Don't Let the Dry Air of the Winter or Summer Take a Toll on Your Skin
Skin is your body’s largest and fastest growing organ. It’s also one of the best indicators of health and vitality. While much has been written about summertime damage to your skin, less is said regarding the toll winter can take.
Cold weather, coupled with low humidity, results in air dry enough to rob moisture from your skin throughout the day. Without careful attention, your skin can be left dry as the Mojave Desert.
The ideal situation is to develop a skincare routine that promotes gorgeous skin throughout the winter without drying it out. We’ve compiled a list of ways you can protect your skin throughout the long, dry winter months.
Turn the Water Temp Down
Few things feel better on a cold winter day than a long, hot bath or shower. The problem is, hot water strips oil – oil that you need to maintain soft, supple skin. Make it a habit to wash in lukewarm water whenever possible.
Examine Your Cleansers
How many times have you grabbed your body soap or facial cleanser without reading the ingredients? We’re pretty sure we all have. Cleansers do their job by cleaning your skin, but they often do the job a little too well by stripping your skin to the point of dehydration. During winter months, it is especially important to use cleansers that contain moisturizing ingredients. The great news is that you don’t have to break the bank. A drugstore brand will do the job you need it to do.
Your skin is constantly rejuvenating. That means that it is covered with dead cells that need to be removed. Make it a practice to exfoliate your entire body (including your lips, hands and feet) as you shower. You must get rid of that dull, dry skin in order for the fresh, healthy skin to shine through.
Alter Your Routine
If possible, cut toners and astringents from your winter routine. If you find that your skin is itchy and dry, stop using any product that contains alcohol and/or fragrance.
Moisturize While Wet
If you’re not already in the practice, keep a bottle of moisturizer everywhere your skin comes into contact with water – near the shower stall, bath, and sinks throughout your home. By applying moisturizer while your skin is still wet you help seal dampness in and prevent chapping. It may not be the way we were taught to moisturize when we were kids, but it works.
All moisturizers are not created equal. Look for an oil-based solution rather than water-based or petroleum-based moisturizer. Petroleum is infamous for drying out skin and water-based moisturizers simply lack the power to nourish your skin the way it needs nourished. Check the label. If you see moisturizing ingredients like jojoba, chamomile, or lavender, it’s a safe bet that your skin will thank you.
Coats, gloves, scarves, and hats don’t just protect you from the discomfort of winter weather, they also protect your skin from dehydration. Make sunscreen a part of your daily routine, just as you do in summer months. Though the air may have a chill, the sun is just as damaging during the winter.
Nourish Your Skin
Well-hydrated, healthy-looking skin begins on the inside. Drink plenty of water throughout the day, and if you find yourself turning more to warm drinks during winter months, substitute some of those drinks with a big mug of warm water infused with lemon or lime. Foods like cantaloupe, apples, kiwi, oranges, watermelon, celery, cucumbers, zucchini, tomatoes, and carrots are full of both nutrition and water, while fatty fish and flaxseed provide the nutrients skin needs to look soft and supple. Challenge yourself to a “skin-friendly” diet.
Other tips include lowering the thermostat to a cooler (yet comfortable) temperature, adding a humidifier to your home if you don’t have one, and avoiding any allergens that irritate your skin.
Most of all, be kind to your skin. Pay attention to trouble areas and invest in products meant to moisturize and protect. Who knows? You might just be one of those lucky people who goes into springtime with the best looking skin of their life.