12 Feb 9 Ways to Make Your Skin Look Great in Winter
The cold air and sharp winds outside combined with the dry air from heaters and long showers inside make winter a tough season for skin. The best protection against dry winter skin is to approach it holistically – defend yourself with these minor changes to your diet, shower and skin care routine, as well as ways to equip your home smartly, so you can maintain healthy skin during the cold winter months.
Make winter skin look great with your diet
Get your omega-3s
Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids help to flush out toxins and retain moisture in the skin. Salmon, avocados, walnuts, and leafy greens are great sources of these healthy fats. Omegas also have great benefits for your skin aside from hydration, such as improving acne and wrinkles.
Minimize your alcohol intake
Unwinding with a hot toddy is tempting, but alcohol can zap moisture from your body by dehydrating you from the inside. Monitor how much alcohol you drink and make sure to drink a glass of water between rounds.
Make winter skin look great in the shower
Take shorter showers
Long, hot showers may feel great after a cold day, but they deprive your skin of necessary moisture. As soon as you finish showering, your skin loses moisture because it was stripped of its natural oils. This is one of the main causes of dry, winter skin. Keep your showers warm (not hot) and only five to ten minutes long.
Skip the soap
If you use soap every day as a cleanser in the shower, consider switching to a more natural soap-free alternative every few days. Soap can dry out the skin, but if you opt for a body wash with oils in it, you’ll return moisture to the skin.
Make winter skin look great with DIY treatments
Soothe cracked heels
Use petroleum jelly as a quick-fix for cracked heels. First, exfoliate with a pumice stone and then apply petroleum jelly. If you need an extra boost, put socks on after applying the jelly and go to sleep. When you wake up, voila! Your heels are healed!
Exfoliate with a Lavender Sugar Body Scrub
Use these recipes from Better Nutrition to make simple, at-home body treatments:
“Combine ½ cup coconut sugar, ¼ cup sweet almond oil, 2 Tbs. aloe vera gel, and 5 drops lavender essential oil in a small jar. Stir to mix well. In the shower, apply scrub gently in a circular motion over damp skin, and rinse with warm water. Makes enough for one or two applications. Store remainder, refrigerated, in a small glass jar.”
Why it works: coconut sugar sloughs off dead skin cells aided by its alpha-hydroxy acids. The sweet almond oil has A, B, and E vitamins to nourish skin, while aloe vera is excellent at increasing circulation, and lavender has soothing properties.
Rejuvenate with a Honey-Rose Nourishing Protein Masque
This masque, also from Better Nutrition, is nourishing, soothing, and uses natural ingredients to give your winter skin a much-needed break.
“In a small saucepan, combine ½ cup raw honey and ⅓ cup whey protein. Puncture two vitamin E capsules and squeeze contents into saucepan; discard capsules. Warm on the lowest heat, stirring constantly until mixture is smooth. Remove from heat and let cool; stir in 1 ounce rose water. Apply generously to clean skin; leave on for 20–30 minutes, then rinse off with warm water. Makes enough for two applications. Store remainder, refrigerated, in a small glass jar.”
Honey is a humectant, which means it can attract water to the skin. Whey protein is known to increase collagen, which minimizes fine lines, and vitamin E can heal damaged skin. Rose water not only softens the skin but can decrease puffiness.
Make your winter skin look great at home
Use a humidifier
Invest in a humidifier and keep it on during the night. You’ll wake up to skin that feels supple and you may notice that your lips and throat don’t feel dry upon waking.
Beware of space heaters
Keep space heaters at least 18 inches away from you so you can prevent erythema ab igne, which are spots of redness caused by exposure to infrared heat. Try to use a space heater only when absolutely necessary, because they are a common cause of dry skin.
Maintaining healthy skin in the winter takes an approach from all angles of your skincare routine – what you ingest, how you bathe, what treatments you do, and what you use in your home. If you’re looking for a professional approach to your skincare or have a problem that you’ve tried treating yourself that won’t go away, give us a call at Ulmer and Wu Dermatology (562) 435-5621 to make an appointment.