Winter is a time to frolic in the snow and just feel alive after a sweltering summer. On the other hand, it’s also a time when your skin suffers the most. If you don’t want to get cracked, itchy or dry skin, use the following skin care tips to keep your skin supple and healthy this winter.
Skin care tip #1: Stick with ‘Oily’ moisturizers
Even if you slather that summer moisturizer all over your face, your skin will get dry again once you go outside. Most summer and spring lotions are water-based and don’t give your skin with the level of moisture needed on those dry winter days.
Skin care tip – On your next trip to the store, look for an oil based moisturizer and grab a bottle. Apply it as soon as you feel your skin itching or stretching to soothe it. This will actually lock in all the moisture your skin needs and create a protective layer around it to keep it that way. Make sure to apply your lotion right after a shower and several times a day to keep your skin from drying out. Also look for lotions that contain humectants such as glycerine and alpha hydroxy acid that can pull moisture into your skin and keep it there. For really dry skin, try applying petroleum jelly or mineral oil that can help to lock in moisture.
Skin care tip #2: Take Short Hot Showers/Baths
Taking a hot shower or bath is heavenly on a cold winter morning, but did you know that showering can cause damage to your skin? Long hot showers can draw moisture from your skin by breaking down the lipid barriers of your cells. Extremely hot water can also break the capillaries in your skin causing blotches and can even dry it out by sucking up all the moisture it needs.
Skin care tip – To avoid this, take a lukewarm bath with some oatmeal or baking soda. This will prevent your skin from getting itchy while a few drops of jojoba or almond oil can keep it moisturized. Avoid bathing more than once a day and use a mild soap with moisturizers to help rehydrate dry skin. Avoid hot showers as hard as that is on a cold winter day and keep your shower time to as little as possible. Make sure to apply your lotion while your skin is still moist!
Skin care tip #3: Use a humidifier
Winter air is known for being dry and harsh. To make matters worse, the central heating systems that keep us warm further dry out the air sucking moisture from our bodies.
Skin care tip – Hook up a couple small humidifiers to pump moisture back into the air. This not only helps your skin but can also ease problems with dry eyes and sinuses as well. Another less expensive and more eye-appealing option is to use plants. Plants give off moisture through their leaves which can keep the air in your home from drying out. Use broad leaf varieties for the best effect and spray them lightly on occasion to give the air and your plants a little boost of moisture.
Skin care tip #4: Give your Hands Tender Loving Care
Your hands are the parts of your body most exposed to the chilly air during the winter. Plus, since the skin is so thin in that area, they can get dry and flaky pretty fast too. Wet gloves can further dry your skin out and cause irritation as well
Skin care tip – Keep the skin on your hands moisturized by applying the oil based lotion mentioned before. Do this each time you wash your hands and cover them with gloves when you go out. If you prefer wool gloves, make sure to use a cotton liner to avoid irritation and to wick away sweat that can also cause problems. Make sure to use a moisturizing hand soap as well to add an extra boost of moisture every time you wash your hands.
Skin care tip #5: Oil up Frigid Feet
Those mint lotions may sooth your aching and hot feet in the summer months, but come winter time, they won’t be of much help. You need stronger stuff to combat the layers of dry skin on your feet in the winter.
Skin care tip – Look for lotions that have petroleum jelly or glycerin in them. Foot gels such as these can cut through all those dead layers and keep your feet soft. But first, remove dead skin by exfoliating your feet so that the moisturizer can sink in faster and deeper. Winter time is a great time to splurge on those pedicures as well. With cold toes and wet socks damaging your feet constantly in the winter months, pampering yourself is definitely justified!
Feeling fresh and healthy makes winter much more fun. Remember to stock up on oil-based moisturizers and keep your skin covered. Apply sunscreen to exposed skin as well to keep it protected from damaging UV rays. Limit your bath time, avoid hot showers, and pamper your skin a little during the harsh winter months. Keep your skin itch free by following these skin care tips and you can forget about dry skin and just have fun!