure you’re getting enough vitamin C and zinc to support the healthy production of collagen and elastin. Also consider Be Well’s omega-3 supplement, or consume more fatty fish and flaxseed to give your skin the building blocks it needs to appear supple and smooth.
Special thanks to bewell.com for their great advice!!