Tips for Winter Skin Care

21 Nov Tips for Winter Skin Care

winter skin care

Each season brings its skin challenges. Summer makes you sweat, which can lead to breakouts, and the added sun exposure can mean burns and brown spots. But winter is just as mean to your delicate skin. The cold, dry air sucks the moisture from your skin, leaving it flaky, scaly, cracked, peeling, and even painful at times. Here are some skin care tips to help keep your skin happy during the long winter.

Moisturize

This seems like a no-brainer: Dry skin? Slather on some lotion. But not all lotions are created equal. During the cold, winter months, consider switching to a heavier cream or a 24-hour lotion that provides longer-lasting moisture, or you may want to try using natural oils for enduring relief from dry skin. Although coconut oil is getting a lot of attention, avoid using it on your skin; it doesn’t absorb well and is comodegenic, meaning it clogs pores. Instead, consider using sunflower or hemp seed oils, both of which are noncomodegenic (so they won’t clog pores). Hemp oil also has great healing properties for skin issues that can be worsened by cold winter weather such as eczema. (And, hey, you can use either to make a great vinaigrette, too.) Don’t neglect your lips, which are prone to cracking in the wintertime. Keep them supple and smoochable by applying lip balm daily.

Hydrate

You can slather on oils and creams and lotions all day long, but skin hydration begins on the inside. If you notice that your skin feels tight and dry, or that your lips are cracked and peeling, consider stepping up your water intake. We’ve all heard the recommendation to drink eight, 8-ounce glasses of water every day. And that’s pretty close to what most doctors recommend. However, people who live in very hot or very dry climates may need to guzzle even more. Another easy tip to remember is to drink half your body weight in ounces of water every day. So, for example, if you weight 140 pounds, you would need to drink about 70 ounces of water each day, according to this particular guideline.

Supplement

People tend to forget that the epidermis is their body’s largest organ. Although it seems like most people take supplements to improve their heart health or increase their brain function or flush out their livers, fewer take supplements for skin care. As an organ, your skin will benefit from nutrients and special supplements. Taking Vitamins C and E and supplements that contain selenium and antioxidants can boost your skin’s health.

Wash – Don’t Dry

Sulfates (sodium laureth sulfate or sodium lauryl ether sulfate) are lathering agents that are found in most shampoos, soaps and detergents. But sulfates strip your skin, scalp and hair of natural oils that keep them soft and moisturized. Sulfates are usually found in body soap. In addition to stripping your skin of its natural oils, leaving it dry, tight and itchy, sulfates are also known irritants that can exacerbate skin conditions such as eczema. With the cold winter air already doing a number your skin, you don’t need to make things worse by using the wrong soap. Consider switching to sulfate-free body washes by Jason, Burt’s Bees, Organix or many other brands.

Winter isn’t kind to your hair or scalp, either. The cold, dry air can leave hair brittle and staticky, and your scalp itchy and peeling. Switching to a non-sulfate shampoo could help. We’ve all seen the infomercials for that famous hairdresser’s “conditioning shampoo,” but there’s no need to spend $40 a month to get the same effect. Sulfate-free shampoos are available at grocery stores, pharmacies and beauty supply stores. Big-name brands such as Aveeno, Aveda and L’Oreal have introduced sulfate-free shampoos, or you can try Hair One products, available at Sally Beauty Supply, as an inexpensive alternative to the “conditioning shampoo” you see on the infomercials. You can also add a touch of Moroccan oil or rosemary oil to your hair after you shower to cut down on static and calm the frizz.

Go to the Doctor

If your dry skin persists to the point of painful cracking or peeling, you may want to visit your dermatologist. A dermatologist can check your skin to make sure nothing more serious is going on than winter dryness, and your doctor can prescribe lotions, ointments, creams or even medications to help your skin heal.

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