The winter months can be tough on your skin. The cold, dry air can leave you feeling dry, cracked, and inflamed. But don’t despair! There are things you can do to help protect your skin and keep it healthy all winter long. Here are 5 tips to fight back on winter:
1. Moisturize, Moisturize, Moisturize!
The number one thing you can do for your skin in the winter is to moisturize. Look for a moisturizer that contains ingredients that are biocompatible and rich in lipids. Apply your moisturizer immediately after bathing while your skin is still damp. This will help seal in the moisture from your bath or shower and prevent water loss. Be sure to moisturize your hands and feet thoroughly as well; these areas are especially prone to dryness and cracking in the winter.
2. Protect Your Skin from the Elements
The wind and cold of winter can wreak havoc on your skin, so it’s important to take steps to protect it when you go outdoors. Dress in layers to prevent windburn, and cover exposed skin with a scarf, hat, or earmuffs. If you’ll be spending extended periods of time outdoors, consider investing in a good pair of ski goggles or sunglasses to protect your eyes from the sun’s glare off of the snow. And don’t forget the sunscreen, yes, even in winter! Even though it’s cold outside, the sun’s UV rays can still damage your skin. Look for a sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 that offers broad-spectrum protection against both UVA and UVB rays.
3. Keep Your Home Humidified
The dry air inside your home can be just as damaging to your skin as the cold air outside. Invest in a humidifier to help add moisture back into the air and keep your skin from drying out. Place a humidifier in each room where you spend extended periods of time, such as bedrooms and living rooms. Be sure to clean your humidifier regularly according to the manufacturer’s instructions to prevent mold and mildew growth. Low humidity speeds up the skin’s moisture loss; this is called Trans Epidermal Water Loss (TEWL).
4. Drink Plenty of Water
It’s important to stay hydrated year-round, but it’s especially crucial in the winter when the air is so dry. Drinking plenty of water helps keep all organs—including your skin—functioning properly by flushing out toxins and delivering nutrients throughout the body. Aim to drink eight 8-ounce glasses of water each day; more if you live in a dry climate or if you exercise frequently.
5. Take Short, Warm Showers
While hot showers feel great on a cold day, they can actually strip away natural oils from your skin, leaving it dry and irritated. To prevent this, stick to showers that are no longer than 10 minutes and use warm—not hot—water. Gently pat yourself dry with a soft towel when you get out of the shower; avoid rubbing which can further irritate the skin. Immediately follow tip one and apply a layer of moisturizer while your skin is still damp to help lock in hydration.
Taking care of your skin during the winter months doesn’t have to be difficult or expensive; just follow these simple tips and you’ll see a noticeable difference in the health of your skin! Do you have other tips for keeping your skin strong during the winter months? Share them with us!
Written by: René Serbon