29 Dec Winter Weather Tips for Beautiful Skin
The crisp air of winter may feel refreshing to you, but it can be rough on your skin. The dry air outside removes moisture from the skin, causing the telltale dryness, flakiness and itchiness that is so prevalent in the colder seasons. The inside is to blame, too, as the hot, dry indoor air can further aggravate dryness.
While a good skincare regimen is important all year round, a little extra TLC during the season can help you avoid that winter itch: the key is moisture.
- Moisturize, and then moisturize some more.
After showering and before going to bed, lather on some moisturizer to replace lost moisture in your skin. Using an oil-based moisturizer — think thick petroleum jelly — can be used when skin is severely dry and cracked, as it creates a barrier to prevent moisture loss. Oil-based moisturizers may be too thick to be used on the face — and they may be linked to breakouts — so water-based moisturizers are recommended for more delicate areas. Oil-based moisturizers are especially helpful at night for hands and feet, especially when used under gloves and socks.
- Avoid those long, hot showers or baths.
It feels nice to hop in the shower or tub and enjoy the warmth of the water, but doing so can actually cause harm to your skin. Soaking in hot water strips your skin of its natural oil barrier that protects against dryness. Though it may not be as cozy, short, lukewarm showers are better for your skin in the winter. Use a non-perfumed soap, as fragrances are often drying; liquid body soaps are also less drying than bar soap. At the end of your shower, remember to pat — not rub — yourself dry!
- Pay attention to your hands.
Many people suffer the most from dry and cracked hands during the winter. People wash their hands frequently during the day, often using hot water that removes the skin’s oil barrier. Protect your hands by using lukewarm water when washing your hands, and follow up with a moisturizer after every wash. Wear gloves every time you venture outside, too, to keep the moisture locked in.
- Use a humidifier.
Though not normally in a skincare regimen, humidifiers can be skin’s best friend in the winter. Dry air is the main culprit behind dry skin, so using a humidifier can replace the lost moisture that it needs. Ideal humidity levels in are between 40 and 60 percent. If you don’t want to buy a humidifier, you can create your own by boiling water on the stove or drying laundry on racks indoors.
- Don’t forget your sunscreen.
The sun might not be bright, but it’s still shining behind those clouds — and so are those damaging UV rays. Don’t skip the sunscreen just because it’s darker than usual out, as your skin is still susceptible to sun damage even when it’s overcast.
The winter doesn’t have to be a time of itchy, dry, dull skin. Keep your skin looking as healthy as ever by keeping it moisturized.