It’s getting cold again, and that means ‘this season for dry, itchy and irritated skin. Whether it’s a long hot shower or a cozy fire, most of our attempts to remain warm during the winter months deprive our skin of its natural moisture and result in dry, uncomfortable skin all season. Contrary to what people might think, it’s not the cold temperatures that dry us the most – the true culprit is the lack of indoor moisture that causes our skin’s moisture to evaporate easily, although it doesn’t help to deal with these harsh winter conditions every day. Luckily, there are a handful of simple tweaks that we can make to our daily skincare routine to keep your skin nourished and supple all winter long. Take a look at the tips below to see how you can help fight dryness and other underlying skin problems this winter!
Moisturizing Is Key
Moisture – and a lot of it – is the most important factor for preserving healthy skin this winter. Although it is true that drinking plenty of water and remaining hydrated is vital to the wellbeing of our body, skin, and cells, it is sadly not very effective in helping to fix the dry areas of our skin during the colder seasons. The quickest way to cope with winter dryness is to invest in a decent everyday moisturizer. You’re not going to need a thick or heavy cream to see the effects, you’re only going to want a product that fits your particular skin type. The most important thing is to ensure that your product contains appropriate hydrating ingredients, such as hyaluronic or lactic acid. Ideally, you can moisturize at least twice a day, with some of the ideal periods right after a shower or just before bedtime. Applying before bedtime will give your skin enough time to absorb moisture and fix itself while you’re asleep.
When the temperature drops, the well-being of our skin will sometimes go back to the back burner, while we keep our top priority warm. Heating indoors like space heaters, sitting near a fireplace, wood-burning ovens, and even regular central heating all minimize the amount of moisture in our environments. It can also lead to chapped lips, or a dry nose and throat. The most efficient way to restore moisture to the air is by investing in a humidifier. Hold it close to your bed for the best performance or invest in several homes or office units! Other ways to minimize air dryness include changing your thermostat to lower temperatures or switching out space heaters and fireplaces for blankets and extra layers. Stay cozy, not dried out!
Many of us are not aware that certain elements of our daily self-care routine do more damage to our skin than good in the winter months. Skin dryness in the cold increases irritation and irritability, so it does not benefit from the same regimen you use for the rest of the year. For example, you may be tempted to take a long hot bath to get rid of your chills. But taking a hot bath or a shower is particularly harmful this time of year, as it strips the skin of the natural oils and moisture it desperately needs. Instead, take a warm bath or shower for no longer than five to ten minutes. After that, don’t forget to moisturize!
When in the tub, you can even be tempted to shave or exfoliate as much as you typically do. Both can be a great way to remove dead skin cells and to expose soft, smooth skin. However, dermatologists recommend reducing the number of times you allow yourself to do this during the chilly months, as it is even more dangerous when the skin is already dry and weakened. By shaving less often, you can break your sensitive skin from further irritation. If that’s not realistic for you, just be sure to use a sharp, new shaver to prevent skin aggravation and use a moisturizing shaving cream or gel. The same goes for exfoliating your skin – you’ll want to limit exfoliating as much as you can during the winter. Squeezing hard on sensitive skin can cause small micro-tears, more irritation of the skin, and sometimes increase dryness and itchiness. If you need to exfoliate, be sure to do so gently and less frequently.
Protection From The Elements
It might not feel like the sun is doing its job while the temperature is going down, but that doesn’t mean we don’t have to think about its consequences! Sunscreen is needed all year round. Having an SPF moisturizer with added protection is a perfect way to treat dry skin and avoid sun damage. If you’re going to be outside, be sure to put at least one layer between you and the cold. Exposure to extreme weather conditions such as cold winds can increase skin irritability and dryness. Bundling up in layers will not only keep you warm, but it will also make your skin happier and healthier.
Oily Skin Needs Love, Too
Both skin types are prone to dryness in winter, even though you are inclined towards an oilier complexion or combination. The decrease in humidity, both indoors and outdoors, takes a toll on all of us. It is important that even those who do not think they are experiencing winter dryness moisturize on a regular basis. It will be better to avoid clogging pores or can skin oiliness with a lightweight moisturizer. Applying these tips to your everyday routine can significantly enhance the appearance and feel of your skin, as well as help preserve moisture in the winter.